Connie Positano knows her community. As Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB trustee for Barrie wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 since 2007, she fights for programs and supports students, parents and schools need to excel and thrive. A married working mother with two school-aged children, one at St. John Vianney and the other at St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School, Connie’s life experiences connect her to the communities she serves, particularly students and families dealing with special needs. A Registered Nurse specializing in working with children with mental health and addictions related difficulties, she advocates to break down barriers to give students, regardless of challenges and opportunities, the education that have a right to expect. Connie’s leadership abilities were present during two terms as vice chair of the board, and as chair of board policy review. Work on a number of committees, including the Special Education Advisory Committee, Discipline Committee, the Joint Task Force Committee with SCDSB, and the OCSTA Resolutions Committee, has broadened her awareness of the general challenges and opportunities facing school communities, and the very specific needs of some students. She strives to make a difference in her municipality, having volunteered at breakfast programs, Barrie Out of the Cold, serving on the City’s Accessibility Advisory Committee for four years, and also on the County of Simcoe Parent Advisory Committee. Connie believes school communities must be compassionate and caring, and she works to ensure no student – regardless of ability or means – is marginalized. It’s imperative, she believes, that we protect a distinctive, faith-filled schools which respect families, parishes, and most of all, the Church’s call to build a better world through service, love and stewardship. We need a voice of experience to ensure that Catholic education will continue to be a successful and valuable segment of the education system in the province of Ontario. Connie remains committed to ensuring a timely response to parent inquiries, regular visits with schools, understanding local issues, and keeping abreast of education research and policies. She will continue to work towards ensuring all students within the board receive the highest quality Catholic Education possible.
Huntsville, Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Georgian Bay, Parry Sound Ward 4
1 Available Seat
I have served as Trustee with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board for the past 4 years. In that time, I have been committed to bringing an optimistic and consensus-building approach to effective Board governance. In a Board where much of the population walks to school in larger urban centres, I have worked tirelessly to represent the interests of schools in Muskoka and Parry Sound. I have developed an excellent understanding of the specific needs of students and families in our small regional schools through consistent attendance at Catholic School and Community Council meetings, fundraisers and other special events in each school. I have proven my ability to use this knowledge to affect decisions at the Board Table by educating my fellow Board members about some of those challenges when decisions are being made, including: the importance of a rural school to the community, bussing, and the impact of geography when planning extra-curricular and other evening events. Improving Parent Engagement in Catholic Education has been a goal throughout my 20+ years of involvement in Catholic Education and St. Joseph’s Parish in Bracebridge. I began to participate in the Catholic Parent Teacher Guardian Association when my eldest child began school in Junior Kindergarten and have remained actively involved with Catholic School and Community Councils (CSCC’s) as all four of my children have progressed through Monsignor Michael O’Leary and St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School. Since becoming a Trustee, I have served as the Board representative on the Catholic Parent Involvement Committee, and have consistently made it a priority to visit Catholic School and Community Council meetings to share information both from the Board and between councils, and to answer any questions that may arise. I have also represented Trustees on the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for the past 4 years. As an active participant on SEAC and 3 SEAC subcommittees (Steering, Accessibility and Assistive Technology/Augmentative Communication), I have become a strong advocate for meeting the needs of all students. Over the past 20+ years, I have demonstrated my commitment and passion for Catholic education and I would like to continue to bring this passion, leadership, and collaborative style to the position of Trustee for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board. Future Goals: In September 2013, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board unveiled a new strategic plan called Our Faith ~ Our Future. This plan is the result of consultation with staff, students, families, parish priests and community partners. I am proud to have been a part of its development, have fully participated in its promotion throughout Muskoka and Parry Sound, and am interested in seeing its impact on Board decisions over the next 4 years. I will also continue to concentrate on my goals of improving parent engagement (by working with CSCC’s to reach out to parents in different ways) and providing an inclusive faith-filled education for all students (by continuing with SEAC Sub-committee work that is ensuring students have access to the equipment they need to succeed and a barrier-free school environment). Catholic education is a gift to be cherished and provides a unique lens through which decisions are made and an opportunity to help students progress on their faith journey; it is my goal to continue to support Board decisions that provide opportunities for growth for both students and staff. I look forward to serving the communities of Muskoka and Parry Sound for another 4 years and representing their interests at the Board table.
It has been my honour to serve as the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic Separate School Board Trustee for the past three and one half years and previously for twelve years from March 1991 to November 2003, representing Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay Township. There are joys and challenges in serving our children and promoting Catholic education. Dedication is required. I put a great deal of energy and careful thought into preparing and participating in Board meetings and events. Experience: Trustee from March 1991 to November 2003 and February 2011 to November 2014, Previously served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Board, Presently active on:, Board Policy Review Committee (BPR), Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), Supervised Alternative Learning Committee (SAL), Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium, Joint Task Force – Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB & Simcoe County DSB. Catherine MacDonald is a strong advocate for: Faith-filled Catholic Education, Serving the 20,000 students by promoting excellence in academic programs within the context of our faith and gospel values, Developing governing by-laws and policies, approving annual balanced budgets and establishing system priorities, SMCDSB Mission: “Our inclusive Catholic learning community is dedicated to excellence. We give witness to the teachings of Jesus Christ, as we journey in faith and learning, to develop the God-given abilities of each person”. Catherine MacDonald actively lives her Catholic faith as she: Serves as Eucharistic minister St. Margaret’s Church in Midland, Volunteers for the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, Volunteers for the Alpha program at the North Simcoe Correctional Centre, Cherishes family time with husband George, eight children, twelve grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Gives thanks for her health, energy and the fact that she is able to serve in the name of Jesus. The experience and knowledge that I have accumulated over these past years would be an asset for potential future service and I request your trust in me. The reverse side of this letter outlines some statistics about how I have served in the past. I respectfully request your continued support.
New Tecumseth, Essa, Essa-CFB, Adjala-Tosorontio, Adjala-Tosorontio-CFS Ward 5
1 Available Seat
I have been a Trustee with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board for the past nine years. Three of the last four years I served as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Over the nine years, I have served on many committees including the Board Policy Review Committee. We have ensured that our students continue to receive a safe, faith-filled, Catholic education and we continue to provide new places to learn as our elementary population grows. I continue to work with my fellow trustees to lobby our Provincial government to re-examine the funding formula for all boards so that we have realistic budgets that will continue to support all of the great learning programs our board has to offer.