Leadership and Experience

Responsible financial management

Education can always use more resources, but it is crucial to wisely manage the resources we have. In 2012, the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) had the largest operating deficit in the province. In 2017, the District had the largest operating surplus in the province, thanks to the hard work of administration and staff.  This surplus has opened up numerous possibilities.  One of the most valuable is the Equity Fund, established by the current Board of Trustees.  This fund allows for schools in the District with high needs to access funds for additional support for students than was previously available.

In spite of this improvement in the financial position of EPSB, the District will face tough financial decisions. I have the experience to make those decisions in a way that maximizes the benefit to students.

Creative solutions to challenges

In spite of the Edmonton Public Schools’ improved financial position, the  huge challenge of an infrastructure deficit remains.  The challenge is two pronged, with a need for new schools in new communities and the maintenance of aging school buildings in mature neighbourhoods.

With the majority of schools in our District over 60 years old, the status quo is not an option. A study is currently underway, in cooperation with the Province, to determine the amount of the actual maintenance deficit at EPSB.  While the results are not in, the total cost is no small amount with projections of between  $400 Million and one Billion dollars to renew all our aging school buildings.

While great strides have been made with the provincial funding of 14 new schools in new neighbourhoods and one replacement school in a mature neighbourhood, a lot of work remains to be done.

During my tenure as Trustee I led the establishment of the Trustee Infrastructure Committee and have been a sitting member since its inception.

I have the ability to work with all levels of government, administration and the public sector to move these files forward, to change the paradigm on school infrastructure, and create lasting solutions to our District’s infrastructure challenges.

Focused on preparing children for their future

There is one phrase I often hear in k-12 education that I wish wasn’t used: “We need to get them [students] over the finish line.” While I appreciate the need to have students graduate, it shows the challenge all educators have with looking at education primarily from a teacher’s perspective.

But, I know as a parent and grandparent I know that a student’s k-12 education should be about more than just graduating.  We need to provide children with the basic skills to: become contributing members of the community; pursue post-secondary education and career opportunities; have fulfilling lives as adults.

I prefer the phrase, “We are getting students to the starting line of the rest of their life.” Since becoming a Trustee I am very pleased to report that the District has launched our initiative of Career Pathways.

I have the business experience to bring a perspective about life outside of education.

Emergent issues in Education

It’s safe to say that the world is getting more complex and the challenges facing children as they develop into adulthood are also getting more complex.  The question is how do we provide all our children with the best opportunity to be successful.

It is imperative that as a District we do not accept the status quo to solve ever-changing challenges. From basic math skills to numeracy and complex problem solving, from spelling and grammar to nuanced communications, from world history to multiculturalism and from personal resilience to community membership and more, the solutions are not simple nor static.

I have the leadership experience, from being a publisher and business owner, to pursue change without losing that which makes Edmonton Public Schools a great District.

Leadership — What others are saying about Orville

Ray Martin

Member of the Albert Legislature 1982 - 1993, 2004 - 2008
Leader of the Alberta NDP 1984 - 1994
Edmonton Public School Trustee 2001 - 2004, 2013 - 2017
NAIT Boar of Governors Chair 2016 - Present

I have gotten to know Orville quite well during our time together on the Board of Trustees and the Trustee Infrastructure Committee. Beyond his great sense of humour, he applies his keen insight into any number of issues and he is a passionate defender of education.

It would be fair to say that we don’t always agree on issues, but Orville has always been open and respectful in hearing my and other’s point of view. From time to time I have even been able to show him the error of his ways and if not, we are always able to share a laugh about something later.

All in all, Orville has been an excellent Trustee and has represented his constituents with integrity and compassion. It was an honour to work with him.

Sheri Somerville

Executive Director,Citie Ballet
Governor, University of Alberta Board of Directors
Senator University of Alberta
Director, Edmonton Opera Board

When I reflect on the people in Edmonton who give selflessly of their time and their wisdom, one of the people I think of is Orville.

He is a champion of education, of children and a very good friend of the arts community.

Suzanne Trudel

Executive Director
Alberta Magazine Publishers Association

Orville has been an active member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. He currently serves on our Blue Box Committee which is addressing changes to recycling that could have huge implications on the long-term viability of the publishing industry in our province.
Orville’s strong understanding of government and his considerable expertise and insight have been a valuable asset to the Association and all its members.

Vlad Eshenko

Retired Principal and Educator
Thirty-two Years with Edmonton Public Schools
University Facilitator at University of Alberta and Concordia University
Field Test Supervisor, Alberta Education

I believe a trustee is a person who must plan for the future of education, keeping a delicate balance between the best of the new while not forgetting the excellence of the past.

It is indeed rare to find these qualities in a single person, and that is why I give my total support to Orville Chubb, a person who exemplifies all of these values for education with our students and the stakeholders in the Edmonton community.