2018 Election

Niagara Catholic District School Board

Headquarters: Welland
Voting Regions: 6
Total Trustee Seats Available: 8

St. Catharines

Number of Available Seats: 2
  • Placeholder image of Dana Caroline BAYLEY
    Dana Caroline BAYLEY
  • Placeholder image of Kathy BURTNIK
    Kathy BURTNIK
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  • Image of Shonna DALY
    Shonna DALY
    About Me:

    An Engaged Parent & Advocate for 15+ years

    Listening to and advocating for our children

    Listening to and advocating for the concerns of parents/guardians

    Parent engagement and transparency

    Effectively work in partnership with students, parents/guardians, teachers, administration, trustees, Director of Education, Clergy, community and all stakeholders.

    Dedicated to being actively involved/engaged (visiting the schools, the Catholic school councils, researching relevant issues)

    Dedicated to the mission, vision and values of Niagara Catholic District School board

    Support accountability and fiscal responsibility

    Promote our Catholic schools as safe, caring, and inclusive learning communities that celebrate diversity

    Preserve and strengthen our publicly funded Catholic Education

    Represent and actively promote the Niagara Catholic District School Board

    Committed to providing the supports for Success for the student learning experience:

    Class size

    Supporting a safe school environment

    Declining Enrollment and school closures


  • Image of Jeremy Anthony HARB
    Jeremy Anthony HARB
    About Me:

    A Brief Bio

    Full name: Jeremy Anthony Harb

    Occupation: Management - Vintage Hotels

    Family: Married 17 Years and the Father to four wonderful kids - two boys and two girls; my youngest whom is five and my eldest who is fifteen

    Community work: Knights of Columbus, St. Francis High School Council, Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria, L’Ecole St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

    Top issues: Declining Enrollment + Student Performance in the STEM Disciplines & Teaching the Trades

    -Remaining competitive and providing an educational experience that produces confident and strong students & leaders both academically, athletically and spiritually.

    -Having facilities that are current, relevant & well kept through physical upgrades & enhancements - I would support the HVAC upgrades of schools to include A/C!

    -Attracting the best and most qualified faculty through fair compensation and offering of positive work environment and employment experience.

    -Performance in core STEM related courses, in particular Math, have fallen. Teaching our students important life skills like financial literacy and ensuring that they have the exposure to the increased opportunities in skilled trades

    Why am I running?

    It is my desire for children in Niagara to have the best experience possible within the NCDSB, especially during their formative years, that has inspired me to run for trustee. Being part of the NCDSB, both as a student and as a parent, almost my entire life, I have seen first hand what we do good and what we can do better at. Supporting our children with proper resources and well-kept facilities will not only enhance their ability to achieve and learn, but also allow the NCDSB to remain competitive to attract

    students to Catholic education.

    Why should voters choose me?

    Three words define who I am as an individual: Faith - Family - Integrity. I believe that we need to nurture an educational environment that will create leaders who can become beacons of our Catholic faith. I believe in transparency & accountability and this too would define my work ethic and current success in my career. My success as a trustee would allow me to give back to an organization that has given me a lot growing up and that will continue to give future generations.

  • Placeholder image of Larry HUIBERS
    Larry HUIBERS
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Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln, Pelham

Number of Available Seats: 1
  • Placeholder image of Lawrence ALEXANDER
    Lawrence ALEXANDER
  • Image of Peter DIEF
    Peter DIEF
    About Me:

    Peter is a Certified Professional Accountant; He pursued and obtained his CPA, CMA in 2010 after graduating from the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business with his Honours in Business Administration. Peter has over 10 years of experience in finance, accounting, budget development, financial statement preparation, data analytics and project management within organizations exceeding $550 Million in operating budgets. He also advises and provides intelligent solutions to all levels of staff and leadership using a methodical approach rooted in evidence based analytics and best practices. Peter firmly believes in social justice and has a proven track record of volunteerism and community service with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and Leadership Niagara.

