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PRSD board chair not seeking re-election

Darren Kuester, PRSD (Peace River School Division) Board Chair and Ward Three Trustee wishes to share with PRSD school communities that he will not be seeking re-election this fall during the 2021 School Trustee Elections. Kuester is currently serving his eleventh year on the board and also served four years in the mid-nineties as Ward Three Trustee (Weberville, Dixonville, Deadwood, Manning and Hawk Hills).  

"The decision to step down from the board was a difficult one, and I thought about it for a very long time" says Kuester. "But I have some priorities in my life right now that I want to dedicate my time to, which includes my four grandchildren and a small expansion to my farming business."

When asked about the characteristics of a successful trustee, Kuester shared the importance of being passionate about making a difference in student's lives.

"School board trustees are passionate about doing what is best for kids" says Kuester.  "You need to be diplomatic and have the ability to listen, and you do not need certain levels of education to be a trustee. A variety of trustees from all backgrounds makes for a diverse board and this allows for different points of view, which is crucial to serving our school communtiies effectively.”

"The best advice I can give a new trustee is to listen to the people around you, do the best you can do, and do not be afraid to ask for help or advice. I am a huge advocate for locally elected school board trustees and am always open to have a conversation with anyone who may be interested in running to serve as a trustee."

Interested individuals can find Kuester's contact information, along with general information regarding school trustee elections on the PRSD website at prsd.ab.ca.

The time commitment involved in trusteeship includes attending monthly regular board meetings and at least one other committee meeting per month. Other tasks beyond regular meetings are the expectation to participate in school council meetings within each trustee's ward, and the expectation that trustees are prominent and available to members of the communities they serve.

"On average, trustees need to be able to commit approximately eight days per month in which they could easily fulfill trustee expectations" says Kuester. "Some of those days may not be during traditional working hours as some are evening meetings."

School Board trustees receive an honorarium for attending meetings and are offered a health benefit plan.  

When asked what Kuester has found most rewarding about being on the board, he shared his gratitude for connecting with students and seeing the overall success in the division over the years.   

"The relationships formed while on the board, and seeing all the improvements in PRSD has been extremely rewarding" says Kuester. "Connecting with students and hearing their ideas and input has been amazing and is always a highlight for me. The quality of conversation and ideas that come from our students has been incredible. The maturity beyond their years is amazing and, I feel that the future is in good hands with the young people coming through our school system."

PRSD extends deep gratitude to Kuester for his service and dedication to students, staff, families and communities over the years.

"Darren provides exceptional leadership as the board chairman and as Ward three trustee" says Superintendent Adam Murray. "His commitment to ensuring students are provided with the best educational opportunities possible has a far-reaching impact in the lives of students, families, staff and communities" says Murray. "Under his leadership, PRSD has experienced continuous growth and improvement, and we are very grateful for his long-standing service and dedication to PRSD."

Individuals interested in School Trusteeship are encouraged to visit PRSD's election information on their website at prsd.ab.ca/board-of-trustees. Nomination papers must be received at PRSD Central Operations located in Grimshaw on or before noon on September 20, 2021.

Sep 1, 2021

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