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Welcome Back!

As we head back into the classrooms, we know that many students had a wonderful summer and are coming back refreshed and ready for school. But it’s also true that not everyone had a great summer. Sometimes life throws difficult things at young people over the summer.  For these students, heading back to school and routine can be a relief.  Or, school might feel difficult and there is no excitement at being back, for these students, it might feel like a long day.

No matter how it feels heading back to school today, I want you to know that you are being thought about and considered by your school, your teachers and the team of people working behind the scenes at Edmonton Public Schools.

A new school year is the time many of us set intentions for the year.  Maybe it will be to do that home reading every day, maybe it will be to join a school club (or start one!), maybe it’s to share lunch with a new friend, to feed your kids healthy snacks after school, or to get more sleep. Edmonton Public Schools shares the intention of doing the best we can for the students who trust us with their education, and who trust us to share in the day-to-day moments that shape the year.  Thank you for sharing your excitement, nerves, tears and laughter with us today.

 

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Welcome to the updated site!

Welcome to this website – newly updated!  It has been 10 months since being elected Trustee for Ward C on the Edmonton Public School Board and these months have been the highest honour of my life and have also presented the steepest learning curve as well. It has been constantly humbling to learn more about the inspiring work being done by teachers and staff within EPSB and within the sector of public education in the province. I’ve had a chance to advocate for mental health funding to schools, for schools as community hubs, and to work on the board’s infrastructure committee. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting schools, attending parent council meetings, conducting results reviews with schools, attending community events, and meeting with constituents and stakeholder groups in education.

All of this to say that it’s been busy!  But summer has offered a chance to work on this website as a way to communicate directly with constituents and those interested in the work of the Edmonton Public School Board.  Please have a look around, and you’ll see:

  • An event page. While Trustees are busy most days with meetings/events within the district, with stakeholders, government, or constituents, there are also many public events where you can meet your Trustee.  This calendar hosts important school calendar dates as well as board meetings and public events attended by myself and other Trustees.
  • A blog. A chance to keep up to date on what is coming up at board meetings, and hear from your Trustee directly. My hope is to provide background information for topics that our board routinely discusses.
  • Information about Ward C. Are you aware of what schools and neighbourhoods are included in Ward C?  It might be more than you think. Check out the link to an interactive map of the ward.

And, stay tuned for other features that might be coming soon, or provide your feedback on what you would like to see included on a website for your elected representative on the Edmonton Public School Board.

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Re-establishing a Ward Council

One of the reasons I am running for Edmonton Public School Board Trustee is because I’m a parent and I have kids attending Edmonton Public Schools. As a parent, I’ve had mixed responses to the community engagement conducted by the board.  I’ve been so happy to see the board inviting parent and student feedback into big decisions such as space for schools, proposed amalgamation/school closures and initiatives such as the  Student Senate. Yet, I’ve also been frustrated at times by the structured way that responses were required in public meetings.  I’ve heard parents say that it sometimes felt like they were being invited so that community engagement could be checked off a list.

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The importance of mental health programs

Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness. I view mental health as something that is important to our daily lives. Mental health means feeling supported by those you care about, feeling that you belong to a community, and believing that you have a purpose in this world. Mental health is something that can be promoted in our communities and schools in a wide variety of ways. I believe that policies fostering inclusion and respect are part of mental health promotion, and that mental health promotion should also involve easy access to individuals with training. Speaking to someone about your concerns or troubles can be extremely important in preventing mental illness, particularly when you can speak to someone who understands and can help.

Continue reading “The importance of mental health programs”