Meet the public board trustee candidates
Profiles of candidates for St. Catharines/Niagara-on-the-Lake English public school board trustees
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.
DR. JENNIFER AJANDI
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; cell: 905-9336106
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
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: email@example.com
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: AlexBradnam@aol.com; website: https:alexbradnam.wixsite.com/trustee; Facebook: AlexBradnamForTrustee
A. LORA CAMPBELL
Age: Presently a trustee for over 25 years
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: www.reelectloracampbell.wixsite.com/publictrustee; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: davidisraelson4dsbn.com; Twitter: @davidisraelson4dsbn; Facebook: David Israelson for District School Board of Niagara Trustee — Public
NORM ST. GEORGE
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: email@example.com; website: www.normstgeorge.rebeldands.ca; 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 (HatsandHorses.ca); 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: https://netherway.ca; 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: email@example.com; website: http://slaksna.wixsite.com/sumeth
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.davidwaddington.ca; Facebook: votewaddingtontrustee; LinkedIn: dave-waddington-m-ed; Twitter: @Dave_Waddington
Did not provide information.
A. Lora Campbell
Norman St. George
John B.G. Netherway