The main responsibilities of a School Trustee include: - communicating, informing, and involving parents, staff, and the community-at-large about school board decisions and activities;
- adopting an annual budget that achieves Division priorities;
- setting goals and priorities for the jurisdiction that achieve provincial education standards, meet the needs of students and reflect the community's wishes;
- lobbying the municipal and provincial governments on education issues of importance to the jurisdiction;
- adjudicating policy or decision appeals; and
- hiring and evaluating the superintendent.
The various School Trustees from across the district together make-up the Black Gold School Division Board of Trustees.
did you say your husband was a teacher?
Yes. My husband is a Principal with Black Gold Regional Schools, and has worked for the district for the past 15 years. We have a household full of passion for supporting children and their education!
The insights I have gleaned from being closely connected to the education system in this way have been complementary to my Trustee role, and have offered inspiration and motivation.
That being said, a trustee with a pecuniary interest is required to leave the board room and/or abstain from voting on any motion that may provide benefit to their family member. Section 170 of the Alberta Municipal Government Act describes pecuniary interest as something which could monetarily affect you, your spouse, or adult interdependent partner, or children, your parents or the parents of your spouse (in other words, your immediate family), or a business which employs you or in which you have an interest. Specifically, pecuniary interest means an interest in a matter which could monetarily affect: you, a corporation, other than a distributing corporation, in which you are a shareholder, director or officer a distributing corporation in which you – beneficially own voting shares carrying at least 10% of the voting rights attached to the voting shares of the corporation or of which you are a director or officer a partnership or firm of which you are a member.
Given the vast scope of the School Board's duties, these restrictions represent quite a small percentage of a Trustee's overall responsibilities. Also, teacher compensation is now negotiated at a provincial rather than local level. In the past four years, I have had to abstain from less than a handful of votes.
I will be able to fulfill my duties in this role, and represent Ward 2 and Ward 2 schools in the strongest way possible, just like the trustees with pecuniary interest on more than half of Alberta School Boards do.
As the governing board over public education, a vote for your school trustee is also a community vote. Locally elected trustees ensure that the unique needs of the local landscape are addressed in decision making.
Education decisions affect our kids, our community, and our future.