I have a keen interest in youth and helping them succeed! As a journalist for more than 30 years, I have acquired considerable expertise in educational issues. As a reporter for the Innisfil Journal newspaper, I covered topical issues involving Innisfil’s public schools for more than 15 years. I’ve also attended more than 100 Simcoe County District School Board meetings on behalf of the Barrie Advance and Innisfil Journal. In the 1980s and 1990s, I covered numerous events and issues arising at the East York Board of Education and the Toronto Board of Education, including an attempt by East York school trustees to retroactively award themselves a pay hike in excess of 25 per cent! In the face of public outrage, they eventually backed down. As a parent, I have experienced the continual challenges faced by many families who have a special-needs child in the educational system. My son attended elementary and high school in Innisfil. I was a member of the Sunnybrae Public School parent council for three years. Since I have recently taken early retirement, I am able to devote time to being public school trustee for the Town of Innisfil. I pledge to not only attend school board meetings and committees, but visit and communicate with our schools on a regular basis. As your trustee, I will proactively seek out ideas and listen to concerns expressed by everyone involved in the educational process.
Joseph Furlong is a university graduate in Biology from Carleton University. He has worked in a number of different municipalities in development and infrastructure related capacities. He is a long time resident to the area and is a product of the Simcoe County District School Board system. He hopes to provide some youth and drive into the school board.
Peter worked for a local manufacturing company that built forestry equipment and was its General Manager from 1989 until 2005. He volunteered at his sons elementary school and was on school council for a number of years before doing the same at the secondary level. He ran for Trustee in the 2006 election and was elected. In 2009, he was elected Vice Chair of the Board. He ran in the 2010 election and again was successful. During the current term, he was elected Vice Chair of the Board for 2012 and 2013 and in December 2013, was elected as the Chair of the Board for the final year of this term of office.
Debra was born and educated in Toronto; she has worked for all three levels of Government, Federal, Provincial and Municipal, as well as having worked in the private sector for professional engineers. Debra is married to David Edwards, retried Sheriff and Registrar/County of Simcoe, they have 4 adult children. Debra was first elected to the Simcoe County District School Board in 1988 and has continued to serve as Trustee, Vice-chair of the Board and as Chairperson of the Board. Debra is dedicated to serving the public and helping families with children in school to navigate the education system. It gives me great satisfaction to help students and families as I'm very passionate about education and children, particularly those children who do not have an advocate. Debra believes that Education holds the key to success for young citizens to achieve success.
Norm completed his post-secondary education in Scotland and Canada. He has over 20 years teaching experience, volunteers at the Ramara Centre hosting workshops in Nutrition, has enjoyed community theatre as a cast and crew member and other volunteer activities within the community. Norm has always been physically active and enjoyed playing, coaching and referring soccer, playing badminton and coaching and officiating at track and field events. Norm is married to Nancy and has one son, Jeff.
A strong education system builds strong communities and Jodi believes in the role of local Trustee. During the last 8 years she has served as the Chair of the Business and Facilities Committee for the SCDSB, is the former Chair of the Audit Committee. She currently serves on the Special Education Advisory Committee and has been the SCDSB representative on the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium Board of Directors for 4 years. Married with three children Jodi has a BA from Western University and has earned the Chartered Insurance Professional Designation. She is employed as an insurance adjuster. She has been actively involved in the local community serving on various boards including the Orillia and Area Community Foundation, Orillia Youth Basketball, Orillia Channel Cats and was the former Chair of the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, and the Orillia Communities in Motion Campaign. Jodi believes that students must be at the forefront of every decision that is made as they are our future. She believes passionately that education is paramount to our success as a society and that a strong educational foundation is the cornerstone of every student’s future. She is passionate about education and wants to continue to build upon the successes in Simcoe County.
