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Pam Thursfield returns for second shot at Airdrie trustee position

After falling less than 500 votes short in 2017, Airdrie resident Pam Thursfield is once again putting her name in contention for the Rocky View Schools (RVS) Board of Trustees.

After falling less than 500 votes short in 2017, Airdrie resident Pam Thursfield is once again putting her name in contention for the Rocky View Schools (RVS) Board of Trustees.

Thursfield is vying for one of three trustee positions in Ward 3, which includes all the public schools in Airdrie. The school board election is set for Oct. 18.

A resident of Airdrie since 2011, Thursfield said she has been involved in her kids’ schools throughout her time in the city as a school council member and volunteer, and is a frequent attendee of RVS meetings.

She said these efforts have made her knowledgeable of the local public school system, and she feels she has a lot to offer the division.

“There are things I feel need to be changed that didn’t get changed after the last election,” she said.

This year marks Thursfield's second time running for an RVS trustee seat. She finished fourth in the Ward 3 race in 2017, garnering 3,114 votes.

Airdrie is the most contested ward in RVS' school board election this fall, with six candidates running for three positions. Alongside Thursfield in Ward 3 are incumbents Melyssa Bowen and Todd Brand, as well as candidates Aftan Forrest, Jason Spratt, and Fred Burley.

Thursfield, who owns a home-based business in Airdrie and has a background in accounting and administration, said her main platform point is for more transparency from the RVS board. She said she would like the division to be more open with parents when it comes to what is discussed and debated at Board of Trustees meetings.

“For example, all they share is the cover page of what’s being discussed with parents, so parents have no idea what’s truly being discussed and talked about,” she said. “That means they don’t have an opportunity to voice what they want or any suggestions they may have.”

The candidate said her familiarity with RVS and her relationships with people in the school division are what qualify her to be an ideal trustee.

Regarding the Alberta government’s draft K-6 curriculum, which faced criticism among educators after being released earlier this year, Thursfield said it is up to parents to submit feedback at the moment as school divisions have already done so.

“I really want parents to not necessarily expect RVS to do anything about the current curriculum,” she said. “A lot of parents have been asking about that. Right now, it’s in parents’ hands to be filling out the survey on the Alberta website.

“RVS has already put in their information and [the government has] now gone to parents. Parents need to be sending that information in so the curriculum can be changed to the way they want it to be changed.”

When asked what education-related issues she thinks will most likely impact Airdrie in the upcoming term, Thursfield said school capacity continues to be a concern, but she added the ability to assuage those pressures falls on the Alberta government.

“It all comes down to what the Province is willing to give when it comes to schools,” she said. “To my understanding, all the money comes from the Province to build the schools. Rocky View should not necessarily be spending their reserve money on building a school the Province should be building because of the volume of students that are going into these schools.”

Thursfield can be reached at [email protected]

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