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This article was published 15/10/2018 (1100 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Three school trustees from each ward will be elected to the St. James-Assiniboia School Division board on Oct. 24. The candidates in each of the three wards are as follows:
King Edward-Deer Lodge (three to be elected)
- Nicole Bowering has lived in St. James with her husband and three daughters for 10 years. She is running for school trustee to represent her community’s needs and "will work to bring our community together providing quality education for students and maintaining equitable taxation for all residents." Bowering has 10 years of board and council experience, including serving as treasurer and former vice-president of École Bannatyne’s parent council and as a member of the Youth Employment Services Manitoba board of directors. She has worked as an employment facilitator for at-risk youth and as a high school educational assistant.
- Holly Hunter was born and raised in St. James and is a graduate of St. James Collegiate. She wants to "sustain positive change while also offering a fresh perspective on issues facing the board." Hunter has worked as a classroom teacher and is set to complete a master’s in education in 2019. She is co-chair of the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium, helped found the Stevenson Homework Mentorship Program and is a judge with the division’s science and heritage fairs. She has served as a board member for The Manitoban and as a steering committee member with Girl Guides of Canada’s Girls First program.
- Jennifer Lawson is a lifelong St. James resident and has been a school trustee in the King Edward–Deer Lodge ward for the past eight years. She holds a PhD in educational administration; has worked as a teacher, consultant, and principal; and currently teaches in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Education. As a trustee, Lawson has sat on many school board committees and aims to "support all students in meeting their potential through effective educational programs." Her campaign platform includes commitments to supporting at-risk youth, enhancing community-school connections and maintaining fair and equitable school taxes.
- Vicki Rempel is a community health care worker and St. James resident of 18 years. She has three adult sons and is a homestay parent to international students who attend schools within the King Edward–Deer Lodge ward. Rempel is running for school trustee because she believes that "training and knowledge is the path to a better life for children and adults." Her platform includes advocating for stable provincial funding and supporting better outcomes in math, reading and science, while maintaining music, art and physical education programing. She has experience as a teaching assistant and has sat on parent council committees.
- Adam Taplin has lived in St. James his entire life and is running for school trustee because he has "a passion for helping others that cannot be matched, and a fresh perspective that this school division desperately needs." After years of working in the hospitality industry, Taplin went back to school and recently graduated from Red River College’s accounting program. He served as vice-president and then president of the RRC students’ association, during which time he was involved in lobbying government leaders, cutting student expenses and encouraging students to vote on the UPass. He continues to study at RRC part-time and coaches community football.
- Elected to the SJASD board in 2016, Peter Woods is campaigning on a platform of student safety, well-rounded education opportunities and transparent decision-making. As a trustee, he has a "track record in working co-operatively with volunteers and staff as both a leader and team player." Woods has served on the board’s finance, education and governance committees. He believes in standardized testing and equitable school taxes. Previously, Woods worked as an instructor in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Physical Education and in senior management roles. He is currently the executive director of Hockey Manitoba and vice-president of Sturgeon Heights Community Centre.
Kirkfield-St. Charles (three to be elected)
- Bruce Chegus is a lifetime resident of St.James-Assiniboia and a graduate of John Taylor Collegiate. He has been a school trustee since 1988 and is seeking re-election with "an ongoing commitment to support school programming that is in keeping with community values." He has served eight years as chair of the SJASD board and six terms as chair of the education committee. Chegus has also sat on the governance, retirement plan and finance and facilities committees. Accomplishments during his time as a trustee include implementing technology in the classroom and downsizing the number of schools in the division to address declining enrolment.
- Sandy Lethbridge is a lifelong St. James-Assiniboia resident and was elected school trustee in Kirkfield-St.Charles in 2010. She is chair of the division’s personnel committee and is a member of several others, including the education, marketing and scholarship committees. As a trustee, Lethbridge is "passionate about working with the school board on all issues and serving her community." She has been an employee of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation for 24 years and was an active member of her daughter’s school community including serving on parent council, music parent council and as co-chair of the St. James Divisional Choir fundraising committee.
- Zachary Linnick was born and raised in Flin Flon, Man., and moved to Winnipeg in 2005 to attend university. He works with the Canada Border Services Agency and lives in the Kirkfield area with his wife and three young children. Linnick is running for school trustee because he believes "public education is a powerful institution within our society and if properly governed creates outstanding citizens out of young children." If elected, he aims to offer a younger perspective on policy making within the board and provide a high level of service to students and parents in the school division.
