2018 Election

Greater Essex County District School Board

Headquarters: Windsor
Voting Regions: 7
Total Trustee Seats Available: 10

Windsor West - Wards 1,2,9

Number of Available Seats: 2
  • Placeholder image of Patrick HANNON
    Patrick HANNON
  • Placeholder image of Sushil JAIN
    Sushil JAIN
    About Me:

    Current occupation: President, South Asian Centre of Windsor

    What is your most relevant experience for this position?

    Teaching experience, civic engagement, community service, research and publication on education related matters

    -Over 25 years of teaching experience

    -M.Ed. from University of Windsor; Ph.D. from an English University

    -Former member of the University of Windsor's Faculty of Education Advisory Council


    -"Fiscal costs of educational reforms"; "Politics of prayers in public schools"; "Kirpans in schools"; and many other pieces

    -Wrote a comparative study of Japanese and Canadian (Ontario) education systems

    -Graduate of a law school; member of the Essex Law Association (ELA).

    -Currently a member of the ELA's Truth and Reconciliation Committee

    -Member, Executive, CARP Chapter 07 (Windsor-Essex)

    -[Canadian Association of retired People]

    - Past chair and current member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the City of Windsor,

    -Member of the City of Windsor's International Relations Committee

    -Visited Japan and South Korea as a member delegate of the committee in 2018

    What is the single biggest issue in your ward/municipality/board?

    School safety and violence against teachers.

    Print and electronic media reports extensively about shootings in schools but very little is written about violence directed towards teachers and staff. A quick google search conducted yesterday reveals: For every 10 Canadian teachers, at least 4 have endured some kind of violence (Globalnews); Violence against elementary teachers in Ontario public schools is on the rise (CBC news); Violence against teachers by students is turning into a bona fide workplace hazard. It is not clear if our board(s) keeps any raw data about such incidents.


    Supporting: GREEN EDUCATION &


  • Image of Linda QIN
    Linda QIN
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    About Me:

    -Ph.D. candidate in Manufacturing Management in USA.

    -Associate Professor at Business School in University for more than 10 years.

    -Manufacturing company management working experience for 8 years.

    -Master's degree in Computer Software and Engineering.

    -Bachelor's degree in Industrial Management Engineering.

    -Over thirty journal publishing articles and conference presentations in Management and education area.

    -Teaching courses include Statistics, Management Theory, Human Resource Management, Management Information Systems, Operations Research, Computer Office Software, English course of Technology, Basics of Management Science, etc.

    -Volunteer in Chinese Language teaching in Chinese Alliance Church.

    -Mother of two Public-School attending children, one graduated from Glenwood Public School with the highest academic award.

    -Active in community activities.

    -Passionate, Committed, Energetic and Caring representative for the parents and families.

  • Placeholder image of Jessica SARTORI
    Jessica SARTORI
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  • Image of Shirley-Lyn WATSON
    Shirley-Lyn WATSON
    About Me:

    Coming from a diverse family whose mother raised four children on her own with no relief from other support systems. I want to improve the lives of children in our community. We need to improve our schools, public safety, increase education for our teachers and ***educational support staff as well as hold people accountable for their actions. I will raise awareness, advocate and dedicate my job as trustee to listening to the concerns of the parents in these wards. I am not afraid to raise my voice and given the opportunity; I will fight tooth and nail for what I believe is right for our children. More

Windsor Central - Wards 3,4,10

Number of Available Seats: 2
  • Placeholder image of Omar CHAFCHAK
  • Placeholder image of Sarah CIPKAR
    Sarah CIPKAR
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  • Image of Katrina ELCHAMI
    Katrina ELCHAMI
    About Me:

