Students won’t have to wear masks in the classroom if they aren’t face to face, but mask wearing will be encouraged. (Screenshot from Red Deer Public School video).

Students won’t have to wear masks in the classroom if they aren’t face to face, but mask wearing will be encouraged. (Screenshot from Red Deer Public School video).

Familiar faces on Red Deer Public and Catholic Schools boards

Strong support for incumbents but some newcomers

All four Red Deer Public Schools trustee incumbents retained their seats.

Bev Manning led with 4,225 votes as of 10:30 p.m., followed by newcomer Matt Gould with 3,511 votes. Incumbent and past-chair Nicole Buchanan (3,465), incumbent Dianne Macaulay (3,305), and incumbent Cathy Peacocke (3,261) kept their seats. Newcomer Angela Sommers (3,120) and former trustee Jim Watters (3,088) will take the remaining two seats.

Also running were: Jaelene Tweedle, Paul Peters, Reg Warkentin, Meagan Parisian, Kari Elliott, Terri Grills, Nathan Davies, Matt Chapin and Mark Swarek.

Macaulay said while the board will have plenty of experience one of the first challenges will be helping the new trustees get up to speed on the many tough issues facing school divisions. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant making many tough decisions on masking and other health measures.

Other issues on trustees’ plates will be the proposed K-6 curriculum, school funding and upcoming negotiations with the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

Macaulay said it has been a difficult time for the board with a number of 3-3 splits on important issues. Having new trustees will bring some new eyes to the difficult challenges ahead, she said.

In Red Deer Catholic Separate School Division, incumbent Anne Marie Watson led with 2,107 votes in the Red Deer Area ward. Incumbents Kim Pasula (1,947), and Murray Hollman (1,941), newcomer Monique Lagrange (1,666) and incumbent Cynthia Leyson (1,636) . Also running was Vanessa Mariani (1,483).

In the Highway 11 ward, incumbent Dorraine Lonsdale with 111 votes was up on Robert Wiens with 53. In the QEII ward, incumbent Sharla Heistad was ahead of Fred Simoni 269 votes to 99.



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