The first official declared candidate for trustee in the Prince Albert Catholic Division was current board chair Suzanne Stubbs. Stubbs has been on the board in some capacity for the past 11 years and considers herself an advocate for Catholic education in the province.
“Right now I want to advocate for our division, for our students and for our teachers,” Stubbs said.
An accomplishment for Stubbs and the current board is the level of student achievement in the division.
“We want to continue the great work. At this point our numbers are beating the provincial numbers,” Stubbs said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a test in the division and Stubbs wants to continue with what the division has been able to accomplish.
“Another thing that we continue to advocate for and I want to continue advocating for is the funding for our division. We say it is a live document, things are always changing. One day it says one thing but tomorrow can be an opposite to what you were given,” Stubbs said.
Each year has offered a challenge since she joined the board. Stubbs previously served as vice chair the four years prior to her selection.
“I thought we would have maybe one year, or a couple of years (with challenges), but every year we have had some type of a challenge that we had to overcome and we have done it. So and again with this COVID-19 it is a big challenge. Hopefully with re-election I can continue to support our administration and our teachers to help them get through this,” she said.
Stubbs is a graduate at Ecole St. Mary High School and her children did the same and she continues to “bleed blue” to this day.
Catholic education is important to her and the religious aspect of the education had a profound effect.
“We are always putting the faith of God into everything that is done in our division,” she said.
“Even though I have been graduated for almost 40 years it is like I was there yesterday. And it is the same thing with Catholic education.”
Annually, the board approves the Toonies for Tuition fundraiser which Stubbs described as important because other provinces do not fund Catholic education. Many families in Canada need to pay tuition to attend Catholic schools. The CCSTA through the Toonies for Tuition Endowment Fund alleviates the burden on these families who live in provinces where Catholic education has limited or no public funding.
“In Saskatchewan, we are very lucky that we have Catholic schools that are funded by our province. We have other divisions in different provinces that don’t. So that is where the Toonie for Tuition comes in. So when we raise money for Toonies for Tuition that is helping our students that don’t have funding to go to Catholic school in other provinces where you have to pay. In Saskatchewan we do get it funded. When people are paying big dollars in other provinces just goes to show the value that people want in Catholic education,” she said.
She hopes to continue to serve on the board of education for another term.
“I look forward to continued support and I am just going to be very pleased to serve another term in the Catholic division. It is going to be a challenging for sure in these next four years and I am up for the fight. I am just looking forward to another term and the work that has to be done,” Stubbs said.
Stubbs added that they hope to see more people put their name forward as candidates for trustee and would be willing to offer advice to those who decide to run. The nomination deadline is October 7.