School Directory

School Board Election Candidates

The Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education encourages all stakeholders (staff, parents, community members) to vote for Separate School Board Trustees in the upcoming municipal election on October 18, 2021.

Medicine Hat Voter Information

What is the role of a trustee?

As locally-elected representatives of the public, individual trustees are accountable to their constituents and responsible for overseeing and directing the school division’s operations over a four year time period.

Catholic school trustees also play an integral role as advocates for Catholic education by ensuring students receive an education permeated by our Catholic faith.

Important things school board trustees do:

  • establish big-picture policy direction and multi-year plans
  • approve budgets (includes spending everything from programs to infrastructure to books and technology etc.)
  • identify the needs and priorities of the school division

Why should you vote?

On October 18, along with electing City Councillors, stakeholders will cast a vote for school board trustees.

MHCBE has seven candidates running for five positions on the Board. It is important that all eligible voters participate in the upcoming election to ensure that the needs of our stakeholders (staff/students/parents/community members) are met. 

Get to know our candidates!

Click the names below to learn about each candidate's vision for Medicine Hat Catholic schools over the next four years (sorted in alphabetical order).

 

What positive, student-centred ideas do you have for moving Medicine Hat Catholic Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

I will be an advocate for our children as society navigates through the next few unpredictable years. Whether it is involvement in curriculum discussions, or coordinating everchanging policies, I want to be a voice to speak up for the children. I see firsthand the impacts these decisions have and I will make sure those facts are not overlooked. I will also lobby any government on issues/policies to ensure the best interests of the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education and all its stakeholders.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of a school trustee?

  • Having my own children currently enrolled in Medicine Hat Catholic schools, I see firsthand the needs of the school division and plan to advocate for our children, staff and families. 
  • I will use my accounting background to oversee financial transparency, capital projects/spending, and budgeting. The Board is fiscally accountable to the public, not only on how much is spent but more importantly how appropriately it is spent.

How will you support Catholic Education in Medicine Hat Catholic Schools?

I want to see MHCBE continue to be a champion for education, specifically Catholic education. Maintaining a strong presence in the community is just one example of how to exercise the benefits of Catholic education. I intend to be part of the brainstorming process to maximize interactions and experiences between our schools, churches, service groups, and other community stakeholders. Student retention/addition is another specific aspect I would like to help strategize on, as I truly believe we have the best schools in this city.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

This is my second attempt at running for School Board Trustee, and while the issues at hand now differ from the last election, the main goals haven’t changed at all. I commit to learning all of the dealings of the Board, and serve with integrity, openness, and dedication. I am FOCUSED on education, FAITHFUL to my beliefs, and a FRESH voice for our Board.

What positive, student-centred ideas do you have for moving Medicine Hat Catholic Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

As a Trustee of MHCBE I believe all decisions must be formulated around student success and reflect our Catholicity. I also believe we need to continue to provide an atmosphere that lends itself to the fostering of a safe and caring environment for our students. I also know it is important as a Trustee to support our teachers, administrators, and support staff in their roles as immediate care givers of our students during the school day.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of a school trustee?

I have the ability to collaborate, communicate, and cooperate within an organizational structure. I have demonstrated my leadership abilities while serving as local President of the Medicine Hat Catholic Teachers’ Local #39 the last 5 years of my teaching career. In doing so I worked in a positive and respectful manner with 3 previous Superintendents and several Board members in monthly meetings during my term as President of the Local ATA.

How will you support Catholic Education in Medicine Hat Catholic Schools?

How I will support Catholic education first of all is to pray for our students, teachers, administration and support staff. Secondly as a Trustee I will make it a point to consider all decisions made by the District to reflect our belief and faith in the dogma of the Holy Catholic Church so that the students of this District can become the best individuals and citizens they can be.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

As I alluded to earlier, I am a retired teacher. I taught at both St. Mary’s and Monsignor McCoy during the last 27 years of my Teaching Career. I was Local President of the Medicine Hat Catholic Teachers’ Local of ATA for 5 years. I was the chair of the Professional Development Committee for 4 years. I headed the Diversity, Education and Human Rights committee for 5 years. I also served on various joint committees between the District and the local ATA.

