By Andrew Ehrkamp
News Editor

Dan Posa says he’s frustrated by the dissension and infighting among Edmonton Catholic Schools trustees.

But instead of complaining, he’s decided to do something about it: He’s running for school board trustee himself.

“I feel I have a particular skill set and I want to use it for the good of Catholic education,” said Posa, a business executive and former teacher who is running for election in Ward 72 in northeast Edmonton.

“I was reading about the board and I had great concern. If I don’t step forward, who will step forward?”

Among Posa’s goals are strengthening the Catholic faith as a foundation for students, directing more education dollars back into the classroom and expanding the use of technology in schools.

On top of his list, however, is representing the Edmonton Catholic School District in a positive light after controversies last year including gender identity, trustee expenses, and the role of faith in schools.

“I can come in and provide calm, reflective leadership and governance. Trustees should be positive advocates for Catholic education,” said Posa.

“The board needs to speak with one voice for Catholic education. Trustees need to lead together. They are supposed to be modelling Catholic behaviour.”

Posa noted that he has experience working with large, diverse organizations. He’s been a business manager with Edmonton Public Schools, president of the Lago Lindo Community League, and vice-president of the Edmonton Apartment Association – now the Alberta Residential Landlord Association.

This is the second time Posa, an apartment laundry industry executive with Coinamatic Canada, has run for election as a trustee. Four years ago, he lost to the incumbent Larry Kowalczyk, who is retiring this year.

“I feel that being a trustee is furthering interest in spirituality,” Posa said. “One of the great things of the Edmonton Catholic School District is its spiritual foundation. My own kids are benefiting from this.”

Posa’s two daughters attend Archbishop O’Leary and St. Edmund schools, and he and his family are members of St. Charles Parish.

He said he has “no interest” in seeing a single “monolithic” school system in Alberta and, as a trustee, he plans to do all that he can to strengthen the Catholic school system.

“Having the two systems gives people choices, and choices are better than no choices.”

Posa did warn that continued instability on the Edmonton Catholic school board could lead to the provincial government stepping in.

“If we’re not careful, we’re one step further away from Catholic education.”

In the classroom, Posa would like to see a greater emphasis on “back to basics math,” financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills. Although he can’t make changes to the curriculum as a school trustee, Posa said he can “influence and communicate effectively with the province.”

He also said he wants to ensure teachers have the resources they need, especially for special education.

At the board level, Posa expects trustees will face a big decision in the future: Hiring a new superintendent when Joan Carr retires. He said his business experience in hiring and training, conflict resolution and negotiation will help.

“I can provide calm governance to the board. I will work with the board, not against it.”

Posa admits that if he wins election on Oct. 16, he’d be only one voice on board, but he said he would be effective.

“One person can provide a positive influence. I have a different take, and I can make a difference.”

More information is available on Posa’s website, www.danposa.com.

The deadline for nominations in the upcoming school and municipal elections is Sept. 18.

For more information on running for election as a Catholic school trustee, download the ACSTA Trustee Handbook.