    My name is Katrina Elchami. I have 5 children with 4 graduating from Vincent Massey Secondary School and 1 still in high school at Westview Freedom Academy. I have a Bachelors degree in Business and I am self employed working as an administrative assistant and an online tutor for reading/dyslexia. I have been volunteering in my children's schools since they were in preschool. Many years ago, I began to get involved at the Board level. I was a school council chair for over 14 years and currently chair the school council at Westview Freedom Academy. I am currently a representative on the Greater Essex County Parent Involvement Committee (GECPIC) and I chaired the committee in 2013-2015. I have represented GECPIC at the Parent Involvement Symposium for 6 years and have personally met 3 ministers of education. I recently spoke at the Board's Strive Symposium which was geared toward students with exceptionalities/learning disabilities. I was the chair of the South Windsor Program and Accommodation Review Committee which changed the boundaries for 7 South Windsor Schools. I participated with the Board on the Math Task Force. I am the parent representative for our board on the Teacher's Educational Advisory Committee at the University of Windsor and I also represent the Provincial Demonstration Schools on the Learning Disabilities Reference Group with the Ministry of Education. I, along with several other mothers, fought the Provincial government to save the Provincial Demonstration Schools from closure as they are the last chance for children with severe dyslexia/reading disabilities.

    I believe that education is the key to every student's future. Some issues facing our Board are keeping core schools open & funding their improvement needs, improving test scores in math & literacy by addressing curriculum changes, assessing the best way to measure learned skills, & making sure that ALL kids have what they need to succeed.

    I would love to represent Wards 3, 4 and 10 on the Greater Essex County District School Board. I believe that my many years of experience with the Board will help me to lead our Board to excellence in education. Please contact me with any questions or concerns at or visit my Facebook page - Elect Katrina Elchami for Public Board Trustee Wards 3, 4 & 10.

  • Placeholder image of David FERGUSON
    David FERGUSON
  • Placeholder image of Alan HALBERSTADT
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  • Placeholder image of Beau HELBERT
    Beau HELBERT

Leamington, Pelee

Number of Available Seats: 1
  • Placeholder image of Aimee OMSTEAD
    Aimee OMSTEAD
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  • Placeholder image of Rae-Anne SCRATCH
    Rae-Anne SCRATCH
    About Me:

    Born and raised in Leamington, Rae-Anne is the proud mother of two daughters that have both seen the best and challenges of our public school system. She has deep roots in the community including her current role as case manager for the South Essex Community Council, working with seniors and people of different abilities. Rae-Anne is active with the Canadian Union Of Public Employees and has volunteered with several community groups, including parent council, the United Way and Leamington police community liaison committee.

    Why I am Running for Public School Board Trustee Leamington-Pelee Island

    I'm passionate about the quality of our public education – a commitment that has guided me through 20 years of volunteer work on parent councils. I've served as chair, co-chair and general member of parent councils at elementary and secondary levels and in three different schools within our community.

    I also know firsthand the challenges faced by many parents, as we fight to gain access to the supports and services that children need to succeed. I'm grateful to the principals, teachers, and support staff who refuse to give up on any student, so that our children can get the education they deserve. As a school board trustee, I want to support their efforts.

    Every child deserves the same rights, respect and access to a high-quality public education; our schools must be safe, secure places to learn and work in; and educators need the tools and resources to do their jobs.

    Being a trustee is about making choices, many of them tough. Underfunding for public education may worsen; our students face cuts to program and services; our schools have huge repair backlogs. As a school board trustee, I know I'll face these challenges. But parents, families and communities can be confident that I will always fight to preserve the quality and environment of the public education system – for our children.

    Building the foundation for education together!

Windsor East - Wards 5,6,7,8

Number of Available Seats: 2
  • Placeholder image of Cathy COOKE
    Cathy COOKE
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    About Me:

    Cathy Cooke was born and raised in the Riverside area of Windsor. Cathy has been working and advocating for children and families for many years. Cathy has proven she is a strong advocate and is passionate about helping children be successful. More

  • Image of Laurie KOMON
    Laurie KOMON
    About Me:


    My name is Laurie komon this is my second attempt at becoming an elected Trustee for the Public GECDSB.