I have been married for 37 years. I was married in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Medicine Hat. I currently attend St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Medicine Hat. I have 3 sons who all attended and graduated from McCoy High School. I have three grandchildren, one of which is old enough to attend one of our fine Catholic elementary schools in Medicine Hat.

What positive, student-centered ideas do you have for moving Medicine Hat Catholic forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

  1. Increasing the size of the Religious Education Department. Hiring a Chaplain/Catechist. 
  2. Initiate a “Student Missionary Program” at one of our schools that will grow into a program from K-12. We have academies for sports and arts. Why not one that offers our students a place  to practice and grow their faith to a higher degree than in a regular program? 
  3. Develop a division school prayer.
  4. Build a 280 seat theatre and 4000 sq. foot sports literacy complex at Monsignor McCoy and name it after the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis.
  5. Explore grade reconfiguration in the district including expanding St.Mary’s into a K-9 school. We currently do not have an elementary school presence on the SE/SW hill.
  6. Explore bringing back district wide transportation for St. Michael’s School and its fine arts focus.
  7. Explore adding basketball, football and volleyball academies to St. Mary’s School 
  8. Be aggressive in establishing dual credit programs with a variety of post secondary institutions both academic and technical. The possibilities are endless but could include first year university engineering, English, technical math. 
  9. Explore developing a “First Responders Program” at Monsignor McCoy. Students will take CTS courses that have direct application to careers in police, ems and firefighting. Couple these courses with dual credit programs.
  10. Continue to build the fine arts program at Monsignor McCoy. Offer students the ability to take private music, art, dance  lessons at school during the day.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of a school trustee?

I am trustworthy, honest, open, and a straight shooter. I am extremely well read and become knowledgeable about the subjects being considered. Coupled with a passion for Catholic Education my drive to help people enables me to be a “go to” person when stakeholders have concerns that need to be addressed. I am not afraid to ask tough questions and or hold opinions that run against the status quo.

How will you support Catholic Education in Medicine Hat Catholic Schools?

In addition to points a,b, and c above I will be advocating for MHCBE to lobby the Alberta Bishops and Alberta Universities to offer classes to education students that will teach them more about our faith. We must also continue to enhance our relationships with the two local parishes. MHCBE must find the resources to build up the knowledge of our faith in teachers identified as potential future leaders through professional development programs. Continuous Catholic professional development for all our staff must also be given budget support. I will support Medicine Hat Catholic by putting all my energy into being a trustee. I will advocate for those in need. I will promote the district in all my interactions. I will encourage risk taking and the pursuit of constant improvement. When things need to be affirmed I will affirm...when things need to be done better I will advocate for change.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

I am married with four children, two daughters in law and our first grandchild on the way. I have a Diploma of Applied Arts in Television, Stage and Radio Arts from SAIT. A B.Ed from the University of Lethbridge, a M.A. in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University, a Diploma in Religious Professional Development from the University of Lethbridge. Recently I have been taking a number of courses for coaching certification in several sports. I am a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus who attends St. Patrick’s Church. Over the last 37 years I have been active in many ministries at St. Patrick’s including Parish Council member, serving funeral masses, Eucharistic Minister to the homebound, hospital patients and senior home residents, usher, office volunteer helping with personnel issues, serving meals at Salvation Army . This past year I became the president of the Friends of McCoy Society. I enjoy watching all sports and always have several books on the go or I am researching various topics.

What positive, student-centered ideas do you have for moving Medicine Hat Catholic Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

One of the advantages of being a small district is that we can react quickly to issues and conditions in the division.  As a District, we have a focus of empowering our school administration to pursue new ideas and programs and bring them to the Board.  Our Board has a track record of supporting these ideas which impact students directly.  There are several examples of this.  The wellness program at St. Francis Xavier, the STREAM program at Mother Teresa and the technology program at Notre Dame. These are examples of forward thinking ideas which benefit our students and provide new programs for our students.  By empowering our staff's creative thinking we continue to support new programs.


