By Andrew Ehrkamp
News Editor

For Michelle Szott, her overriding goal as a trustee is to promote Catholic education – and that’s become an increasingly challenging task.

“It’s the biggest issue: that we have a right to choice in this province, and that’s under threat,” said Szott, who is running for re-election on Oct. 16 after completing her first term on the board of Elk Island Catholic Schools.

“The first people to bring education as a whole to Alberta were the nuns. If you took the system to its granular level, then you take it back to where it started – the Catholic education system.”

Szott said it’s important to communicate pride in Catholic schools, and she will continue to do that if she’s re-elected. “I will speak truth about the wonderful gift publicly funded Catholic education is, and the overarching benefits it brings to our students, who are future leaders.”

As a trustee, Szott hopes to continue to communicate Elk Island Catholic’s successes and to increase the engagement between the home, parish, and school communities.

“Mine is a hands-on approach, one that I believe is wanted by the community. I have thoroughly enjoyed working for and with our Strathcona County students and families to ensure the best Catholic education possible. It’s important work that needs to continue. That is why I am running again.”

Szott said she’s enjoyed attending the schools’ various functions, celebrations, and school council meetings over the past four years in an effort to engage with parents and celebrate students.

“I have great appreciation and respect for the parents who choose to get involved in their child’s school,” she said. “That level of involvement makes the world of difference for the child and supports the teachers in their job of educating.”

Szott said her own involvement with volunteer ministries at her home parish, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sherwood Park, continues to enrich her faith journey “tremendously.” She is married with three sons, all graduates of Elk Island Catholic Schools. Her youngest son hopes to teach in the Elk Island Catholic school system after he graduates from Concordia University in Edmonton.

The school board and municipal elections will be held on Oct. 16. Szott can be contacted at michelleszott@gmail.com.

For more profiles of trustee candidates across the Archdiocese, visit our 2017 Election Page.