- Lou Mulvenna was born and raised in Charleswood and moved to Crestview in 2016. He has been active in community sports from a young age and has sought out ways to give back. He has been a member of the St. James Minor Hockey Association board since 2011 and is responsible for assigning referees and managing and mentoring time keepers. He is running for school trustee because he is passionate about "creating opportunities that provide the children and youth the foundation they need to succeed in their future through programming and education that is accessible to all."
- Charles Ramjug lives in the Kirkfield-St. Charles ward and his children attend schools See SJASD Trustees on page 5SJASD Trustees continued from page 4in the area. He has worked as a high school teacher for 20 years and is currently employed as a correctional educator teaching federally incarcerated adults at Stony Mountain Institution. Ramjug holds a master’s of education and was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Province of Manitoba. He has served on the Crestview Day Care board and is a member of the Westwood High School Parent Council. On running for school trustee he says: "I enjoy being engaged in my community and have an appreciation for public schools."
- Cheryl Smukowich was elected school trustee in Kirkfield-St. Charles in 2006 and, if re-elected, promises to "continue to be accessible and work to ensure our schools stay focused on student achievement, safety and student wellness." A lifelong resident of the ward, she and her husband are parents to four children and seven grandchildren — two of whom attend schools in SJASD. She believes that student success requires the collaborative efforts of staff, students, parents, as well as community and business members and says her experience as a trustee will be "an asset as our division faces the challenges ahead."
- Megan Wegert is a lifelong resident of the Kirkfield-St. Charles and has two school-aged children who attend French immersion schools in the SJASD. She has worked in a school in the division for six years and is an active community advocate and volunteer. She is running for election because she has a "sincere desire to make a difference in the community for the children as a school trustee." Wegert’s campaign platform centres on celebrating diversity; encouraging partnerships between students, parents and divisional personnel; and serving all of the children in the ward because "one child is no more important than another."
Silver Heights-Booth Ward (three to be elected)
- Tracey Drexler has lived in St. James for 18 years and is raising four children in the neighbourhood. She works as an educational assistant and has advocated for special education and student services in the division. Five years ago, she successfully urged the SJASD board to create a service animal policy when her son was paired with a service dog. "It feels great knowing I helped make a difference… making a difference is the reason I want to be a school trustee," Drexler said. She also works with seniors and is opposed to tax increases for those living on a fixed income.
- Craig Glennie lives in Silver Heights with his wife and son. He is running for school trustee to ensure that "current and future generations of the St. James-Assiniboia School Division have access to safe, quality education." He holds a master’s of business administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu and a certificate in marketing strategy from Cornell University. Glennie’s top priorities are to ensure the board’s fiscal responsibility; increase science, technology, math and engineering-based education; and create safer communities through extra-curricular activities. If elected, he plans to use his trustee compensation to fund scholarships for schools in the division.
- Craig Johnson is a resident of the Silver Heights-Booth ward and was elected school trustee in 2010. As chair of the board’s finance and facilities committee he has aimed to keep property taxes low while reducing administration costs and senior administration positions through attrition. Johnson has supported education in the division through literacy, numeracy and digital learning programs. He has also advocated for better mental health services, more assistance for special needs students and increased bus safety. As a trustee, he aims to promote better board communication through new parent and student forums and collaboration with local businesses.
- Kris Kendall grew up in St. James and has worked as an educational assistant in every school in the Silver Heights-Booth ward. He is running for school trustee because he believes this first-hand experience gives him an informed perspective on the current realities of and issues facing the division. His platform focuses on bullying prevention, services for students with special needs and strong arts and sports programs. "Schools should be a safe and inclusive place for all," says Kendall, who is a parent and foster parent to children enrolled in the SJASD. If elected, he will work to strengthen home, school and community partnerships.
- Craig McGregor was elected to the SJASD board in 2002 and is seeking re-election because he "passionately believes that the community plays a critical role in the education and development of our future citizens." He is the division’s current board chair and has held leadership positions on the personnel and finance and facilities committees. McGregor is an advocate of literacy and numeracy, special needs education, mental wellness, language development, anti-bullying, career development, digital learning and school safety, while reducing the burden on taxpayers. He is a lifelong St. James resident and he and his wife have two children and three grandchildren.
- Bryan Metcalfe is a graduate of Silver Heights Collegiate and a former SJASD school trustee, having served from 2010 to 2014. He holds an accounting and finance degree from the University of Manitoba and has 20 years of management and volunteer experience, including as past publisher of Canstar Community News; past president of Woodhaven Community Club; and former executive director of the St. James Assiniboia 55-plus Centre. He has two sons and is married to a teacher. Metcalfe believes "a school board with strong connections to its residents will give the community more access and engagement with its school board."
Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.