Trustee races underway for Catholic boards

October 7, 2013

On Oct. 21, in conjunction with the municipal elections, Albertans will also vote for their respective school board trustees.

As elected officials, trustees are responsible for overseeing and directing the operations of the school district. Serving four-year terms, trustees are elected by Catholic school taxpayers.


Greater St. Albert Catholic School District will see a competition in two of three wards. In Morinville, Brendan Kaup and Noreen Radford have been elected by acclamation.

Six potential candidates are vying for four open positions in Ward 1 (St. Albert): Dave Caron, Joan Crockett, Rosaleen McEvoy, Cathie Sarafinchan, Vince Schiller and Serena Shaw.

In Ward 3 (Legal), two candidates – Cathy Proulx and Tom Turner – are vying for one position.

"We are pleased to see such interest from the community in running as trustee," said Deb Schlag, returning officer for the district.

Trustee Jacquie Hansen is not seeking re-election while Lauri-Ann Turnbull stepped down from the board earlier this year.

This election will be St. Albert's first as a Roman Catholic separate school district, a change which took effect July 1, 2012.

Since 1863, the St. Albert district was a Catholic public district, Schlag said.


The Calgary Catholic School District is the largest Catholic school district in Alberta, with over 50,000 students in 105 schools in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere and the Municipal District of Rocky View.

Two candidates – Linda Wellman and Cathie Williams – have been acclaimed.

Longtime trustee Lois Burke-Gaffney is not running again in the upcoming election, after serving as a board member for 21 years.

Burke-Gaffney has served as president of the Alberta School Boards' Association as well as the Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association.

There are races among the following candidates in these electoral divisions in Calgary:

Wards 1 & 2 plus Cochrane: Myra D'Souza Kormann, Torr Haglund and Serafino Scarpino.

Wards 4 & 7: Margaret Belcourt and Emmerson Brando.

Wards 6 & 8: James Faulkner, Mark Franssen, Antoni Grochowski and Peter Teppler.

Wards 9 & 10 plus Chestermere: Brad Gaida and Cheryl Low.

Wards 13 & 14: Mary Louise Martin and John Stephen Vyboh.


Voters are invited to meet the candidates for Red Deer Catholic Regional School Board of Trustees at the Westerner Park, Harvest Centre in Red Deer. The event is Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Seven candidates are running for five trustee positions in the Red Deer: David Bouchard, Murray Hollman, Adriana LaGrange, Cory Litzenberger, Guy Pelletier, Brandie Towers and Anne Marie Watson.

Acclaimed are Liam McNiff in Sylvan Lake and Diane MacKay in Olds.

As the husband of a schoolteacher, Litzenberger claims the answer to improved learning conditions is smaller class sizes.

"I have seen my wife with 18 Grade 3 students and with 27 Grade 3 students in different years. A 50 per cent increase in her workload somehow did not equate to a 50 per cent increase in pay," said Litzenberger.

"In my business, if I get 50 per cent more customers, I get 50 per cent more profit. In education, if you increase the class sizes, the students get less personal instruction time, and the teachers get more stress for the same pay," he said.


The St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Separate School Division has a number of trustees elected by acclamation, including the following:

Dan Chalifoux – Beaumont.

Michelle Lamer & Karen Richert – Leduc.

Thalia Hibbs – Lacombe.

Dan Svitich – Ponoka.

Sandra Bannard & Susan Kathol – Drayton Valley

An election will take place in Ward 2, Wetaskiwin. Two nominees will be elected from Angela Greenidge, Henry Tettey Effon and John Tomkinson.


Elk Island Catholic Separate Regional Division has many incumbents seeking re-election.

Candidates in Sherwood Park are Jean Boisvert, Kevin Chalifoux, Le-Ann Ewaskiw, Joann Lloyd, Ted Paszek, Tony Sykora and Michelle Szott. Four of the seven candidates will be elected.

The Camrose candidates are Ron Baier and Luisa Davidse. One candidate will be elected.

Elected by acclamation in Vegreville is incumbent Charlene Melenka.

Candidates in Fort Saskatchewan are Al Stewart and Justine Marie Wright, with one candidate elected.


In Evergreen Catholic Separate Regional Division, an election will be held in Westlock for one school trustee position. Running are Caren Mueller and Rodney (Bob) Oko.

Acclaimed in Stony Plain are Anne Driver and Natasha McBride. Acclaimed in Spruce Grove are Gerald Bernakevitch, Mel Malowany and Richard Yaceyko.

In Devon, Margaret Cargill is in by acclamation. Acclaimed in Hinton is Ronald McKay.


In East Central Alberta Catholic Separate Schools all eight trustees were elected by acclamation.

Daryl Possberg (Wainwright) and Duane Austin (Stettler/Killam) are the two new trustees.

The incumbents are Robert Nichols (Theresetta), Marlyn Charlebois (Wainwright), Debra Klein (Provost), Gregory Ibach (Provost), Philip Brady (Vermilion) and Larry Wasylik (Vermilion).


In Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord, three people are running for two trustee at-large positions: Kevin Bell, Paul Dube and Ismali Osman-Hachi.

Six candidates are vying for the three posts in Edmonton: Marcel Adzeme Essomo, Alain Bertrand, Karen Doucet, Nathalie Lachance, Audrey Lavoie and Denis Lefebvre.

For the St. Albert and Legal region, the two candidates are Phillip Burrows and Ronald St. John.

Nicole Lorrain was elected by acclamation for Fort McMurray, Jasper, Red Deer and Wainwright.


Lloydminster Catholic Schools are governed by Saskatchewan legislation and elections there will be held Oct. 16. Six positions have been filled by acclamation, while Calvin Edward Fendelet, Christopher Rehman and Verna McFarlane filed nomination papers in the lone contest.