2018 Pine creek school division Board election
2018 General Election - Wednesday, October 24, 2018
- Elected in 2014
When I was asked to run for PCSD four years ago, I had absolutely no idea what a trustee was or what they actually did, but I put my name forward and was successful in joining the Board.
Being a new trustee, I was very much unaware of everything about the process. I listened a lot in the beginning and attended many conferences to learn what it was all about. I started to really find it all very interesting and the more education I got, the more interesting it became.
I feel that it is especially very important today, with government cuts and many changes they are imposing on education, that the local voice stays here in our Division so that we can decide on the placement of the finances . It is becoming more and more difficult to maintain the quality and quantity of education our children deserve, given the minimal amount of government funds we receive. And amalgamating school divisions together and making school boards smaller and smaller is not the answer. Being a school board trustee keeps our decisions here, with local people looking after the needs of our children. Because I still feel this way, I will be putting my name forward for another term as a Pine Creek School Division trustee. Over the previous four years I have witnessed many changes and many positive decisions in our Division in spite all the government cuts. It has been a challenge at times - especially around budget - but I definitely feel that we, as local trustees, are still in the best position to oversee the development of our future local leaders.
Being a PCSD trustee this past term has been very educational, frustrating, and emotional, but I look forward to the possibility of continuing the journey with my fellow trustees. I believe that together we can help make important decisions that will allow our Division to maintain a high quality of education and provide for the future of our children.
What better reason to be a trustee?
~ Susan Voesenek
- Elected in 2016
In 2016 there was an open seat at the Pine Creek School Division Board table when a trustee moved out of the area. I decided to put my name forward and was elected.
My reason to run then and my reason to run again is our children’s learning and achievement. All children need to have quality education in a safe and caring learning environment. All decisions made at the Board table must be for the quality education we give our children in PCSD. I am very proud of the educators and all support staff who work hard to run our School Division. We have some of the most qualified and dedicated staff anywhere. I have always believed that rural students make great employees and I am proud of all the students that have gone forward from PCSD to do great things in the world. It is imperative to have strong schools in order to help grow the economy in each of our communities. As our provincial government continues to cut funding and with recent rumors about amalgamation of school divisions, trustees continue to work hard together and always keep the needs of students first. It is important to keep our local voice at the Board table.
I have seen many challenges come to the Board table these last three years, but I have great colleagues who have taught me many ways to deal with those challenges and turn them into opportunities. I have learned a lot over the past three years and I hope to have the opportunity to continue to learn more.
~ Debi Barber
- Elected in 1991
All I ever wanted to be was an educator; however, life circumstances interfered and I was not able to continue as a Business Teacher. Instead, I moved into private music education, still working with children and enjoying it immensely. Then in 1991 the Board of the Pine Creek School Division asked me to fill a term position for a Board member who had moved away. I loved it, so I ran the next time… and the next time… and the next time. Suddenly, twenty-eight years has passed, and I don’t know where that time has gone.
I have learned so much! When I started, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea about how the government of the day affected the local autonomy of our schools. I had no idea about the funding of our schools; I had no idea about the different unions and negotiations; I didn't really even have any idea about how a Board with so many individuals and so many different ideas could work together, how they could come together for the betterment of schools and children.
I believe in public education. I had three children go through the system, so what was going on in the division was of great importance to me. I never tired of my role on the Board. I served on every single committee and as chairperson, and I must tell you that every meeting was different. For twenty-eight years, I sat around a table with a number of different trustees, with seven different superintendents, four different secretary-treasurers, several special services coordinators, and several maintenance and transportations coordinators; and I can tell you that the decisions made around that table were always, always with the best interests of our students in mind.
However, after 28 years of service, I feel it's time for someone else with an interest in public education to take over this ward. I have so enjoyed all of my years; I'm sure that my successor will feel the same. It is a great learning experience and a great honour to serve on the Board of the Pine Creek School Division.
~ Wanda Toth
- Elected in 2002
Why did I run for a Pine Creek School Division trustee 16 years ago?
I am a passionate believer of having a vibrant rural community. Our children are the future for that community. A strong education in an inclusive, safe and caring environment equals young adults who, I hope, can proudly say “I was educated in PCSD”. Or better yet, stay in the area to work, start businesses, take over the family farm or come back to raise their families!
I won’t be seeking re-election in the Austin/Sidney ward (Ward 3), but I would encourage anyone who has a strong commitment to the education of children and wishes to keep the local voice for the Pine Creek schools, to consider running for trustee. The future…it’s all about the kids, isn’t it?
~ Arlene Jarema
- Elected in 2006
My motivation for seeking re-election is simple – we, as a community of stakeholders, need to invest in the Pine Creek School Division schools to ensure that every student is fully prepared for the next stage of their lives, whether from grade to grade or after graduation. The division has made many positive strides recently under difficult financial circumstances, but there is still much work to be done to maintain and improve our excellent school division. In the short run, focus has to be shifted to our students and the educational process, but there are certain financial realities that will not go away and these still have a great bearing on the outcomes of our students’ education. We need to receive maximum value for every dollar invested. I believe my experience as a school board trustee for 12 years will help move the division forward.
I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most incredible staff and students as well as learn about some wonderful things that the students are involved in that I may have never known about if I hadn’t been involved with the division. At the end of the day, that’s what it is about for me - not the politics, agendas, or the drama. It is about the students in this community and my desire to continue the tradition of excellence for which the Pine Creek School Division is known.
~ Marlene Craik
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