Meet the pub­lic board trustee can­di­dates

Pro­files of can­di­dates for St. Catharines/Ni­a­gara-on-the-Lake English pub­lic school board trus­tees

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - News -

The Stan­dard asked all 11 can­di­dates for English pub­lic school board trustee the same ques­tions. A miss­ing cat­e­gory means the can­di­date did not an­swer that ques­tion.


Age: 42 Oc­cu­pa­tion: In­struc­tor and aca­demic co-or­di­na­tor

Fam­ily: Won­der­ful daugh­ter and spouse

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: Cur­rent pub­lic school board trustee; On­tario Pub­lic School Board direc­tor/al­ter­nate

Com­mu­nity work: For­mer vice-chair board of di­rec­tors, Gil­lian’s Place; for­mer mem­ber/fos­ter

Jen­nifer Ajandi care An­i­mal As­sis­tance So­ci­ety

Top is­sue: Men­tal health, eq­uity and in­clu­sion

Why are you run­ning? I am run­ning to help rep­re­sent the voices in our com­mu­nity and to pro­vide strate­gic di­rec­tion on the board.

Why should vot­ers choose

you? I will be your trustee to ad­vo­cate for your fam­ily and chil­dren’s rights. I am ded­i­cated, re­spon­si­ble, pas­sion­ate, and fully be­lieve in cel­e­brat­ing our board’s suc­cesses but also tak­ing a crit­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion of where we can im­prove. I am a par­ent with a child cur­rently in our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and can see the is­sues from mul­ti­ple per­spec­tives. I be­lieve in work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively with re­spect, trans­parency and fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Con­tact: Email: jen­na­jandi@hot­; cell: 905-9336106


Age: Undis­closed

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Au­thor and re­search con­sul­tant

Fam­ily: Two chil­dren, both in DSBN schools

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: Cam­paign vol­un­teer

Com­mu­nity work: Out of the Cold, Gar­den City Food Co-op

Top is­sue:

Pro­tect­ing ac­cess to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion for ev­ery­one

Why are you run­ning? I’m run­ning to ad­dress is­sues that have shaken the pub­lic’s con­fi­dence in the DSBN. We share wor­ries about school clo­sures, se­crecy in board de­ci­sion-mak­ing and ac­cess to spe­cial­ized pro­gram­ming.

Why should vot­ers choose you? I want to im­prove trans­parency in de­ci­sion-mak­ing and en­sure that de­ci­sions are sub­ject to pub­lic scru­tiny. The prac­tice of in-cam­era, or pri­vate, meet­ings is be­ing abused. Meet­ings on all is­sues, ex­cept those that could com­pro­mise staff or stu­dent pri­vacy and safety, must be sub­ject to pub­lic scru­tiny.

Con­tact: Face­book: elec­tKate4DSBN; Twit­ter: @bag­gyk; email:


Age: 65 Oc­cu­pa­tion: Re­tired el­e­men­tary school prin­ci­pal

Fam­ily: Wife Alice (Dyck) Bradnam, mar­ried 33 years; chil­dren, two sons Matthew and Jonathan (mar­ried to Michelle Far­rell); grand­chil­dren Aria and Ley­ton

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: Worked for var­i­ous mu­nic­i­pal and pro­vin­cial elec­tion cam­paigns, for­mer pres­i­dent and sat on ex­ec­u­tive of lo­cal On­tario Pub­lic School Teach­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion for 10 years, DSBN trustee for St. Catharines/ Ni­a­gara-on­the-Lake from 2010 to 2014


work: Served as a youth soc­cer coach for Ni­a­gara-on-the-Lake and Port Weller Soc­cer as­so­ci­a­tions. As an elected DSBN Trustee served on count­less com­mit­tees such as spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion ad­vi­sory coun­cil, health and safety, pol­icy ad­vi­sory, fi­nance, pro­gram and plan­ning, stu­dent dis­ci­pline, stu­dent/trustee se­nate, su­per­vised al­ter­na­tive learn­ing, etc.

