Three new candidates are running for the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Board in the Oct. 18 election — which means a total of 10 contenders will be vying for trustee seats.
Dorraine Lonsdale (incumbent), is running for re-election for her second term on the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Board for the Hwy 11 Ward. She looks forward “to having the opportunity to continue serving the Catholic school communities with priorities …on what is best for students, their families and staff.”
Lonsdale believes in putting the Catholic principals to work in schools, including showing kindness and respect. She also supports initiatives for student well-being and inclusion, as well as budgetary transparency and accountability.
Vanessa Mariani, a local artist, accountant, wife and mother, wants to help the next generation incorporate their faith with ethics and progressive ideas to help them in “a rapidly changing world.”
Mariani believes in more transparency of school board business and better communications with stakeholders. She wants to challenge “out-dated conventions,” and support the educators and parents who oppose the proposed Alberta curriculum, calling it “fatally flawed.”
Mariani believes in taking responsibility for Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians and in nurturing safe and healthy spaces for all staff and students.
Robert Wiens, a federal government manager, has three children in the Catholic district. He is a member of the Sylvan Lake Library Board and has raised money for charity.
He has noticed a need for more Catholic schools in the ward that includes Sylvan Lake, saying many parents are not willing to bus their children to Red Deer.
Wiens also wants more supports for children with learning disabilities. He said, “There is a lot of pressure to dismantle the Catholic School system. We need to make sure all levels of government protect the system we have and support it with funding.”
Also running for the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Board are Sharla Heistad (incumbent), Murray Hollman (incumbent), Monique LaGrange, Cynthia Leyson (incumbent), Kim Pasula (incumbent), Fred Simoni, and Anne Marie Watson (incumbent).