After six years on the Edmonton Catholic board of trustees representing Ward 71 in northwest Edmonton, Becky Kallal is calling it quits.
Kallal, who has been serving as chair of the board for the past year, said she won't run for re-election in the October municipal election. She is so far the only known trustee to be officially out of the race.
"I really feel that I gave it my all; I really worked hard to be a good trustee and in the past year a good chair (of the board)," she said in a recent interview.
"I prayed on this decision and the last two times that I ran, I really felt strongly that I should run. This time I didn't hear that call. So I feel maybe that two terms is enough."
Kallal enjoyed her work as a trustee and said her experience with Edmonton Catholic School has been positive. "It's really been very affirming and gives me great hope for the future."
In the interview, she said she learned "a lot" in the past six years. "The first thing that I learned, which is just striking to me, is that Catholic values are alive and well in our district. The Catholic values permeate everything."
Kallal said everyone involved in the school takes a personal interest in the students.
"Our administrators, our principals, our senior people, our teachers and our staff they really, really work to bring Catholic values to the classroom and to the students," she said.
"I'm just so impressed. The longer I was on the board the more impressed I was at this. And our superintendent and senior people are visionaries who can just envision things for the entire district. Really, really is amazing."
Another thing that Kallal learned is that parents have a passion for everything to do with their children's education.
"When you look at things like program changes, school closures or things like that parents are really, really passionate.
"This is one reason why it is so difficult for school boards to make really sound decisions; we have to consider all the aspects of an issue really carefully and we cannot neglect the passion of the parents."
Added Kallal: "I learned that there is no issue that has just one side and you need to be open to all the information, including input of parents. You have to be open as a trustee to all the information that comes your way."