What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of a school trustee?

As a Catholic school Division, our primary objective is to provide a faith based education. First and foremost. Catholic trustees must be catholic and believe that there is a relationship between the home, school and the church. I meet those criteria.  Also, I am well aware of the forces who are determined to eliminate public funding for catholic schools.  In my 11 years as trustee I have repeatedly spoken out to defend our right to exist.  But we cannot rely on the constitution to ensure our survival.  We have to be relevant.  I think my record of defending our right to exist, being a role model as a Catholic in our community are my most important qualities.

How will you support Catholic Education in Medicine Hat Catholic Schools?

I can best support Catholic education by being a role model for Catholic living, being visible in the community and church. As a trustee, I can encourage our staff to employ Catholic teachers who will witness their faith to our students. 

What other information do you want people to know about you?

I am a lifelong Catholic, I  attend Holy Family Parish, I am a Eucharistic Minister.  I have served as a trustee for 11 years, the last six as Board Chair.  I believe that I am a team player and have led the board successfully. I am asking for an opportunity to continue to do that.

What positive, student-centred ideas do you have for moving Medicine Hat Catholic Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

I would like to continue the work done on the SCSL Centre (theatre/sports facility) at Monsignor McCoy High School that will expand and greatly enhance the Fine Arts program. This is a shared project with the Friends of McCoy. This is now a Strategic Priority of the Board.

I would like to study the safety of drop off points at all elementary schools. There seems to be some areas of congestion in the morning and after school when parents are trying to drop students and pick them up. In some areas I have heard from parents that there are some very dangerous situations happening.

Another area I would like to explore is Period Products available at the high and junior high schools at no cost to our girls.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of a school trustee?

  • My Faith
  • To represent all the stakeholders and give them a voice.
  • To govern with the best interest of the students we serve.

How will you support Catholic Education in Medicine Hat Catholic Schools?

I will do whatever is necessary to protect our constitutional right to have publicly funded
Catholic education in the province. I am extremely passionate about Catholic Education. I have spent my entire life as an advocate of the system. I believe Catholicity can be permeated into all areas of the school system from Central Office to the schools and beyond. We are a model for the world.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

I am extremely humbled to be able to work on a team that is so faith filled, with God always coming first in all areas. That shows in our results year after year, we are among the top 5 school districts in Alberta consistently. It takes a village and that is what we have under the leadership of Christ. It starts in pre-school and ends at Grade 12 and nowhere is there a place that you won't find faith. I am so proud of the Catholic Educators in this community.

I graduated from Monsignor McCoy 50 years ago, my 3 children have gone through here, 2 of my grandchildren have also graduated from here, and I have 2 grandchildren currently in the system. I was fortunate enough to have worked here for almost 30 years. I believe in MHCBE.

What positive, student-centred ideas do you have for moving Medicine Hat Catholic Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

  • Given the many issues and challenges our students are bringing with them to school it is very important that we provide a wide variety of student supports especially in the area of student counselling services. The mental health and well-being of our students must be a primary focus in particular during these difficult and challenging times of the pandemic.
  • Continue to look for innovative programing opportunities for students such as the Fine Arts focus at the Elementary School level and the Sports Academy in St. Francis Elementary and Notre Dame School. 
  • Continue to explore the expansion of programing such as the proposed new theatre and physical literacy facility at Monsignor McCoy High School. 
  • We must support all staff members with ongoing faith development and professional development so that they can be the best possible Catholic educators and Catholic role models. By providing this essential support we ensure that our students will flourish in a strong academic environment permeated with our Catholic teachings and grounded in a strong Catholic focus.
  • In overseeing the budget, the Board of Education must continue to support the concept of student centred decisions while ensuring fiscal responsibility.

What do you feel are the most important qualities that you bring to the role of school trustee?

