May 28th, 2024

Purcell in new role as school board chair

By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on December 8, 2021.

Allison Purcell

As she takes over the role of Lethbridge School Division chair, keeping the lines of communication open is paramount to Allison Purcell.
At last month’s organizational meeting, Purcell was named Chair, while Christine Light was named vice-chair as the board also determined its committee appointments for the 2021/2022 school year.
“I’m excited and I’m certainly proud to be able to have the role of chair,” said Purcell. “I definitely feel that I bring experience and knowledge of good governance and ensuring we have a leader that can ensure we make progress in the direction that we as a board want to go. I’m really proud to be able to be that leader that was chosen to be able to guide the board in that way.”
It’s been about a month-and-half since the Lethbridge School Division board was named following the municipal election in October.
“We definitely have a very diverse board,” said Purcell. “I think it’s really looking at the commonalities and how we can come together with those commonalities and ensuring that we’re still listening to the community. I think the majority of us ran on that open communication and accountability and making sure we honour that. We’ve heard so much from our community about community engagement and just looking at ways as a board that we can be sure that engagement opportunities are there for the open community as well as the community we serve in the sense of our students, teachers and our parent community as well. It really is about ensuring people feel that that open communication is there and working together with the diverse perspectives we have and looking at the commonalities.”
Purcell said it’s been a busy past month as the new board gets settled in.
“But it’s been a good, busy month to view that learning piece with everybody, but really looking at where we have those commonalities and where our diversity can support us to move forward. I’m looking forward to where we’re going.”
Purcell is the mother of three children with disabilities.
“Two of my kids have autism and I did lots of work in that advocacy for them with the autism disability community.”
She is also a social worker by trade
“That’s my background and once I realized there is a lot of room for advocacy, I was on the Alberta School Council Association as a board member and as a provincial representation of the parents’ voice for education.”
She was elected for two terms for a total of four years as the president.
“So I did four years as a board member and four years as president,” said Purcell.
Now, Purcell settles into her new role as Lethbridge School Division chair.
“Coming in February we have our council and I think that’s a great opportunity for us to look at that engagement piece and look at how we can review that information we gather from the community to form our strategic planning, which we have in March,” she said. “I think it’s really looking forward to the opportunities we have for engagement, to be able to hear from the people we’re here to serve and really looking forward to those opportunities that exist and how we listen to the people who have elected us.”

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