    For over 25 years I have been a committed advocate for children with special needs and their families .

    In the 1980s I was a counselor at Leon Residence for adolescent girls for 10 years

    In 1993 my son was born and I was told he would be blind.This same year the CNIB cancelled their children's programs.

    A few years later in response I founded PS for our Kids A parent support group for those with visually impaired children. I also sat on the SEAC special education advisory committee for GECDSB

    In the mid 1990s I was on the CNIB board and eventually elected as Board Chair of CNIB Essex Kent .Fortunately they re-established their children's program.

    In 2000 I was hired as Dr Ana Juricic's Low Vision Councilor

    during this time I worked with many eye specialists I also worked with 9 school boards making recommendations for visually impaired children in the classroom.During this time I observed the different delivery of service in the boards. I found that the GECDSB did some of the best work.

    As a Trustee I hope to ensure the continued quality of service with our special needs students.

    In the past 3 years I have volunteered with Dr Annette Dufresne at the Multi Culture Council in a Community Building Program with New comer families.

    I have many views on Suicide Prevention Strategy the issue of consent and cyber bullying . I would like to Black History taught along with Indigenous curriculum as requested by The Truth and reconciliation committee. I would like a Food Security initiative established for all students in all schools .

    My goal is to help all students reach their greatest potential.

    I commit to be the accessible, trusted Trustee .

    Thank you

    Laurie komon for Public Board Trustee GECDSB

    Wards 5 6 7 8

    I have a Public Facebook Page Laurie komon for Trustee

  • Image of Henry LAU
    Henry LAU
    About Me:

    'I pledge to faithfully attend Board meetings in person and go the extra mile to serve you and our students."

    On October 22nd2018, elect

    Henry Lau


    Greater Essex County District School Board

    Wards 5,6,7,8 combined

    Henry is a graduate of Riverside Secondary School and St. Clair College. His three children are graduates of the Windsor public school system. A successful businessman in manufacturing, he served as an Odette Business School mentor for new businesses and students.

    Henry's Platform

    -- Put students and taxpayers first over special interests and trustee conflicts of Interest, and faithfully attend and vote at all board meetings in person.

    -- Push for the province to merger the Catholic and public school boards into one public system that will save up to $6.7 million a year and channel that money into the underfunded education of special needs students.

    -- Advocate for improvements to ward schools such as Herman Academy, where a flex room and secondary room are needed to meet the needs of elementary students: Push the board and the province to make the consolidation of Forest Glade Public School with the adjacent Primary Learning Centre a capital funding priority; Advocate for the continued expansion of Riverside Secondary School's prestigious International Baccalaureate Accreditation program.

    --Press education superintendents to put programs in place to improve test scores, with continued support for the board's Math Task Force

    -- Make frequent visits and seek feedback from schools in the four wards I represent.

    Please contact Henry at henry.lau@ciktel.netfor any of your question or concern.

    Better Schools for Better Futures!

  • Image of Cheryl LOVELL
    Cheryl LOVELL
    About Me:

    Since 2006, it has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8, as their Public School Board Trustee. I was born and raised in Windsor. My children (and now grandchildren), my husband Lloyd, and I were educated in this same Public School System.

    As our education system faces change - having experience and a good, solid understanding of the education system at the local and provincial levels is a necessary requirement for the role of Trustee.
    I offer to you my experience including: Elected 12 years as a Trustee (3 terms), Elected 8 years by fellow trustees as a their representative to the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) Board of Directors, Appointed the last 7 years by the Ministry as the provincial Trustee representative to the Minister’s Advisory Council on Special Education, Elected 15 years to the Ontario Council for Technology Education (Founding member, Board of Directors, Vice-Chair), Appointed five times as a curriculum writer by the Ministry, 35 years Teaching Experience in our Public School Board, 40 years Community Service (Forest Glade/Banwell Community Church, Salvation Army Kettle Drum, Hockey With Heart -Autism), Lifetime resident in the areas I serve.

