By Glen Argan
My decision to run for a position on the Edmonton Catholic school board did not come easily.
The idea first arose in my mind in the summer of 2016 when I was still the editor of the Western Catholic Reporter. The scathing report of consultant Donald Cummings about the dysfunction of the current board made me realize a new group of trustees was needed and that I should consider the possibility of running for the board.
In September, the WCR was abruptly shut down, and I turned my attention to completing my Master of Theology degree at Newman Theological College.
I vacillated considerably over the winter about whether to run, prayed to know God’s will and consulted with several people in the Catholic community. Everyone I consulted encouraged me to run. Still, it has never been a part of my plans to serve as a school trustee.
Nor am I an expert in the operations of Edmonton Catholic Schools. So, I consulted the website of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association to see what is required of a school trustee. The ACSTA summed up its description of a trustee with these words: “The Catholic school trustee plays an integral part in ensuring that Christ is the heart and soul of every Catholic school.”
That goal plays into themes of evangelization and building up a Catholic culture which I saw as my goal and the goal of the WCR during my nearly 30 years as editor. Society will be stronger and more just if Catholics live up to their baptismal calling. I came to see that serving as a Catholic trustee would be an extension of my involvement in the Catholic press which goes back to my childhood.
Further, in all the leadership roles I have assumed, my first order of business has been to instill harmony in the group I am leading. You cannot achieve anything unless every member is rowing in the same direction. The Edmonton Catholic board certainly needs trustees dedicated to strengthening its internal unity.
In the spring, the unanimity of my advisors and the realization that serving on the school board would fit neatly with my own life’s vocation finally got through to me. I decided to run.
I have been blessed with an excellent campaign team. Running for the Catholic school board is quite different than running for political office. There are more restrictions and fewer opportunities to meet your constituents. So far, we are handling it all quite nicely and hope our efforts will lead to victory.
I humbly ask for your vote on Monday, Oct. 16.
(Glen Argan is running for the Edmonton Catholic school board in Ward 75.)