Top is­sue: De­ci­sion mak­ing — Our elected trus­tees must re­al­ize that their de­ci­sions are mul­ti­lay­ered, af­fect­ing a wide range of choices made by our stu­dents, fam­i­lies, em­ploy­ers and com­mu­ni­ties. We must spend our tax dol­lars wisely to pro­vide the qual­ity staff, pro­grams and lead­er­ship that our elec­torate should ex­pect in ed­u­cat­ing our stu­dents.

Why are you run­ning? I have spent my en­tire adult life ad­vo­cat­ing for stu­dents and their fam­i­lies. I can truly say that I un­der­stand all as­pects of our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and will con­tinue fight­ing for spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion needs, health and safety, and the rights of the elec­torate in Ni­a­gara-on-the-Lake and St. Catharines to ex­pect an in­clu­sive, open and re­spon­sive sys­tem that spends their tax dol­lars on the stu­dents that we serve.

Why should vot­ers choose you? I can hon­estly say that I have sat on all sides of the ed­u­ca­tional ta­ble as a par­ent, teacher/ ad­min­is­tra­tor, fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent, and as a school board trustee. I can im­me­di­ately make an im­pact for the stu­dents, fam­i­lies, and staff in the DSBN since I know the sys­tem, the peo­ple who work for it, and the com­mu­ni­ties that are served.

Con­tact: Phone: 905-934-7108; email: AlexBrad­; web­site: https:alexbrad­; Face­book: AlexBrad­namForTrus­tee


Age: Presently a trustee for over 25 years

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Re­tired

Fam­ily: Mar­ried, mother and grand­mother

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: I ran for mayor, cam­paigned for Jim Bradley, Roy Adams, etc. Com­mu­nity work: Com­mis­sioner, St. Catharines Tran­sit; tran­sit rep on para­tran­sit ad­vi­sory board; direc­tor, Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion of Ni­a­gara.

Top is­sue: De­clin­ing en­rol­ment and school clos­ings.

Why are you run­ning? To con­tinue de­vel­op­ment of strong cur­ricu­lum in which all stu­dents and staff can be proud. Re­main cur­rent on leg­is­la­tion changes, sup­port staff and stu­dents to achieve.

Why should vot­ers choose you? I am ac­ces­si­ble and ded­i­cated to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.

Con­tact: Web­site:­elect­lo­racamp­­lic­trustee; email: lcamp­; phone: 905646-5635.


Age: 38 Oc­cu­pa­tion: Busi­ness owner/ IT con­sult­ing

Fam­ily: Yes (fa­ther of a three­year-old)

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: None

Com­mu­nity work: Mostly church in­volve­ment

Top is­sue: As I have spo­ken to many par­ents, it seems that the sex ed cur­ricu­lum seems to be a top is­sue on this cam­paign. My goal is to be able to work with my fel­low trus­tees and come up with a bridge that will help par­ents and teach­ers com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter so that chil­dren can be ed­u­cated in an en­vi­ron­ment that is in­clu­sive rather and di­vi­sive.

Why are you run­ning? As a new res­i­dent in St Catharines, I would like to be in­volved in my com­mu­nity and help with ideas to de­velop a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence for stu­dents at­tend­ing the pub­lic school sys­tem. I would also like to be part of the de­ci­sion mak­ing that will af­fect our chil­dren in the fu­ture and make sure that the best de­ci­sions are made.

Why should vot­ers choose you? As a pas­sion­ate busi­ness owner and well ex­pe­ri­enced IT pro­fes­sional, I be­lieve I pos­sess all the nec­es­sary skills to tackle the many dif­fi­cult is­sues that school board trus­tees are be­ing trusted to de­cide. As a Google-cer­ti­fied ed­u­ca­tor I would also be able to weigh in on many is­sues re­lated to IT in­fras­truc­ture and help out bring new ideas to the ta­ble that will help schools be up-to-date with IT in­fras­truc­ture and its us­age to make the class­room bet­ter.

Con­tact: Phone: 905-616-4689, email: roberto@it­


Age: 64

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Writer/non­prac­tis­ing lawyer

Fam­ily: Wife Dr. Su­san El­liott is an ed­u­ca­tor; son (30) and older daugh­ter (28) are com­plet­ing On­tario lawyer qual­i­fi­ca­tions; younger daugh­ter (23) is in Bri­tain com­plet­ing mas­ters in art his­tory.

