By Andrew Ehrkamp
News Editor

Kara Pelech has been a trustee with the Edmonton Catholic Schools before, so she knows how the board is supposed to work effectively…and when it doesn’t.

“For me it was very frustrating to watch what was going on with the past board,” said Pelech, a trustee from 2007 to 2010, who is running again in Ward 77 in southeast Edmonton.

“It’s perfectly fine to have disagreements, but once the vote is taken, the board should speak with one voice.”

Otherwise, Catholic education will continue to be under threat with the education minister stepping to take over a board that can’t govern itself effectively, said Pelech.

That cohesion is important in dealing with issues that Pelech expects will arise in the board’s next term, especially overcrowding at Holy Trinity Catholic High School in her ward, she said.

Even with the remodelling of the school, Pelech said the population exceeds the school’s capacity, and the next closest high school, Mother Margaret Mary, is 10 kilometres away.

“It’s not as accessible to students in Mill Woods,” said Pelech, chair of Holy Trinity’s parent council. “It’s good that the province is giving us money for schools, but we have to be careful.”

Pelech noted that the board must be transparent in the way it spends public dollars.

At the classroom level, Pelech noted that inclusive education is also an issue.

“I see that some improvements have been made; however, I hear from teachers who are still struggling with the inclusive educational environment,” Pelech said.

“We need to better support our teachers and our educational assistants by proper professional development and continue to advocate for better funding in the classroom.”

Pelech and her husband Alan have lived in Ward 77 for more than 30 years. Three of their four children are still in the Edmonton Catholic school system. Pelech is the past chair of St. Kateri School council, an active volunteer at St. Theresa and Corpus Christi parishes, and a member of the Catholic Women’s League.

Pelech noted that when she was a trustee, she served on several committees and advocated for supports for children with special needs, such as text-to-speech software for children with difficulties in literacy.

The other candidates in Ward 77 are incumbent Laura Thibert, and Kristin Heimbecker. The election will be held on Oct. 16.

More information on Pelech is available on her website,

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