Jason Schilling will be the new president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association when the next version of Provincial Executive Council (PEC) takes office in July. Association members cast their votes for the open Council seats in mid-March, and Schilling, currently a PEC vice-president, edged current president Greg Jeffery by a count of 3,829 votes to 3,032. Robert Duiker rounded out the results with 383 votes.
Schilling teaches English and drama at Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale in southern Alberta. Having served four terms as district representative and one term as vice-president, Schilling is no stranger to PEC and says he’ll bring a strong vision for the future.
“Like all members of PEC, I have a passion for education, my students and my colleagues. I hope to share that passion with others,” said Schilling. “I have spent my entire career serving on ATA committees —running for president was the next step for me in this advocacy.”
Schilling says he wants to get real and tangible answers to the ongoing issues with class size.
“We are often served platitudes from government about class size issues but see no real change. That needs to change,” he said. “I also want to focus on the ongoing curriculum partnership with Alberta Education. In order for a new curriculum to be successful, the ATA must guarantee that teachers’ voices are heard.”
Jeffery will continue to serve as president until the new Council takes office on July 1. At that point he will assume the role of past president.
Both Darrin Bauer and Jenny Regal were acclaimed for the two vice-president positions. This is Regal’s second term as VP, and she says she’s really looking forward to working with a reinvigorated Council.
“Jason and I were vice-presidents together and we spent a lot of time talking, so I’m really excited to be a big part of the team that is going to bring his new vision alive,” Regal said. “We still have so much work to do to assert ourselves as the authoritative voice of the profession and the representative voice of teachers.”
Bauer served two terms as district representative for Edmonton McMurray and says he’s looking forward to hearing fresh ideas from new PEC members. “I think we’ve got some energetic DRs coming in that are full of new ideas and we’re really going to push things a bit, which I am excited to see,” he said.
In Calgary City, Council veteran Kathy Hoehn was re-elected and former district rep Kevin Kempt returns to the role after a one-term absence. Darren Moroz was elected to his first term and also won a byelection to fill a current vacancy in the district.
Moroz currently teaches at St. Sebastian School in Calgary and has held several key positions with Calgary Separate Local No. 55. Moroz says he’ll work hard to improve the educational support systems and effective development and implementation of new curricula.
Brenton Baum was elected as the new district representative for Central. Hailing from Drayton Valley, he brings 28 years of teaching experience to the role, along with extensive involvement with Teacher Welfare, Professional Development and numerous provincial committees. In his campaign material, Baum promised to be a strong advocate for improvements to teaching conditions which would, in turn, improve the learning landscape for our students.
A tight race in Central East saw Murray Lalonde edging out the competition by only three votes to claim his first term as district rep. Having taught for 17 years in rural Alberta Schools, Lalonde says he understands the challenges of the funding formula and the concerns held by teachers in rural districts.
Edmonton McMurray district rep Nancy Ball returns for a second term and welcomes newcomers Greg Carabine and Carmen Glossop. Carabine currently teaches at Austin O’Brien High School, has served as the president of Edmonton Catholic Local No. 54 and was involved in starting Canada’s first gay–straight alliance for teachers in Canada. Glossop has taught in both rural and urban schools and brings considerable experience with special needs and diverse backgrounds.
The remaining seven district representatives are incumbents who were acclaimed to their positions: Don Brookwell (Central South), Paul Froese (Edmonton District), Michelle Glavine* (Calgary District), Peter MacKay (North West), Katherine Pritchard (South West), Heather McCaig (South East) and Robert Twerdoclib (Central North). ❚
*Update: Michelle Glavine will join the Alberta Teachers’ Association as an executive staff officer in the Teacher Welfare program area August 1, 2019. A by-election will be held in the 2019/20 school year to fill the resulting vacancy on Provincial Executive Council.