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Education

Red Deer Public Schools name new Superintendent

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Superintendent Red Deer Public Schools

From Red Deer Public Schools

Board names its next Superintendent of Schools

The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Chad Erickson as Superintendent of Schools effective August 5, 2020. Mr. Erickson will take over from Stu Henry who is retiring after a 33 years career in education and having served the division as Superintendent for the last five years. Prior to that, Mr. Henry served Red Deer Public as Deputy Superintendent and as principal at Eastview Middle School.

Currently Associate Superintendent – Student Services, Mr.
Erickson has been a teacher and administrator for 23 years.
Erickson joined Red Deer Public Schools in 2005 as Vice
Principal at Oriole Park School and then became Principal of
the Alternative School Centre in 2009 prior to joining the
Division’s Senior Admin team five years ago. Mr. Erickson received his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta as well as a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Portland.

“Mr. Erickson is an exceptional and respected leader who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of Superintendent”, said Board Chair, Nicole Buchanan. “The Board conducted an extensive search and considered options in selecting the next Superintendent. The Board felt that Mr. Erickson will provide strong valued leadership to Red Deer Public Schools while bringing continuity and stability to the district.”

“When embarking on the Superintendent search, the Board of Trustees, through consultations with our stakeholders, identified the key attributes it was seeking in its next leader,” said Chair Buchanan. “We have confidence our new superintendent will:

  •   build strong collaborative relationships and partnerships throughout the district, in our community, and with government
  •   provide strong, trustworthy, and visionary leadership in potentially challenging years ahead
  •   ensure a continued focus on student and staff wellness / resilience
  •   ensure our district focus on equity and inclusion continues to thrive
  •   ensure quality educational practice throughout the district to support our pillars of

    numeracy & literacy, equity, and student success and completion

“It’s an honour to serve in this role and I appreciate the confidence the Board has demonstrated in me,” said Erickson. “I welcome the opportunity to continue the great work our division has undertaken to best meet the needs of our students. We have an outstanding and committed staff with tremendous support from parents and the community to provide great learning opportunities for students”, said Erickson. “The opportunity to work with teachers, support staff and community partners to best meet the needs of all learners is exciting. Red Deer Public’s reputation to respond to the unique needs of students is outstanding. We have great opportunities to ensure students succeed and reach their full potential.

“Chad is an outstanding leader who is committed to meeting the needs of each student. He is a known champion for excellence in instruction, inclusion as well as mental health and wellness that ensures student needs are met and they achieve their full potential,” said current Superintendent Stu Henry.

“Stu Henry has provided incredible leadership to Red Deer Public Schools and is highly respected as Superintendent across the district and beyond. He has positioned the District well, as a strong and passionate champion for public education and our priorities on Literacy and Numeracy, Equity, Student success and Completion”, said Chair Buchanan.

Henry and his wife Trudy, who recently retired as a principal in Chinook’s Edge School Division, plan to stay in Red Deer and be active in the community.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Health Cafe Feb. 22: Arthritis – Move it or Lose it

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Learn ways to improve your ability to move and decrease your arthritis pain. Learn more about medication, bracing, injections, and functional fitness in this informative and interactive 45-minute session.

Presenters: Jeff Kopp, Recreation Therapist and Dr. Nav Ratttan, Red Deer PCN Family Physician.

Tune into Facebook Live at Red Deer Public Library Facebook page for this program.

This is one of a series of health-related programs co-sponsored by the Red Deer PCN and the Red Deer Library.

Watch for others in the series.

Click here to get the link to the Red Deer public Library Facebook Live event.

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Alberta

Where Iron and Earth Meet – Oil & Gas Workers for Renewable Energy

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Iron and Earth is a Canadian non-profit organization led by oilsands workers who advocate for a balanced approach towards a green energy transition. The organization was founded in 2015 during the economic crisis that led to the termination of thousands of oil and gas workers nationwide. It began as a collective of boots-on-the-ground employees who had experienced the hard times brought on by the boom-bust nature of the oil and gas industry, and wanted to be a part of the movement to diversify and build resilience in Canada.

