Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

The cities still electing men to run school boards

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Men still hold the majority of school board seats in Manitoba after last month's election.

The new school boards listed on the Manitoba School Boards Association website show that women won or were acclaimed in 47.5 per cent of the seats last month, down slightly from the 48 per cent of 2006.

Though, one must note, this election produced a depressing 14 seats for which there was no candidate, and which the new boards will have to fill by appointment.

Outside of Winnipeg and Brandon, men and women hold an equal number of school trustee jobs for the next four years. There are 15 more men on school boards than women pending the vacancy appointments, and that 15-seat difference occurs entirely in urban seats, if you include the urban ward of the Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine and the Ward 1 area of Seine River S.D. which includes part of Winnipeg.

The pattern since amalgamation has been for men to make up the majority of school board candidates in Winnipeg, and that held up this time, but in previous elections, the proportion of women winning seats was higher than the proportion of women candidates. That didn't happen this time.

Women dominate the boards in Winnipeg and Pembina Trails, but that's about it for the city.

Maybe a student in education administration sees a thesis here, or MSBA wants to let a researcher loose on this.

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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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