BARRHEAD/WESTLOCK - With only a week left until nomination day Sept. 20, only three candidates have only stepped forward to fill the six seats on the Pembina Hills School Division board.
Because of the re-drawing of electoral boundaries that comes into effect during the Oct. 18 election, the current seven wards on the Pembina Hills school board are being re-organized into six.
Pembina Hills East – Ward 1 covers an area that covers Clyde, Busby, Pickardville, Tawatinaw and Vimy, while Pembina Hills East — Ward 2 covers Flatbush, Fawcett, Jarvie, Dapp and Linaria.
Pembina Hills West — Ward 1 encompasses a region that includes Neerlandia, Dunstable, Meadowview and Mosside, while Pembina Hills West — Ward 2 covers Swan Hills, Fort Assiniboine, Camp Creek, Tiger Lily and other small communities.
The towns of Westlock and Barrhead are covered respectively by Pembina Hills East — Ward 3 and Pembina Hills West — Ward 3.
Of the five trustees currently sitting on the board and only one, Judy Lefebvre, has indicated she is running for re-election in Pembina Hills West — Ward 3.
According to the Pembina Hills website, Maureen Schnirer has put her name forward to represent Pembina Hills East — Ward 1.
Cindy Carswell has filed her papers to represent Pembina Hills West — Ward 2, while Gary Frederickson is in the running for Pembina Hills West — Ward 3.
In order to become a candidate for the school board, individuals must complete a nomination package, which can be found at the Pembina Hills website or by visiting the regional office in Barrhead.
They must also produce a minimum of five signatures from electors residing within the ward they wish to represent.
“It is a great way to serve your community and be involved in our schools,” says Pembina Hills board chair Jennifer Tuininga.
Tuininga pointed out that school trustees’ decisions and policies create a strong educational system that contributes to the future of youth.
Serving as a trustee is also a great way to broaden one’s interest and passion for education while advocating for students, she said, and locally-elected trustees are able to make educational decisions that reflect the needs of local students and communities.
The division's election page referenced above has several one-minute videos that explain the role of the trustee, their responsibilities and what kind of time commitment it requires.
According to the Education Act, if there is a vacancy on a board consisting of five or fewer trustees, a by-election must be held unless it is the fourth year following a general election.
When two attempts to fill a vacancy on a board have been made and no nominations have been put forward, the Minister of Education may appoint individuals to fill a vacancy (in consultation with the current board).