Simcoe County District School Board
Barrie Wards 1,2,3
1 Available Seat
It has been a privilege and an honor to have been part of the Simcoe County District School Board for the past 4 and a half years. I have learned so much since I first became a trustee. As a member of the group who have been charged with making the difficult decisions that are seldom popular, I think it is important that we, your elected officials, take responsibility and make those decisions. My ultimate goal is giving our students their best chance for success - and not just our current students, but our future ones as well. I feel it is my duty to always respond to my constituents - via email, phone or in person - and help guide them through this enormous and complicated education system. It is always important to explain the less obvious factors that can have an impact on decisions. Finally, for kids' sake, vote!! We're lucky that we can.
I have lived and participated in Barrie’s central and east end communities for all of my adult life. Three generations of my family have attended schools in the area so I am in touch with current issues. I believe I am well suited for the position of trustee as my background in electronic media involves team structure, effective communication & marketing skills. Likewise, my career strength involves critical and creative thinking skills all necessary for the responsibilities of a trustee. My promise in the roll of a trustee is to work collectively as a team participant. I want to make changes for improvement by offering suggestions, answering questions, finding solutions and facilitating interaction with schools and of course attending District School Board meetings. My focus would be on student achievement and well-being while helping to make decisions that benefit the whole School Board District while representing the interests of Wards 1, 2 & 3. Also important is a role to communicate the views and decisions of the board back to the constituents.
Stephen Donkers is an active, passionate community member in his home city of Barrie, and as a proud Barrie resident, he believes a good education is vital to many successes in life. He also believes the decisions our elected school board trustees make can reshape our students and our community as a whole. Concerned with the handling of the Barrie Central Collegiate issue over the past 4 years, Stephen wants to become the SCDSB Trustee for Wards 1, 2 and 3 that will stand up and show the courage to make the best decisions for our elementary schools, public schools and the Barrie Learning Centre. Leadership deserves courage. Our schools and students deserve honesty. Our community deserves honesty.
I believe every child has the right to the best education possible. Children are the future to our city, province and country. If you elect me, I promise, as a committed trustee, to always put the education of every child first. It will be a pleasure to liaison with the board and the community. You can count on me to be fiscally responsible, to always challenge the status quo with positive productive ideas and simple processes. I promise to listen to you, the voter and represent the collective voice.
As the incumbent for Wards 4, 5 and 6, I have thoroughly enjoyed my last four years being a part of the Board table that helps make decisions for the betterment of the Students of Simcoe County. I went to University in New Mexico (where I grew up) and obtained a Business Degree. I am currently a full time employee with Canada Post and was previously employed by the City of Barrie teaching the kindergarten programs for the recreation department. I have two boys in the system and have volunteered for over 10 years in their school. I think it is important to have a variety of ideas and opinions at the table. I feel my voice is important because I have a vested interest in the decisions due to the fact it directly impacts my boys’ education. Our future is our students…a great education depends on it. I do believe having a Trustee with more than one term is an asset due to the learning curve it entails. I am ready to commit to another four years in hopes of great things for the Student of Simcoe County.
Katherine L. Koculym
Katherine Koculym (pronounced “Kaw So Lum”) is a Barrie Central Collegiate and Laurentian University B.A. graduate. She is a radio host on the Bayshore Broadcasting system on stations 97.7 The Beach (Collingwood/Wasaga), and 98 The Beach (Port Elgin). It is important that the public see that they are supported and their opinions championed at the school board table by their local trustee. Barrie wards 4,5 & 6 need a trustee that will stand up for them and support student focused options for schools, including a new revitalize downtown core Barrie Central Collegiate. Katherine L. Koculym promises to be fill the void at the table and collaborate with the public on the capital plan and policy in an open transparent manner. It is important that trustees support their communities and represent them well at the board table. This past decade has brought a long series of school closures within Simcoe County. In Barrie, within the public board King Edward and Prince of Wales public schools were closed. On Sept. 24thh we learned the same fate was planned for Barrie Central Collegiate. The result is an erosion of downtown core schools and students travelling further to get to school. The greater home to school distance will impact where families will live in Barrie. It is time Barrie wards 4,5 &6 has a trustee that champions local needs. Katherine L. Koculym will be a Barrie Trustee who speaks out at the Board table, presenting challenging ideas on how to solve the problems rather than just closing doors. For further information please check out my website at www.barrietrustee.ca
When asked why I love my job, it's simple. I love making changes for the better education of our students. Their education has no dollar amount in my eyes, it's imperative for success. I have been on the SCDSB for the last 4 years. I have learned so much and grown as a person, it's hard to fathom and understand the difficulties school boards face, through funding, mandates, policies and diversity. When you see the outcome of all the hard work by teachers, board staff and all others involved to make day to day operations a success. The children's smiles prove that we're doing the right thing. Barrie is a growing city that continually faces lots of changes and growth, I'm ready for the challenges ahead. Thank you for your consideration for re-election. I'm driven to make the next 4 years another great success for the Simcoe County District School Board.
