A byelection held March 9 saw the election of Lois Bedwell, who resides in Oyen and Lucille Hertz, who lives near New Brigden, becoming the representatives for Ward 1 at the PRSD board table.
Another new face around the table March 14 was Pam Cursons, who was acclaimed to represent Ward 4, which is the Redcliff, Ralston and Jenner areas.
Byelection results showed 847 votes were cast for four nominees in Ward 1.
Hertz received the most votes with 293 and Bedwell received 285. The other two candidates were Daryl Yake who received 141 votes and Jim Ness who received 128.
A byelection became necessary earlier this year when Christie Dick resigned from her Ward 1 seat in January due to moving out of the area. She acted as the sole representative out of a possible two seats for New Brigden, Bindloss, Acadia Valley and Oyen and their surrounding areas after the resignation of Patti Machell in February of 2015.
After the election, Bedwell said she is excited to start the work of representing the area as a school board trustee and the impending learning curve that will be involved.
Currently a librarian at an Oyen School, she took a leave of absence to run in the byelection. With a successful bid, she has now resigned from her school position, as per legislation.
While sad to be leaving her school librarian position, she is excited about the coming months and new challenges.
“I’m looking forward to my new role with Prairie Rose, although I am sad to be leaving my library role,” she adds.
She had already decided she would throw her name into the hat for the school board elections to be held this fall, and that retirement would be looming from her full-time job. The byelection just resulted in her timelines being moved forward. She described the campaign the past month as quiet, but was pleased with the “excellent” turnout for the vote.
Bedwell believes her role in the school means she can offer a different perspective at the board table since she has been working with students and school staff so closely the past 15 years and knows their perspectives.
Hertz, who Bedwell adds she is looking forward to working with, will also be able to offer up a different perspective around the board table as she had worked at New Brigden School as a custodian for more than 22 years and grew up in Oyen.
Prior to being elected, Hertz said she sees the northeast corner of the division as a vibrant area that is attracting younger families with children. Her interests are in seeing all children in the school division receive a quality education and she plans on representing everyone in her ward equally and fairly.
After the election and prior to sitting for her first official meeting March 14, Hertz said being elected is “very exciting” and she was pleased with the voter turnout in the ward.
“It’s going to be a brand new experience for me, so we’ll see how it goes,” she added.
All three new trustees took their oaths of office at the March 14 regular board meeting.