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: No elec­toral ex­pe­ri­ence; worked as writer for pre­mier of On­tario and oc­ca­sion­ally for other po­lit­i­cal lead­ers at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment

Com­mu­nity work: Ni­a­garaon-the-Lake Ro­tary; board mem­ber, Mu­sic Ni­a­gara; found­ing com­mit­tee of Royal Oak Com­mu­nity School; have also served on board of Friends of Fort Ge­orge, On­tario Place, Cana­dian Lawyers for In­ter­na­tional Hu­man Rights, PEN Canada, vol­un­teer with Learn­ing for a Sus­tain­able Fu­ture

Top is­sue: Pro­tect­ing pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion in Ni­a­gara

Why are you run­ning? We can do bet­ter. Pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion in Ni­a­gara needs bet­ter lead­er­ship. We can do bet­ter than al­low­ing school after school to be closed with minimal or no in­ter­ven­tion by our school trus­tees. Pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion is un­der pres­sure. Our trus­tees should not be cav­ing in to the whims of bu­reau­crats; they should be bet­ter at ad­vo­cat­ing for our com­mu­ni­ties, our schools and our chil­dren.

Why should vot­ers choose you? We can do bet­ter. The Dis­trict School Board of Ni­a­gara needs new think­ing, new ideas, new en­ergy and new strate­gies for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.

Con­tact: Email: da­vidis­rael­; web­site: da­vidis­rael­; Twit­ter: @da­vidis­rael­son4dsbn; Face­book: David Israelson for Dis­trict School Board of Ni­a­gara Trustee — Pub­lic


Oc­cu­pa­tion: Re­tired from Cana­dian Tire Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices/Bank

Fam­ily: Fa­ther of three adult sons, Sean, Kelly and Mathew, and grand­fa­ther to four.

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: Served as for­mer city coun­cil­lor for the Port Dal­housie ward, past direc­tor for the Fed­eral Party

Com­mu­nity work: Past vicechair for St. Catharines Healthy Cities which pro­moted se­nior in­for­ma­tion days, past co-or­di­na­tor for Cana­dian Tire Child Pro­tec­tion Foun­da­tion and Cana­dian Tire Jump Start Pro­gram as ev­ery child needs the op­por­tu­nity to play sports. Past vice-chair of Com­mu­nity Polic­ing.

Top is­sue: Health and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion cur­ricu­lums; Bul­ly­ing and vi­o­lence in class­rooms; And the ris­ing heat tem­per­a­tures in class­rooms.

Why are you run­ning? I am will­ing to de­vote my time and en­ergy into my role as school

board trustee to make sure that all stu­dents have the op­por­tu­nity to be suc­cess­ful.

Why should vot­ers choose you? I be­lieve that I can make a dif­fer­ence as a school board trustee. I am com­mu­nity ori­ented, ded­i­cated, depend­able, and would like to use my ex­per­tise to help stu­dents have the op­por­tu­nity to be suc­cess­ful in their ed­u­ca­tional en­deav­ours. To fos­ter re­la­tion­ships, re­spect and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Con­tact: Email: n.js.g19@hot­; web­site: www.norm­st­ge­­bel­; Face­book: norm.stge­orge

Age: 36 Oc­cu­pa­tion: Self-em­ployed, busi­ness ad­vi­sory

Fam­ily: Mar­ried, two chil­dren (three years old and six years old)

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: No pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in an elected role

Com­mu­nity work: Chair, City of St. Catharines 101 South Drive Prop­erty Task Force; fundrais­ing (Hat­; com­mu­nity: for­mer coach (Ni­a­gara Spears, SWC Bull­dogs); trea­surer, Oakridge PS Coun­cil; spir­i­tual: for­mer par­ish coun­cil­lor (St. John’s Angli­can Church, Jor­dan) oc­ca­sional Cho­ris­ter (St. Ge­orge’s Angli­can Church, St. Catharines).

Top is­sue: Cul­ti­va­tion of an open, pos­i­tive (mo­ti­vat­ing) work cul­ture for staff/ teach­ers, via sus­tained, mean­ing­ful en­gage­ment with, ad­vo­cacy on be­half of those chil­dren/stu­dents and par­ents, teach­ers and staff within the board.

