Education is the 2nd Largest Provincial Expenditure- can we operate more efficiently?

Like many education and early learning advocates, I was saddened this week to hear Minister Eggen say that the province was backing away from their commitment for Full Day Kindergarten

I understand the fiscal pressures of the province and the fact that there is no NEW money — but what if there were millions of dollars in cost savings and efficiencies within the Education system that could be spend more collaboratively?

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Electing a new Board Chair (Feb 15th, 2017)

At the January 17th, 2017 Caucus meeting, I provided notice to my Trustee colleagues that after two years at the helm, I would be stepping aside as Board Chair, allowing for the election of a new Board Chair, and continuing to serve the board as Trustee for Ward F.

Given the fact that my youngster arrived three weeks early, I’ve asked Michelle to prepare for an organizational board meeting to be held February 28th, 2017.

It has been an incredible honor and I look forward to continuing to support the district in our very important work.

Here is a copy of my letter I gave the board:

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All votes for MLA deserve an equal weight

One vote should have the same weight wherever you are in Alberta.

And whether you are 15,000 voters in South Edmonton or Central Alberta, your votes should count towards electing the same amount of MLAs in the legislature. Currently, there is one riding with 15,000 and another with 46,000 voters, both electing one MLA. With modern technology the outdated rationale used to justify such enormous variances is unacceptable.

With all parties holding seats in rural and urban areas, this is not a partisan issue, but an issue of fairness. I have no doubt that fair representation in the legislature will have a profound impact on ensuring that Edmonton receives the investment in Education that corresponds to our unique challenges. With 30% of our students being English Language Learners, higher percentages of Special Needs Students, and 6000+ new students over the last two years, we need to make sure that our educational needs are given the weight they deserve in provincial expenditure.

On Monday January 16th, I had the opportunity to present as Trustee for Ward F to the Electoral Boundaries Commission. The commission is in the process of reviewing the areas, boundaries, and names of ridings across Alberta. As they note, Alberta’s population has grown 20% over the last eight years.

I touched on a few key points that I wanted to share:

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It was an honor to serve the Edmonton Public Library

Sadly, May 2015 concludes my service as a Trustee on the Edmonton Public Library Board. For the past six years (a two-year term renewed to a maximum of three consecutive terms) I have served as a community member in supporting policy governance for one undoubtedly one of the finest libraries in Alberta (Canada? The world? The cosmos?) and institutions in our city. You might say that it is the end of my renewals and it is time to lend the book to another trusted patron...


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Board Votes Unanimously in Favour of School Advocacy Plan

Today was our first 2014 EPSB Board Meeting and I have much good news to share. First of all I am greatly honored by my trustee colleagues for re-electing me as EPSB Vice-Chair. I’m excited by the opportunity to serve the board once again in this capacity and support Sarah Hoffman as she serves as the Re-elected Board Chair.
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Honoured to receive the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal

On November 14th, 2012, I was honoured to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from Premier Redford and Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell.

I was honoured to share a special afternoon with the other recipients. They represented quite a cross-section of Albertan society and I’m sure their families and friends are very proud. I’ve posted the names of the other Edmonton winners below. Congratulations everyone!

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Honoured to be selected as one of Edmonton's "Top 40 Under 40

Last week I was honoured by Avenue Edmonton as one of their “Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40” for 2012.

You can read the full article here:

Thank you to the Avenue Edmonton Team, 3Ten Photo, Cheryl Mahaffy and the anonymous nominators who put my name forward to receive this award.

Online Voting has exciting potential for civic engagement in Edmonton

The City of Edmonton is evaluating the feasibility of implementing online voting for the October 21st 2013 Municipal Election.

I think this is exciting news, and could significantly impact voter turnout and civic engagement.

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Top 10 things I loved about working at the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues

As many of you know, in addition to being the Ward F Edmonton Public School Trustee, I’ve been employed as the Marketing Director for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL).

Sadly, as of August 31st 2012, I will be leaving the EFCL.

If you are looking for purposeful, flexible work that has you doing real projects to make our city better, I urge you to apply for this job.

I’ve been paid to encourage neighbours getting to know their neighbours and to increase building their capacity to make cool things happen in their neighbourhoods. It’s an extrovert’s dream job! Pinch me, right?

My role included teaching volunteers skills, connecting them with services, planning events and parties, and much more. I’ve had a fantastic team of coworkers, a switched-on EFCL board team, and the opportunity to work with thousands of volunteers from every neighbourhood in Edmonton.

For someone who wasn’t born in Edmonton, this job has made me feel like I know the city inside-out, and that I’ve lived here since the 1911 construction of the High Level Bridge.

In no particular order, here are my TOP TEN favorite memories of working for Edmonton Community Leagues…


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Startups and EPSB

I’m spending portions of today and tomorrow at the #accelerateab event presented by C100, BDC, and sponsored by a broad slice of the tech edmonton community. This event is much more than just starting your own business, it’s about exploring opportunities in the tech, bio, entrepreneur, and digital media sectors. The participants I spoke to today were from a wide range of backgrounds but almost all were under 35. Ten or 20 years ago, I wonder how many of these entrepreneurs were sitting at school, sketching out ideas on a notebook of their next invention or project?

As an Edmonton Public School Trustee I think these sort of events are an excellent way for leaders to reflect on our public education system. As the digital/new/tech economy develops, opportunities are becoming available for our graduates, not just in San Francisco, but right here in Edmonton. The more we can lasso our talent and support their dreams right here, the better for our whole community.

Today’s event was about ideas, people, and helping hungry entrepreneurs collaborate. Here are some questions I have been reflecting on:

  • What sort of skills are we providing our graduates that would enable them to be the next Zuckerberg, Jobs, or <insert tech leader> of the future?
  • What sort of extracurricular opportunities can students engage in to start a business and pursue their passions?
  • When we talk about creativity and igniting a passion for learning, how do we ensure that students are exposed to a wide breadth of subjects that can inspire them?
  • What tech-literacies do our future graduates require?
  • Should our second language requirement be extended to a programming code?

I look forward to the discussions!




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