George Saarinen is a strong proponent for volunteering. He believes it is important to give back to your community and has had numerous volunteering experiences: past Chair of the McKellar Park School Council, past Chair of the Council of School Council Chairs, past PTA President, Boy Scout Leader and T Ball Coach to name a few. He was also recognized as a Citizen of Exceptional Achievement in May 2003 by City Council for his contributions to the Ringette Association. believes ongoing dialogue and open communication with all stakeholders and the community is essential. Supporting student success by continuing to develop partnerships with business, industry and the community is also a priority for him. George has two grown daughters, Seija and Kaija. In addition to volunteering, his interests include cross country sking, fishing and traveling.
Marg was elected a trustee in 2010 to the Lakehead Public School Board. Over her first term she served on the following School Board Committees: Special Education Advisory, Supervised Alternative Learning, Suspension Appeals/Expulsion, Parent Involvement, Principal Selection Process, Aboriginal Education Advisory, OPSBA Awards Selection, Success Advisory, Board Development, OPSBA Director Liaison, Coordinating and Chair of the Budget Committee in 2013 and 2014. Marg also serves as a Labour Advisor and Director on the United Way Board. Each year during the allocation process she becomes a team leader, visiting agencies and evaluating programs for funding. She has also had the pleasure of mentoring local youth through the High School Challenge, helping them interview and evaluate the programs they choose to fund. Marg is a retired nurse and is the elected Recording Secretary of the Thunder Bay & District Labour Council. She is Chair of her local union retiree chapter and represents Unifor retirees nationally.
Ellen has a deep understanding of, and a lifelong passion, for education – as a special education and classroom teacher, parent and as local union president for the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) for 7 years, having retired in June. She was elected to the ETFO Provincial Executive, which further expanded her experience and knowledge of public education in Ontario. Ellen was recognized in the fall of 2011 for her tireless advocacy in making schools safer for LGBTQ students. She has been a keynote speaker in Toronto, and locally on this issue. Ellen was the first recipient of the Mayor’s Community Safety Award- Community Hero. In 2006 she was awarded the ETFO’s Provincial Humanitarian Award and received the ETFO President’s Award for her advocacy in social justice and community involvement. Some committees she sits on are ThunderPride, Sexuality and Gender Equity (SAGE) working group and is a member of Diversity Thunder Bay. Ellen’s extensive experience, and her ability to listen and to act upon what needs to be addressed are assets. She believes in community being a strong partner in education and advocates for all children, knowing that every child has a right to the best education possible.