"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
During my first term as Trustee, I was privileged to sit on the following committees:
- Program Committee;
- Special Education Advisory Committee;
- Parent Involvement Committee;
- Striking Committee;
- Budget Committee;
- Employee Recognition Committee.
In addition, I also participatedas an alternate on the Expulsion Committee, sat on two school naming committees, an accommodation review committee and have attended numerous Resource Committee and Chairpersons Committee meetings.
There have been many areas of personal growth and successes during this past term including:
- As part of the Program Committee, I was able to bring to the table information about Discovery Canada's Education Division and the opportunity for partnerships with School Boards. As a result of this information, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB), began a partnership and pilot program with Discovery Canada in the area of Science and Technology, becoming the first school board in Canada to do so.
- On behalf of the parent council and students of Ganaraska Trail Public School in Port Hope, I was able to champion a new playground project together with the TVO series "The Giver" and was grateful for Senior Administration's support in the completion of this project. A premiere showing was held in Port Hope at the Capitol Theatre in late June and will be featured in the new series of "The Giver" airing on TVO in the fall.
- The successful accommodation review of the secondary schools in Cobourg resulting in the closure of both existing schools and the opening of a newly named Cobourg Collegiate Institute on an extensive $15 million dollar renovation to the former east high school campus.
- The opportunity for personal growth at Ontario Public School Board Association conferences as well as the privilege to attend two Canadian Public School Board Conferences in Vancouver and Niagara Falls
Collective KPRDSB successes have included the opening of several new schools in Bowmanville and Brighton with a new elementary school to be built on the C.R. Gummow site and scheduled to open in 2015; the inaugural intermediate leadership camp program called KPrts focusing on the arts and leadership held in Haliburton in the spring of 2014; the growth and development of our Student Voice movement under the leadership of our student trustees; the roll out of Full Day Kindergarten across our Board; the opportunity to participate in a Trent University Mathematics study under the direction of Dr. Cathy Bruce and her team to name a few.
With Trustee successes also come challenges as we have had to face declining enrolment and subsequent school closures in Peterborough, South Monaghan and Cobourg. In 2012-2013, we as a Board and the province as a whole were challenged with the ramifications of former premier McGuinty's imposition of Bill 115 which affect staff, students and school communities, all.
I have felt joy and frustration, inspiration and exasperation, hope and disappointment. Yet there is so much more work to do in education and the positives far outweigh the negatives.
NEW TERM GOALS:
To continue to advocate for our student population who have special needs for fall under the special education spectrum;
To continue to press for a locally developed, if not provincially mandated, intermediate/high school financial literacy curriculum to prepare students for the challenges of financial planning;
To work together with the Teaching and Learning Department to develop a career-based that begins to target students in the Grade 11 stream and not just Grade 12;
To encourage a review of bussing policies and the attitude that "one size fits all" when in an urban/rural board, it clearly does not.
Overall, I would like the opportunity to continue the work with the Board on the development of a new strategic plan that builds upon the successes of our "Living, Learning and Leading in a Changing World". I also appreciate the opportunity to create both community and personal relationships with the constituents of the Town of Cobourg, Municipality of Port Hope and Townships of Alnwick/Haldimand and Hamilton as the Public School Board Trustee for the upcoming 2014-2018 term.