Jason Chilibeck thinks more fresh ideas and perspectives are needed on the Red Deer public school board.
If elected as a trustee, the local business and technology consultant said he would support opening classroom doors wider to the community, for example, so more professionals can come and talk to students about their various areas of expertise.
These discussions will help broaden students’ views of the world, and show youths the variety of jobs they can aspire to, said Chilibeck.
“Children are wonderful,” added the married father of two school-aged kids. “I wonder are we doing enough to give them a leg up? … How are we doing, in terms of the rest of Alberta or Canada?”
Since he believes fresh ideas are needed to breathe new life into any organization, Chilibeck is concerned about the length of time some incumbent trustees have been on the public school board.
“A couple have been making it a political career … With that length of tenure, you wonder are they investigating or reviewing things the way they should?”
The past-president of Red Deer Pond Hockey was pleased term limits were recently set for board members of his community sports group to allow new people to contribute.
Chilibeck, who was raised in Yellowknife before moving to this city to attend Red Deer College in 1990, is amazed by the array of options available in Red Deer public schools, where his children attend Grade 8 and Grade 10. He wouldn’t mind seeing more emphasis on sports because he believes competition teaches important lessons, including confidence building.
Affirming his support for “a safe and caring school environment,” Chilibeck said gay-straight alliances in schools are needed to give all students a sense of belonging — even though these have stirred some parental concern.
As for issues that arise, he feels a transparent process needs to be laid out by the public school division, showing how it intends to deal with any concerns that are brought forward.