According to the Iron and Earth mission statement, Where Iron and Earth Meet, “There’s a place for the oilsands, and there’s a place for renewable energy. The intention is not to shut down the oilsands, but to see they are managed more sustainably while developing our renewable energy resources more ambitiously.” 

Dialogues surrounding sustainability and diversification often place renewable energy alternatives at odds with the oil and gas industry, with little room for productive discussion. Iron and Earth provides a platform for oilsands workers, business owners, non-profits, politicians and consumers to meet at the same table and collaborate effectively to build a more sustainable future for all Canadians. Rather than contribute to divisive narratives that position oil and gas and renewable energy as mutually exclusive industries, Iron and Earth advocates for a balanced approach towards diversification, sustainability and a renewable transition.

“Iron and Earth is proof of the dichotomy of people working in the oil and gas industry who care about the environment very, very much,” says Bruce Wilson, board member for Iron and Earth. “There is a diverse array of political affiliations and backgrounds within the organization, from individuals presently working in oil and gas to those who have recently transitioned, to those who have never worked in the industry at all.” Wilson joined Iron and Earth in 2018 after more than 30 years in the oil and gas industry, including 17 years with Shell International. 

By focusing on industry overlaps, Iron and Earth highlights the ways in which fossil fuels and renewable energy can be beneficial, reinforcing sectors that can produce positive outcomes for the Canadian workforce and the global climate crisis. “Fortunately for many of the workers who are affected by the ongoing boom and bust cycles of the oilsands, many renewable energy jobs require the same skills and tradespeople that are currently working in the Canadian oil and gas industry” (1).

Iron and Earth streamlines the transfer of skills between industries by offering a number of programs and resources to support workers seeking to transition away from fossil fuels into renewable energy.  This includes offering training, classroom education, and hands-on experience to broaden the understanding of industry overlaps that will aid oil and gas workers in finding their fit in clean technology.

These processes and resources operate with respect to the reality that transitions away from oil and gas into renewables can be a daunting and difficult process for many. Former Canadian oil and gas worker and current Iron and Earth spokesperson, Nick Kendrick, came to Iron and Earth in 2018 after reaching a fork in the road in his own career path. After 5 years in oil and gas, Kendrick was faced with the employment insecurity many workers in the Canadian oil and gas industry are familiar with. “When I started in oil and gas, prices were booming,” he says, “but by the time I got up north, the industry was struggling. People were getting laid off, and I realized it might be time to make a move.” 

Kendrick made the decision to return to school at the University of Calgary, where he pursued a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Energy. It was there he connected with Iron and Earth for his capstone project, where he facilitated the drafting of a strategic path forward for the organization. This included mapping out geographic locations that offered the most opportunity to deliver impactful training workshops and support upcoming renewable energy projects, as well as encourage Indigenous participation.
“Leaving oil and gas for renewables is a very scary thing, especially in Alberta,” says Kendrick, “I admire how Iron and Earth’s approach is not to completely abandon the oilsands. They’ve been very foundational for Canada, but they’re not sustainable. It’s time to help each other progress onto something new.”

In September 2020, Iron and Earth unveiled their Prosperous Transition Plan, framing the future for Canada’s green transition. The Prosperous Transition Plan boldly calls on the Trudeau Government to invest $110 billion over the next decade into a green recovery for Canada. The plan highlights four focal points of the Canadian economy: workforce, business, infrastructure and environment. With an emphasis on repurposing oil and gas infrastructure and getting people back to work, Iron and Earth’s Prosperous Transition Plan focuses on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, decarbonizing the economy and addressing inequality to ensure a prosperous future. 

With more than 1000 active members across Canada from a variety of industrial trades, Iron and Earth is continually expanding and advocating for ethical, legitimate solutions to facilitate Canada’s transition to renewable energy. “These are not utopian suggestions,” says Wilson, “they are pragmatic solutions that require purposeful, ambitious action from the government … Change and thrive is the business model for the future.”

To learn more about Iron and Earth’s mission and Prosperous Transition Plan, visit https://www.ironandearth.org

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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january, 2021

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