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Livingstone Range School Board elects new chair, vice-chair

Lacey Poytress

lori hodges

Lori Hodges

Two Fort Macleod trustees have the top jobs on Livingstone Range School Board.
Trustees elected Lori Hodges as chair Sept. 11 during the school board meeting at the G.R. Davis Administration Building in Fort Macleod.
“I will try and do my very best for all of you,” Hodges told trustees following the election. “We all make a really great team.”
Trustees also elected Lacey Poytress as vice-chair during their organizational meeting.
Trustees Hodges, Jim Burdett and Clara Yagos all put their names in to replace trustee Brad Toone as chair.
“It’s been a pleasure to serve the board,” said Toone, who received applause from trustees.
Toone, who did not seek re-election after chairing the school board the past four years, suggested Burdett not run for chairman due to a conflict of interest.
Burdett, whose son Anthony is employed by Livingstone Range School Division, refuted that claim.
Burdett said his son answers to Livingstone Range administration, not the school board chair.
Trustee Greg Long added that if trustees perceive a conflict of interest, they don’t have to vote for Burdett.
Burdett’s name remained on the ballot.
“I would like to be the chair because I think I can be a leader,” Burdett said in a brief campaign speech.
Burdett pointed to past experience as school board chair and trustee as evidence.
“I’m looking forward to the next two years and the things that we’re going to do,” Burdett said. “I would like to be the person to lead us down that path.”
Hodges said she gained valuable experience as vice-chair the past two years and on committees that she can apply in the top job.
“I work hard and I’m dedicated in supporting the board,” Hodges said. “I would love the opportunity to continue the great work that the board has done.”
Hodges has been a trustee for almost eight years.
“I’m passionate about what I do and I value us as a team,” Hodges added. “I have the time and I’m organized and committed to do what has to be done.”
Yagos said she thought long and hard before deciding to run for chair.
Yagos cited her experience as a trustee, as well as a teacher and school administrator as assets she would bring to the position. She has also served and chaired no-profit boards.
Knowledge of school division policy and parliamentary procedure are also assets Yagos would bring to the role of chair.
“I wouldn’t be here right now if I didn’t have a passion for doing this,” said Yagos, who is in her 11th year as trustee. “I still really, really enjoy this. I enjoy working with people and I can work in a collaborative way so everybody feels they have their say.”
Hodges was declared elected after associate superintendents Richard Feller and Chad Kuzyk counted the ballots.
Poytress and Burdett were candidates for vice-chair.
“I’d like to be part of the team and helping out any way I can,” Burdett said. “I believe I have the experience to do it.”
Poytress spoke of the growth and personal development she has experienced as a trustee and while serving on school board committees.
“As vice-chair I know that I can grow more,” Poytress said. “I have the time, I’m focused, I’m open-minded and reliable and I’m not afraid to speak up when we need to.”
“I really want to focus on creating a school division where admin wants to be, where teachers want to be, and where students can leave feeling prepared for the world.”
Poytress was declared elected after ballots were counted.

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