Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
September 24, 2001
The race is on
9 running for 5 Catholic School Board seats
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — The race to elect a new board for Edmonton Catholic Schools is officially on. The four-week election campaign officially launched Sept. 17 when candidates plunked down their deposits and filed nomination papers.
Eleven candidates filed papers at City Hall announcing their intention to run for one of seven seats on the Edmonton Catholic School Board. The seventh trustee is chosen from the runner up in any of the six electoral wards who has the higher number of votes.
While for most candidates the race is just beginning, for two candidates the race ended as soon as the deadline for filing passed. Judy Buddle, in ward 5, and Charlie Koester, in ward 6, were elected by acclamation.
"I was quite surprised that no one else would run against me but I'm happy I was elected," said Koester, a first time candidate. He replaces Brian Mitchell, who retired from school politics after nine years as a trustee. Koester, a father of two with a business background, plans to bring a "business voice" to the board.
Ward 2 has the largest number of candidates with Janice Sarich and Jim Urlacher trying to unseat three term trustee Ronald Zapizocki.
"I had two opponents in the last election as well but I think if the voters recognize that I've worked hard for Edmonton Catholic Schools and for Catholic education it'll be okay," Zapizocki said. "I enjoy the work and I would continue to give it my best shot if I'm elected."
Debbie Cavaliere and Joe Filewych are both vying for a seat in ward 4. That seat has been vacant since last March when Ron Patsula quit to protest the board decision to close inner city schools. Patsula, who held the ward for three terms, decided not to run this time for "family reasons."
"I know I can make a difference," said Cavaliere, a litigation paralegal and a mother of two who is running for a second time.
Her goals, if elected, include fighting for more education funding so teachers can get decent salaries and the support they need to do a better job in the classroom. Cavalier also wants to improve the way the board consults with parents. "I would like serious consultation to take place and I don't think this has happened."
Debbie Engel, who served as chair of the board during her first term in office, wants to continue serving as a trustee for ward 1. "I really enjoyed the work and I think I accomplished a lot," the mother of two said. "I really believe in Catholic education." Also running in ward 1 is Richard McNally.
Jim Shinkaruk is running for a fourth term in ward 3. Vying for the same seat is candidate Mark Razzolini.
Shinkaruk believes he will prevail because as a former educator he knows the needs of the students, has good relations with teachers, is "available" to do the job and has a proven record of service.
"In the nine years that I have served I have worked hard to provide a good Catholic education," he said. "I will continue to work closely with parents, schools and parishes in the interest of quality education for our children."
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