Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
County of Essex Area 1: Amherstburg, LaSalleNumber of Available Seats: 1
Frank DI TOMASSOAcclaimed
County of Essex Area 2: Leamington, Essex, Kingsville and Pelee TownshipNumber of Available Seats: 1
Derek THACHUKAbout Me:
I have been married to Louise for 29 years. We are residents of Cottam, raising our 6 children, of which four have graduated and two are current students at the WECDSB. We are all active parishioners at …Holy Name of Jesus Church in Essex. I have been a Lector for over 10 years and most recently served as the Chair of the Finance / Property Committee. My wife and I have long facilitated the marriage preparation weekend for engaged couples, which has allowed us to meet and guide hundreds of engaged couples over the past nineteen years. I am a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 3305 in Essex.
As for my career, I am in my 31st year of employment with the City of Windsor, where I have undertaken construction engineering work in a variety of departments in both unionized and non-union roles. Much of what I have learned about the administration of Municipal Government throughout my career is transferable to the role of Trustee and makes me well equipped to “hit the ground running”.
School Board Involvement
Together with my wife Louise, I have spent a combined seven years on the Parent Council executives at both Cardinal Carter Secondary School in Leamington and Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School in Essex. I also completed a two year term as the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) representative at the Board for the Cardinal Carter family of schools, which includes Essex, Kingsville & Leamington. During my time in these roles, I have chaired dozens of parent council meetings, appeared as a delegate at Board meetings, provided feedback on policy development, and participated in consultations with the Provincial Supervisor when the Board was temporarily taken over by the Province as a result of their financial mismanagement.
Over the years, I have come to know many teachers, administrators and support staff who serve our children at our local schools. I am grateful to all of those dedicated to helping our children grow into the adults God has called them to be. Recognizing and building upon our strengths is key to meaningful improvements. Equally so, recognizing and correcting our weaknesses cannot be overlooked.
I will support our schools as they identify educational concerns and assist the Board to develop strategies to provide needed resources to our educators and students to facilitate improvements and solutions in identified areas, so as to strive towards the goal of making our Catholic schools the best in our area.
A successful Catholic school Board must be built upon these four pillars that I believe underpin Catholic Education:
Christ – Jesus Christ known in a relationship that is fed by Sacred Scripture and Sacraments;
Character – built upon learned and practised virtues;
Curriculum – focused on developing skills & knowledge; and
Community – for meaningful support & participation.
At no other time in the history of our Province has there been a greater distinction between Catholic and non-Catholic education. As the secular world continues to move away from traditional Judeo Christian values, those distinctions are increasing in clarity and number. Parents who choose to send their children for Catholic education do so in the hope that the traditional values upon which our society has been built will continue to be promoted and honoured. If I become your Trustee for the WECDSB, I will defend those values so as to deliver what the parents of our community have the right to expect from our Catholic schools.
I would appreciate your support in the upcoming Municipal Election on October 24th, 2022. If you would like to contact me for any reason, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Derek Thachuk More
County of Essex Area 3: LakeshoreNumber of Available Seats: 1
County of Essex Area 4: TecumsehNumber of Available Seats: 1
Mary HEATHElectedAbout Me:
My goals if re-elected:
As your Catholic School Board Trustee, I will continue to…
* help foster the Family - Church - Catholic school relationship and faith formation for students and staff, …supporting our Catholic identity.
* support students and staff through presence and participation at school events.
* collaborate with administration to ensure a balanced school budget and responsible spending on the essentials for students, facilities, technology and faith formation.
* support enhancements for student’s mental health, safe environment, special education supports and ongoing academic success.
* be cheerful, approachable, supportive and faithful.
I’m a life resident of Tecumseh and lifelong, active member of St. Gregory/Good Shepherd Parishes. I’m number 7 of 9 children and for 43 years I have been married to Deacon Rick Heath. Rick is a graduate of Assumption College CHS. We have four married children and seven grand-children with another due in early November. Our children and I attended St. Pius X Catholic Elementary and St. Anne Catholic Secondary Schools in Tecumseh.
