Joey Coleman: Special HWDSB Board Meeting on August 26, 2013

Special HWDSB Board Meeting on August 26, 2013

The trustee vacancy caused by the sudden and untimely death of Robert Barlow will be filled this week.

Barlow, who represented Stoney Creek’s Ward 9 & 10, died May 29 at the age of 47.

Under the Education Act, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees must fill the vacancy by either by-election or appointment by vote of the Board. Board’s must pay the cost of by-elections and it is rare for a Board to call one; especially when only a year remains in the term.

Twenty-one people are applying for the position and are being given 10 minutes each on Monday to make their pitch to the 10 sitting trustees.

Immediately following the speeches, trustees will vote in secret ballot to choose the new trustee.

The meeting starts Monday at 4pm, with the vote to follow after 9pm.

Below is a profile for each candidate based upon their written response to interview questions and publicly available information.

You can read all candidate answers in this 90 page, 15MB pdf

Click the “+” sign beside each name to open each information box.

[toggle_content title=”Paul Armstrong” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 11

Employment:
Dean, Health Sciences, Community and Urban Studies – Mohawk College

Education:
MBA – Queens University
Medical Diagnostic Ultrasound – Post Graduate Diploma (Honours) – Mohawk College
Radiological Technology Diploma (Honours) – Mohawk College

School Board Related Experience:
Past chair School Council at Huntington Park
Participant – East Mountain Elementary Accommodation Review

Community Involvements:
Board of Directors – Grand River Community Health Centre, Brain Injury Services of Hamilton
Past member of numerous volunteer Board of Directors

Summary:
Armstrong focuses on his experience as a post-secondary administrator as giving him the ability to be an effective overseer on the Board and his parental involvement during his children’s education as giving him the ability to effectively represent parents and other stakeholders. He writes about his involvement in a previous Accommodation Review Committee. The Board will be holding ARC (school closures) reviews during the coming year.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Awish Aslam” class=””]
Twitter:
@awishaslam

Residence:
Ward 5 (Neighbourhood Elementary School in Ward 9)

Employment:
Undergraduate (second degree) – University of Western Ontario

Education:
B.A., Honours Double Major Political Science and Criminology

School Board Related Experience:
Recent graduate of Glendale Secondary School.

Community Involvements:
Student government at UWO
Community Service Learning Network at UWO

Other Notes:
Aslam came to national attention during the last federal election campaign when she was tossed from a Conservative campaign event for a photo of her with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff posted on her Facebook profile.

Summary:
Actively involved in student life at UWO, and at Glendale previously, Aslam’s letter focuses upon being a recent graduate of the secondary system as providing a unique perspective that she can bring admong 11 Trustees. The challenge of being a UWO student and a HWDSB trustee is not addressed in her letter, and I expect Trustees will be hesitate to appoint someone with such a commute.
This is Aslam’s first run for public office, I doubt it will be here last. I look forward to seeing her speech and expect we’ll be hearing more from her in the coming years. Glad to see her running.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Ralph Baigent” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 5 (Neighbourhood Elementary School in Ward 9)
Daughter attending Collegiate Elementary

Employment:
Professional Firefighter – City of Burlington

Education:
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Diploma – Centennial College

School Board Related Experience:
Volunteer with school reading program and chaperone for school trips

Community Involvements:
Volunteer with school reading program and chaperone for school trips

Other Notes:
Received “Governor General of Canada Commendation for the act of great merit in providing assistance on April 29, 1999”
Summary:
His cover letter states “I think we have a great public school system and I have the energy and the time to commit to making it even better.”
We have to weight to learn more about Baigent during his speech this afternoon.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Stewart Beattie” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 11

Employment:
Retired from Stelco
Retired owner/operator of Winona Gardens

Education:
Mohawk College (two certificates)

School Board Related Experience:
Trustee for 12 years (1982 to 1994) on the Wentworth Board of Education (former county school board) including finance chair, salary committee chair, and vice-chair of the board.

Community Involvements:
Winona Peach Festival
Fifty United Church
Winona Men’s Club
Campaign Manager for Brenda Johnson
Niagara Conservation Authority – City of Hamilton appointee

Summary:
Stewart and his wife, Georgina, are the “first couple” of Winona. Mr. Beattie is well-known in the community, involved in numerous activities not listed above. As an experienced and respected campaign manager, I’d place my money on him winning in a general vote. It is the trustees voting tonight.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Caroline Christine Braganza-Reyes” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 8

Employment:
Creative Director and Product Director – Pura Vida Spa…ahh!
SNAP for Schools Facilitator – Canadian Safe Schools Network
Student, Master of Education, Charles Sturt University, Australia

Education:
Bachelor of Primary Education – Charles Sturt University, Australia
French Certificate Program – Sheridan College
B.A. Anthropology – University of Western Ontario

School Board Related Experience:
None listed

Community Involvements:
None listed

Summary:
Resume submitted focused much on administrative assistant skills and does not appear to be customized for the position.
No cover letter or statement of purpose provided.
Braganza-Ryes states “I did submit a cover letter and it was in the body of my email message for my application. I am not sure why it wasn’t included in the public document.”

