Dorraine Lonsdale is one of two candidates running for the Highway 11 Ward for the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division (RDCRSD) in the Oct. 16 election. If elected she will serve the areas including Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Caroline and Eckville.
Lonsdale’s desire is to be a positive influence in Catholic education in Alberta. While attending a RDCRSD retirement event with a friend, she was was inspired to run as a candidate.
“I was ignited by the idea of contributing as a Trustee upon listening to the positive memories that staff shared about their careers within Catholic education. It was a pronounced reminder of how important Catholic education is to me and the communities that we live in,” she wrote in an email.
She sees Catholic education as being under scrutiny by those not in favour of publicly funded Catholic education. She also views the provincial funding formulas as an added challenge to the budgeting and running of the schools/school districts.
”These funding challenges force school districts to be creative and financially conservative in maintaining a fine balance. This is continuing while school divisions display leadership in cutting-edge learning for today’s children and tomorrow’s students,” she wrote.
While Lonsdale believes Catholic education is remarkable within RDCRSD, she also believes there is room for growth. She pointed to what she sees as a need to continue hiring candidates who are “committed to and enthusiastic about Catholic education.”
She wrote,” We need to look to the future in all areas of education for all our communities and schools. This includes meeting the needs of all students. We need to inspire children to be the best they can be while making Christ inclusive in the classroom.”
Catholic education helped form Lonsdale. Raised a Catholic, Lonsdale also attended Catholic schools growing up. She and her husband, Brad gave their daughters a Catholic education from kindergarten through grad 12 in Rocky Mountain House. Lonsdale was an active Parent Council member for 17 years. A volunteer at both St. Matthew and St. Dominic Catholic Schools, she was also employed by Wild Rose School Division for 24 years. She worked for four years at the school division office and worked directly with the deputy superintendent, curriculum and special education coordinators
Over the next 20 years she chose to work as an administrative assistant at Will Sinclair/West Central High Schools. This role gave her a deeper understanding of education in Alberta and the dynamics of running a high school.
Lonsdale is clear in what she wants to accomplish should she be elected.
“I want to ensure publicly funded Catholic education is maintained not only because of my strong belief in Christ centred education, but because The Alberta Act of 1905 legislates our province to support this concept within the constitution itself, ” she wrote.
She feels she is ready to represent all staff, students and parents of the Red Deer Catholic Schools.
”I am an energetic, faithful, committed person who enthusiastically looks forward to the opportunity to do their best. I will work together with the School Board and Administrative staff for the betterment and growth of our Division.”