Growing up in Edmonton, Bridget Stirling’s concern for quality public education began as a public school student in Edmonton during the education cuts of the early 1990s. Her belief in the value of strong, vibrant, and inclusive public schools grew during her time in front of the classroom, where she saw first hand the impact education has on the lives of Edmonton’s youth.
In her professional life, she has continued to work for a better Alberta and a strong public education system. She worked as a communications professional for a university faculty and has also been a staff writer on a university magazine, where she was nominated for a 2015 National Magazine Award.
Previously, she worked as a public educator for a not-for-profit organization offering consent and healthy relationship education in Edmonton schools, a part-time instructor at MacEwan University, and a research analyst with a policy consulting firm. She has also worked in the publishing industry as an editor, working on book projects related to Canadian history and culture and biographies of notable Canadians.
She is an avid community volunteer with several organizations. Bridget is a founding member of the Child-Friendly Housing Coalition of Alberta. Previously, she served on the board of the Edmonton Social Planning Council and chaired the ESPC’s fund development committee. She also served as the president of the Edmonton Gold Bar NDP from 2010 to 2015. Additionally, she volunteers every year with the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and with other community groups throughout the year. Bridget was named a 2014 Daughter of the Year by Citizens for a Civil Society in recognition of her community service and commitment to building a more fair and equitable society.
As a trustee, Bridget chairs the board's policy review committee and also serves on the governance and evaluation committee. Previously, she chaired the board and superintendent evaluation committee prior to that committee's amalgamation with the governance committee.
Bridget holds an MA in Intercultural and International Communication from Royal Roads University and was the recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council J.A. Bombardier research scholarship. She also earned her Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing from MacEwan.
This fall, she will be making the transition back into academic life as a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta in the department of Educational Policy Studies, where she plans to research youth engagement in civil society and politics.
When she is not working, Bridget enjoys spending time outdoors, and she loves exploring Edmonton’s river valley trails and hiking and camping in the mountains. She and her partner love to travel within and outside Canada. Additionally, she is an avid reader who enjoys finding a quiet hour with a great book and her two dogs curled up at her feet.