A resident of Elgin County for 15 years, James Todd was elected as a Trustee in October 2010 for the County of Elgin, representing the municipalities of West Elgin, Dutton-Dunwich, Southwold, Central Elgin, Malahide, Aylmer, Bayham and the City of St. Thomas.
Current occupation: property management; Past occupation: retail store and human resource management, and small business owner. Political experience: volunteer for various municipal and provincial campaigns, Issues that arise can affect an individual child/parent/teacher or be community wide. All concerns require a trustee that will take the time to listen, investigate, and work with others to resolve. I am your representative for that task. We cannot predict every issue in advance, but must be prepared to react to find resolutions, Children’s wellness and bullying issues require an ongoing effort and commitment to address, The TVDSB’s operating budget is approximately $850 million per annum. This money must be wisely spent to improve our children’s educational experience and preparation for life’s challenges.
Rob was elected to the Board for Middlesex County in the October 2010 municipal election. Rob and his wife Suzanne have been residents of Middlesex County since 2005. They have one married daughter and two grandchildren. As a proud grandparent, Rob has an intense interest in the type of education his grandchildren and their peers will receive. Rob is a graduate of the three-year Business Administration program at Fanshawe College and received his certification as an Occupational/Physiotherapist Assistant from Humber College. As well as teaching ballroom dancing, Rob has taught wheelchair ballroom dancing since 1997. His teaching experience has made him aware of the responsibility teachers have to students. Rob is also involved in the community through his work with the “Home At Last” program through the V.O.N. One of the committees that Rob is especially active on is the Accessibility Advisory Subcommittee for the City of London. Rob has a strong interest in working for the educational good of all school age children and their families and to ensure that children with special needs are represented proportionately along with all others.
Arlene is a lifelong resident of Middlesex County, with over 15 years experience serving education in numerous leadership capacities locally, at the district school level and at the provincial level. Arlene served as the founder and Chairperson of the Thames Valley Parent Involvement Committee, in her tenure Arlene promoted partnerships with parents, school staff and the community. Arlene developed successful parent engagement initiatives, led community forums, and developed resources related to parent inclusion and leadership. Arlene presently serves as the President of Thames Valley Council of Home and School Associations, Board of Director with the Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations, and is an active member of the Special Education Advisory Committee, and the London- Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership. Through this extensive experience as community builder and advocate in public education, Arlene has developed knowledge and leadership skills that enable her to be an effective advocate, a collaborator, and empathetic listener and effective problem solver with a vision for innovative strategies that supports students. Arlene is committed to making difference with a focus on: programing supports for students who face barriers to learning and students experiencing mental health challenges, increased parent and student engagement, healthy schools and furthering community partnerships.
Mike Radan has been a small business owner, a community volunteer, a loving father and husband who represents our values and principles. Mike is an advocate for the rural and small town way of life, and is committed to delivering real results in education for the parents and young people of Middlesex. Mike has always been a firm believer in education and a strong public education system. A good education is the foundation our young people need to have a bright and successful future. Our school system will face many challenges in the years ahead. Mike believes that by working collaboratively to find practical and positive solutions, we can meet those challenges and give our kids the tools to succeed. As an advocate for community involvement, Mike has coached the Strathroy District Collegiate swimming team and supported his two children, Mackenzie and Felicity, with their long involvement in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and various 4-H clubs. Mike has had a lifelong involvement with youth and youth leadership. He has coached various athletic teams and along with his wife Wendy ran a summer horseback riding camp and youth leadership program for girls aged 7 to 18. Mike and his family are proud to live in rural Ontario and call Middlesex home. Mike is running to be a positive voice, working for practical solutions to the issues faced by our education system.
Shawn Lewis has worked for 8 years as Constituency Assistant to Member of Parliament Irene Mathyssen since her election in 2006 and has been twice named in the Hill Times Top 25 Staffers List. Shawn also serves as a Provincial Commissioner of Oaths and an occasional political pundit on AM980 Radio's "Craig Needles Show". Prior to joining the MP's staff, Shawn worked as an IT technician and helped teach computer literacy to people with disabilities, seniors, and at risk youth. He has also worked in the manufacturing and restaurant sectors. As member of the Royal Canadian Legion, a minor hockey volunteer, a member of the Argyle Business Improvement Association, and Argyle Community Association, and the Friends of Meadowlily Woods, he has been involved in a wide variety of community groups and initiatives.
