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Meet the Candidates running for BPSD School Trustee

posted Oct 22, 2018, 10:32 AM by Kathy Carr
For the Beautiful Plains School Division, they have an election happening this year for School Trustee in Ward 1 - Carberry & Area. With four candidates vying for the three spots, we reached out to them, to learn more about them and why they would be the best person for the role. Here for you are the candidates that are running for School Trustee in Ward 1.

Amanda-Rose Bourget
Tell us about yourself - I was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB with my five siblings, parents, and maternal extended family. I have lived in the Westman area for the past 15 years in a variety of communities and attended Brandon University. My spouse grew up in Carberry, which led us to purchase a home in the community. We moved to the North Cypress-Langford Municipality in August of 2016. Since then, I had the opportunity to work in the community at R.J. Waugh School with some of your children as an Educational Assistant during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 school years.

What made you decide to run for School Board Trustee? I decided to run for Trustee to become more involved in the community and use my skills to give back while also further developing myself. After taking on leadership roles on councils, boards and committees, I felt this was a natural and important next step. I believe that good boards require diversity and when I looked into who was making the decisions for our schools and children I did not see any young trustees at the table. I think having young board members is important for many reasons including succession planning. 

Why are you the best person for this role, why should we vote for you? Voting for me means a young woman’s voice at the decision and policy-making table. I have a background in Mental Health, Advocacy, and Policy and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in both Sociology and Psychology. I have worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors including unionized environments. I have been a human rights officer, both an employee and employer representative on Health & Safety committees, and was the young workers representative for the prairie region provinces on Public Service Alliance of Canada’s regional council; now I am a Volunteer Crisis Counsellor and an Affordable Housing Program Coordinator. I bring a wide range of skills and knowledge to the table and am fluent in French. It would be an honor to have the opportunity to be a voice in education for our community; addressing key issues directly related to the achievement and success of our children, whilst exercising fiscal responsibility and accountability to our taxpayers. 

John McNeily
Tell us about yourself - I am a firm believer in local, responsive government. Having lived in Carberry for twenty years, working here and now retired. I’ve had a chance to serve the community in various ways. My wife Sharon and I enjoy volunteering in the community of Carberry, and participating in Neepawa events with our grandchildren. Serving as a school trustee representing our area has been an important role I would like to continue.

What made you decide to run for School Board Trustee? Education is one of the most important and valuable things that anyone has. It is important to start learning early and never stop. Schools need the support of the community; taxpayers need their schools to do their job well and responsibly. A trustee is the communicator in the middle. It’s a fascinating job.

Why are you the best person for this role, why should we vote for you? I have been a trustee now for eight years, and Chair of the Board for the last two. I have had time to learn and understand the complexity of the School Board’s job. In the coming years, the review of Education Finance will present local divisions with challenges and opportunities I think I can best help navigate.
Please vote on October 24th; show you care about local control of education spending. I hope to be one of your choices.

Richard Manns
Tell us about yourself - I’m Richard Manns and I’ve been a Trustee for the past 12 years.  I live 7 miles north of Carberry with my wife Angela and work for Paul & Kim Adriaansen at Spud Plains Farm in Wellwood.
We have four children and two grandchildren. Our youngest, Broni is in Grade 11 at Carberry Collegiate. Bryanna is attending her second year at Brandon University studying for her Bachelor of Nursing. Raelyn, our eldest daughter is a teacher in Winnipeg and our son Tyral lives in Victoria, B.C. and is a carpenter/welder and just recently married.
What made you decide to run for School Board Trustee? 12 years ago I was elected onto the board of Trustees with an agenda but I learned very quickly that the education system was way bigger than my immediate concerns. This is what sparked my passion and desire to be a part of moving our division and education forward.

Why are you the best person for this role, why should we vote for you? We are in a very challenging time, although the govern­ment increased funding for education overall, that resulted in considerably less money for Beautiful Plains. We need to take a really hard look at ourselves and find efficiencies within the division. It’s also exciting with the construction of the new school in Neepawa, or colonies choosing to build new schools and promoting the value of education.
The government is undertaking a review of education and the way they fund school divisions. The trustees have a lot of work ahead of them to lobby and fight for what our division holds dear. Bigger isn’t always better and the ability for us to raise funds locally allows for the division to support the special programming within our division.
Governments come and go but children keep coming into our school system and we are being challenged to do more with less money. Cutting costs isn’t a realistic option especially when the cost of living is increasing and new technology is on the rise.

Lavern Biehn
Tell us about yourself -  My name is Lavern Biehn. I was elected to the Beautiful Plain School Board in 2014 and I am seeking election for a second term.  
My life is centred around my 4 kids who are between the ages of 10 and 17, three of whom attend school at Carberry Collegiate. They are involved in various sports programs in the community. My daughter also competes in the Manitoba Baseball’s Girl’s program at a provincial level which has provided ample opportunity for our family to travel around Manitoba and Canada.  
I was born in southern Ontario where I was raised on a dairy farm. After graduating from high school, I worked in the trades for a number of years. 21 years ago I moved to Manitoba and completed the BN program at the University of Manitoba. I have lived in the Carberry Area for the last 15 years and have developed a strong love and appreciation for this growing community and the diversity of its members.  I now call Carberry home.
Currently I am employed by Prairie Mountain Health. I have been a RN for 17 years and have worked at HSC, Carberry Plains Heath Centre and now at Brandon Regional Health Centre Emergency Department. I also work as a Clinical Instructor for the Brandon University Faculty of Nursing providing instruction and guidance for nursing students in the hospital setting.

What made you decide to run for School Board Trustee? These past 4 years have been a tremendous learning experience as a trustee and I have gained a deep appreciation and respect for the people who care for the education of our kids. I am seeking election for a second term so that I can continue to represent the interests of the Carberry and Area community as well as the rest of the school division at the board level.
Our current government is currently evaluating our education system. This undertaking gives us a premonition that significant changes are in store for how education is delivered and governed.  Considering this premonition, I have chosen to run again for school board trustee so that in the event I am successful in the election, I will be a part of a board that can provide consistent and ongoing leadership and governance. Stability in leadership is essential in times of change because ultimately, the quality of our kids’ education is at stake. I believe that stability in leadership allows our teachers to continuously improve the quality of the education they provide to our kids.

Why are you the best person for this role, why should we vote for you? I have passion for education, especially high-quality education. As a nursing professional, my career revolves around providing high quality care and client education. Care and education are tailored to fit each individual because every person has unique challenges to overcome. I believe the same is true in the education of our kids. Every student has a unique set of abilities and teachers work hard to provide education that is tailored to meet their individual needs. I believe that it would be a privilege to be elected to a position where I can collectively serve with other trustees to support our school division in providing high quality education.