Meet the Minister
As CBE Chair, he led a collaborative effort which transformed the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) by offering more program choices to students and parents, increasing second language instruction, expanding online learning opportunities, and building many new schools. While with the CBE, the Board balanced its budget 11 years in a row and eliminated $28 million in debt left over from the previous Board. During his tenure as a Trustee, the CBE was awarded the Conference Board of Canada’s highest award for Excellence in Governance.
The Minister has had a lifelong commitment to public service as a former public school teacher, principal, university instructor, post-secondary college president and a father. He is a strong advocate for parental choice in schooling.
Minister Dirks previously served as an MLA and Minister responsible for Social Services, Urban Affairs and Housing in Saskatchewan, and as Assistant Deputy Minister for Alberta Family and Social Services.
He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 1974, Minister Dirks earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He holds a postgraduate diploma in Educational Administration (1978) and a Masters of Education degree (1980) from the University of Regina. He has also taken doctoral studies at the Canadian Bible College and Theological Seminary in Regina, Saskatchewan.
He is married to Joy Dirks, a former Canadian Citizenship Judge. They have two adult sons and three grandchildren. He enjoys a broad range of recreational and cultural activities including fitness, travel, motorcycling, theatre, reading and sports.