Rimbey voters challenged to elect school board trustee

The Rimbey Review continues to profile candidates for the Oct. 18 civic election. In today’s paper, a look at the three candidates running for the trustee position on the Wolf Creek School Board for Ward

  • Oct. 12, 2010 9:00 a.m.

Trudy Bratland

Occupation: Wife, mom and grandmother

Marital Status: Married for 38 years to Brent (Bratland).

Community Involvement: “Lately, more involvement in and with school

activities, church and helping out whenever I can.”

Why are you running for office: “I have been involved in education and/or

working with children in one form or another since before having my own family. Now that I am involved on a different level, there are a number of issues and priorities regarding education that can’t be let go, including appropriate funding for the quality education our children deserve and preparing them for a future that we aren’t sure what will look like as well as the proposed changes to the school act.”

Why should voters elect you ahead of your opponents: “I consider the time I have spent on the Wolf Creek School Board an education that has been supported by my electors and community. They have invested their tax dollars and faith in me so in turn, I work very hard to keep on top of issues, be prepared for meetings, to ask and answer questions, report to them and lobby for the benefit of the school division.”

What are the most important issues facing the community: “The Wolf Creek

community is facing a number of important issues including the proposed changes in the way the government will fund and direct the way education is heading in the future. Each school in the division faces challenges every year and some of their concerns are local while others have an effect on every site in Wolf Creek.”

How would you improve the quality of life in the school district: “Although

financial support is not the only answer to many of the problems school divisons face, the uncertainty and reliability of funding is something that creates a lot of stress for everyone who is involved in providing education. Plans are often made only to be changed because grants are increased, decreased, eliminated or deemed to remain at the ‘status quo’.

It takes a lot of time for a school division to create budgets, change a course of action, hire or release staff and chart a new direction only to be advised that funding has been changed — so one of my goals is to continue to lobby the government for reliable funding.”

Scott Ellis

Occupation: Eavestrougher and Property Manager.

Marital status, family: Married.

Community involvement: “I am a counselor for the CCC Boys Club, chairman of the fundraising committee for the Rimbey Christian School, and on the board of directors for the Westaskiwin Conservative Association.”

Why are you running for office: “I am running for school board trustee because education is the future. I’m passionate about education and think voters should have a choice of who represents them. I want to be actively involved in my community and affect the future.”

Why should voters elect you ahead of your opponents: “Constituents should vote for me if they want a persuasive advocate for education and feel it is important that the school board represent a diverse cross section of the community. I’m young and enthusiastic. I remember what it was like to be a student. I’ve worked the rigs and in oilfield chemical sales. I understand the needs of today’s employers and how tempting the money in the oil patch is for young people. I graduated from NAIT with a diploma in Chemical Engineering so I have firsthand knowledge of the value of a post secondary education. Two years as chairman for the Fundraising Committee has taught me how to advocate the importance of education. Because of all of this, I bring a different perspective than many of the other candidates.”

What are the most important issues facing the community: “The most important issue facing the community is a lack of priority placed on education. I think this is displayed by the fact that all of the wards within the Wolf Creek School Division, with the exception of Ward 3, have had their school board trustee elected by acclamation. Other levels of government will make education a priority if they believe that their constituents do too. I think democracies can only work when there is a choice. I hope that the voters in ward 3 will make their right to democracy count.”

How would you improve the quality of life in the school district: “I would improve the quality of the school district by raising awareness of the issues facing the education system and advocating the importance of education for the future success of the community. A current issue that needs more awareness is how funding is distributed to school districts, and I am prepared to actively disseminate this information.”

Pam Kapalka

Occupation: “I am the bookkeeper for my husband’s small business.”

Marital status, family: “I am married to Todd Kapalka. We have two daughters, Jordan is eight years old and Jessica is six years old.”

Community involvement: “I have been and continue to be an active volunteer at the Rimbey Elementary School and other community events. My husband is a Kinsmen member so I also help with some Kinsmen events.”

Why are you running for office: “I was thinking about what I wanted to do now that our youngest daughter is in school full time. I want to do something gratifying that involves my interests and lets me feel like I’m accomplishing something with a purpose. When I read about the upcoming elections, I thought that becoming a school trustee would be perfect for me and my family. I have experience in most aspects of business including management, budgeting, receivables, payables, invoicing, sales and problem solving. I also worked at the Rimbey hospital as a nursing assistant for seven years. I have acquired, through my employment and personal experiences, skills that I feel would be helpful to the Wolf Creek Public School Board. These include organizational skills, problem solving, ability to look at issues from both sides before making judgements, business skills and hard work ethics.”

Why should voters elect you ahead of your opponents: “I feel that I have a great personal interest in the goals and policies of the school board because I have two children attending Rimbey Elementary School. I promise that I would always put our children’s best interests first when making decisions.”

How would you improve the quality of life in the school district: “I truly care about the children in our school district. They are friends of my children, children of my friends and family as well as members of my community. They need to be guided and given the skills to become responsible, caring, productive citizens. It’s not just textbook skills that they need. They also need to be taught social skills, problem solving, etc. I would do what I could to ensure the school board helps to guide our children.”