  • A strong passion for Catholic Education grounded in 25 years of experience in Catholic Educational Leadership.
  • My active involvement in Catholic Parish life and commitment to ongoing faith development help me to be a positive faith role model. 
  • An understanding of how Boards operate, with many years of experience serving on various volunteer Boards and spending 10 years supporting all Catholic Boards while serving as the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association(SCSBA).
  • My experience, strong interpersonal skills and positive attitude will support me in developing relationships with all partners. I firmly believe that Catholic Education must focus on the vital partnership of home, school, parish and community. 
  • Given my professional background and variety of relevant experience I have strong mediation skills with a desire to support people working together to find the most appropriate solution to the challenge or problem.
  • I am a positive, open minded person who is an excellent problem solver with a genuine desire to focus on the “big picture” while maintaining the focus on the problem at hand.

How will you support Catholic Education in Medicine Hat Catholic Schools?

As a Catholic Trustee, I would work diligently to ensure a continued strong Catholic focus on all that we do. I believe that Catholic Board members need to uphold and protect the Catholic identity and mission of our schools by ensuring that our Catholic teaching are permeated in all that we do within the school division.

I would advocate for adequate funding for Catholic Education and in particular to ensure that our staff members are provided the faith development they need to be positive witnesses to the faith.

I would support the provincial Catholic Education community in promoting publicly funded Catholic Education. I believe that it is essential that we have a strong unified voice to promote Catholic Education in the province of Alberta.

What other information do you want people to know about you? Who is Ken Loehndorf?

  • A retired educator who served 40 years in education
  • The last 25 years were spent in Catholic Education Leadership serving as Director of Education in North Battleford Catholic Schools for 15 years and Executive Director of the SCSBA for 10 years.
  • Married to wife Yvonne for 47 years. Yvonne is a retired Catholic Educator who completed her service as Religious Education Coordinator for the Light of Christ Catholic School Division.
  • Father to son Drew and his wife Jaimie, married for 12 years. Drew is serving as a Catholic elementary school teacher with his present assignment being at St Louis Elementary School.
  • Grandfather to Emma (9), Sloan (6), Laila (4) and Luke (2). Emma and Sloan attend St. Michael’s School and Laila and Luke will soon be in Catholic schools.

What positive, student-centered ideas do you have for moving Medicine Hat Catholic Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” For MHCBE to foster student success, we must be faithful to the mandate given us by the church and her faithful, by providing a Catholic education which is Cristocentric. One way of achieving this is supported by the five marks of Catholic Education promulgated by his Excellency Archbishop Michael Miller. 

In 2015, I was instrumental in moving our division forward in adopting these marks to ground our division more fully in our Catholic faith, and I believe that if we continue to meet these marks, our students will be guaranteed success. This holistic approach to education produces a high quality of student performance, which is supported by evidence, and can be viewed in our provincial accountability pillar results

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of a school trustee?

I believe for a board to be high functioning, it should have a diversity of people sitting at the table. I believe that those people should be leaders of the highest moral character and integrity. As a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church, I have been entrusted with the task of witnessing Christ the Servant to the community. The theological, philosophical, and pastoral formation I received, as well as 19 years of pastoral experience, I believe I have been placed in a unique position to help guide our division in its task of providing a truly Catholic education in an increasingly secular society. With 8 years of trusteeship behind me, I have gained both knowledge and experience in the functioning of a school division, and how to effectively direct, and develop good policy, and provide good governance.

How will you support Catholic Education in Medicine Hat Catholic Schools?

I believe one of the best supports I can offer our division as a whole, and each particular school, is by setting good example, and modelling Christian discipleship to the best of my ability. To support our schools, I must fulfill all the duties of a trustee outlined in our policy Board Policy and Procedures and keep the oath I pledge as a Catholic trustee. I must also strive to continue to be available to any stakeholders in our division who require my presence.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

I’ve been married to my wife Helena for 31 years; we have 4 children and three grandchildren. I’ve been employed at the Goodyear tire plant for 36 years and have been publicly serving the local Catholic community for over 25 years.