Jim Forrest and Melyssa Bowen, along with incumbent Todd Brand, will be the three individuals representing Airdrie on the Rocky View Schools (RVS) Board of Trustees after the results of the Oct. 16 election are made official at noon on Oct. 20.
A former principal at Airdrie’s C.W. Perry School, Forrest garnered the most votes of the five running – 4,345.
“I feel good about the candidates I was running with and the candidates that were successful as well and I think that we’ll be able to work well together,” he said. “For the most part, I think we’re really on the same page so I think it should be good.”
Bowen ran a strong campaign to finish second with 3,645 votes followed very closely by Brand with 3,579. Pam Thursfield (3,114 votes) and Jason Spratt (2,201) rounded out the field.
According to Forrest, the new trustees will attend an orientation meeting Oct. 19 before quickly jumping into the work that needs to be done.
“The transportation and the buildings and being able to advocate on a provincial level is absolutely important,” he said. “But, you know, even during the campaign it was made really clear how important it is that Rocky View continues to undertake those kinds of programs that are going to support kids, both in the classroom on a personal, sort of social, emotional level as well as academics.”
This is the first time Airdrie has had three trustees on the RVS board. The previous board of trustees approved a bylaw for revised ward boundaries Feb. 16 at a special meeting and those changes were subsequently approved by Alberta Education.
The revised boundaries maintain the number of wards at six but increase the number of trustees to eight from seven. Aside from adding one additional trustee in Airdrie, the changes give Chestermere, which was part of Ward 2, its own trustee and Ward 5 in west Rocky View County was increased to include Springbank and Bragg Creek, which were part of Ward 4.
Brand said he was grateful to have been returned to the Board of Trustees for a second term.
“It feels really good. I’m really glad to be able to serve the students in Airdrie and RVS again. I am thrilled with the other two people who will be joining in with me as trustee. I think they’re just really top quality people and, quite frankly, the two who didn’t make it in were impressive. They did really good campaigns and would have made really good trustees,” he said.
Brand said he was really impressed by how residents had made the effort to really speak to the candidates during this election campaign.
“One of the things that was really great was the number of people who asked questions online, (through) emails and Facebook. Trustees got a lot of attention and I’m just glad to see that,” he said.
Bowen said she was both excited and honoured to have been elected.
“I really care about the decisions that are made in education so I’m looking forward to taking part in helping to make those important decisions,” she said.
The new board will be sworn in Oct. 24.