Jessica has worked as a Registered Nurse in Simcoe County for the past eleven years. She is currently employed at the Canadian Mental Health Association as the program manager for Youth Services. Jessica is a mother of children, both in the elementary and secondary school system here in Barrie. This will be Jessica’s first time running for School Board Trustee; however, she is dedicated to student achievement by ensuring that children and teenagers have access to an excellent education within an inclusive, caring and supportive environment. Jessica believes that with the right supports, every student can be successful. She is committed to ensuring a school environment that develops and raises awareness regarding mental health concerns and addresses the unique stressors that today’s youth face and supports every students individual learning needs. Jessica is a persuasive voice and a strong advocate for youth and for the community.
I was born and raised in Barrie. I was educated in the Simcoe County Public School system and I also attended York University. I kicked off my career working as a buyer for the largest children’s publisher in the world – Scholastic Inc. Commuting from Barrie to Manhattan for many years, I eventually left the publishing world to start my own business. Today, I live in the south end of Barrie with my Husband Jason Cameron, a former Barrie Colt and active individual in our community (coaching children) and our three year old son, Brodie. I am a dynamic, charismatic, type A personality that will do whatever it takes to get the job done RIGHT! My goal is to proudly represent the interests of the community, parents and students and present their concerns to the school board. It is imperative that we pave the way for today’s students and generations to come. I will always respond to my constituents and I look forward to serving you.
Barrie Central Grad and 4th Year Laurentian University student. Keith believes education must be a life long adventure. He is fully behind the new South Barrie Secondary school and pledges to make sure it truly does open in 2016. He also supports six schools in the Barrie region, recognizing that walking to school is one of the healthiest options students have to easily stay fit and focused. Cutting the boads 20 Million dollar transportation budget and refocusing the money into community schools is a key goal for Rimmer.
Corey lives in south Barrie with his expectant wife and daughter. He is a lawyer with a local Barrie firm with previous careers working in libraries and film & television. Corey has been actively involved in the community as one of the founding members of the Simcoe County Young Professionals Association, a director of the Simcoe County Law Association, and as Chair of the Simcoe County Law Association Library Committee. As a new parent Corey recognizes the importance of high quality education to all families. If elected he wants to work to ensure that parents have access to information to assist them in understanding how the choices being made at the board level will impact their children, future students, and the district as a whole.
Township of Bradford West Gwillimbury, New Tecumseth
1 Available Seat
Donna Da Silva
I am Donna Da Silva and I will be running in the Municipal Elections on Oct. 27 for Public School Board Trustee. I know that I can make a positive difference in education, being extremely active in various associations related to student learning. I have been publicly active at both the school and school board level in various parent committees. As a consultant for anti-violence in schools across Canada, I am extremely passionate about school climates that promote healthy relationships. I believe as a community collaborating together, we can make a difference in student life in both Elementary and Secondary levels. Please remember to Vote on Oct. 27.
Nicholas Sopuch, a lifetime resident of Bradford, Ontario, is a driven candidate with a passion for the public school education system. As a former Political Science student at Yale University, and current Peace, Conflict, and Justice and East Asian Studies double major at Trinity College, University of Toronto St. George, he firmly believes that his education can be used to dramatically improve the quality of school-initiated opportunities provided to students governed by the Simcoe County District School Board. If elected, Mr. Sopuch aims to combat student apathy toward education by ensuring greater support for their unique interests, thus providing all students with increased opportunities to experience success in both the present and future.