    "As a proud father of 3, I believe in the significance and distinctiveness of Catholic Education. I am devoted to creating an environment that empowers and inspires all our students to reach their full potential in academics, faith, leadership and community service." - Peter Dief CPA, CMA

  • Image of Leanne PRINCE
    Leanne PRINCE
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    About Me:

    Leanne was born and raised in Ottawa. She attended Algonquin College and studied Business Marketing. In 2010, she moved to Grimsby with her husband David to raise their 2 sons. For the last eight years Leanne has served as Chair, Co-Chair and member of the St. Joseph Catholic School Council and recently joined the Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Committee. Working with the Catholic School Councils, Leanne has gained a greater appreciation and knowledge of how the school budgets are being organized, what funding is available and how those funds are distributed. Leanne knows there is great things in the future of Catholic Education in Niagara, and together as stakeholders we will tap into our talents to achieve it for the present and future students. Together, we will be Raising Our Futures. More

  • Image of Robert RUGGIERI
    Robert RUGGIERI
    About Me:

    I have a commerce degree from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Laurier, specialized in finance. I am a full-time professor at George Brown College in Toronto and the Coordinator for the Operations and Supply Chain Program in the Business School. Prior to teaching, for about 17 years, I worked in various management positions in the private sector I am also a part-time investment banker/consultant working in capital markets. I am "Frugal" by its definition and a value seeking individual who is direct and straight to the point. Finally, and most importantly, I am a father of 2 elementary school aged children in the system. More

Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls

Number of Available Seats: 2
  • Placeholder image of Tony CARUSO
    Tony CARUSO
  • Placeholder image of Frank FERA
    Frank FERA
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  • Placeholder image of Eddie GALATI
    Eddie GALATI
  • Placeholder image of Dan MOODY
    Dan MOODY
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  • Image of John SHALALA
    John SHALALA
    About Me:

    Happily married to my beautiful wife Jean; we have one son, J.P. who is married to Dianna (Hunt) and they have one daughter, Gracie Mae. I worked at Kimberly-Clark for 18 years as the General Mill Supervisor and Logistics Manager. Prior to that I owned and operated my own business. I am an ordained Deacon at Our Lady of the Scapular Church in Niagara Falls. I am the spiritual director for the Holy Name Society, the Catholic Women's League, and the National Chaplain for the Order Sons of Italy of Canada.

    We must, quite frankly, put a stop the foolishness that is taking place within the Board as a whole. I have given much thought into what I have heard and seen these past few years especially with spending, negotiations, lock-out, fear of retaliation, "cliques," and on the one hand I have become quite irritated and on the other, I have become quite motivated to rock the boat and see who sinks or swims. Where is the accountability and transparency? Who controls the budget? Who is really in charge?

    We all say it's time for change and do nothing about it. I want to do something about it before it gets worse and we lose not only what dignity we have left, but also our Catholic Board. Let's take back control. let's get it together and make it easier to go to work and feel good and proud about what we are doing. Let us bring trust, dignity, and respect back into the classroom where everyone has a voice at the table and that voice is listened to and acted upon in a timely manner. This is all achievable. I believe the Trustees need to regain the trust they have lost. They need to be active in the schools and should be able to be approached by all Board employees to get a better understanding of what is most important to everyone and that is the emotional, spiritual, and educational growth of our students.

Thorold, Merritton

Number of Available Seats: 1
  • Image of Rhianon BURKHOLDER
    Rhianon BURKHOLDER
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    About Me:

    I am asking all residents of Thorold, Thorold South, Port Robinson and Merritton for support in the upcoming election for the position of Niagara Catholic School Board Trustee.

    I was brought up with Catholic education, giving me an appreciation and understanding of the values it promotes. My husband and I have raised three children through the same Catholic School system here in Niagara because we believe in these values.

    I have been working in the Niagara Health System for more than three decades. I currently work in the Emergency Department of the St. Catharines General hospital but previously spent 10 years working in Addictions and Mental Health with the NHS. During that time, I presented an alcohol and drug abuse program called “High on Life” that was designed for adolescent students.

    I am committed to preserving Catholic education while promoting a safe and inclusive environment for all students. I promise to continue my passion and dedication as your Catholic Trustee.

