StettlerLocal.com March 3, 2021
Guy Neitz and Kim Smyth, Chair and Vice Chair of Clearview School Board of Trustees at a meeting in early fall 2020.
The Clearview School Board elections will be held in October 2021. With a campaign period that has started sooner than ever before, official nominations opened on January 1 and the deadline for nominations is on September 20th. Extended nominations period will help candidates give them more time to campaign. Other changes to school board elections this year is School Board nominees are now required to report their fundraising and how the funds were spent. Although this has been the practice for municipal, provincial and federal campaigns, school boards have been previously excluded from this rule.
“More people who can run, makes for healthier for democracy.” -Peter Neal, Associate Superintendent
Ward 2 Representative, Kim Smyth, says they are looking for people who are passionate about education and who want to be involved in the great things that are happening in the Clearview School Division. Both Smyth and Associate Superintendent Peter Neale note that a lot of people who run for school board start at their local schools working on their school councils and eventually become interested in a broader role with the division.
“We are looking for those with a passion and interest in serving our schools. We need people who want to be involved in things.” - Kim Smyth, Vice President Clearview Board of Trustees
The role of the school board is to make sure that each school (10 regular schools, 10 Hutterite Schools, 2 Outreach schools across the 7,000 square kilometer district) is properly funded with the school itself deciding how the money they are allotted gets spent.
Clearview School Board Trustees:
establish the strategic plan and budget for Clearview
participate in decision-making processes and appeal processes of the Board
participate and communicates on committees of the Board or as Board representatives
participate on provincial associations meetings, such as the Alberta School Boards Association
communicate the Board's decisions to communities
attend school council meetings
Smyth notes that a local area board is important explaining that a broader central office would risk overlooking important issues. Bussing routes is a prime example; Clearview School Board is responsible for 45.5 bus routes and can adapt these routes based on the changing needs of the students in the area. Local boards can also establish relationships with the local business community who often help make suggestions on how the district schools can be tooled to provide skills and learning opportunities that benefit both the students, and local businesses. A local school board is also more capable of being open and transparent to families of students, and student councils.
Both Smyth and Neale want potential candidates to be aware there is a notable time requirement for those that wish to become a School Trustee and candidates must be prepared to do a fair bit of reading. It is important that potential trustees enjoy working with the public and have good communication skills.
Carson Ellis, Reporter