Board of Directors

ASCA Board of Directors 2018 - 2019

Front (left to right) Hollie Tarasewich, Brandi Rai (Vice President), Allison Pike (President), Judy Ducharme. Back Row - Rick Sakundiak, Lorna Spargo, Shelley Odishaw, Stacy Bellerose, Lisa Arlint, Jaelene Tweedle, Jacquie Surgenor, John Tomkinson.

Front (left to right) Hollie Tarasewich, Brandi Rai (Vice President), Allison Pike (President), Judy Ducharme. Back Row - Rick Sakundiak, Lorna Spargo, Shelley Odishaw, Stacy Bellerose, Lisa Arlint, Jaelene Tweedle, Jacquie Surgenor, John Tomkinson.

For information about current volunteer opportunities with the ASCA Board of Directors, please contact the Nominations Committee Chair at parents@albertaschoolcouncils.ca

Election of the Board of Directors takes place at the Annual General Meeting each April.

Click for information on "being a Board member" and the ASCA nominations procedures.

President Allison Pike, Lethbridge

"I get to meet so many people, from so many backgrounds, with so many stories. It is great to see the common ground and be able to work together for the betterment of ALL students in the province."

"I get to meet so many people, from so many backgrounds, with so many stories. It is great to see the common ground and be able to work together for the betterment of ALL students in the province."

president@albertaschoolcouncils.ca

Allison wishes all students in the province are able to reach their full potential and have the supports to do so. She strongly believes that when supports are in place in the classroom - all students will benefit, as well as the teacher.

Allison lives in Lethbridge with her husband Duane and three children. She has been involved in education since her stepdaughter started school (over 20 years ago). 

An active volunteer since her youth, Allison currently volunteers with many autism groups and school/community committees. She works as a Regional Coordinator for AMA School Safety Patrol covering all of southern Alberta. She and her husband also run a small business part time.

Attending ASCA conferences since 1997, Allison was elected as an ASCA Director in 2012, and delighted to be voted in as President at the AGM in 2016. Allison was re-elected at the 2018 AGM.

Vice President Brandi Rai, Edmonton

There are many perspectives and needs expressed by parents across the province and being able to connect with those parents through their school councils is a privilege for me.

There are many perspectives and needs expressed by parents across the province and being able to connect with those parents through their school councils is a privilege for me.

Brandi has a passion for public education – to ensure it prepares our children to be leaders in our world.

Married, with five children in grades 3 through 8, and many pets, Brandi lives in Edmonton. She has served as executive on three school councils, involved with fundraising societies, is a frequent school volunteer, with a lifelong goal of serving others.

She is drawn to ASCA’s support of school councils in the province because it ensures that all parents have the opportunity for engagement and the ability to determine their definition of effectiveness within their local communities.

Brandi attended her first ASCA AGM in 2014 and was elected as a Board Director at the 2016 AGM. She was elected Vice President at the 2018 AGM.

Director Lorna Spargo, Fort McMurray

While teachers and Administrators see our children's public face, we see their private one.  Only together can we see the whole child and help shape an authentic and meaningful education.

While teachers and Administrators see our children's public face, we see their private one. Only together can we see the whole child and help shape an authentic and meaningful education.

As a parent, Lorna believes her children's future impact on society is directly affected by the caliber of teaching they receive, and as a former teacher, believes that striving for excellence is vital.

Lorna is married to Patrick with three children, one in Ecole McTavish Junior High School, and one at Westwood Community High School in the Fort McMurray Public School District. Her oldest has started his first year of post-secondary at Keyano College.

She has been involved in school councils for over thirteen years, participates on the Fort McMurray Public District-wide school councils committee (Networks), and is a Children's writer.

Enjoying her sixth term as an ASCA Provincial Director, Lorna looks forward to contributing her voice on behalf of parents promoting excellence in Alberta’s public education system.

Director Judy Ducharme, Peace River

I wish that all children regardless of life situations have equal opportunity and access to education where all students succeed equally.

I wish that all children regardless of life situations have equal opportunity and access to education where all students succeed equally.

