Black Gold School Division

780-955-6025

Board Member Profiles

Ward 1

(including the Village of Warburg and Town of Thorsby)

Michelle Martin

Contact
Michelle Martin
michelle.martin@blackgold.ca

Trustee Profile

Thank you for putting your trust in me as I represent Thorsby and Warburg over the next four years. We moved to Thorsby October of 2005 and have built our family and community ever since. My husband and I have four children who have all attended school in Thorsby.

Over the next four years I look forward to representing our communities and bringing forth any concerns and ideas. We are a rural community and a strong voice backed with facts will benefit us.

I’m excited to be a Trustee with Black Gold School Division to help provide the best education possible for all children. I will always do what’s best for all.

I’m my “other life” I’m am insurance broker. I’ve been in the industry for ten years and enjoy the challenges and constant learning that this industry provides. I enjoy reading, watching TV, camping, quadding and most recently kayaking.

I look forward to the next four years; please reach out if you ever want to talk.

Ward 2

(including the Town of Devon and the Town of Calmar)

Devonna Klaassen

Contact
Devonna Klaassen
devonna.klassen@blackgold.ca

Trustee Profile

I am a University of Alberta graduate, with a degree in psychology, and had a previous career as director of Edmonton’s 211 and Crisis Centre. I was first elected in 2017, and served the bulk of that term as Chair. I am passionate about the importance and value of education – both for our children and the community. I am committed to community engagement and communication, and believe in the strength of teamwork. I have also served on various committees at the provincial level, and have been elected as the Alberta School Boards Association Zone 2/3 Chair for the 2021-2023 term.

I am an enthusiastic life-long learner, active volunteer, and avid reader. I particularly enjoy reading research and best practice related to education, leadership, and governance and have completed a number of certificate courses in leadership and mental health and wellness.

As a parent myself, I have a vested interest, and I am profoundly passionate about supporting quality education, fostering the development of the whole child, and about providing and cultivating leadership. Now, more than ever, leadership, knowledge, and experience are critical for strong advocacy and governance in Education. I am self-motivated, hard-working, and eager to continue to serve as your voice to strengthen our education system – for today, and for the future. I am excited to work with this team, and to continue supporting the Black Gold family as we all work to Inspire Success.

Outside of trusteeship, I live in the Town of Devon with my husband and two children, where I frequent the stairs and river valley trails and love playing games and being active with my family. I also enjoy reading, camping, and preserving our memories in digital photo-books.

Ward 3

(including the City of Leduc)

Angie Charpentier, Vice Chair

Contact
Angie Charpentier
angie.charpentier@blackgold.ca

Trustee Profile

It is a privilege to be a trustee for Ward 3. I am looking forward to working with a strong team who believes in an all-inclusive environment and puts value in education for children and the community. I am passionate about creating an engaging learning environment that meet all children’s diverse learning needs and encouraging a child’s sense of belonging. I am a hard worker, motivator, diplomatic communicator, flexible thinker, and have a lot of positive energy to put towards students education.

My family has lived in the community for 20 years and has taken an active role in the community, including volunteer work and advocacy for children with special needs. I am a working mother of three children in the Black Gold School District; elementary, junior high, and high school. My Professional Experience includes a Social Work and Career Development Diploma, Triple P Parenting and Fear Less Certification. My 25 years of experience working in the Social Work/Career Development sector has allowed me to facilitate mental health/trauma workshops, life skills, career/parenting workshops, and Human Resources/Management of social service programs.

I am active in my children’s extracurricular activities as a spectator and as a volunteer. When I get time I enjoy the outdoors, including dog walks, family cabin trips, campfires, boating and golf. I am known to love any kind of competition and will always be up for a challenge. I am known as a chatter box and a social butterfly with a sense of humor. I am looking forward to working by this quote; “listen and communicate to understand.”

