Former Rocky View Schools (RVS) board trustee Helen Clease was honoured with the President’s Award by the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) Nov. 21.
Clease, who passed away in July after a battle with cancer, was president of the association for almost four years and received the award posthumously. She stepped down as president of the ASBA due to her illness.
“Helen Clease was a servant leader who valued relationships above all. For her, it was not about the position; rather, how her role could be leveraged to serve publicly-elected school boards in Alberta,” said Mary Martin, ASBA president. “As an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to education, the Alberta School Boards Association decided to honour Helen’s memory with the President’s Award. This award is but a token of remembrance for a remarkable person who is sorely missed.”
The award is given each year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to education and is handed out during the ASBA Fall General Meeting.
“This position is, simply put, a high honour and came with tremendous responsibility,” said RVS Board of Trustees Chair Todd Brand. “Helen served with distinction, and I think every one of us, as RVS trustees, took some pride in knowing that the leader of the ASBA was one of our own trustees.”
Clease was first elected to the RVS Board of Trustees in 2007 and passed away just as she was completing her third term representing the parents, students and interests of Bragg Creek, Springbank and Redwood Meadows.
“Our board is very pleased with the announcement that Helen is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award. I can’t think of anyone more deserving,” Brand said. “Helen had such passion for public education and she worked so hard not only for schools in her ward and our school division, but also for schools across our province. Although she is no longer with us, the legacy of her work will live on for years to come.”
A passionate advocate for education, Clease was born in Calgary in 1955. She had more than 30 years experience working as a producer and director of educational television programming for child development.
She became interested in educational governance when her children began school, first getting involved in school councils and ultimately moving up to sit on the RVS Board of Trustees.
Clease is survived by her husband and two children.