When township voters head to the polls on October 27, they will have a myriad of choices for each school board trustee position.
For the English public school board, newcomer Scott McMillan of Heidelberg will square off against Elmira’s David Paisley, who is looking to replace his father Harold, the current trustee for Woolwich and Wellesley.
“I am excited to run for trustee for many reasons,” McMillan states on his website. “First, it is a nonpartisan board, which means that elected officials are allowed to get the work done that is required for the constituents free of the shackles of central party themes and agendas. Second, it is an important time. Federal and provincial governments are trying to find every avenue they can to save money. Therefore, it is extremely difficult making things work at the regional and municipal levels. We need serious people with the ability to get things done to step up and make sure that we are preparing our kids for the next phase of their lives. Most importantly, I am excited to run because I want to represent the people of Woolwich and Wellesley.”
Paisley on the other hand, says he would bring youthful enthusiasm to the job.
“I was born and raised in this community and so I have been in Elmira for 22 of my 26 years. I went to Floradale Public School, Elmira District Secondary School and the University of Waterloo and so the schools around here mean a lot to me personally. And I also believe a lot in rural education and the importance, especially for the Woolwich and Wellesley riding, of having representation that really understands the importance of rural schools and the community that is built around them.”
In the English Catholic school board race, incumbent Janek Jagiellowicz will be challenged by Mary-Jo Shortreed, Frank Johnson and Melanie Van Alphen.
Jagiallowicz says he learned a great deal during his first term.
“I think I am well positioned to represent the parents because now I know what I am getting into and I have no vested interest in terms of being a part of the system, like being an ex-teacher or something along those lines. I know exactly what needs to be done and how to get it done and I plan to do it.”
Van Alphen however, says “it is time for change.”
“My main priority is to improve communication between the trustees and the constituents,” the Breslau resident explained. “It is so important to consult with the students, parents, teachers and voters when making changes that affect them. I will listen and hear what the people of the community have to say and take that into consideration when making tough decisions. Another priority of mine is to increase enrolment. I believe that the Catholic school system is very important and would like to see it grow. We need to understand why enrolment is declining and work together toward change.”
Mary-Jo Shortreed agreed.
“Over the years I have seen too many trustees use their positions for political advancement with damaging results for the entire future and advancement of our Catholic school system; common sense always taking a back seat to political expediency and correctness.” the Wellesley resident said. “I decided that the most direct way to work for the advancement of our Catholic school system was to throw my hat in the ring.”
The candidates for the French public school board are Denise Carter of Cambridge, Johanne Gray of London and incumbent Denis Trudel, also of London.
The race for the French Catholic board trustee will be between incumbent Dorothee Petit-Pas of Brantford and Jean Paul Jemeto Feudjio of Kitchener.