Why are you run­ning? I be­lieve in pub­lic ser­vice, want to con­tinue the tra­di­tion of ex­cel­lence in ed­u­ca­tion in Ni­a­gara. Not much more im­por­tant for our kids than hav­ing happy, mo­ti­vated teach­ers and good, safe fa­cil­i­ties to go to school in.

Why should vot­ers choose you? I am al­ready ac­tive, en­gaged in DSBN board and com­mu­nity (now); I have a suc­cess­ful track record, can be re­spect­ful, have trust of and good re­la­tion­ships with cur­rent trus­tees and staff; I am ex­cited about the board, and highly mo­ti­vated. Will work with dili­gence, fo­cus and en­ergy with whomever I can, to do the best for our kids, par­ents, teach­ers, staff, other trus­tees and the com­mu­ni­ties we work and serve in.

Con­tact: Email: john@nether­; web­site: https://nether­; phone: 905-401-8545 Oc­cu­pa­tion: Re­tired

Fam­ily: Mar­ried, two grand­chil­dren

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: First time run­ning for pub­lic of­fice

Com­mu­nity work: Mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors for Toronto West Sup­port Ser­vices

Top is­sue: Trans­parency, EQAO, sex ed­u­ca­tion and


Why are you run­ning? To serve my com­mu­nity, to help in im­prov­ing pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, and to bring a di­ver­sity of out­looks and opin­ions to the board of trus­tees.

Why should vot­ers choose you? I have more than 25 years of man­age­rial and hu­man re­sources ex­pe­ri­ence with a PhD (ed­u­ca­tion) from Univer­sity of Toronto, MEd (Brock Univer­sity) and MBA (York Univer­sity). I am well qual­i­fied for the board of trus­tees.

Con­tact: Email: slak­sna@hot­; web­site: http://slak­


Age: 40

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Man­ager, ca­reer and stu­dent suc­cess ad­vis­ing at Mo­hawk Col­lege

Fam­ily: Me­gan (wife), Sylvia (daugh­ter), Es­ther (daugh­ter)

Pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: This is my first po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence and I am en­joy­ing ev­ery minute of it.

Com­mu­nity work: I par­tic­i­pated on the Canada 150 task force for seven months. I coached the U5 divi­sion for Port Weller Soc­cer in 2016. I have been on the school coun­cil at Prince Philip Pu­bic School St. Catharines for the past three years.

Top is­sue: Com­mu­nity en­gage­ment in ed­u­ca­tion: Teach­ers con­tin­u­ously chal­lenge their own prac­tices in or­der to pro­vide the most im­pact­ful learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. I be­lieve that the com­mu­nity can sup­port our teach­ers by en­gag­ing with schools to pro­vide real-world learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for stu­dents to ap­ply their knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing of top­ics learned in school.

Why are you run­ning? I want to be an ad­vo­cate for in­clu­sion and eq­uity for our learn­ers. In sup­port of re­gional growth, all mem­bers of our com­mu­nity de­serve the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop the skills nec­es­sary to im­prove their lives and to find mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment. Strong foun­da­tions de­vel­oped dur­ing pri­mary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion will bet­ter pre­pare stu­dents for their ter­tiary ex­pe­ri­ence, whether that be through ap­pren­tice­ship, col­lege or univer­sity.

Why should vot­ers choose you? I have 15 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the post-sec­ondary en­vi­ron­ment. Dur­ing this time I have been re­spon­si­ble for de­sign­ing and im­ple­ment­ing strate­gies to sup­port stu­dent’s aca­demic and ca­reer suc­cess. The Ni­a­gara re­gion is po­si­tioned for rapid growth and I un­der­stand that through ed­u­ca­tion and skill de­vel­op­ment, we can best pre­pare our com­mu­ni­ties to thrive.

Con­tact: Web­site: www.david­wadding­; Face­book: vote­wadding­ton­trustee; LinkedIn: dave-waddington-m-ed; Twit­ter: @Dave_Wadding­ton


Did not pro­vide in­for­ma­tion.

Roberto Con­tr­eras

A. Lora Camp­bell

Nor­man St. Ge­orge

Alex Bradnam

David Israelson

Kate Baggott

John B.G. Nether­way

Sumeth Tanyao­valak­sna

David Waddington

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