I'm lucky to be able to work on a variety of creative and fulfilling projects: I'm a freelance writer and journalist, and an author. I’m treasurer of my condo board, I’m the area coordinator for Neighbourhod Watch, and an active member of Cartier Home and School Association. But most importantly, I'm a dad. My 6-year-old son Max is the center of my world and his journey through the school years has been amazing to watch. I've spent most of my life in our wonderful city, with the last ten years spent in my current neighbourhood of Lockwood Park. My experiences working and volunteering with my friends and neighbours has given me an understanding of the importance of communication, collaboration, and teamwork. That's the vision I will bring to the Thames Valley District School Board.
Sheri Polhill was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2006, representing London Wards 1, 11, 12 and 14. She serves on a number of Board Committeesand is the Board’s representative for the Thames Valley District School Council and the Thames Valley Council of Home and School Associations.
Employed with the City of London for the past 28 years Married for 29 years with two fabulous sons who both attended Sir George E. Cartier P.S. and Central Secondary School, and have since moved onto university. Our family were active members of the Cartier P.S. School Council during the duration of our children’s years at Cartier. Also, a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House. As your trustee I will commit to providing all children the education they deserve, regardless of their needs, in a safe and healthy environment. These children are our future, and they should obtain the best education they deserve. I believe in an open door policy , and every family has different dynamics with different needs, I will be there to assist or facilitate every family, in any situation wherever and whenever needed. With the reduction in student enrollment, school boards are being faced with difficult decisions with school closures and financial fiscal responsibilities, which unfortunately are the signs of the times. Recognizing that each situation has to be reviewed and decided on its own merit, there needs to be some creativity, innovation and forethought when handling these situations, I believe that there is potential for creative solutions with public and private joint ventures.
Matt Reid was appointed to the Board on September 24, 2013 to represent London Wards 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. He previously served as the Student Trustee for the Thames Valley District School Board and served as President of the Ontario Student Trustees Association in 2003-2004. Matt was born and raised in London and attended elementary and secondary school within the Thames Valley District School Board. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (B.A. Hons) and the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law (J.D.). Matt was called to the Ontario Bar in 2013 and practices in the area of Civil Litigation specializing in plaintiff personal injury at Cohen Highley Law Firm in London.
Peter Jaffe is a Trustee representing London Wards 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Peter was first elected as Trustee for the former Board of Education for the City of London in 1980 where he served as Chair in 1987-1988. He also served a term as Chair of the Thames Valley District School Board in 1999-2000.
Michael Dawthorne is the parent of a special needs child. Since adopting his son at age 7, Michael has encountered many barriers to education and inclusion, as a result of his son's health, mental health and developmental disabilities. He has effectively eliminated or mitigated these barriers by working with both the individual schools, and the Ministry of education. He now serves as the Chair of the Montcalm Parent Council. Michael is also serving his third term as elected Chair of the City of London's Accessibility Advisory Committee. During his tenure, he has successfully championed for more accessible recreation options, greater degree of accessibility in playgrounds and parks, easier access to subsidies for low income families, and the creation of a children's mental health stigma reduction initiative. Michael also volunteers as a Scout leader, Block Parent, United Way campaign coordinator.
Darlene is running for a second time as a Candidate for School Board Trustee for Wards 2,3,4,5&6 in the Thames Valley District School Board. Darlene has been an active Home and School member for the past 14 years, serving as President of both F.D. Roosevelt and Knollwood Park Home and School Associations over 5 of those years. Darlene also served four years as President of the Thames Valley Council of Home and School Associations, has been a member of the Thames Valley Parent Involvement Committee, and was a recipient of the Thames Valley District School Board's 2014 Award of Distinction. Darlene has a child presently attending school in the Thames Valley, and another recent graduate. Darlene believes that Parents have a very unique and important role to play in the Children's Education. Please visit for more information.
Joyce Bennett is a Trustee representing London Wards 7, 8, 9, 10 and 13. She was first elected to the Board of Trustees for the former Board of Education for the City of London in November 1988. She was elected as Chair of the Thames Valley District School Board in 2002, and was re-elected as Chair in 2003 for a second consecutive term. Joyce serves on several Board Committees, including the Special Education Advisory Committee, the Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils Committee, the Chairs' Committee, the Policy Working Committee, Mental Health and Wellness, Equity and Inclusive Education, and the Thames Valley Parent InvolvementCommittee. She served as the Chairperson for 2012, followed by a second term in 2013.
