A St. Albert Public School trustee says she wants to see more candidates from ethnic minorities running in this fall’s school-board elections.
St. Albert Public School Trustee Cheryl Dumont confirmed this week she would not seek re-election this fall during the 2021 municipal election.
Dumont has been a trustee with St. Albert Public since 2010.
“The family is saying to me, ‘You have to slow down a little bit,’” said the 72-year-old, when asked about her decision.
“After three terms, I really feel I’ve done pretty much what I set out to do, and it’s time for some new voices.”
Dumont has previously served as the board’s chair and as a director with the Alberta School Boards Association. She was also a director with the St. Albert Housing Society and executive director with the St. Albert and District Further Education Association.
Dumont said she became a trustee to bring a business and parenting voice to the organization. She soon learned the job is all about planting seeds of ideas and working with others to advance student education.
“It’s been the honour of my life.”
Dumont said it is a trustee’s job to get students the skills they will need to succeed 10 to 15 years from now, which to her means coding, financial literacy, second-language education, and Indigenous reconciliation.
“All those things are going to make our kids in the future so much more powerful.”
Dumont said she did a lot of work to promote these issues at the provincial level through the Alberta School Boards Association, where she spearheaded motions in support of coding, second language education, and (in partnership with Greater St. Albert Catholic schools Trustee Joe Becigneul) opposition to ads that promote vaping to youths. She is now working with Fort McMurray trustees on a motion to enhance environmental education in the curriculum, and hopes to keep developing an anti-racism policy through St. Albert Public.
“It’s kids and community that help all of us be passionate,” Dumont said, when asked why she had put in all this work.
Dumont said she plans to continue to support student and adult education through the Further Education Association once she leaves office. She also hopes to work with St. Albert Public trustees to create a charitable foundation in support of the district.
Dumont said residents should run for trustee this fall to use their voices in support of students and their community. She hopes this election will bring more candidates and ideas from minority communities to the board so it will better reflect St. Albert’s demographics.
"We need new voices,” she said.
Dumont encouraged anyone with questions on running for trustee to contact her at [email protected].
Nominations for the 2021 election are due Sept. 20. Visit www.spschools.org/board_governance/elections2021 for details.