The years ahead are going to be about providing safe environments for our students to learn, explore and mature. I’ve worked with many of the teachers and staff of Bradford schools during my time with the SCDSB as a Certified Network Technician. From Microsoft to major engineering firm; security, both physical and online, has been my focus for the last 8 years of my professional career. We try to raise our children with the skills required to succeed. I think all children should gather information and training in a safe environment, ready for the world they will face. Common sense for solid policies and a firm understanding of what our limited dollars are gaining for our children is a must. Common sense I can provide.
As a Trustee, my focus has been on putting students first, improving system-wide student well-being and achievement, equity and inclusion, as well as governance. The role of a Trustee is varied, has legal obligations, and requires a very steep learning curve to make the right decisions to ensure student success, sustainable school communities, and approve a balanced budget that is student/program led of over $500 million. Participating in the Professional Development offered at both the board level provincial levels is crucial to the role of Trustee and I have done extensive PD to ensure that I am the best Trustee that I can be and do the best job I can for our students. Currently, as a Trustee, I am also Vice-Chair of the Simcoe County District School Board, Chair of the First Nations Education Advisory Committee, Student Trustee Mentor, Member of the following committees: Human Resources, Program, Business & Facilities, Mental Health & Addictions, and Director on the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) and a member of the First Nation Trustee Committee – representing SCDSB, provincially.
David and his family always vacationed in the Georgian Bay area knowing that they would eventually establish themselves in this beautiful part of Ontario. Due to his love of sports and a firm believer that physical education is an important part of the education process for all children; David was involved for many years as a Director in the Brampton Minor Hockey Association and Chair of the parents committee. Our family has a strong belief in helping building vibrant communities through volunteer work and applaud the opportunity to be part of a group that plays a role in developing our leaders of the future. David and his wife Danielle’s blended family include 4 children and one grandchild.
Pamela Hodgson is a resident of Simcoe County in Tiny Township. Pam has an avid interest in the quality of education available to students who attend both elementary and secondary schools in Simcoe County. As a candidate for English Public School Board Trustee for Tiny, Wasaga Beach and Penetanguishene, Pam is enthusiastic about serving the community in this meaningful capacity. As a retired social worker with a community health focus, Pam has extensive experience with assisting families to maximize their potential through relevant education and life skills supports and guidance. Having returned to post-secondary education full-time, at age 56, for four years, in order to enhance her social work education, Pam has considerable practical and personal experience with family dynamics specifically in the category of the significance of education as it relates to the holistic health of children, their parents, families and teachers. With four grandchildren, who have either graduated from, or are currently enrolled in the Simcoe County English Public School system, as well as having been married to a former secondary school educator and administrator, Pam has extensive knowledge of all aspects of the current educational environment. The opportunity to serve the residents of Penetanguishene, Tiny and Wasaga Beach as an English Public School Board Trustee is one that Pam embraces with enthusiasm.
Annie Chandler lives in Collingwood Ontario with her husband Dave and son Dillon. She recently retired from Collingwood Collegiate Institute where she taught English, Drama and Law. In her final years she served as Chair of the Guidance Department. “It was during this time that my interest in Education broadened as a result of my work involvement with community groups, parent advocates and the Education system as whole.” Annie had also been active in the community with Georgian Triangle Hospice and the Collingwood Local Food Co-op. “Having lived and worked in the area all my life, I have a vested interest and a good understanding of the area's needs and diversities. I would be honored to have the opportunity to ‘give back’ and represent the interests of the students and residents from Stayner, Wasaga Beach, Clearview and Collingwood.” Her other interests include gardening, golf and cycling.
