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Thursday, 12 January 2017 08:00

Three short around the PRSD board table

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Two trustee resignations from the Prairie Rose School Division, board will likely mean at least one byelection will be held this spring even though municipal elections, including school boards, are set to take place this fall.

At the Jan. 10 regular PRSD board meeting, trustees, who now number fiveout of a possible eight seats, with regret accepted the resignations of two of their counterparts.
Bob Wickens, who represents the Redcliff area, including Ralston, tendered his resignation effective Jan. 1. Christie Dick, who represents the Special Areas including Oyen and New Brigden, also resigned, effective Jan. 7.
Both resignations are due to the fact the trustees have made life changes that have resulted in them no longer residing in the areas they are to represent on the board.
“I am disappointed that I will not be able to finish out the final year of the election term,” said Wickens in a news release. “My wife and I were faced with making some difficult decisions earlier than anticipated and as a result, I am no longer a resident of the Redcliff electoral area and must tender my resignation.”
Wickens has been on the PRSD board since 2010, while Dick was acclaimed in 2013.
She has been the sole representative for the area out of a possible two seats, after the resignation of former trustee Patti Machell in February of 2015.
Dick’s resignation leaves the Special Areas without representation around the board table.
Chair Stuart Angle said after the meeting that it is important to ensure all areas of the division are represented at a board level.
“I think some form of byelection has to happen,” he added. “It wouldn’t be good not to, we need a representative.”
That byelection, at least for Special Areas, could take place relatively quickly with representation in place by late spring. PRSD officials will consult with the Minister of Education about a potential byelection.
During the meeting when discussing accepting the letters of resignation, Trustee Arnold Frank said he was going to miss his tablemate and fellow meeting commuter Wickens. The two spent a lot of “windshield time” together as they travelled in their area to various meetings and events.
“I very much will miss Bob; I appreciated his wisdom,” said Frank.
Superintendent Brian Andjelic has known Wickens for a number of years when Wickens worked as an administrator in Redcliff, but also as the original co-ordinater of the DREAMS project in that community.
“He knew the people and the partners and he did a good job getting that set up,” added Andjelic. “He certainly bled Prairie Rose blood, no doubt about it.”
Those at the board table and in central office are also going to miss Dick who made a big impact in a short time.
“She brought fresh insight and was a divergent thinker who could analyze (issues),” said Angle. “She would ask tough questions, was a consensus builder and a really good board member.”
Trustee Graeme Dennis said both resigning trustees always made students their first priorities.
“I’m going to miss (Christie’s) fair and open-minded approach to all the discussions,” added Trustee Cathy Hogg. “I’m really going to miss their voices.”
The feeling of making an impact was mutual when it came to the departing Special Areas trustee.
“My time with the Board of Trustees has had a big impact on my life and will continue to into the future,” said Dick in a news release. “I have enjoyed and valued my role as trustee, to represent my community, actively serve the public, participate in board governance and act as a link between my communities and the board.”

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor