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Catholic trustees ready to run

After all candidates were acclaimed in 2007, there will be a race for the seven trustee seats in the Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools.

After all candidates were acclaimed in 2007, there will be a race for the seven trustee seats in the Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools.

All but one of the incumbents are running again, and three newcomers have filed their nomination papers to run for office.

With the exception of the 2009 byelection held after former trustee Neil Fitzpatrick resigned, which Joan Crockett won, this will be the first contested election for the district since 2004.

Dave Caron (Incumbent)

The six-term trustee has lived in St. Albert for 24 years, where all three of his children were raised and educated. He works in the commercial lending field at BMO and also serves with numerous groups, including the St. Albert economic development advisory committee, the Cosmopolitan Club and the Alberta Catholic School Trustees.

Heading into his seventh election, Caron said in his online profile at www.stalbertgazette.com that he is especially focused on education for children with special needs.

"We must lobby for special needs resources that fully cover the costs of delivering the educational programs that all children deserve."

Chris Cooke

Citing the next three years as an "exciting and challenging time," GE employee Cooke has two daughters, both of whom attend école Father Jan. He has been a member of the Father Jan school council, sits on the public library board, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and volunteers through work.

There are numerous issues facing schools in the near future, Cooke said, which propelled him to join the race.

"There's also the financial constraints with funding always being a challenge for schools and I think it will continue to be difficult."

Joan Crockett (Incumbent)

The retired teacher of 30 years, who taught at almost every grade level within St. Albert and Legal, is seeking her first full term in the St. Albert ward after winning her seat in a byelection.

Following the resignation of Neil Fitzpatrick in 2009, Crockett emerged as the winner to fill his seat. Having retired in 2008 and with all three children grown and out of the house, Crockett believes she has a lot to give.

"I feel my roots are family values first. Service to others is a very strong commitment that I have, whether to the community or serving on the board."

Brock Dagenais

A corporate commercial litigation lawyer who has practised for 28 years, Dagenais has four children, three of whom are under the age of six. The eldest recently graduated from Stanford University.

He serves on the parent council of école Marie Poburan and decided to run based on the futures of his young children.

"There's no system that exists that can't be improved upon. A change in the board might not be the end of the world and may bode well for the future.

"I think when one is capable of running, one should."

Jacquie Hansen (Incumbent)

Hansen has served on the board for nine years with the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board, making this her fourth election. The mother of four children and 15-year St. Albert resident is also vice-president of the Alberta School Boards Association and sits on the Children's Services Region 6 table focusing on children and youth at risk.

According to her online profile, Hansen is looking to "protect and promote Catholic education."

"I believe that parents are the first educators of their children and that we as a school system are charged with nurturing them under the guidance of our teachings."

Rosaleen McEvoy (Incumbent)

Looking for a third term with the board, the former religious studies teacher and mother of two feels there is still work to be done and she wants to be there to keep doing it. Most important of all, McEvoy says she wants to ensure that Catholic education remains relevant in the modern era.

"I enjoy the work and students for me … everything we do centres around our students who are the next generation."

Cathy Proulx (Incumbent)

The trustee for the Legal area, a mother of three, is looking at a sixth term, having first been elected to the board in 1996. She has spent the last five years working as the co-ordinator for Family and Community Support Services for the Town of Legal. She has served on several committees of the board, as well as being the board representative for the Alberta School Boards Association.

In her online profile, Proulx offered many reasons why she wants to serve another three years,

"I feel I know the education system and would like to continue serve the residents of Legal. Having lived in Legal all my life, I have watched our community grow and I have a good pulse for what my community is looking for in our school division."

Heather Thiessen

Describing herself as a "strong advocate of good, strong education for our children, the Morinville resident of 19 years is seeking her first term as a trustee in the Morinville ward.

With both of her children now in university, the hair-salon owner, who did a great deal of volunteering when her kids were in school, believes now is the right time to serve.

"My goal would be to help to continue that momentum and represent our school community, bringing forward any concerns that affect all of our students."

Lauri-Ann Turnbull (Incumbent)

Representing the Morinville ward, Turnbull is finishing her first term as trustee. The married mother of four girls spent 16 years as an executive member of a parent council. A former rehabilitation practitioner, Turnbull has also worked in the past as a teacher's aide and in the hardwood flooring business.

In her online candidate profile submission, Turnbull stated it is important trustees understand the issues involving not just St. Albert schools, but also those in Morinville and Legal.

"We have two people from Morinville who sit on the board out of a seven member board, so it is important that we can get our position out clearly and in a concise manner so that all voices are heard."

Noreen Radford

Radford is seeking a seat in the Morinville ward. She was unavailable for comment as of press time.