One of the three people running for two spots on the High Prairie School Division’s board of trustees (for the Slave Lake ward) is Ali Mouallem. The 40-year-old businessman is up against incumbent Joy McGregor and Sean McConnell.
The father of four young children (ages two through eight), Mouallem says he likes kids and wanted to get involved in something that had something to do with them.
“I felt this was good,” he says. “The development of students. See if there’s anything that needs lobbying or changing.”
He has no particular agenda for changing anything – just a desire to be involved and help where possible.
“I always thought of being a teacher,” he says. “I always loved being around kids.”
Another factor in his wanting to be a school trustee was the positive impression left on him by two former trustees – Tracy Ottenbreit and Lenny Richer. They seemed to enjoy it and get a lot out of it.
Mouallem went through the school system in Slave Lake – all the way from playschool through Grade 12 – before heading to the University of Lethbridge where he earned a degree in management. He worked for the provincial government in Edmonton after that in developing computer tutorials.
“Fifteen years ago I moved back to Slave Lake and opened the pizza place with my brother and my dad,” he says. “Then I got into real estate.”
He’s still doing both those things, plus being a family man, plus various community volunteer-type activities.
“I was in Rotary for 15 years,” he says. “I just handed in my notice last month.”
Since January he’s been on the executive of the Slave Lake & District Chamber of Commerce.
As far as campaigning goes, Mouallem says he’ll definitely have signs up, and do something in social media (where he’s pretty active anyway).
“I’m thinking of putting stickers on pizza boxes!” he says.
Mouallem figures he’s a very approachable and easy-to-reach guy, and that should help him get elected and do the job if he is.
“I’m only one phone call away,” he says. “If you don’t already know my number, you know somebody who does.”