David Leahy: Incumbent wants to focus on Catholicity, more programs with MHCBE

·2 min read

David Leahy is hoping to be re-elected as a trustee for Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education in the upcoming election.

A retired educator who worked in the Catholic school system for nearly 30 years, Leahy notes he is passionate for education.

His own education includes a diploma of Applied Arts from SAIT, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Lethbridge, a Master of Arts degree in education leadership from San Diego State University and a diploma in Religious Professional Development from University of Lethbridge.

On completing his own education, Leahy went on to become a teacher. After 10 years, he became a school principle, and eventually became the superintendent of schools before retiring.

Leahy is actively involved in the community. He is a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus and the president of the Friends of McCoy Society. He was also a regular volunteer at the Salvation Army soup kitchen prior to the pandemic.

Leahy wants to continue serving his community through a trusteeship for the school board. He has an extensive platform which includes increasing the budget for Catholicity and expanding program options within the board.

"Currently, we have one staff member - the director of religious education - I think in a Catholic district, we should have more. So I am going to be promoting and advocating that we increase that budget," he said. "I would like to see a Chaplin be hired."

"Another important thing for me is the construction of a theatre and a physical literacy space at Monsignor McCoy. We are the only high school in Medicine Hat that doesn't have a theatre. [This has] created an uneven playing field in Medicine Hat," Leahy said. "The students at McCoy don't have the access to the kinds of facilities they would if they were in the public system."

Furthermore, Leahy would like to work with the province regarding Alberta's proposed curriculum changes. "We are due to for a curriculum rewrite in Alberta, but what the province came up with is highly inappropriate when it comes to developmental levels for students," said Leahy. "There's an overemphasis on basic skills. If I coach a team and I just work on basic skills, my team will probably be an average team. If you want to excel and expand and be able to be an independent thinker, you have to do more than just work on basic skills. You need to look at higher-level thinking and development of their intellect."

KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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