Brenda Ryan can represent you at Thames Valley District School Board. Elementary school closings are common and this issue will transfer to our secondary schools over the next 4 years. So you will need a strong advocate at the Board to represent you. The present issues at the Thames Valley District School Board are issues Brenda has been working to improve for many years. School bullying and the lack of appropriate services for students involved is epidemic. Bullying can create serious mental health issues for victims if it isn’t addressed. Not all students who suffer at the hands of bullies get the support they need. This must be a primary goal for the Thames Valley District School Board until we have resolved the problem! Brenda is an accomplished advocate for children and families with all levels of government and she understands you and our students’ needs. Representing children, their families and the community at the School Board level requires a person who has experience with controversial issues and challenges, while remaining dedicated to the constituents she represents. Brenda is the right person to do it! Accomplishments: 2013 Recipient of the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism, 1994 Recipient of Governor General of Canada Award for her contribution to the community and to Canada, Founder of P.E.P., a support group for parents dealing with high-risk youth, Creator of London’s Adaptive Cooking Class for adults with disabilities, Contributor to workshops for Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, Past member and Chair of Second Base Youth Shelter Toronto, Active member and former Chair of London’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, and much more.
Kathy Kaill currently works at Youth Opportunities Unlimited as well as volunteers her time at the Youth Action Centre. Prior to YOU, Kathy spent over 9 years in the United Way movement. Kathy has two children in school, one in FDK and the other in grade 6. Over the past 6 years, she has run into unjust policies in the school system and has had to advocate for her child’s needs. Through this experience, as well as her experience working on various Boards of Directors, Kathy feels that she can effectively advocate for parents and children as well as help shape policies that will ensure children’s unique needs are met.
Dan Judson currently works as a pediatric physiotherapist at Thames Valley Children’ Centre. He has worked in this field for over 15 years and is especially well acquainted with the stories of children who may need extra help, and their families. Dan is particularly well acquainted with our school through this work, and through his 4 years as Chair of the School Council at Arthur Ford Public School. He has been a successful advocate for the needs of his school by working with the Trustees and senior staff to achieve beneficial outcomes in the face of opposition. Dan is the father of 2 children, one in grade 3 and one in grade 5. They, along with the hundreds of children he has worked with are his motivation to work as hard as it takes to represent their needs at the board level. Dan has two subjects in particular that he is passionate about representing. The first is doing everything within our power to ensure that no child feels marginalized in our schools. The second is getting parents engaged in the learning process, and ensuring that the voice of parents is heard and respected. His long history of volunteer work, humanitarian efforts, and Board of Director’s service will help him to be an experienced and passionate advocate for the families in the community.
As a retired nurse and mother of three adult sons, I will be able to work tirelessly and unbiasedly for the good of all. I believe the role of a trustee is to act as a catalyst between the board administration, teachers, parents and other trustees, while providing the best welfare and achievement for ALL students. With the wealth of experiences I have gleaned from the varied professional and volunteer positions I have held, both in the community and in our schools, I would be a very capable, passionate trustee. These are challenging times for the Board of Education, with many issues to consider. Programming and school closures/builds are two of the biggest considerations for the board in the next four years. I am up to the challenge and would like to be a part of that process, to ensure success for every student.
I seek your trust, support and vote for the honour and privilege to be your next Thames Valley School Board Trustee. As a young child, I was not very good in school from Gr.1-3; I was pulling in ‘C’s and ‘D’s. School was stressful and disheartening. It was not until Gr. 4 that I developed confidence in myself because of two great teachers who saw my potential and created a classroom environment that aligned with my style of learning. I was a straight ‘A’ student in that year. My early struggles and later perseverance led me to earn a master’s degree today. Knowing how it feels to struggle in school, I want to do my part to ensure that no child doubts their ability to be who they want to be when they grow up. I bring the following education, experience and engagement to the position: BA in Psychology, MA in Clinical Mental Health Counselling, London Distress Centre Phone Volunteer, Kings University College Student Council Vice-President, Counselling Intern and community outreach staff member (St. Thomas), Committee work through Kings University College, Condominium Director (7+ years), Assistant Residence Manager at Kings, Small scale landlord, Proud father. My knowledge and experience will ensure that our children and the future leaders of our city will get the best educational opportunity available.
My name is Jake Skinner, and I'm a Thames Valley District School Board Trustee candidate for Wards 7, 8, 9, 10, and 13. I'm committed to making your voice heard, and like you, I want to play an active role in making our schools, our community, and our region a better place to raise our families, educate our children, and forge a future filled with unlimited promise. As the parent of six children and one who was born and raised in London, Ontario, I am well-vested in seeing our community and schools reach their potential. I bring a number of experiences which make me a well-qualified candidate for school trustee. I am a PhD candidate in Local Government at Western, hold a Master's Degree in American Studies, a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, and served a four-year term as a Regional Planning Commissioner. In addition, I am a teacher and a volunteer for a number of charitable causes.