    The current political climate is quite uncertain, especially with challenges toward provincial education. A strong voice is needed during these turbulent times to ensure that the interests of all students, families, and faculty are well represented. I will be this strong voice in Catholic education.

    I appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the voting polls on October 22. Advanced polls open October 6; any rides or accommodations can be arranged.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

    Face Book: @RhianonforTrustee

  • Placeholder image of Patricia VERNAL
    Patricia VERNAL

Wainfleet, Port Colborne, Fort Erie

Number of Available Seats: 1
  • Image of Bonnie DICKSON
    Bonnie DICKSON
    About Me:

    For the past 22 years, my job as a pharmacy technician has allowed me to be a part of a health care team that works towards achieving the best possible health outcomes for our patients. The key to achieving these outcomes is a collaborative working relationship with many different health professionals. I believe that this collaborative approach, that brings together many different views, would work to achieve the best possible education outcomes for our students. I look forward to the opportunity to work with all those that want the best education system for our children. Facebook: Bonnie Dickson for Catholic School Board Trustee More

  • Image of Heather PYKE
    Heather PYKE
    About Me:

    I am certainly running for trustee first and foremost to help protect and promote our gift of Catholic Education. I was born in a province that lost Catholic education and like, many things in life, unfortunately, you appreciate it more when its gone. I am blessed to have been able to raise my family in Ontario and know that the quality of our faith based Catholic Education system in Ontario is the best education for our children, academically, spiritually and developmentally. I am also concerned about the new provincial government and its developing mandate which has already attacked teachers, education and put our children at risk. I am very concerned and want to do what I can. I will listen and will represent families as I work to ensure that decisions are based on what is best for all children; with no other agenda I will place students’ needs first, while focusing on protecting and promoting our students and Catholic education. I am running as I am passionate about this cause, not for any other reason or political agenda.

    As important, I am running because I believe that there is a need for change. Some current trustees have lost their focus on Catholic Education. They have stopped representing many families and our children in favour of their own personal agendas. It has become, in my opinion, personality driven and not focused on the students, first and foremost. The current trustee has been sanctioned by the board in the past, on a code of conduct. In addition, since the last election, he is a board trustee that sits on the Parent Involvement Committee that represents parents across Niagara to the board. According to minutes posted on the board website he has only attended 3 of 18 meetings in the past 4 years. While he has contributed much to education, it is time for a change in our Lakeshore communities and time for a strong, experienced parent voice at the board representing our Lakeshore communities.

    As a parent, I was involved at the school level all through my child’s education; I know what is needed. I also represented parents at the board and provincial level where I represented Niagara.

    Iwas Vice President of the Ontario Association of Catholic Parents in Education, where I represented parents at provincial board tables which included MOE, Institute for Catholic Education among others. I have been in the trenches at the schools and know what is needed. Professionally I am a Director of Operations and have the senior management experience to see the bigger picture and make the hard decisions sometimes needed to promote and grow. I have the strategic management experience, business ethic and negotiation experience required. This is my chance to do something about it. If elected, I hope to help the board refocus its mission. Change is needed. Faith is important to me and so is managerial and education outcomes. I will advocate and make those decisions that are needed to ensure that our children receive the best educational opportunities.

    Education: BACS, MA Communication

    Occupation: Director of Operations


    -13+ years school councils, St Therese, St john Bosco, Lakeshore Catholic

    -6+ yrs Lakeshore Rep Parent Involvement Committee,

    -Past Niagara Director and VP for Ontario Association of Catholic Parents in Education (OAPCE)

    -Represented OAPCE Ministry of Education Partnership tables, Institute for Catholic Education, and other provincial tables; representing the parent voice.

    -12 + yrs volunteer with local events/initiatives.

    -25+ years senior management experience

    I will bring the parent voice back to the board with my skills in strategic planning, management, and negotiation to help the board refocus its mission while making the necessary decisions.

  • Placeholder image of Dino P. SICOLI
    Dino P. SICOLI
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Number of Available Seats: 1