I have been a resident of Ajax since 1988. I am married and have two children who are both in high school. I have been the Chair of the DDSB Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for the past 5 years and a SEAC member for almost 10 years. I have been Chair of the School Community Councils for Lakeside Public School and Ajax High School. My involvement in the community also includes volunteer participation in Community Living - Ajax, Pickering & Whitby, the Durham Down Syndrome Association and Special Olympics Ontario.
My name is Sandra Forsythe. I am a mother of 5 adult children who attended school in Durham and 11 grand children. I am resident of Durham for over 25 years. I am the Chair for Durham Community Action Group. I am an advocate for students and their parents in the community for over 5 years. Last year I advocated for 10 students to be re-enrolled back into High School so that they could complete their grade 12 education. I have over 13 years experience in negotiations and Labour Management skills. I am a Personal Support Worker. I have been working with children, youth and adults with Special Needs for over 22 years in a group home setting in Durham. I bring with me Integrity, Transparency, Accountability and Leadership that is inclusive of all stakeholders.
Brock and Uxbridge Townships are unique to Durham Region in both location and demographics, and because of that they require a strong voice within the Durham District School Board. I believe in giving our students the best opportunities for a quality education by providing strong foundations: a safe learning environment, support for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of students and staff, and collaboration with parents, teachers, and administrators. All of these foundations must be built with transparency, fiscal responsibility and, above all, accountability. My experience, both in business and as an active community member, give me the means to help provide our students their best opportunities and outcomes in education. My board experience with a number of non-profit organizations has given me a strong sense of board function and service to my community. Since becoming a parent to our daughter Lynda, now nine, my focus has turned to education within the town of Uxbridge. At Quaker Village Public School, I have spent many volunteer hours in classrooms and as a part of the literacy program, as well as organizing fundraising initiatives and directing the choir. For the past three years, I have taken on an even greater leadership role as the Chair of the School Community Council. I want to use my business and community experience to represent Uxbridge and Brock Townships as Trustee on the Durham District School Board. I have been a resident of Uxbridge for over a decade and together with my husband Peter and daughter Lynda, we look forward to many more years in this active and creative community. I eagerly look forward to being your community voice as Trustee for Brock-Uxbridge within the Durham District School Board. Our students deserve a quality education that works for the diverse individual needs within Brock and Uxbridge Townships.
My name is Michael Barrett, and I am seeking re-election to my fourth term as your school Trustee for the City of Oshawa. As an ex-teacher, a parent and as a business leader, I recognize the importance of a collaborative approach to insuring that our children receive every opportunity within our education system. Egerton Ryerson once said that “public education is the great equalizer” and I take this to heart as I represent all communities and all stakeholders. In order to have a strong and serving public education system we need to have one unified purpose with children as our focus. I strongly believe that in order to insure public education serves the needs of our students, we also need to insure that we have a funding model that truly represents equity; that special education is not a matter of affordability and that the needs of the “whole child” must be taken into consideration when measuring success. Success is not just a number but success is insuring adequate supports, recognizing the social and economic needs of our families, dealing with issues of mental health and knowing that early intervention aids in achieving our goals. I have served both as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Durham Board as well on just about every committee in both member and leadership positions of the Board; today I also sit as President of the Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA) in a leadership role that allows my input on a provincial level and at a Ministerial level where we, as partners in the Durham Board, can have greater influence. I have been re-elected three times as the President of OPSBA and spend a great deal of time influencing and having input to provincial educational policy and political framework. I believe in the value of each child; I believe in the value of partnering for success, and I believe that public education is a gift that should be nurtured and supported.
Frank Cormier is a life-long resident of Oshawa, and a fervent advocate for education. Frank is a student of business, and a small-business owner himself. Frank also works at a local church in a logistics and property management support role. Frank has been a tutor for ten years, supporting student learning for students as young as Kindergarten and as old as second year college/university. Frank is a community minded person, driven to create an era when everyone feels invigorated by their communities and have the desire, and the opportunity to succeed in their communities. Frank believes that giving students the freedom to be inspired, and to feel accepted in their school communities is the start to a lifetime of success, and a desire to share these traits with others. Frank is a passionate community advocate and has worked with numerous youth oriented programs from Oshawa to Toronto. He is known for his zealous approach to problem solving, and his drive to help out every member of his community in any way possible. Frank is committed to bringing his love of his community, his business expertise, and his passionate style with him to Durham District School Board headquarters, with your support on October 27th.
A life long resident of Oshawa, Brendan combines a strong social conscience with an entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset. Brendan is a strong advocate for our youth and community. Having spent close to 5 years in Youth Work with the Oshawa Community Health Centre, Brendan has had the great opportunity to work with hundreds of Children and Youth on a day-to-day basis. The experiences and stories of these youth and their families have driven his desire to serve them further by running to become Oshawa's next Durham District School Board Trustee. Brendan is also very passionate about his work with Disability. He was inspired to enter this field by his sister Erika, who herself has a Developmental Disability. A graduate of the Developmental Service Worker program at Durham College, he is currently pursuing his B.A in Disability Studies at Ryerson University on a part time basis. Brendan is passionate about many topics regarding Disability, including Accessibility, Special Education, inclusion in our schools and inclusive recreation. Brendan is the co-founder of Worthwhile Wears, a clothing company dedicated to providing consumers with a chance to support charitable organizations making a great difference in our communities. Worthwhile Wears will be launching it's first product line later this year. To many Brendan is best known as a musician, he is a graduate of Eastdale CVI’s performing arts program. An accomplished Trombonist, he has had the opportunity to perform with many great musical groups found across Southern Ontario and further, including touring British Columbia with the National Youth Band of Canada and Performing in Carnegie Hall, New York City, with the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra.
