By Al Bieber on October 5, 2021.
He spent more than 35 years teaching and now Dan Leis wants to give back to the community as a trustee for the Lethbridge School Division.
A relative newcomer to Lethbridge, who along with his wife retired to the city three years ago, Leis knows he is lacking name recognition here.
But the Medicine Hat native who spent 26 years teaching and coaching sports in Hinton, knows the education system well after working in four different school divisions during his career.
“I’m running to give back to the community and give back to Alberta,” said Leis, whose wife was born in southern Alberta.
His slogan is “It’s all about the kids,” and the grandfather knows all about them after teaching grades 1-12 in his long career while also coaching sports such as basketball, badminton, golf and rugby.
His first priority if elected will be to see that support is provided to everyone in the school system from students to staff who have suffered from the impacts of COVID-19.
“That’s No. 1 as far as I’m concerned,” said Leis recently, speaking of the social, educational, psychological and behavioural issues that have impacted people since the pandemic.
“We need the services in place to deal with this.”
Leis also believes trustees have an obligation to listen to everyone about education from parents to teachers to the general public.
“Everyone is a stakeholder,” said Leis, adding his voice will be a different one due to the fact he hasn’t lived here long as well as his varied experiences and knowledge that he can bring to the board.
Leis says the proposed new school curriculum “has to go. It has to stop and it has to be redone.” He says different people need to be involved in the development of a new curriculum that preferably will address the diversity of Albertans and provide a voice to Indigenous and Francophone populations. He says it also needs to be age-appropriate.
“There are a lot of deficiencies and it needs to be started again,” said Leis who is advocating a moratorium being put on the UCP proposed curriculum.
Leis also wants funding to school divisions increased, saying with inflation funding might be decreasing.
He also suggests that city transit be used to transport students to high schools if those routes are on school routes. He said this approach to student transportation is used successfully in some parts of Edmonton and feels it could be tried here.
As long as COVID is a problem, he supports whatever needs to be done to keep students and school staff safe.
“It’s all about the kids and we want the kids to be in school.”
Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter.
Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter