Cathy Peacocke (contributed photo).

Public schools trustees must work to meet student needs, said Cathy Peacocke

Support is needed in and out of the classroom

Three terms as a public school board trustee have taught Cathy Peacocke that it isn’t just in-class problems that impact a student’s ability to learn.

So many young people are experiencing mental health issues, financial shortfalls at home, and other concerns that a multi-pronged approach is needed to make them successful in school — and ultimately in life, said Peacocke, who’s running for her fourth term.

Schools need to provide additional support for students, she said — whether it’s a referral to a counsellor for help with their anxiety or depression, or free breakfast or lunch programs.

Peacocke believes the Red Deer Public District is going further than ever to help young people achieve their full potential. Even youths with drug and alcohol problems aren’t kicked out of school anymore.

“Instead of expelling them, we work with them …

“We’re always having the internal dialogue of how do we keep kids in school, and deal with their issues in school?”

Peacocke feels great empathy for people experiencing hard times because she’s gone through her own.

She spent many years as a single parent raising her son and daughter, who attended Red Deer Public schools.

Eight years ago, her son died of health issues at age 21.

In her work for the Central Alberta Brain Injury Society, Peacocke also learned about the daily difficulties people with brain injuries experience. “It touches all aspects of their lives.”

Peacocke is now a sitting on the Alberta School Boards Association Board of Directors. By working with Alberta Education, she has realized “we share a lot of the same challenges” — such as stretching available dollars as far as possible.

Although the public district has alleviated classroom crowding through the construction of Barrie Wilson and Don Campbell Elementary Schools, Peacocke knows the challenge of operating on provincial funding that’s “barely changed in years,” as costs go up.

She feels her job as a trustee is to keep advocating for students — and their families.

Just Posted

WATCH: A Russian new year party in Red Deer

Hundreds fill the G.H. Dawe Community Centre for the 10th Russian Children’s New Year Party

Car hits moose north of Red Deer, driver in hospital with life threatening injuries

One person was airlifted to hospital, and another taken by ambulance after… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages to close in 2018

This will be the last Christmas for Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages.… Continue reading

Celestial light show can be seen over Red Deer this week

Local students stay up to watch the meteor shower

Businesses to gather to talk about crime

Red Deer Downtown Business Association understands challenges

Watch: Man plays flaming bagpipes while riding a unicycle in a ‘Star Wars’ costume

The sight of Darth Vader, riding a unicycle and playing flaming bagpipes,… Continue reading

Dying man’s wish to see new ‘Star Wars’ movie coming true

A dying man’s wish to see the new “Star Wars” movie is… Continue reading

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Trudeaus, Mulroneys, Erdem? Canadians who could snag a royal wedding invite

Save the date. Kensington Palace announced Friday that Prince Harry and Meghan… Continue reading

More to be done to ensure timely justice, retiring Beverley McLachlin says

Canada’s retiring top judge says more must be done to ensure the… Continue reading

Labrador mayor who was shot in face in hunting accident has died

John Hickey accidently shot himself while checking rabbit snares

Shelter dogs could go vegan in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may soon be home to a lot more vegan dogs.… Continue reading

The coolest way to serve coffee at dinner’s end

I can put together a decent dinner party. But when it comes… Continue reading

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month