October 14, 2013

John Acheson

John Acheson

Catholic and public school trustees are faced with similar challenges in the governance of their districts. However, Catholic trustees have an additional and unique ministry: they provide the opportunity for students to encounter Jesus and to hear the good news of the Gospel.

This critical task of youth evangelization is more difficult today than it was when our district was formed 125 years ago – this because of the many spiritual ills that debilitate our culture.

Thus the case is made that Catholic schools are more important today than they were in years gone by.

It is critical therefore that Edmonton Catholics elect trustees who understand the philosophical and theological underpinnings of Catholic education, who are prepared to articulate these in the public forum and who have the courage to make the district's Catholic dimension a governance and budgetary priority.

As your Ward 75 trustee, I commit to do these things and thus enhance and nurture the district's Catholic dimension.

Secondly, I commit to work to allocate a greater percentage of the board's $400-million budget to the classroom – this to respond to the concerns of teachers and parents regarding both the size and composition of the classroom.

An increased allocation to the classroom will allow for an enhanced quality of student/teacher interaction and for a continuation of the district's tradition of academic excellence.

Thirdly, I will work to develop a comprehensive school facilities utilization plan. It is essential that all areas/communities receive a fair share of infrastructure resources and share in the challenges of addressing the infrastructure deficit.

In this, the board must provide an equitable opportunity for all families to have reasonable access to a Catholic education.

Please contact me for further details on the forgoing and on the other components of my platform. (achesonj@telus.net; 780-691-4814).

Andrea Klotz

Andrea Klotz

For the past 29 years, I have had the privilege of working for Edmonton Catholic Schools as corporate secretary to the board of trustees.

My career has provided me with a rich foundation for trusteeship. I have a wealth of experience relevant to effective governance. I have a deep understanding of process at the political level and how change happens, and have been involved with advocacy and lobby efforts of past boards - key roles of a trustee.

Because of my extensive background as the parliamentarian and my knowledge of protocol, I envision my role as a guardian of good governance.

Effective governance does not preoccupy itself with the day-to-day operation of the district. It is the result of collaboration among parents, the school, the Church and the government. I look forward to contributing to the governance of Edmonton Catholic Schools – one of the most effective, inclusive and caring school districts in Canada.

We are faced with many challenges. The budget was reduced by $8.8 million, significantly impacting educational programming, capital, and maintenance and repair of schools.

Revised standardized testing more aligned to 21st century learning is needed. The preservation of publicly-funded Catholic education is ongoing.

I value everyone's insights into Catholic education – supporters with or without children in school. I will make decisions based on what I have heard from our stakeholders and what is possible to do within the boundaries of a publicly-funded school district.

I am proud to be part of the rich history we have in Edmonton Catholic Schools. I have been a part of that history as a student, parent, grandparent and employee, and look forward to being part of that history as a trustee. Catholic education is transformational. An education built on faith, inclusion and trust instills the same values in our children.