Donna has lived and worked in the Clearview area for the past 23 years and is proud to call Creemore home with 3 of her 4 kids and her new grand daughter. She is a local Realtor and also owns and runs her own painting and renovating business. Donna has volunteered her time and energy in the community for the past 22 years; leading Brownies and Girl Guides, heading up the School Council as chairperson at both New Lowell Public School and Stayner Collegiate Institute, executive member including President of Clearview Girls Hockey Association, and most recently mentor of the Cybergnomes Robotics Team 2013. Donna is committed to making sure that parents and students of Simcoe County feel that they have a voice that will be heard.
Wayne Clements is married with 3 grown up daughters. He went to Banting Memorial High School and Waterloo University. He owns an IT firm which operates in Toronto and employs several full time staff. Wayne is very concerned with the level of education being provided to our children these days and his focus will be on making improvements in this area. His goal is to have all schools in the area at or above the Provincial standard by the end of his term.
Thanks for your interest in finding out a bit more about me. I am above all else a father and husband. I have two children, both graduates of the Simcoe County District School Board. Taylor is in third year studying Criminology at York, and Teagan is studying Life Sciences at UOIT. I am very thankful for the education that they received through our local board. Although not without its challenges over the years I feel that that both my daughters are well prepared for life beyond grade twelve. I’m married to Shelly, who was an elementary student of the Simcoe County District School Board a number of years ago (we won’t say how many years ago), and returned to the board to get her certificate to become a Personal Support Worker. As a PSW she had the opportunity to help many patients and families throughout Adjala-Tosorontio, Essa, and New Tecumseth. A few years ago she became a Registered Practical Nurse and currently practices in one of our local hospitals. I was raised in Mississauga, but escaped the ratrace of the city shortly after marrying Shelly. Together over the past 20 years, we’ve raised our children in the rural lifestyle that they we come to love. I’ve has worked in a number of fields, primarily sales management including currently in the agricultural supply sector in Adjala-Tosorontio. My educational background includes Sales and Marketing Management through Sheridan College, and Negotiations through the University of Windsor. In 1999, I began to serve as a member of the Special Education Advisory Committee of the School Board. In 2003 I ran for the position of Trustee, and was honoured to be elected to the Simcoe County District School Board to serve the Townships of Adjala-Tosorontio, Essa, and CFB Borden. I have served as the Chair of the Central Services Committee (handling finance and facilities) as well as the Program Committee. I was selected by my peers to serve twice as Vice Chair of the Board and was also honoured to be elected as Chair of the Board for two consecutive years. When I’m not at a committee or board meeting or at work, you can usually find me spending time with family and friends hiking along the Bruce Trail – or if it’s any season other than winter – kayaking on Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, or the Pine or Nottawasaga rivers. Getting my hands on new knowledge through reading and watching documentaries fill the rest of my time. I look forward to continuing to serve the students and families of Simcoe County.
My husband and I have resided in South Simcoe for 21 years. I have been a stay at home mom to three girls who have attended local schools. I have had a lot of experience dealing with the board, teachers, and principals while working on individual education plans and enforcing the rights of my children to learn. Our girls have been in the gifted program, the French immersion program and our youngest has autism and therefore been in the special education class. Two of our girls have chosen to go on to post-secondary. Our youngest is now in college. This is despite what the school system told us. I would like to put my experience to work for all pupils. I will be a key component in helping to improve the education system in Simcoe County so that the students in Simcoe County can reach their full potential as proclaimed in the mission statement for the Simcoe County District School Board.
Amanda’s parents moved to Utopia on the 8th line of Essa in 1974 and still live in the same house today. “Mandy” Genyk and her sister Cheri attended Baxter Public School for their elementary years and later went to Barrie Central Collegiate. Essa Township has been home for Amanda for nearly 40 years. Amanda is a longtime employee for Ontario’s largest utility company serving in a support role for frontline crews. She also has extensive work history in property management and bookkeeping. Amanda is the only candidate for Adjala-Tosorontio & Essa Public School Board Trustee who resides in Essa. Amanda, husband Shawn and daughter Georgia have made their home on Essa’s 11th Line for the past decade. “If you believe things have not gotten better in the past four years, then we need a change. If you believe no one is advocating for you or your child, then we can do better. Vote for me this October and I will work with you to put our kids first.” – Amanda Genyk