Sunday April 20, 2014

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Currie and Foord acclaimed to public board

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Pam Currie and Janet Foord are looking forward to the next term on the South East Cornerstone Public School Board.

Currie and Foord were acclaimed as Estevan's trustees on the board on September 19, when the deadline for nominations passed and nobody else submitted nomination papers. Both have been Estevan's representatives since the board's inception in 2006.

Prior to joining the Cornerstone board, Currie was on the Estevan Public School Board for nearly a decade. During that time, she feels she has been able to contribute to a lot of good things that have been happening in education.

Positive changes have occurred in assessment, benchmarking and report cards. The Cornerstone board consulted staff on priorities, and developed strategies based on those consultations. And they have responded to needs in the division, such as their Response to Intervention program, which identifies children with behaviour and social skill problems.

A renovation is currently underway at the Weyburn Comprehensive School, and Currie is looking forward ot its completion. The board is also studying at a new Kindergarten to Grade 12 school in Carlyle.

They have aligned the division with provincial priorities for math assessment, and they're doing more with pre-Kindergarten in schools.

"The earlier you get children into learning settings, the better students they will become," said Currie.

Issues that Currie believes will be pending in the next four years include a sustainability plan for schools; increases to instructional time; and revitalization of curriculum, which is already underway with math.

Foord has been involved with school boards for 24 years, between her time with the Cornerstone board and the Estevan Rural School Board. She's the vice-president of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, and is running for the provincial board's presidency seat this year. She also sits on the national school boards association.

School sustainability and funding will be challenges facing the board this term, she said. Now that the Ministry of Education has taken over the school boards' role of collecting property taxes, adequate funding will be a challenge.

Foord is also excited to see the direction that will be taken in the next few years when it comes to student achievement.

"We used to count bus tires, and now we're actually focusing on the things that are important, and that's how kids are achieving, and making sure all kids achieve and graduate," she said.

She's happy that there will be some returning incumbents on the Cornerstone board, which generates stability, but she would have liked to have seen an election in Estevan, as it reflects that people are concerned about education in the city.

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The Estevan subdivision wasn't the only one to have its incumbent trustees acclaimed. Bryan Wilson and Len Williams were acclaimed in Weyburn. Audrey Tromblay was acclaimed in Subdivision 5, which includes Midale, Stoughton and Fillmore. Current board chair Carol Flynn was acclaimed in Subdivision 1, which encompasses Moosomin and other northeast communities.

There will be an election in subdivision 2 (Arcola, Carlyle, Manor, Maryfield, Wawota and Parkland), where incumbent Harold Laich has been challenged by Sandy Smith. In subdivision 4 (Alameda, Lampman, Oxbow and Bienfait), incumbent Kevin Keating has been challenged by former trustee Garry Hammett. And in Subdivision 6 (Gladmar, Oungre, Ogema, Pangman, Radville and Yellow Grass), incumbent Bruce Wagner faces three challengers: Anne Lazurko, Barbara Segal and Elwood White.

Meanwhile, in Subdivision 3 (Carievale, Carnduff and Redvers), a second call for nominations has been issued. Current trustee Daryl Harrison has decided not to run again. The deadline to file nomination papers is Wednesday, October 3 at 4 p.m. 


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