1.who are you, where are you from, what experience do you have (this can be work, volunteer, etc)
I am a 22 year veteran trustee with the UCDSB and have enjoyed the privilege of serving the students and residents during this time. I am a lifelong resident of Cornwall and am currently a Community Manager with RBC. I have served on the United Way Board as President for more than half of my 6 year term. I have volunteered and supported the many initiatives of the Children’s Treatment Center over the years. As a Trustee I have served as Chair for four years and over ten years as a vice chair. I currently chair the Audit Committee, the Accountability Framework Committee and sit on the Policy Committee. I also represent the UCDSB on the Ontario Public School Board Association. My experience as a volunteer, sitting on boards and leading a community of multiple branches with over 30 staff provides the skills to lead, work collaboratively and to achieve results for the students of Cornwall and all of the UCDSB.
2-why are you running for the position of school board trustee?
I first ran because I believed that Cornwall was missing out on many things after amalgamation which saw our former S.D & G Board of Education become part of the UCDSB (Cornwall was represented by four trustees prior to amalgamation). After serving on the school council at Central Public while my son was a student I saw that Cornwall needed a voice and action needed to be taken. As a parent and lifelong learner I view education as an opportunity for our youth and families to be the foundation for their future. The opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma allows more doors to be opened. Those doors could lead to the world of work, apprenticeships, college or university. When we do the things we should be doing as a board we are setting our students up for success.
3-In what ways have you been of service to public education prior to your becoming a candidate in this election?
As stated earlier I did serve on the school council and learned a lot about the running of a school from the Principals. I began to establish relationships with trustees that helped see Central Public begin to offer JK/K french immersion prior to 2000. Up until that time families would start their sons and daughters at a different school then consider moving them in grade 1. That change resulted in the enrollment to skyrocket.
4-in your opinion, what issue is the most pressing and how do you plan on tackling it.
The most pressing issues over the next four years are as follows;1. new high school – will work with staff and other levels of government to obtain land and have the school construction begin leading to a state of the art facility for the students of Cornwall2. Mental health for our students – it is imperative that trustees have student success and mental health at the forefront of every decision. This will be done by ensuring we prioritize this and fund strategies through our budget process. It will also require a community perspective, working agencies and multiple Ministries from the Provincial Government.3. Planning and Budget – I will continue to work on the process I have led through my leadership of the Accountability Framework Committee that sees trustees establish priorities using data and research, then working with staff to review their proposed initiatives and strategies to support our priorities and ensuring that the budget supports the initiatives and strategies. This process was introduced this past year and we are seeing the benefits of the work by having resources where there are needs rather than having a formula drive the distribution. I am very proud of this initiative and our schools in Cornwall are benefiting from this new approach.
5-why are you the best person for the jobI have the experience that will ensure that our students are successful.
The UCDSB budget is over $400 hundred million dollars, it is complex and requires someone with financial acumen to ensure the fiduciary responsibility of a trustee is carried out. Student wellness and achievement are the other primary responsibilities of a trustee, this requires someone that can review data, listen to others and make decisions that are in the best interest of students and not special interest groups – my experience and track record proves I am capable of doing that.