A life-long resident of Oshawa, Larry Jacula shares his passion for the City and its people in the many roles he has undertaken. Larry is one of three municipally-elected Trustees representing the City of Oshawa for the Durham District School Board. He has served as a former Chair and Vice Chair on the DDSB and has been part of the Board for eight years where he has participated on a number of committees. Larry is a retired Teacher and Guidance Counsellor with a more than 32 year career with Durham District School Board. His passion for public education, along with his role as a Trustee, find him to be a frequent visitor to DDSB schools. Larry is recognized by many for his distinctive voice that served him well as the public address announcer for the Oshawa Generals hockey team for 24 years. An active community volunteer, Larry has served as Chair of the Board for Centennial-Albert United Church, is a past volunteer with Scouts and City committees and the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Larry and his wife Linda have been married for 47 years and have two children.
Linda’s proudest role in life is that of mother to Garrett, 28. Linda married her best friend, Ted Dionne, in 2001 and became a very proud stepmother to Marc, Julie, Alicia, Darcy and Joe. Ted is Linda's campaign manager. He is a retired Staff Sgt. from Durham Regional Police, a retired Durham College School of Justice professor and a very dedicated husband and father. Linda and Ted are proud grandparents of Jack and Adam of Toronto (sons of Marc and Jenifer) and James of Oshawa (son of Julie and Nick). Events in Linda’s personal life have guided her career, her passions and her decision to run for a Trustee position: Darcy is a 38 year old man with Autism. He is known throughout Durham for his knowledge about, and love of, buses and cars. His unique gifts, including an amazing capacity for numbers and love of life, have enriched the lives of every member of his family. Alicia was a beautiful young woman who suffered with Bipolar disorder and tragically ended her own life in 2002 at the age of 21. Her love for her brother, Darcy, and her caring and concern for her charges in the group home where she worked inspired everyone. Garrett suffered a Catastrophic Brain Injury in 2008 at the age of 22; 48 days in ICU at St. Mike's was followed by 5 years of intensive rehabilitation. His courage and determination as he continues to travel his healing journey and pursue his education and independence are an example for us all. Education: Linda obtained her degree in Psychology at the University of Western Ontario in preparation for a career dedicated to working with youth and families. Career Overview: Co-founder, Child Management Program, Whitby Psychiatric Hospital: Linda loved her role as co-founder of a Child Management Program with the Psychology Department at the former Whitby Psychiatric Hospital. In this capacity, she, and Psychologist Dr. Brian Young, served families throughout Durham Region. Founder and Director, Pinewood Centre Youth and Family Services: Linda was the founder of the Pinewood Centre Youth and Family Service program which she ran for 8 years. In this capacity, Linda counselled youth 20 and under in Durham Region with a drug or alcohol problem, helped their families and instituted many prevention initiatives. Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Coordinator, Durham District School Board: Following her desire to focus her energy on prevention, Linda accepted a position at the Durham District School Board as the Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Coordinator, a career she enjoyed for 23 years. Linda left the Board in the fall of 2010 to continue to care for her son. She celebrated her career with family, Board and community colleagues. Since she left the Board in September 2010, Linda has decided to dedicate her skills to the areas that impact on brain health and wellbeing. She has started Linda Lowery Consulting and Education in order to focus on: brain injury prevention and support, the learning needs of children and youth with brain injuries, caregiver support, bullying prevention including workplace bullying, effective leadership and workplace health, mental health promotion and substance abuse awareness. In the fall of 2013, Linda presented "No Limits! Rising Above the World of a Catastrophic Brain Injury" outlining her journey with her son following his brain injury.
Corey Besso has been a resident of Pickering for over 9 years. As a parent with a daughter in Senior Kindergarten, she has a vested interest in making sure that Pickering's public schools are the best schools possible. She is active and involved in the community through volunteering with her daughter’s school and as a coach for the girls U5 team with Pickering Soccer Club. Corey is a part-time Parish Administrator with Church of the Holy Trinity in Scarborough. She’s also the owner of Corinna’s Bellydance Academy, a small local business that teaches traditional middle eastern dance classes as well as bellydance fitness classes to women. In a previous career, Corey spent 8 years working for the University of Toronto in the Advancement Department in roles that focused on alumni outreach, fundraising, special events. Corey is running for Durham District School Board Trustee to make a real difference in her local community. If elected, she is committed to be actively involved in all Pickering public schools. Her priority will be to represent the interests of Pickering residents at the DDSB to ensure that the education experience students receive is the best possible.
