This is an excerpt of an article originally printed in the Metro News.
The husband of the current Wards 8 and 9 Calgary Board of Education trustee and father of local MP said it was a natural succession for him to run for trustee in his wife’s place because public service is part of his DNA.
Richard Hehr father of Calgary Centre MP Kent Hehr, said he’ll be running in his wife Judy’s ward for school trustee in the October 16 election after his wife decided she wouldn’t be running this time around.
“I’ve got 41 years in public education and I’m tremendously interested,” he said. “I believe that public education is the cornerstone of democracy and so when Judy said she was sure she didn’t want to run I decided I would.”
Hehr said both his kids are graduates of the CBE and his three grandchildren currently attend them.
“We are clearly committed to public schools and I believe that local school boards can make a significant impact in ensuring the public education system is the best it can be,” he said.
According to Hehr the main focuses of his campaign will be the needs for more schools and the needs for improvements to many existing schools.
“Many issues in the board denote from the need for more schools and the needs for improvements to many of our schools,” he said. “That’s a focal point and that’s something that has to be pushed.”
Hehr said the priority for the government and the CBE has to be students of Calgary public schools.
“It’s not a cliché. They are the future, and they need to be prepared to meet that future with the best skills available,” he said.
Many of the other trustee candidates have called to remove “big money” from school board elections.
“I’m not sure what big money means,” he said. “I think if somebody offers me $100 to help in my campaign I’m going to take it. If a union wants to give me a donation I’ll accept it. If they think that buys me as an individual that’s unfair to me.”
Hehr said public education is part of who he is.
“I was a teacher, I was an administrator, I served as president of Calgary Public Teachers and I served as executive assistant for Calgary Public Teachers for the last 10 years of my career,” he said. “Calgary public has been the focus of my career for the last 30 years.”