Cory Litzenberger wants to be an accountable advocate on the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division board.
The 36-year-old accountant and financial planner is making his first run for the board just as his oldest child enters the school system.
“I want to make sure the school division is financially strong and will be around for the next 15 years,” said Litzenberger, who also has a three-year-old boy.
Married to an educator working in another division, Litzenberger said he can relate to the teacher’s perspective in eduction and sees communicating with front-line staff as a key duty for school trustees, despite the fact that a board’s singular employee is the division superintendent.
“I don’t think that the communication channels are there in a lot of places. For any organization, you need to have the top hearing from the front lines directly,” he said.
A second main focus for Litzenberger on the board would be to effectively lobby government. He cites his past experience as a director with the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, when he pushed for policy changes through the provincial body.
He said the current board has done a good job of governance, but with the provincial government taking some responsibilities away from boards in recent years — most notably legislating the contract for teachers earlier this year — school boards need to have their voice heard at the provincial level.
“I think we need to push back a little bit and say what we need for our community. It’s not my role to tell the province where they should put their money, it’s my role to make sure that when they finally decide to spend their money, that we’re at the top of the list,” he said.
Litzenberger added that he would bring some “financial and legislative expertise” to the board table if elected.
“Being that I’m a very vocal individual, I’d be more than willing to advocate on our behalf.”
Other trustee candidates are David Bouchard, Murray Hollman, Adriana LaGrange, Guy Pelletier, Brandie Towers and Anne Marie Watson.