by Colin Smith
This is a crucial time for advocacy of continued quality Catholic education in Alberta, according to Noreen Radford.
Radford is seeking a fourth term as a trustee with the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board, Ward 2 (Morinville), in the October 18 election.
She points to the challenges school boards are facing, such as access to adequate funding, a provincial curriculum review, and undertaking capital projects. At the same time, the Covid pandemic has the board concentrating its efforts on the wellbeing and mental health of staff and students.
“I have the experience of advocating and lobbying for many of our ongoing projects such as new school builds, grants for extra mental health supports, and school safety concerns in my community,” states Radford.
“I am presently board chair, have been on numerous committees within our division and have been instrumental in moving new projects forward.”
Involvement in the parish and the community, together with a good working relationship with municipal and provincial counterparts gives her the depth of experience needed for the trustee role, she feels.
“My ongoing collaborative relationship with our elected counterparts, municipal and provincial, provides an excellent opportunity to ensure education is a top priority.”
Along with her conviction of the importance of Catholic education and the need for the board to speak as one voice involvement, Radford sees for increased public involvement.
“As a trustee, I have been part of a positive move forward in setting goals and priorities for our division with increased attention to community wishes.”
Radford is also a strong believer in collaboration with the First Nations and Metis peoples.
“Our division has an excellent relationship with the First Nation and Metis peoples,” she declares. “We have done a great deal of work to address the Calls to Action, but I believe that much more can be done. My position on the First Nation, Metis, Inuit Leadership committee has increased my understanding and knowledge.”
The division was one of the first to recognize September 30 as a Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
“I believe that our schools provide an inclusive, welcoming and excellent learning opportunity,” the candidate states. “My intent is to continue to promote these values while ensuring a social and emotional well-being for all students.”