Rocky View Schools chair announces he will not seek re-election
Rocky View Schools (RVS) Board Chair Bruce Pettigrew announced he will not be seeking a third term in the October municipal election due to personal reasons.
Pettigrew, who made the announcement Feb. 15, said he wanted to inform the public early to allow time for other candidates in Ward 6, which includes the Town of Cochrane, to come forward.
“I have really enjoyed my two terms on the board,” said Pettigrew, 63.
“I think people need to think about the opportunity for running for the board… it is a very rewarding act of public service.”
Pettigrew has had a long history in the field of education. He has taught students from grades 1 to 12 in schools across the province.
His last post was as principal of Meadowbrook Middle School in Airdrie.
“I was an administrator and teacher my whole career, only six of those years were in Rocky View,” said Pettigrew.
“I was social-studies trained, but being an administrator in small schools, you teach everything.”
Six years ago, Pettigrew, who has a doctorate in education, was motivated to seek election on the RVS board.
“I was retired from teaching and I thought this was a way to give back in terms of public service,” he said, adding he wanted to provide input into education within the division.
Pettigrew said he is pleased with the accomplishments of the boards he has sat on.
“I really believe with the leadership of Superintendent (Greg) Bass and the board, we have accomplished a tremendous amount in terms of planning,” he said. “We are a far stronger, more vibrant, more nimble and flexible system today than we were perhaps six or seven years ago.”
Pettigrew said RVS is one of the most highly respected school jurisdictions in Alberta.
“We are a recognized leader of the transformation outlined by the provincial vision Inspiring Education, and have earned both national and international interest,” said Pettigrew. “The results for students, parents and communities are very high and continue to get better.”
Going forward, Pettigrew said the board will likely continue to be challenged by the division’s growth.
“I think infrastructure and growth are going to be ongoing challenges within Rocky View,” he said. “The number of students will continue to grow in all sectors of the division and that is going to put a lot of stress on the need for infrastructure and it is not going to quit.”
Despite the growth, Pettigrew said he is confident the board will be able to provide for the needs of the nearly 20,000 students it represents.
“We will continue to have students in safe, appropriate classrooms for their education,” he said.
Pettigrew encourages interested candidates from Ward 6 to put their names forward to replace him.
“I encourage anyone who seeks an exciting and fulfilling opportunity for public service and a chance to make a real difference for students and the community to take up the challenge and run for position of Ward 6 trustee,” he said. “I hope we have and election in every ward in our division. It’s healthy for a community to have debate.”