Janet Touhey, a resident of Area H – Bowser for 20 years, is running as a school board candidate for that area.
She was heavily involved in the school system throughout her children’s school careers and she now has two grandchildren in district schools and wants to work for their future.
She worked in community health as a nurse and has served on various community boards, she said, but her recent interest in the school board developed around fears of school closures.
She said she started doing a lot of research and one thing that struck her was a need for the district in general and board agendas specifically, to present information in a simple, accessible format.
“I feel strongly that a community is only as good as the schools in the community,” she said adding that trustees need to be more directly involved in the community.
She believes there needs to be a lot more work done educating the community about what they do.
Looking at tough decisions ahead she said nobody has a crystal ball and there could be a child boom or Bowser could become more of a bedroom community.
She points out that Bowser Elementary enrolment was up last year and more people are living in the area and commuting not just to neighbouring cities, but places like Fort McMurray.
“People are jumping the gun on the fears of school closures, without all the information and alternatives being explored.”
She said she is very optimistic that all the schools can be saved through unique programs like more trades or international students or other uses in the schools.