Gary Hansen

Contact
Gary Hansen
gary.hansen@blackgold.ca

Trustee Profile

Gary believes in a strong public education system maintained through stakeholder collaboration and community engagement that provides maximum learning opportunities for students to achieve their best. He has consistently promoted the concept that all students should feel safe and respected in their schools, see themselves in their education and be engaged in their learning. He believes students need to be provided relevant and stimulating educational opportunities to achieve their best.

Gary and his wife, Bev, have lived in Leduc for over 35 years. His adult children attended Black Gold schools and have moved on to successful careers.

Gary has taught for over 40 years with three school boards in various parts of Alberta. He has 20 years of experience in curriculum-based resource development. Gary also has been a teacher leader, dealing with various governments, MLAs and Ministers.

Gary is a life-long learner. He has a Master of Education degree from the University of Alberta in social studies education. His interests include travelling and reading.

Community involvement has always been an important part of Gary’s life. He has served on the Leduc Parks, Recreation and Culture Board as well as the Leduc Environmental Advisory Board (LEAB). Gary looks forward to continued community involvement by giving back to the education community as a trustee for the Black Gold School Division.

Barb Martinson

Contact
Barb Martinson
barb.martinson@blackgold.ca

Trustee Profile

It is a great honour to be re-elected for an incredible sixth time as a trustee for Ward 3. I am proud to be part of a public school division that is all inclusive where children learn and grow together. Diversity is a strength that brings us all together to respect one another.

I grew up in Leduc and attended elementary, junior and senior high school here. After completing high school I started working at the Royal Bank, where I was employed for 13 years. I am married to Arden and we have three grown children and six grandchildren (including two step grandchildren) who also attend the public school system. I enjoy spending family time when conversations flow about their life journeys.

Education is always a table-top discussion in my home, with the sharing opinions and experiences. Yes, sometimes opinions may differ but we still respect one another.

I enjoy gardening, visiting with friends, and spending time at our cabin at the lake.

Ward 4

(including the City of Beaumont and New Sarepta schools attendance area)

Esther Eckert, Chair

Contact
Esther Eckert
esther.eckert@blackgold.ca

Trustee Profile

It is a privilege to pursue my love of education and bring my experience as an educator and a trustee to the Black Gold school communities of Ward 4. I am committed to supporting education with my time, talents, and as a champion for public education.

I believe that every student in Black Gold deserves a quality education to meet their needs and provide for their success. Equity in opportunity is important as our division has both small rural schools and large urban schools. Respect for all students in safe and supported school environments is a value that I uphold.

The New Sarepta area has been my home since 1983. I live in my husband’s childhood home on our family farm. Our family includes two adult sons and five grandchildren. Four generations of Eckerts have attended the New Sarepta Schools.

I was an elementary school teacher for 25 years (including substitute teaching in the end). My career began around the age of five as the child of a teacher. I spent time in my mom’s kindergarten classroom when ever I could. Helping to prepare materials, marking little assignments and pretending I was the real teacher steered my career path. I officially became a real teacher at New Sarepta Elementary School. Teaching students to love learning, seeing them engaged in discovery and building relationships, that are still important to me, was very fulfilling. Most of my teaching career was with Edmonton Public Schools.

I have enjoyed volunteering in my church and community, and as a musician. I foster large breed dogs, many with complex behaviors, for a local rescue. My hunt for challenges led me into the dog training industry and boarding business after I retired from teaching. I breed registered German Shepherds. My pack also includes a four pound Biewer Terrier named Halley.

Robyn Steed

Contact
Robyn Steed
robyn.steed@blackgold.ca

Trustee Profile

I am honoured to be re-elected as a trustee for Ward 4. It has been my pleasure to serve as the the residents of Beaumont for the past four years and I am grateful that the community has placed its trust and confidence in me again.

As a 14 year Beaumont resident, and a mother of five, I have been actively involved in our community and schools since my children started pre-school.  I know the past four years were just the first chapter in making a difference and truly hope that I have the opportunity to continue the momentum.

I am a firm believer in transparency and collaboration. One of the best tools one can bring to this role is to be an active and engaged listener. I pride myself on this quality and have used this to ensure that the voice of our community, families, staff and students is heard at the Board table.