An active advocate for those who are silenced due to age, culture and/or disability, Judy encourages community and parental involvement with anyone she meets.

Proud to be a strong Aboriginal woman, she was born and raised in Fort Vermillion and now lives in Peace River with her children Dakota, Danica and Dawsyn.

Judy first became involved in school councils in 1995 and over the past 20 years has volunteered for various community organizations ranging from children’s services, regional library boards, victim services, head start programs, Girl Guides, youth mentorship programs, church groups and RCMP community action groups.

Dedicated to an energetic vocal role in the local, regional and provincial educational arena, Judy served previously as an ASCA board member in 2009, and is happy to be able to serve again.

Her heart lies with students of Aboriginal decent and those special children with difficulties unable to communicate their needs.

Director Jacquie Surgenor, Sherwood Park

It can be easy to forget about parents and what they can contribute to education and I wanted to work with an organization whose mission is to ensure the strength of that collective parent voice.

It can be easy to forget about parents and what they can contribute to education and I wanted to work with an organization whose mission is to ensure the strength of that collective parent voice.

Jacquie’s passion for education first led her to a teaching career, however, after her children started elementary school, her focus shifted to the important role parents play in their children’s education.

She currently chairs the Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) Committee of School Councils, as well as two local School Councils. She has also served on a variety of EIPS district committees including a parental engagement framework for the 3-Year Education plan and the elementary Communicating Student Learning committee. Jacquie lives in Sherwood Park and has three children aged 15, 12 and 9.

Director Hollie Tarasewich, Lethbridge

I believe every child has the right to a fair and equitable education in an environment that is safe, welcoming and respectful. As a parent, it is my responsibility to be the voice for those that cannot or will not speak.

I believe every child has the right to a fair and equitable education in an environment that is safe, welcoming and respectful. As a parent, it is my responsibility to be the voice for those that cannot or will not speak.

Hollie is originally from BC, but disappointed with public education in that province, moved to Lethbridge in 2012 with her husband Darin, and her two children, a son and daughter.

Involved with school councils for 12 years, Hollie has held every position there is. She was the District Parent Advisory Council Vice President and President for many years, a Director and Vice President for BCCPAC and involved on various district level committees. Hollie was a Ski Patroller for 10 years, as well as a first aid instructor and zone examiner.

Pleased to have been elected at her first ASCA AGM in 2016, Hollie believes that if she can in any way, lift up or give strength and support, and empower other parents to share and use their passion for a better public education system, then she will have done right by those that elected her.

Director Lisa Arlint, Grovedale

“I love learning about how parents can become more involved in their kids’ education.”

“I love learning about how parents can become more involved in their kids’ education.”

Lisa comes from the small community of Grovedale, population 500, located 25 km south of Grande Prairie.

She has lived there for 12 years with her husband Jason and two children – Mitchell, who is in grade 4, and Cara, who is in grade 2.

Lisa’s two passions are school and community. A proud hockey and figure skating mom, she has been a part of school council for four years, serving currently as chair, and previously, as vice chair for a year.

Recently forming a nonprofit society for the community – she is assisting with help that is needed in the community, such as providing emergency grocery gift cards and sponsoring a family at Christmas.

The 2017 conference was her second year attending. Enjoying meeting and talking to so many parents from different backgrounds, Lisa hopes to learn more about how parents can be involved in their kids’ education, and passing this knowledge along to others.

Director Rick Sakundiak, Sexsmith

“Seeing how a difference could be made with ASCA, I wanted to be a Director to contribute with a father’s perspective on the Board.”

“Seeing how a difference could be made with ASCA, I wanted to be a Director to contribute with a father’s perspective on the Board.”

Rick has six children, has been married for 29 years to Carmen, and lives in Sexsmith. Four of his children have graduated, two are still in high school, and he has one in Nursing School.

Rick has been involved with three school councils encompassing primary, middle and secondary schools and has been a Municipal Councilor for four terms.

A community volunteer in a variety of roles, including minor hockey and softball, Rick’s passion for public education is his belief that all youth deserve to have a fair and equal opportunity to graduate.

