ATHABASCA — Aspen View Public Schools (AVPS) will have a few faces around the table for the next few years, but not in Ward 2, the only contested ward across the division.
Incumbents Anne Karczmarczyk and Dennis MacNeil both collected enough votes to fend off challenger Amber Schmidt with Karczmarczyk earning 813 votes and MacNeil 710 with Schmidt receiving 462. Ward 2, which covers the immediate Athabasca area and its three schools, is the only one in the division with more than one trustee representing it.
On election night Karczmarczyk commented that she is prepared to represent staff, students, their families, and community members again.
"I am certainly pleased with the result and look forward to being back at the board table and getting to work. Another term working for our school families, staff and community is an honour and one I do not take for granted," she said.
"I am extremely pleased and congratulate Trustee MacNeil for being re-elected to another term. I really enjoy working with Dennis, we make a great team representing our Athabasca and Aspen View Public Schools both locally and provincially. I thank Amber Schmidt as well for putting her name forward and running and her well-run campaign."
MacNeil also had words of congratulations for his co-trustee and challenger on election night, adding he is looking forward to continuing the work he’s started on various boards and committees representing AVPS.
"Being a trustee has long been a passion of mine," said MacNeil. "I have served the Aspen View Public School Division for three terms and in that time, I appreciate that one of the great things about public schools is the fact that they are governed by democratically elected trustees, accountable to communities and to the province.
“Tonight (Oct. 18), democracy has once again prevailed. I look forward to a fourth term. As a director on the Public School Boards Association of Alberta, I feel that I can best advocate for our students both locally and provincially. I look forward to working with my fellow trustees and making decisions that are filtered through the lens of 'what is best for all students.' Congratulations to both Anne on her win and to Amber on a well-run campaign."
And after the dust settled, Schmidt also expressed gratitude for the experience.
“I had a really great experience campaigning, connecting with the community, and listening to people’s concerns and opinions,” Schmidt said. “I would like to wish Dennis and Annie all the best for their term.”
In Ward 1, Cindy Lutz was acclaimed after Nancy Sand decided to run for municipal office leaving the seat open; Ward 3 is once again represented by Candy Nikipelo, who was acclaimed, as was April Bauer in Ward 4.
Another new face, Elohne Chizawsky, was acclaimed in Ward 5 to replace Tom Mykytiuk, who resigned in June, and Ward 6 will once again be represented by Donna Cherniwchan, who was also acclaimed.
The new board of trustees was sworn in at an organizational meeting Oct. 25.