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All Hands In

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
                                                                  ~Albert Einstein

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The Problem 

When asked: 'what made you want to run for Waterloo Region District School Board Trustee?' I'm overwhelmed with reasons. My exposure to the Board and the manner in which it operates was brought about through my experience navigating concerns our family had regarding the wellbeing of our kids, and the setbacks to their education due to the decisions made at the board level.


Bringing forth these concerns resulted in futile responses. 'The educators' hands were tied.' 'The principal's hands were tied.' The WRDSB told me that they were abiding by Public Health's recommendations. When I contacted Public Health, they informed me that the measures being employed were not that of which Public Health had mandated, but rather by the School Board itself. When I continued to persist, I was advised to be a delegate before the board. Parents joined forces and as a collective, we had parents represent hundreds of concerned parents in the region. Nothing was done. Our voices were lost time and time again. More and more parents pulled their children out of the system and continue to, to this day, in search of alternative education options that meet their needs.

I was deflated to realize I had nowhere to turn with my concerns for the quality of education and wellbeing of my children in the classroom. No one was taking accountably for any of the decisions that were being made. The best answer was 'doing something is better than not doing anything'. Which the data was showing to be so far from accurate

As a parent of two elementary school children, and a taxpayer I’ve watched as matters of extreme concern to me—and thousands of other parents—be outright censored - silenced and deleted by the majority of trustees of the WRDSB and ignored by the Ministry of Education.

I watched in shock as a majority of members of our board vilified and then punished veteran teacher Carolyn Burjoski for raising valid concerns about sexually explicit materials in our elementary schools.

I witnessed in disbelief as long-time trustee Mike Ramsay was undemocratically removed from the Board by a majority of his “colleagues” for, in Mike’s words, challenging their radical agenda. Despite calls from Mike for all the details to be made public, our ‘leaders’ of the Board have refused. And to have no response from the Ministry of Education when requests that our voices also be represented by the thousands who voted for Trustee Ramsay be ignored, was telling.


I saw trustee, Cindy Watson, similarly facing outright hostility for raising the concerns of parents. Like Mike, Cindy heard from her constituents about their children being exposed to highly ideological instruction in WRDSB classrooms. Her motions asking for clarity about what’s being taught were overruled and rejected.

I viewed, with disapproval when Mike Ramsay's concerns regarding halting the  as a retired police officer were dismissed regarding the decision of keeping the . 




The Solution

This hostility and secrecy must end. I will work for the parents, nurture their trust and ask the hard questions to ensure that the Board is held accountable. I want healthy debate and dialogue to guide policy decision-making—the best ideas cannot rise to the top if only one set of opinions is allowed to be spoken.


Why am I running? I’ve seen there is a problem and, in good conscience, I need to be willing to be part of the solution. I want to establish trust, truth, and transparency as fundamental values on the Board. I will ensure that for the next four years even contentious issues become grist for formative conversations and collaborative action that in turn builds an education system in which all students excel. With a servant attitude and a desire to lead with integrity, I'm honoured to be the possible catalyst for these changes.

The Problem 

I grew up in the Waterloo Region District School board and am grateful for the opportunities it provided. I have observed that the school board's priorities have changed over the years, placing less weight on tangible skills and education, and more focus on behavioral training, regulation of speech, and political activism. As the WRDSB focuses on this new moral and political agenda, families they should be serving are forced to look outside of class time to supplement core learning.

Despite loud claims of seeking equity for the vulnerable, the children of socially and economically disadvantaged families are most hurt by our Board’s move away from educational basics. Our current Board policies are increasing, not lessening, the social and economic divide. There's no reason why our school board shouldn't be the best in the world given our infrastructure and funding. In speaking to many of our tremendous educators, many of them feel hamstrung by the mandates of administrators above them. The time they know should be dedicated to teaching core competencies is instead dedicated, by WRDSD mandate, to emphasizing 'irrelevant areas'. Teachers are unable to offer the quality education they know and desire to provide

The Solution

If elected, I will have an ear for our educators. They are the experts when it comes to knowing what students in their classrooms need to advance educationally. One of the main elements of my work in healthcare is listening. I listen and work with people to find the solutions they need for the outcome they desire.  As I listen and learn, I want to work to give our educators the freedom to focus on proven educational methods during class. And, I want to ensure that they are equipped with the support required to foster the potential of every student. Together let’s figure out the best way to build our students' skills so they become master of their own successes in their careers, relationships, and overall wellbeing.

The Problem 

I want the very best for our kids. I want every student in the WRDSB to know they are welcome and I’ll work to build an atmosphere within the board where every student knows they are valued. While my hopes in this area are deep and sincere, I hesitate to express them in terms of “inclusivity” or “diversity” or “equity.” Unfortunately, those terms, as they are now being used, seem to be very narrowly applied.


Within our own board it is evident that many students and educators are excluded when the current plan or policy claims ‘inclusivity’. Diversity, in many cases within our board, has been reduced to labeling of demographics. ‘Equity for all’ now translates to inequality for some.

The Solution

Examining how these terms are often promoted and embodied within our board, it’s clear they can be misleading. As they are misappropriately applied, they are causing a great deal of harm. As trustee, I will work to expand inclusivity, diversity, and equity to embrace differences in viewpoints and ideas in order to achieve unity rather than conformity. Parents will know what is meant, along with how it translates into the classroom. My vision is a school system where educators teach, parents parent, and students thrive. We get there with open dialogue, conscious minds, and unity despite disagreements. I’m running because our children are relying on us to set the best standards toward the most inviting atmosphere in which they thrive both academically and socially.

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