Rick ran for a Director position at his first ASCA conference and AGM in 2017, drawn to the ability to advocate for schools, education and youth - as the leaders of our tomorrow.

Director Shelley Odishaw, Red Deer

“I love helping at school when students are learning about plants, bugs and anything that takes them outside.”

“I love helping at school when students are learning about plants, bugs and anything that takes them outside.”

Shelley grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and loves the outdoors (especially sunny days ending in thunderstorms). She currently lives in Red Deer with her husband and two children, aged 13 and 9.

Shelley has been a volunteer in Red Deer Public since her oldest started school and an executive on school councils since her youngest started school. She volunteers with the Red Deer Public School Foundation - Bright Start Program, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the United Way and the Diabetes Association.

Being involved in school councils introduced her to people who are as passionate about education as she is.  Attending the ASCA conference for the first time in 2017, she became a Director to learn more about being a parent advocate and to encourage parents to be more engaged in their children’s education.

Director Stacy Bellerose, High Prairie

It is important to be a voice for change, not only for aboriginal children, but for all children.

It is important to be a voice for change, not only for aboriginal children, but for all children.

Stacy lives in East Prairie Metis Settlement and is the Council Chair at Hillview Elementary School. She is engaged to her best friend Gerald, and has five children (three boys, two girls) aged 2 to 11 years old.

An Education Advisor for her settlement, Stacy works at the Community Adult Learning Program (CALP) and Parent Link Centre, is a volunteer for the wellness committee and created the community garden in East Prairie.

Knowing the value of having an education, Stacy shares her passion to encourage kids to stay in school and inspire discouraged students and those that missed out on an education. She believes that you can always turn things around to reach the top – even if you have to start from the bottom - it is possible!

Looking to learn and incorporate more knowledge with her passion for public education, Stacy feels it is important to be a voice for change, not only for aboriginal children, but for all children. She looks forward to her new journey, bringing her unique perspective to contribute to the ASCA.

Director John Tomkinson, Wetaskiwin

Strong school council's support strong schools, which support strong student outcomes.

Strong school council's support strong schools, which support strong student outcomes.

Married with 8 children, 6 of which are currently enrolled in the Alberta K-12 education system, John has long been an advocate of parental involvement and the parental voice in education.

Residing in Wetaskiwin Alberta, John has been highly involved in his local school council, youth committees, and his local school Board as a past Trustee. Currently active as the Sacred Heart school council secretary, John is passionate about increased communication and partnerships in support of schools and local decision making.

To continue supporting local decision making and capacity building in education at the level where the biggest impact can be felt, John believes the parental choice in public education strengthens outcomes for students across the province.

Supporting parental involvement in public education through school councils, and ensuring that parental views and voices are heard in the public education system, is a natural fit for John. He is excited to share his experience with the ASCA.

Attending the ASCA AGM for many years in different capacities, John looks forward to working collaboratively with directors from varied backgrounds and different areas of the province to support the mission of the association.

Director Jaelene Tweedle, Red Deer

It is vitally important that we think of the needs of every student. My own children don’t benefit, when other student’s needs aren’t being met.

It is vitally important that we think of the needs of every student. My own children don’t benefit, when other student’s needs aren’t being met.

Jaelene grew up in the tiny village of Willingdon, where the school was the centre and the life of the community. She lives in Red Deer with her husband James and their three children ranging in age from 8 to 15 years old. Her children are currently in elementary, middle and high school, and Jaelene is involved at each school.

In addition to providing volunteer assistance to students in Literacy and Math at the middle school, she has served 5 years as chair of school councils, 3 years as vice chair for Citywide Council for Red Deer Public, is currently Chair of Citywide for Red Deer Public and also served on the Equity Committee for Hunting Hills High School for the last 2 years.

Jaelene believes strongly in parents playing a vital role in their child’s education and that a cooperative and respectful relationship between parents and teachers benefits students immensely. Concerned with the needs of all students, she hopes our entire schools, districts, and province can be a place where every child is valued, respected, and is given the best opportunities possible to thrive.