With a desire to work with the province to ensure Catholic education in Red Deer gets stable funding and a new high school, Anne Marie Watson is going for another term on the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division board.
Watson, 45, is a marketing and events co-ordinator at the Red Deer College library. With many years of experience serving on community boards, Watson said she has a proven commitment to the city.
“I think it’s really important to serve my community, and I have skills and a common sense approach and this is a way I’ve been able to make a contribution to my community,” said Watson.
Watson is married, with two children in the Catholic school system in Red Deer.
She said the board, over the last three years, has succeeded in securing a new elementary school for Red Deer — Father Henri Voisin School in Clearview Ridge, set to open in 2014. Going forward, the big task for the next board will be to secure a new high school for Red Deer to complement an over-full Notre Dame High School.
“We’re bursting at the seams, we can’t add on more portables, we really have no solutions. And somehow we keep packing more kids in, and it’s not fair to those kids at all,” she said.
The other big issue, she said, will be to ensure the province understands that its funding practices must match its funding promises.
“(I plan) to continue to advocate for that stable, secure funding so that we can plan ahead. It’s very frustrating when you’re responsible for delivering the programs, but you don’t know what money’s coming in.”
She said the board had a lot of discussions with government officials and teachers, and did a lot of advocacy work, over the last term as the province negotiated a new contract with teachers. Even though in the end the contract was legislated by the government, Watson said a lot of solid relationship building was done.
Watson received the fourth most votes for a Catholic trustee in the 2010 election.
Other candidates running for trustee are David Bouchard, Murray Hollman, Adriana LaGrange, Cory Litzenberger, Guy Pelletier, and Brandie Towers. Five are elected in Red Deer.