Over and over I hear the same message from folks as I talk about the campaign and why I am running for the privilege of representing you as your Catholic School Board Trustee. That is, people want to be heard. I’m hearing from families in Shelburne who feel underserved as a community, who perhaps need access to specialized resources, would love to have a school closer to home or who simply don’t know where to turn for assistance. I’m hearing from families in Orangeville that need help but don’t know who they can rely on and from families in the south end of Caledon who are frustrated over the slow pace of new school development. Bolton has had its own fair share of issues in the past, including a particularly contentious bussing issue that should never have been allowed to fester for as long as it did. It’s time for a change. It’s time for the residents in ALL of Dufferin Peel to feel that they are represented by someone who is ready, willing and able to listen, advocate and support their community, whether that community is Shelburne, Grand Valley, Mono, Mulmur, Hockley, Dundalk, Orangeville, Caledon East, Bolton, Caledon Village, Alton, Valleywood, Inglewood, Cheltenham or Southfields. YES, these communities are all represented by one DPCDSB trustee and I’m asking you to vote for me to be that person.

 

I committed to this campaign during the first week you were able to register as a candidate back in May of this year. I vowed to run on Mother’s Day “in honour of Moms, Dads, and all parents and caregivers everywhere….. my intention to run for the position of School Board Trustee for the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board…(because) I am passionate about education and about providing children the supports and resources they require in order to achieve their full potential.”

 

From that day until now, I have spent time listening to the community, I’ve attended every single “All Candidates” meeting to which I have been invited. I’ve accepted every invitation to share my platform whether that was through Dufferin Board of Trade, local papers or with poverty activists and union locals. I’ve met with constituents in Orangeville and Shelburne and Bolton and beyond and I’ve been very active on social media sharing my platform openly for all to see. I’m not doing this for personal gain. I’m running my campaign on a shoestring budget with my family’s support because they know how passionate I am about children, supporting community and about education. I’m doing this because I’ve been that parent who needed support for an IEP. I’ve been that parent who sat on Council at every level from Chairperson, to Parish Rep to Secretary to sweeping the floor and I’ve been that parent who had to learn how to advocate for a school boundary change and work together with Board officials, on behalf of a group of elementary aged students and their parents because it was the right thing to do. During these experiences, I came to realize that’s what a Trustee does – because I was the one doing it.

 

It’s crucial, as we come closer and closer to Election Day that you know how important this position is not only to me but also to you. Your school trustee is the person you call when you need help, support and advocacy as you navigate your way through the system. Have a bussing concern? Call your trustee. Need assistance navigating through the system for your special needs child? Call your trustee. Do trustees make big and important decisions like budgets, supporting curriculum development, on gaining operational efficiencies or planning for new school locations? Absolutely and with my business and teaching background I have the experience necessary to act at that level. But far more importantly, your trustee has a responsibility to listen and advocate for you. To answer an email, pick up the phone when it rings and to visit your school when invited – and not just for presenting the Trustee award at graduation time. It’s time for change.