Raymond Biberdorf has always rooted for young people.
It’s why he became a teacher, then a school trustee and now the newly minted chairman of the Creighton school board.
“I love to see students succeed,” says Biberdorf. “Some of my former students now own body shops. Some are engineers. Not all because of me, of course. Everybody had a little input.”
A former Co-op service station manager, Biberdorf taught vocational education to Flin Flon high school students in the 1990s and 2000s before retiring.
Drawn to the policy-setting aspect of education, he joined the Creighton school board in 1994. Since he taught for another school division, he was allowed the rare opportunity to sit as a school trustee while simultaneously working as a teacher.
“Education has been a big interest in my life,” he says.
For the first time in his 22-year trusteeship, Biberdorf became board chairman last week following a secret-ballot vote among trustees. Donna Ferguson, a former Flin Flon school trustee and a newcomer to the Creighton board, is vice-chairwoman.
Biberdorf believes exciting times lay ahead for Creighton Community School, the lone school governed by he and the board.
“As far as I’m concerned, we have a good school, we have good teachers, we have good administration staff,” he says.
But there is also some uncertainty. The Saskatchewan government is talking about what it calls “transformational change,” a policy approach that could reduce the number of school divisions and funding for education, though it’s unclear whether Creighton would be impacted.
Joining Biberdorf and Ferguson on the newly elected Creighton school board are former trustee Terry Brown, Dawna Rudd and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation representative Hermeline Fagnan.
“I feel we have a good board,” says Biberdorf.
In his role as trustee, Biberdorf previously sat on the Pahkisimon
Nuye-áh Library System board and currently sits on the board for Northern Teacher Education Program (NORTEP) / Northern Professional Access Program (NORPAC).
Biberdorf says NORTEP / NORPAC is due to lose provincial funding as of July 31, 2017, but other arrangements are being made to ensure the organization’s survival.