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Liam McNiff on ballot for Highway 11 Ward

School board elections will be held Oct. 16

Liam McNiff is the second candidate on the ballot for the Highway 11 Ward for the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division (RDCRSD). As someone with previous trustee experience, McNiff believes he has a lot to offer.

“I’m a team player and willing to work with all Board members to achieve Board goals and objectives. I’m a good listener and willing to build consensus.” he wrote in an email. With three trustees retiring, he feels he will offer continuity and stability to the board.

McNiff sees two major issues for not only RDCRSD but all central Alberta school divisions in Alberta. He sees lack of funding as the causal point for school boards becoming responsible for “wrap-around” services such as mental health and social services. He also thinks that major funding is required for both school renovations and new schools.

One of the areas where he would like to see change over the next four years is in finding adequate funding for the school districts. He would also like to see some changes in the relationship with The Department of Education. Specifically, he feels the department needs to use “proper protocol” when meeting with the school boards and provide better communications. Another area he sees in need of change is to either have the School Act proclaimed or the Education Act amended.

McNiff brings many years of experience in education to this position and feels he is aware of the issues facing Catholic education. He sees himself as a team player, able to work well with other trustees, parents and students.

While keeping the entire district in mind, McNiff said he has some specific goals for Sylvan Lake and Rocky Mountain House.

In Sylvan Lake he would like to increase the capacity of Our Lady of the Rosary School. Within the next five years he would like to have a new K - five school in town and when the numbers are high enough he would also like to see a new high school.

In Rocky Mountain he wants to see St. Dominic High School receive continued support. He would also like to “ensure that St. Matthew School has the necessary capacity for continued growth.”

His overall goals for Red Deer, Blackfalds, Olds and Innisfail are two-fold: to ensure adequate school space for growth and expansion and to put the funding in place for school modernization.

As a trustee dedicated and committed to Catholic education, his overall focus is on funding “so that Alberta will become the premier education leader in North America.”

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