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Local educator leads provincial teachers

A Lloydminster Comprehensive teacher is trading the classroom for the boardroom. Over the next year, her math, financial literacy and administrative savvy will be utilized to preside at the  Saskatchewan Teachers Federation.

President-elect Samantha Becotte will take up full duties on Friday July 1st. She has been a member of the Federation for over 10 years and has served as vice-president since 2019.

Becotte is filling a one-year term for the next school year as the former president took on another portfolio within the organization.

“For the upcoming year we are preparing for bargaining. Bargaining will start in spring of next year. So it’s ramping up messaging in the public, then as well with our members;  building the collective again. And then aside from that, it’s listening to members and hearing what their needs are and understanding what the challenges are across the province with education.”

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The present bargaining agreement, 2019-2023 ends next summer.

She is thrilled to accept the role and notes she will miss her students. She has taught in Lloydminster since 2009.

Becotte reflects on the bi-provincial funding for education and notes that while official statements indicate more funding is available, this is not keeping up with the rate of inflation.

“Specifically in Lloydminster, we have an extra challenge being receiving funding from both provinces. That doesn’t always add up to 100% of the funding that we need to meet the needs of students.”

The president-elect looked at the specific Saskatchewan issue of school reserves.

“It’s a common theme where the government is asking school divisions to dip into their reserves, but there doesn’t seem to be reserves left in a lot of those school divisions. And so it’s creating strains on their ability to provide additional supports that students might need on a case by case basis.”

Becotte will remain in Lloydminster, but travel back and forth from Saskatoon and other areas of the province as the presidential role requires.

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