    Based on my extensive experiences I have developed unique perspective to view education issues as: a Parent/Grandparent, a Resident, a Teacher, an Advocate both locally and provincially and as a Trustee with comprehensive understanding of Ministry of Education policies and practices.

    It is my belief that our Public Education System can raise the potential of all our children and strengthen the families within our community and together we can make this happen.

  • Placeholder image of Gale SIMKO HATFIELD
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Kingsville, Essex

Number of Available Seats: 1
  • Image of Julia BURGESS
    Julia BURGESS
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    About Me:

    I've been honoured to serve in a leadership capacity on the Greater Essex County DSB, including as Chairperson of the Board. I bring valuable skills and knowledge to this public service, keeping what's best for our kids and our communities at the centre of my decision making. I have deep roots in Kingsville-Essex, exemplary attendance and no conflicts of interest. My record shows an understanding of local and provincial issues: deliberating on the $465M balanced Operating budget + $75M Capital budget for '18-'19. I offer thoughtful governance of resources for ALL learners in ALL schools, including those with special education needs. Attendance at OPSBA AGMs, Labour Relations & Public Education Symposia, allowed me to help shape the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act. This round of negotiations is predicted to be a challenging one with a newly elected provincial government as funding partners in the process. Ten+ years of experience on the OPSBA will prove a valuable asset (VP Western Region, Director/ Voting Delegate, Chair of Education Program Work Team, Member of Policy Development Work Team) A priority will be completing the design and build of the new K-12 FI/ENG dual track school on the south shore, serving students from Kingsville and Harrow. More

  • Placeholder image of Sheri DZUDOVICH

Lakeshore, Tecumseth

Number of Available Seats: 1
  • Image of Connie-Lynn BUCKLER
    Connie-Lynn BUCKLER
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    About Me:




    For the past 8 years

    Longtime service on parent councils and 2 years provincial parent board

    Service with GECDSB has included special education, supervised alternative learning, student discipline, policy and opsba representation

    Service to education is who i am and what I do

    As the mother of 3 grown daughters

    2 currently in education

    And now 2 beautiful grandsons in the family

    I consider it an honour and privilege to serve my community and education has been my passion for years

    I never want to stop learning or serving

  • Image of Rebekah HARRISON
    Rebekah HARRISON
    About Me:

    Resident of the beautiful Belle River area with my spouse of 19 years. We have 2 children (aged 13 and 7) both of whom have learning disabilities/exceptionalities and we count it a privilege to advocate for both of them on a daily basis. My educational background consists of BA (Sociology Major) from the University of Windsor, where I had opportunity to study various legislation ranging from Human Rights to Labour law and the Education Act. I am a Registered Early Childhood educator by profession and devotion and moonlight as a curriculum designer of materials that provide a multi-sensory learning environment for students of all learning types. I also have more than 15 years of progressive government work experience in various municipalities both in New Brunswick and Ontario. I am deeply committed to all things public service in both my employment and volunteer background. I have been in classrooms all over Windsor and Essex county working with and advocating for students with various disabilities and exceptionalities. All of our students deserve the very best educational experience we can provide them with. This is achievable, and I believe my knowledge, skills and experience can assist this endeavor as your prospective public board Trustee for the Tecumseh and Lakeshore area.


  • Image of Alicia HIGGISON
    Alicia HIGGISON
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    About Me:

    Alicia HIGGISON has over 12 years of experience in office administration and communications, as well as a BA Honours in Political Science. She works at the University of Windsor as the Administrative Assistant and Social Media Coordinator for the Office of Open Learning. Her role includes the advancement of technology-enhanced learning, engaging with both students and faculty, including with the Faculty of Education in the professional development of teacher candidates. She is an accomplished speaker and experienced presenter in digital citizenship, social media, and voter apathy. Alicia is a strong advocate of effective communication, digital citizenship, and student learning. More

Amherstburg, LaSalle

Number of Available Seats: 1