Livingstone Range School Division
Back to News

Eye On Education: School Board Elections

Posted on

Written by Darryl Seguin, Superintendent
Reprinted with permission of The Lethbridge Herald

October 18, 2021 citizens in Alberta will head to the polls to decide who will govern their communities for the next four years. Through the Education Act, Alberta’s legislation delegates authority for the governance of education to school boards, comprised of locally elected trustees. The nomination period for trustee candidates began January 1, 2021 and will close on September 20, 2021. 

Education is a complicated organization with its own legislation, regulations, policies, terminology, multiple government acts, combined with the human element of students, parents, and staff. These complexities may leave some wondering if they know enough about the education system to be a good school board trustee. In order to navigate the role of a school board trustee, successful trustees spend time attending educational workshops, conferences, and other professional development to increase their knowledge and understanding of their responsibilities.

While successful trustees bring to the board their own unique perspective, they understand the importance of advocating for all students regardless of where students live in the school division.  Successful trustees are passionate about helping all children have a great educational experience. 

Many Alberta school divisions operate through a governance model meaning that trustees do not get involved in the day-to-day operations of schools; they leave those elements in the hands of knowledgeable and experienced school division and school-based administration. In their capacity as a governance board, trustees have multiple responsibilities which include: 

  • Establishing vision and direction, 
  • Developing policies to guide operations,
  • Setting priorities to achieve division goals,
  • Developing and implementing an annual budget based on strategic priorities, 
  • Communicating regularly with constituents about the work, progress, and achievements of the school division, 
  • Advocating on behalf of the school community to other levels of government on important issues that affect education,
  • Recruiting, hiring, and evaluating the chief executive officer – the superintendent of schools.

Who can run for a school board trustee?  The Local Authorities Election Act, states in section 21(1) that a person may be nominated as a candidate in any election under this Act if on nomination day, September 20, 2021, the person:

(a)   is eligible to vote in that election,
(b)   has been a resident of the local jurisdiction and the ward, if any, for 6 consecutive months immediately preceding nomination day, and
(c)   is not otherwise ineligible or disqualified

British educator, Sir Anthony Seldon, recognizes the importance of education, declaring it an “opportunity to open children’s hearts and minds to the unbelievable wonder of the universe.”  For those who value education and who are passionate about contributing to the success of our future generations, running for school board trustee is worth considering. After all, in the wise words of Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Recent News