There will be a very experienced trustee and a new board member for the Estevan city seats on the Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division’s board.
Karen Melle is a veteran trustee who has been part of Catholic education boards, first with the Estevan Catholic board and then with Holy Family after Estevan merged into Holy Family early in the century. Beckey Franke is entering her first term on the board, but has plenty of enthusiasm for the post.
Melle said these are some interesting times for Holy Family with COVID-19, but she sees other issues, including the adjustments to 21st century learning.
She sees several issues that need to be tackled. The schools are getting older, with the future of Estevan’s two Catholic schools – St. Mary’s School and Sacred Heart School/École SacréCoeur, discussed at a public meeting in January. Melle expects it will be talked about at meetings going forward.
Numbers, both for enrolment and finances, also always have to be considered.
Also in the background is the lingering concern over a court decision in Theodore several years that would affect which school parents can send their parents.
Melle said she is looking forward to working with new people on the Holy Family board.
“I’m going to miss the other two Estevan cohorts (city representative Bev Hickie and rural representative Bob Cossette). Travelling with them all of the time was very good, but the new faces are going to be welcomed as well,” said Melle.
Franke said she was encouraged to run by her husband Randy, who was approached by someone about running. After thinking and praying about the decision, she decided to file nomination papers for the city seat.
“This is a whole new experience for me. I have not ever been on this side of things. My kids have gone to Catholic school and we’re involved in the parish and the church, so it’s going to be a bit of a learning curve for me, and trying to see how things roll and run for a while.”
When her children were growing up, she wasn’t on the school community councils or the home and school boards, but she’s excited for this new venture.
“I’m very interested in learning about it, and seeing how it works, and if I can help in any way, which I’m hoping to, the idea of doing it and getting into it and being involved is exciting for me,” said Franke.
She expects she will lean on the experience of her fellow Holy Family trustees at first, and she is interested to see how Holy Family brings faith, family and school together for all of the division’s families, while keeping everyone working together.