First elected as a Trustee from 1994-1997 with the Scarborough Board of Education, Chris served as Vice-Chair.With a young family started in 1998, and a move to Pickering, Chris took a break until he was elected as a Trustee representing Pickering in 2006 and is currently a two term Trustee serving as theDurham District School Board'sVice-Chair since 2012. Chris has had a successful track record of accomplishments that addresses school community engagement, and relationship building. He is also an enthusiastic and creative leader who has brought new ideas, and experience to Pickering schools and the Durham District School Board.
Served as Pickering Trustee for 9 years and re-elected in 2010 for four year term. Resided Pickering for 15 years and worked for Canada Revenue before retiring in 2010. Always been involved with local community groups and Ontario and Federal politics. Graduate of Business Administration and various Business Courses ongoing.
Carolyn has much experience in the education sector. She is a retired elementary teacher with more that 36 years experience working with students in Grades 1 to 8. Most of her teaching career has been in Scugog Township schools, the area that she now represents as a trustee. In fact, she has worked with two generations of many families. Keen to follow in the teaching footsteps of her mother and maternal grandmother, Carolyn knew that her aspirations lay in the classroom. Her grandmother, Laura Rowan, was a teacher in rural Ontario, before she was given the right to vote. These women were excellent role models and positive influences in Carolyn’s life. Residing in Scugog for 40 years, Carolyn and her husband Brian have raised two children, Michelle and Bradley. She has been an active member in the community, serving in many capacities in her church. Presently, she is excited to be a “G Mom of Port Perry”, a group which supports the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Her hobbies include golfing, curling, reading, skiing, and theatre. Carolyn loves to spend time with her three granddaughters, Hannah, Lauren, and Sarah, who never cease to amaze her. She also enjoys discussing educational matters with her son-in-law, Sean, who is carrying on the family tradition of teaching.
A phenomenal woman who is a real thinker, mover, change maker. Akilah is a natural teacher and a life long learner.Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Akilah has first hand experience in every level of our education system. She is a lover of education who has three university degrees and is now working on her fifth post-graduate certificate! Akilah is intelligent and enthusiastic! She knows what she is talking about. When it comes to the functioning of our schools or the well being of children, youth and families, ask Akilah! She defines herself as an educational advocate for children and youth. If you ask her she will tell you:"The reason I am alive is to ensure the well being of children and youth not only by advocating for them but by showing them how to stand in their own power and advocate for themselves." Akilah remembers her youngest brother as the person who she first attended a school meeting on behalf of. At the time, he was transitioning from grade eight to high school and she had just finished her first year of university."I travelled by Go Train and local buses from Hamilton to Mississauga to speak up for my brother when he was being streamed into a vocational secondary school although he had personal plans and abilities incongruent to that. My advocacy changed the course of his life and mine! Realizing the power of advocacy, I never stopped. To date, there are untold numbers of students and parents who have walked a different path, one more suitable to their personal goals and abilities, because I advocated for them. In doing so I show them how to use their own voices."
I immigrated to Canada as a child without a shred of English in my vocabulary; this forced me to hit the ground running. My passion for reading in English has only increased since and as you can see, my writing is not that bad either. As an adult I have had the privilege of completing my education in Canada with a degree in advertising from OCAD University and starting two businesses in Whitby. Both Atelier Hg80 - Jewellery and Beading Heart have participated in co-op programs in Durham Region, allowing students at High School level, to experience jewelry making & design as a trade and involved the students in all aspects of being an independent retailer. The Beading Heart is a televised show, aimed at reintroducing the art of jewelry handcrafting to Durham Region viewers of all ages. The show features a co-op student cohost as they learn the basics of the trade. It is my passion that education be readily available to all students; trades and co-op placements be provided as an education tool and special needs students be accommodated for their particular educational needs. Representing you as Trustee with Durham District School Board is the next logical step, as I believe the education of our children and employment opportunities available for our students are synchronous and have a huge impact on the future development of our region.
Gerald is a very proud and active Dad and husband of almost 25 years. He has three wonderful children now aged 20, 18 and 13. All are fantastic examples of the Durham District School Board and why a school community is so important to our village and our collective future in Whitby. Whether on the phone with policy planners or hooting in support of our school and local teams, three words are always used to describe Gerald...passion, perseverance and experience. As a published accessibility and public policy expert, Gerald and his family moved to Whitby in support of the accessibility leadership that the Town of Whitby. In 2009, Gerald also established the Institute of Canadian Justice to focus on governmental, constitutional, human rights, health care and public safety issues. Locally he rolls his sleeves up and can be seen before Council supporting and refining many efforts to efficiently better our community and its youths education, safety and healthy living. Gerald studied political science and specialized in disability issues. Since his near death in 2009 from an off-label prescription drug and his major spinal operations Gerald has refined his time and priorities. Home is where the heart is for Gerald. He cares very deeply about the success of our communities youth, education, accessibility and public processes. Today, Gerald wants to continue to serve as your voice at the Durham District School Board. A voice that echoes your concerns. A voice that matters and will passionately represent you and our communities challenges. His experience and complete dedication will work hard for you.