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School board candidates: Louis Riel School Division Ward 2

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Louis Riel School Division Ward 2


Nancy Cooke

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Nancy Cooke

Nancy Cooke

Facebook – Nancy Cooke for School Trustee 2011

Who she is: Cooke has a degree in occupational therapy and has worked in schools. Her kids go to Darwin and Dakota.

Why she’s running: Cooke’s been involved in parent council. "I looked into trying to take it to the next level."

Class size presents a challenge for the division, Cooke said. "I don’t know where the money is going to come from to do that," said Cooke, who doesn’t believe the NDP will fund the capped classrooms adequately.

Seniors don’t believe Selinger’s promise to eliminate their education property taxes, she said.

The board must ensure teachers’ support before making program decisions.










Brynne MacKenzie

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Brynne MacKenzie

Brynne MacKenzie

Who she is: A former administration staffer at the University of Manitoba, MacKenzie works as an educational assistant (EA) aiding the classroom teacher. One son has graduated, another 11-year-old is in a division school.

Why she’s running: "I work as a casual EA. I’ve been in many different classrooms and many different schools — it’s been invaluable for me."

"People have to be reminded it is a public school system, and society is changing. Children need to feel safe, and accepted for who they are. We have to create a safe and welcoming environment."

On class size: "That is so exciting for me. Thank heavens we haven’t closed any of our schools — now we have facilities we can use."

Large class sizes mean some kids’ problems don’t get noticed, MacKenzie said. "I see some children slipping through, and it’s because the teachers are exhausted."


Jasmine Van Gerwen

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Jasmine Van Gerwen

Jasmine Van Gerwen

Who she is: Van Gerwen works for First Nations and Inuit Health, with two kids in Island Lakes Community School.

Why she’s running: The vacancy occurred just as Van Gerwen came away dissatisfied from a board meeting in which parents asked trustees to bus their kids from middle school to shop classes at a high school in another neighbourhood. Parents either drive them or the kids take public transit.

"We need more parents on the board. We need more accountability," Van Gerwen said. "I have no real major concerns with our education system — it’s top grade. You can’t complain unless you do something about it."

She has concerns about split classes, non-supervised lunch programs, and the need for more education assistants.






Mike Daoust

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Mike Daoust

Mike Daoust

Who he is: He’s a certified financial planner, whose two kids have graduated. A former trustee defeated in the 2010 general election, Daoust served one and one-half terms after winning a 2004 byelection.

Why he’s running: "I did have some unfinished business as a trustee, and the biggest one is educational accountaibility," he said, adding the division should set education goals for student performance.

"I always have a keen eye on resources — we haven’t had quantifiable results to see if we get a good bang for our buck."

Bullying and student engagement are issues, students need greater access to technical and vocational programs.


Sherry Liley

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Sherry Liley

Sherry Liley


Who she is: Three sons enrolled in the division, works for the Department of National Defence.

Why she’s running: "People feel comfortable talking to me." People feel their voice won’t be heard — it’s a good opportunity to be their voice.

Liley is concerned about the necessity for students to have laptops. "I feel paper and pens are good enough, they worked before. I’m concerned children won’t know how to write, to write it down, to understand what they’re learning."

"I’d like to see a breakfast program in some of the areas."

Fitness, breakfast and sleep deprivation are all connected.

Students are "pushed ahead, even if they haven’t handed in their assignments. They don’t understand they have to do the work to get ahead."

Liley is also concerned about the lack of busing for kids attending shop classes at other schools.


Colleen Mayer

Who she is: Has two kids in Windsor School. She was Gord Steeves’ assistant when he was a city councillor, and when he ran his recent provincial campaign.

Why she’s running: "First and foremost, I’m a mom."

"I love being connected. I love meeting with people."

Mayer says capping class size and the seniors' tax credit will really force school boards to stretch their tax dollars, regardless of what the province promises about covering the costs. "We are left as a school board to make it stretch."

"It’s important to really represent children — they are our future."





Jeremiah Kopp

Who he is: A 19-year-old university student and Liberal activist, who’s obtaining his real estate certification. Kopp declined to have his photograph published.

Why he’s running: "We see the economy is changing constantly. The education system needs to start adapting to that."

"School boards are represented by one demographic that’s been out of school for many, many years," Kopp said, adding that trustees are generations apart from the students they serve,

"The most important thing is including programs for any child’s needs."


Edna Sears

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Edna Sears

Edna Sears

Who she is: Certified general accountant, with two kids in division schools.

Why she’s running: Cites class size, safety in schools, and drug awareness as issues highlighted in her campaign brochure.

"Finding efficiencies in the system and getting rid of redundancies — there’s got to be something in there."

The growth in the south end presents challenges, where schools are crammed or haven’t been built in new subdivisions: "It’s where the population is, that’s the issue."


Updated on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:06 AM CST: Adds candidate photos

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