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A fifth candidate has announced a bid for a seat on the Brandon School Division’s board of trustees, with Blaine Foley putting his name forward.
Foley announced his candidacy on Saturday in an email that cited his dedication toward flexible schooling to address a diverse student population.
He is running for one of three vacant positions in a November byelection.
Born and raised in Brandon, Foley is currently employed at the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, where he administers federal homeless strategy funding.
This gives him some insight into the world of school board trustees, he said, adding, "I’d be looking at different proposals and helping make the best decisions for the education system."
The needs of the school’s diverse student population would also be a key area of focus by Foley if elected. Included in this pledge is his promise to work toward enhancing bilingual education offered by the division.
Although not fully bilingual himself, he said it’s an important skill for students to gain.
"It allows students to have opportunities for both jobs and to travel and experience different cultures in a deeper way."
He also wants to see the Brandon School Division better promote partnerships with post-secondary institutions so Grade 12 students can get a stronger head start on furthering their education, and improved links with Brandon Transit.
Foley, 38, attended Meadows School and Vincent Massey High School before pursing post-secondary education, including a master of arts degree in public policy and administration at Carleton University. His bachelor’s degree is in economics.
He previously served on Brandon University’s board of governors. His young daughter is not yet of school age.
Foley’s campaign will include the installation of some signs and posting his platform on the school division’s website alongside those of other candidates.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said he will not be partaking in door-knocking.
Breeanna Sieklicki, Jason Gobeil, Brock McEwing and Jason Splett are also running for the three vacancies on the Brandon School Division board of trustees.
The deadline for nominations was Sept. 25.
The seats were vacated by trustees Kevan Sumner, Stephen Montague and Peter Bartlette. The most recent departure is Bartlette, whose last day is this Wednesday.
This brings the number of trustees down from nine to six, which means that if more than one person fails to attend a meeting, they are unable to make their quorum of five.
A byelection was originally scheduled to be held in May but was postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new byelection is set to take place some time in November.
» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB
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