Longtime teacher enters race for RVS trustees
Grant Gilbertson retired from the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) in 2007, but said he still wants to be involved in education and is opting to run for one of the two seats for Airdrie Ward Three on the Rocky View Schools (RVS) board of trustees.
“I just have such a strong belief in the power of education,” he said. “In any community, children are the future of that community.”
Gilbertson has 37 years of experience teaching with the CBE, including 29 years as a special education teacher.
“I believe very strongly that every child is a gift and every child is gifted. It is up to the school district to help children realize their gift.”
During his career, the former teacher has taught at all three school levels - elementary, junior high and high school - has served as vice principal and curriculum leader. He also has been involved in numerous committees and boards including the Southern Alberta Child Youth Health Network.
Gilbertson said as a trustee he would work to engage the government to open a collaboration with the school division to ensure schools are properly funded.
He said with Airdrie’s continued population growth and the growth throughout the division, RVS is facing a funding issue.
“We can’t stop growth, nor would we want to, but we have to house these kids,” said Gilbertson, who moved to Airdrie in 2007.
He said he will make communication with parents a priority in the division and will work to ensure parents have a voice in their child’s education.
“I think RVS has done a really good job in listening to parents but improvement is always the goal,” he said.
Gilbertson said he would also focus on student and staff wellness, if elected, because he knows teachers are asked to do more with less and students are feeling the impact of that with increasing class sizes.
“Bullying has no place in schools,” he added to his concerns with school wellness.
He said with the reality of cyber-bullying in today’s world, children no longer get a reprieve from bullying at home.
“Schools really need to be a safe and caring learning environment where kids can learn and grow their self-esteem,” he said.
He said, he knows these are only some of the issues RVS has to face and believes his tenure in education will give him the advantage to be able to address them.
“I have the talents, abilities, skill set and experience in education. I know education well and I would work to the best of my abilities to represent Airdrie Ward Three in Rock View Schools.” Gilbertson said.