Presently I’m “retired” however still volunteer in a variety of capacities, including as a member of the advisory team to Dr. John Cappucci, Principal, Vice-Chancellor and Assistant Professor with Assumption University, Windsor and the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Religion and Conflict. I am a member of Inter Faith Group of Windsor-Essex, chaired by Dr. Norman King. I am a Lector and Eucharistic minister at Mass, facilitator of Vigil prayers at funeral homes, a grief recovery facilitator in our family of parishes.
I’m a former employee of the Diocese of London - Pastoral Minister at St. William Catholic Church and Heavenly Rest Family of Catholic Cemeteries and have collaborated with many Priests, Deacons and Bishop Fabbro of our Diocese. I’m a former occasional teacher – Essex Separate School Board. For eighteen years, while a stay-at-home mother, I continued to study the Catholic faith, volunteered as a catechist with RCIA (teaching adults about the faith, leading them to full initiation in the Roman Catholic Church). I have prepared children for the sacraments, facilitated retreats for grades ten and eleven students, participated in parish music ministry as a musician, vocalist and choir director, was a youth ministry leader and participated in various liturgical ministries locally and with the Diocese.
For over twenty-five years I volunteered with Tecumseh Corn Festival including several years as Entertainment Director. I have participated in four mission trips to Haiti with my husband, visited with children we sponsored and witnessed one young lady we continue to sponsor, successfully graduate from nursing school.
In 2018 I was acclaimed the English Catholic School Board Trustee for Tecumseh and maintain a near perfect attendance at Board meetings and committee meetings. I‘ve often had the privilege of providing opening and closing prayer at Regular Board of Trustee meetings. I’m the former Adult Faith Animator at WECDSB, where I prepared and facilitated retreats for board employees, prepared board wide liturgies and Masses where Bishop Fabbro presided, invited and trained employees to participate as Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers. I have taught Advanced Qualification (AQ) Religion courses in liturgy and church music to teachers for our Board and provided prayer experiences for a variety of meetings, summer education programs, new teacher induction programs, Campus Ministers, Principal and vice-principal groups, as well as prayer vigil in time of the death of employees.
I have long been an active participant in Catholic education, the Catholic Church and faith formation. As a teen participating in my faith community, Catholic high school and various Catholic retreat experiences, I took great interest in understanding the liturgy of the Mass, why we sing what we sing, why we go to church, and why Eucharist and all the sacraments are so important. Even today, I continue to study the Catholic faith and Church and do my very best to live a Christ-centered life. I have tried to lead by example and over the years and have mentored many others in ministry in the church and in our Catholic education system.
I have been available and take part in Catholic School Advisory Council meetings at St. Anne Catholic HS, St. Pius X Elementary School, St. Peter Elementary School, St André French Immersion and St. Mary French Immersion, providing a report of Trustees’ activities, even during the Covid lockdowns as we pivoted to online meetings. I attend a variety of school events including Masses, graduations, events in Indigenous education, Meet the Teacher events and open houses, etc.. I sit as the Trustee on the Board’s French Immersion Advisory Committee and the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee. I am a member of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association and have participated along with fellow Trustees at OCSTA AGMs, January Seminars and regional meetings in the Fall. As Trustee I have advocated for parents and students helping them to understand and resolve concerns eg. Busing, class size, teachers, need for crossing guards, split grade classes, etc..
Why do I feel that I’m suited for Catholic School Trustee position?
I maintain a sincere prayer life. As a matter of fact, I depend on prayer and discernment for all important decisions I make in my life, including whether I’m worthy of returning as the Catholic School Board Trustee for Tecumseh. I am blessed to have been raised in an active Catholic family, attend Catholic elementary and secondary school, a Catholic University and have been active in the Catholic Church since a teen. Our Catholic schools are small faith communities where the Catholic faith is integrated in the everyday, life-long faith journey of our students through the person of Jesus. Our students are nurtured in the faith, spiritually, emotionally and experientially. I feel that I have a rich foundation in understanding the Catholic faith and lead students, parents, teachers and administrators in the Catholic Education system by example. I have the time and interest to be present and participate at the five Catholic schools I represent. I have built relationships and rekindled relationships with parents, Catholic School Advisory Councils, students, teachers and administrators in our Catholic system. They know what I bring to the role of Trustee and they have faith in me to advocate with the Board and to bring their issues and successes to Administration. More