by Jennifer Lavallee
Morinville News Correspondent
Incumbent Catholic School Board Trustee, Noreen Radford, is hoping third time’s a charm during the next municipal election on Oct. 16. Radford is looking to secure one of two spots available for Trustee with the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board (GSACRD). Having a seat on the Board over the last two terms, Radford was first elected to the position in 2010.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of a district that consistently outperforms the Province in the accountability pillars. This is due to the intensive preparatory work completed by the Board in establishing our strategic plans,” she said. “Considering the outstanding work that has been done during my tenure on this Board, there is still more to be completed.”
Radford talked about the capital projects recently undertaken by GSACRD, citing, in particular, the new elementary school forthcoming in Morinville, which will be called St. Kateri School (a kindergarten through grade six school). “Advocating and lobbying for the advancement of this project has been top of mind during my trusteeship,” she noted. Radford said she wants to see this project through to completion.
Touching on the responsibility that comes with the role of Trustee, Radford insists a, “two meetings a month notion will not provide the representation necessary to be effective in this role.” To maintain accountability to the public, she said her involvement in other avenues—community organizations (Radford is a member of Morinville’s Rotary club and is currently hosting an exchange student from Germany), town council meetings, school council meetings, local events, and just getting out there to talk to people—in addition to the expected GSACRD Board and Committee meetings is key to finding success in the role.
Regarding Committee work, Radford said knows the ropes. Currently on the First Nations, Metis, Inuit Leadership Committee, she has also been a part of GSACRD’s Policy Advisory, Alberta Teacher’s Association liaison, and Negotiating Committee, among others. From 2014-2015, Radford was the GSACRD Board Chair, and then moved on as Vice-Chair.
“I have the time, the knowledge and most certainly the dedication to fulfill this role,” she expressed.
Issues such as the transformation of school curriculums, educational services agreements between school boards and First Nations, and school and transportation fees are all top of mind for this incumbent.
As a Catholic Trustee, Radford also talked about faith-based learning. “I truly believe that fully funded Catholic education needs to belong in our province, as recently stated by our Education Minister. I am a regular attendee at St. Jean Baptiste Parish [and] am a [Catholic Women’s League] member,” she said, adding that she’d like to see a greater involvement between GSACRD and Morinville’s local parish council.
Radford also noted, if awarded a third term, she would work to develop important partnerships. “Since our town is growing, it is vital that a partnership be maintained and enhanced between the Provincial government, the municipalities and the school boards to ensure that there are adequate school sites, joint use recreation facilities agreements, school resource officer programs, mental health supports in the community, and shared resources with FCSS,” she explained.
At the end of the day, Radford says she wants to be part of providing the best education possible for students and their parents. “If there are further questions as to why I am running, what my achievements on the board mean for you, and how I can continue to assist…please contact me,” added Radford, who said she can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.