There will be a competition for the Prince Albert Catholic School Division’s rural subdivision (subdivision 2) trustee for the board of education election on Nov. 9.
Incumbent trustee Maurice Chalifour will be facing off with Darlene Slater.
“I want to finish what we started,” Chalifour said.
He explained that he is running again because he wants to see certain projects to completion.
“There are certain things like the Edsby computer program that we put in I would like to see that to completion and I want to see the graduation rates that we have been getting, they are high, I would like to see them go even higher,” he said.
Chalifour has been a trustee since 2011 and served on the board of the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association (SCSBA) since 2016. Chalifour will be receiving a long service award from the SCSBA this year. He describes his values as a trustee as being an approachable and caring person,
Catholic education is also important to Chalifour. He is a co-founder and past chairperson of the Prince Albert Catholic Education Foundation. Chalifour was also a member of a committee that raised over $500,000 for Ecole St. Mary High School.
“I believe that Catholic education is a faith journey and for children to learn to love their neighbor and have empathy for the vulnerable, the underprivileged and the aged,” Chalifour said.
“I also firmly believe that education is the future of mankind and to these ends I will continue to do my very best to serve the children and the parents of the Prince Albert Catholic School Division.”
Chalifour grew up in Leoville and moved to Prince Albert in 1964. Chalifour has lives in the RM of Buckland since 1983. Chalifour worked as a classroom teacher for 16 years, he was also a principal at St. Anne and Holy Cross.
Chalifour is also an active Knight of Columbus and former Grand Knight. He has also served with St. Joseph’s Parish.
“I really enjoy being a trustee and I feel that they are accomplishing and they are moving forward,” he said.
Slater meanwhile was encouraged to run for a trustee position by a fellow parishioner at St. Mark’s Parish who thought she would be an excellent representative and because she has a vested interest with a grandchild just starting school.
“I was quite involved when my kids were younger especially in the elementary school. It was easy to be involved in school. And now that I feel my grandson is going I still want to be promoting Catholic education,” she said.
“I just hope to help the board continue to make decisions and improve and strengthen our schools and make the best use of the financial resources available.”
Slater is a graduate of Ecole St. Mary High School and works as a nurse. Catholic education remains valuable, she said.
“I believe faith based education creates an environment of caring. It encourages students to live their life according to the gospel values and it reminds all students that we are children of God and valued,” she said.
“I think it creates an environment and we need to remember that we are all loved,” Slater added.
Her background in healthcare and in the field she has had to advocate for patients several times.
“I feel now that this has given me the experience to be a voice for the students attending schools in the Prince Albert Catholic School Division,” she said.
She hopes to bring another voice for the rural segment of the division but she has experience in both. Slater was born and raised in Prince Albert but has lived outside the city for 12 years.
“We are provided with one seat. I think we have got a large area to cover. I hope that I can be a good voice for the rural area,” she said.
“I just hope that I can be a good voice for all of the students.”