Local school divisions look to encourage people to run for trustee positions

Monday’s Prince Albert Catholic School Division board meeting was the rst one that was open to the public since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. /Michael Oleksyn

With the general election for school board trustees coming up in November, both local school divisions in Prince Albert are making preparations. At their most recent meeting on Monday, August 17 the Catholic division board received an update while the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division recently posted election information on their website.

Both divisions will be holding trustee elections on November 9.

According Prince Albert Catholic School Division director of education Lorel Trumier, the update was to let the board know of procedures.

“We also wanted to highlight information that we will post on our website so for example a handbook or potential candidates who want to have more information on our school division and what is involved in becoming a trustee,” she explained.

Administration prepared a draft election package that will be made available to all candidates for trustees to provide feedback.

At the catholic division’s board meeting, they also reviewed a package from the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association which helped to promote running for a Catholic division.

“We also have the added faith dimension of our school division and our posting around the Catholic identity and encouraging potential trustees to run. That information was shared as well as a brochure so people are aware of what is involved in becoming a Catholic school board trustee,” Trumier said.

For more information on the timeline contact either the City of Prince Albert or returning officer and Chief Financial Officer Greg McEwen.

The nomination period in the Catholic Division runs from Monday, September 21 to Wednesday, October 7at 4 p.m. in the Catholic Education Centre.

The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division also launched an online information portal on their website near the end of July.

“We feel more and more people are obviously accessing information online so we wanted to have all of our information for our potential candidates that may want to run in the next board election access to that information. We have 10 board members, five in city and five from our rural subdivisions,” Chief Financial Officer and Returning Officer Jerrold Pidborochynski explained.

“There is a candidate information guide which gives candidates all of the background information they need on filling out a nomination paper to actually file their nomination, the role of a board member, some of the rules around the election. It’s very encompassing of the role of a board member and your responsibility, remuneration and the meeting schedule for the upcoming year,” he explained.

The division’s 2019 Annual Report is also available.

“It gives you a high level a lot of the background information on what our school division actually does and areas we serve,” Pidborochynski said.

“You have your board trustees that are elected to serve the local area. It is a very important role and we are hoping we have as much participation both on the voting side and the nominations as possible. We are really hoping for a good turnout,” he added.

He will be the returning officer in the rural subdivisions while City Clerk Sherry Person acts for the in-city subdivisions. The nomination period in Saskatchewan Rivers is from Monday, September 21 to Wednesday, October 7at 4 p.m. in the Education Centre for the rural subdivisions and City Hall for the in-city subdivisions.

The qualifications to run in both divisions include being a Canadian citizen, being 18-years-old or older, living in the school division for three consecutive months and having been in Saskatchewan for at least six consecutive months.

To run, a candidate must also obtain signatures from at least 10 electors in the subdivision they want to run in or a large area. The forms must be submitted during the nomination period. If you are seeking election in a municipality with a population of 20,000 or more, like Prince Albert, a $100 deposit is required with your nomination form.

These methods are used, along with board members encouraging people to run, to gain interest in members of the public in becoming trustees.

“Our information is posted throughout our school division areas both rural and in city. We will have posters advertising like in the Rural Roots and those types of areas we will be doing marketing or trying to get people interested,” he explained.

The Saskatchewan Rivers school board also put together a committee to engage interest last school year.

“It is hard to get that information out,” Pidborochynski said.

He explained that local media advertising is one method to reach all areas of the vast Saskatchewan Rivers School Division.

“I would encourage anybody who is interested in running for a board member position to check out our website, all of the information is on the website. And if they do have any questions they can call me at 306-764-1571,” Pidborochynski said.

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