Charmaine Toews has announced that she will be putting her name forward on the ballot for Ward 2 in the Hanover School Division for the position of School Trustee. Having grown up in the Blumenort area, and now residing in Mitchell for the past 10 years, Toews is strongly invested in the community and the schools within this ward.

Charmaine Toews has been active on the Parent Advisory Councils for the last eight years in the schools her children attended. She has served as Treasurer and Secretary on the Mitchell Elementary School PAC and Treasurer and Chair of the Mitchell Middle School PAC. She also has served as Secretary on the SRSS PAC. While serving on these councils she has participated in fundraisers for outdoor classrooms, trees for the school yard, lighting gear for school concerts, and playground equipment. She has shown appreciation to the staff at these schools through meals and provided feedback to the principals regarding school specific policies. She attended numerous Board-PAC liaison meetings hosted by the Hanover School Division.

“I enjoyed participating in the parent advisory councils alongside other parents and being able to stay informed about the activities, challenges, and accomplishments for each school,” says Toews. “Hearing updates from the principals, and holding fundraisers for school needs that fall outside of the school budget, has been very rewarding. The administration appreciates parental input when policies are being made and instituted, and I was always thankful to have the opportunity to have my voice heard in the schools.”

In addition to her involvement in these schools, Charmaine Toews has earned board experience by volunteering for the Regional and National Board of Directors for the Professional Photographers of Canada. As Treasurer for the National Association for 4 years she created budgets, developed creative ways to weather the financial challenges of the not-for-profit association, and worked with regional boards to finance capital projects for the association. To help her in her role on the board she also attended governance seminars provided by Volunteer Manitoba.

As a small business owner and community volunteer, Charmaine believes that she has a strong desire to give back to her community and ensure that Hanover School Division continues to strive for excellence in the education it provides to all students.

“I am passionate about education and the responsibility that our education system has to prepare students for post-secondary schooling and for entering the workforce,” added Toews. “My goals as School Trustee are to be present and available to parents and all taxpayers to listen to what they want from the school division. The policies of Hanover School Division should reflect the values of our community and what is best for all students. I also have a strong desire to ensure that the budget reflects the priorities of parents, students, and taxpayers and there is transparency to all stakeholders in accounting for divisional spending.”

Charmaine notes that she would like to see Hanover School Division collaborating and developing a good working relationship with local municipalities and the provincial government. She also wants to ensure that the best candidates are selected for roles of leadership in the schools and on the administration.

“Strong leadership in the schools is the most critical ingredient for healthy, positive school culture,” said Toews. “Good leadership filters down to the teachers and support staff and the parents need to trust that the principal understands and is available to listen to what is important to them and their children.”