Incumbent Saskatchewan Rivers School Division board chair Barry Hollick is seeking another term as a trustee on the board of education. Hollick, who has served as board chair since 2011, wants to finish the work that began during the COVID-19 pandemic and bring an experienced voice to the table.
“I want to continue to work to get us through this pandemic and have the right options for our students in the future and that can only happen if I am on the board. So hopefully people can see their way through to giving me their support again,” Hollick said.
Hollick explained that he was encouraged to enter the race again by colleagues and friends, and he believes his experience on the board will be an asset.
“We have to make plans for the future direction of education for Sask Rivers so I do think experience is going to be an essential thing,” Hollick said.
Hollick is especially driven to return given the obstacles he’s helped guide the school division through as COVID-19 spread.
“That’s one of the reasons that I don’t want to leave now. I have had such great experiences on the board and now facing the restrictions that we have I want to work through these and for all of the safety precautions we can provide our students and staff,” Hollick said.
Innovations during the pandemic included the creation of a distance learning center and expanding the block system of class scheduling at PACI and Carlton.
“This way you can knock off two classes in two months. It’s an interesting thing.”
The idea of the online learning system could lead to more innovations in the future.
Hollick has lived in Prince Albert his whole life and has been a student, teacher and in leadership roles with both the local and provincial teacher’s federation in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division before being elected as a trustee. He believes in the people who work in the division as a whole.
“They did an outstanding job during the pandemic, they really went and gave it their all. And then preparing for our students safe return for classes in September their dedication to that task was really commendable,” Hollick said.
Hollick believes his background makes him a strong trustee. Hollick attended the University of Saskatchewan where he received a B.A, B.Ed. and M.Ed. degrees. He worked as a teacher for 30 years in Prince Albert as well as with the Prince Albert Teachers’ Federation, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.
He worked at and attended Prince Edward School (which is now the Saskatchewan Rivers Education Centre), Arthur Pechey School and Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI).
“I kind of followed the tracks that I had as a student,” he said.
Hollick also recently completed a six-year term on the University of Saskatchewan Senate and sees that as asset and also established a relationship with President Peter Stoicheff. Stoicheff and some college deans have met with the board because of this relationship.
He explained that being a trustee means being the local voice of education and to represent that voice you have to hear other voices.
“I think you have to be active in the community to hear from various other sources, not just meet at the board table and discuss with the same nine people every week,” Hollick said.
Hollick as served on the library board, city transit advisory committee, Prince Albert Music Festival board and with the Kiwanis service club.
In 2019 the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division was awarded the Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education for their Saskatchewan Rivers Students for Change (SRSC), which gives students a seat at the board table.
“I guess the committee that made the selection was impressed with what we did,” Hollick said.
Since March and the beginning of the pandemic Hollick and the other board chairs in the province have been having weekly meetings These meetings allow the chairs to get ideas from each and work with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education.
“So that gave me a lot of interesting observations. I would share them back with our board for plans,” he explained.
The Saskatchewan Rivers school board trustee elections are on Nov. 9.