October 14, 2013

I was very interested in the article in the Sept. 30 WCR concerning the trustee candidates.

I worked in Ward 73 for 10 years and know Cindy Olsen well. She has always been very supportive of the schools and students in her ward.

I retired in June after teaching 42 years and spending 11 of those years as an administrator. I have some concerns with the article published, especially concerning Cindy and would like to clear up a few misconceptions.

Cindy voted for a capital plan, not school closure, and she spoke to that fact at the public meeting which can be watched on ECSD website as all meetings are videotaped.

Cindy has worked hard with schools to keep them open vibrant and viable.

It seems odd that candidate Michelle Davis seems to be running on a platform of keeping community schools open, but according to information filed on nomination day her community school is St. Leo's, yet, according to the WCR article, she is sending her child out of the community to St. Gabriel.

Communities need to support their own community schools to stay viable so parents need to send their children to their community school or it will be difficult to keep schools open.

As an administrator, I worried each September as to the number of students we would have registered. The number of students directly equates to the money a school has to hire teachers. Parents must support their community schools if they want them to stay open.

Cindy Olsen has worked hard as a trustee for Ward 73 and I feel that she has been a trustee just long enough to know what her ward needs as opposed to "too long."

Experience cannot be discounted and in fact should be celebrated.

Linda Melnyk
Retired Edmonton Catholic Administrator