A second incumbent has stepped up to run in the race for St. Albert Catholic school trustee this fall, while a third has decided to bow out.
Greg Schell confirmed this week that he would seek a second term as a St. Albert Ward trustee for Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools. (GSACRD board trustees are divided into wards: four for St. Albert, two for Morinville, and one for Legal.)
Elected in 2017, Schell, 52, is married with one son in the GSACRD school system and has lived in St. Albert since 2007. A member of the Knights of Colombus, he has a background in finance and a master’s in business administration from the University of Calgary.
Schell said the last term was a bit of a learning curve for him as a rookie, but an enjoyable one.
“There’s lots of exciting things going on in our school division,” he said, and he hopes to continue his work to improve school utilization rates and student mental health.
Schell said he spearheaded the board’s efforts last term to support health and safety measures during the pandemic and lobbied the province to give teachers and support staff early access to vaccines. He also helped open two new schools and worked closely with area families during the Faith in Our Future debate.
“Some of the elements were definitely not needed,” he said of that controversial plan.
While the board did ultimately move École Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d’Youville’s high school students to St. Albert Catholic High — a decision that left some students in tears — Schell said the move opened more opportunities and option classes for those youths.
“I’ve always been concerned with French Immersion,” he said. He worked extensively with the Francophone community to defend French education and École Marie Poburan.
If re-elected, Schell said one of his first tasks would be to work with the Vital Grandin Catholic community to find a new name for the school in keeping with the principles of truth and reconciliation. He also hopes to do more to promote the district’s reputation as one of the one of the top-performing school districts in Alberta.
“We shouldn’t be afraid to brag.”