[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Dr. Sally J Braun-Jackson” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 2

Employment:
Editor – Braun-Jackson Editing Service

Education:
Ph.D English – Memorial University of Newfoundland
M.A. English, Genre & Genre Studies – Wilfrid Laurier University
B.A. Cultural Studies – Trent University

School Board Related Experience:
None listed

Community Involvements:
Chair, Board of Directors – Centenary United Chair
Collaboration Start-Up Manager – NGen Youth Centre

Summary:
“I am passionate about education,” writes Dr. Braun-Jackson. “I firmly believe that learning is a lifelong pursuit and that all students should have opportunities for successful learning outcomes.”
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Deban Brunette” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 3

Employment:
Educational Program Manager, Neighbour to Neighbour Centre (N2N)

Education:

School Board Related Experience:
Prince of Wales reading tutor program for Bay Area Leadership Program
N2N Kids Can Succeed Reading Tutor Program

Community Involvements:
Community Builders Breakfast, Board Member

Other Notes
Daughter in third year at McMaster University
Son in Grade 12 at Westdale Secondary School

Summary:
Bringing experience within the non-profit sector that works directly with schools will bring unique perspective to the Board as it focuses on expanding community partnerships.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Edward James Cole” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 3

Employment:
Retired – Law Clerk Registrar, Toronto Old City Hall Criminal Courts

Education:
Attended McMaster University in the 1960s “to become a tax assessor and mortgage appraiser”.

School Board Related Experience:
None listed

Community Involvements:
None listed

Other Notes
Ran for Trustee in Ward 1&2 in 2000, placing in second place.
Used same cover letter for position as when he ran for Board of Directors of First Ontario Credit Union

Summary:
We’ll learn more about him during his speech this afternoon
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Chris Erl” class=””]
Twitter:
@ChrisErl

Website:
http://chriserl.com/

Residence:
Ward 8

Employment:
M.A. student, Labour Studies – McMaster University
Research Assistant, Canadian Automotive Policy Partnership – McMaster University

Education:
Honours B.A., Political Science and History – McMaster University

School Board Related Experience:
None listed

Community Involvements:
Participatory Budgeting (Ward 2) neighbourhood coordinator
City of Hamilton LGBTQ Advisory Committee member
“Participated in numerous social justice campaigns, including running food drives food drives and participating in diversity training”
Community columnist for the Hamilton Mountain News and contributor to raisethehammer.org

Other Notes
Heavily involved in NDP party activities. Past president of the McMaster Campus New Democrats.
Erl is close with the NDP voting block that holds four solid votes on the Board, if which Barlow was the fifth vote.

Summary:
Erl’s cover letter speaks strongly to his passion for public service in public, for public education, and focuses on his progression of increasing responsibility during his time in student government at McMaster University.
“I know that, if afforded the opportunity, I would work tirelessly for the residents of Wards 9 and 10, providing a strong, reliable, young voice for their concerns,” he writes in the closing of his letter.
Erl is laying the groundwork to run for City Councillor, and is expected he will run in Ward 8 next year.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Shirley Glauser” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 12

Employment:
Retired as administrator of Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre

Education:
Summa Cum Laude – Westdale High School (1959)

School Board Related Experience:
Ward 11 & 12 Trustee 2006 – 2010
ABCetc. committee 2011/12
S.A.L. Committee 2011 – 13

Community Involvements:
D.A.R.T.S. Foundation
Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre Advisory Board
Older Adults Centre’s Association of Ontario
Wentworth District Seniors Games
Goodtime Ladies Soft Ball League

Other Notes:
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
City of Hamilton Senior Volunteer of the Year 2012
Bob Secord Award of Excellence, Ontario Senior Games 2004

Summary:
Glauser’s cover letter focuses upon her recent experience sitting on the Board, and continuing involvement since 2010, as giving her the ability to quickly enter into the role and fully engage representing Ward 9 & 10.
She understands the role of the Trustees and the Board’s processes better than any other candidate.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Carolyn C. Harris” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 2

Employment:
Supervisor of Employment Services – YWCA Hamilton

Education:
Bachelor of Primary Education – Charles Strut University, Burlington
B.A. Humanities – McMaster University

School Board Related Experience:
Not listed

Community Involvements:
Not listed

Other Notes:
Past member of HWDSB Black History Committee
Helped launch “Literacy in the City” at the Art Gallery of Hamilton
Previously employed with Pathways for Education in Hamilton

Summary:
A member of the African-Canadian community, Harris focuses on her experience with the YWCA securing a Hamilton Community Foundation grant for services for those living in poverty, her involvement with the Black History Committee, and Pathways to Education to show experience address many of the challenges facing Trustees and the School Board.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”James Jackson” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 9

Employment:
Firefighter – City of Mississauga

Education:
Fire Protection Technology – Seneca College

School Board Related Experience:
Parent Council – Mountain View School (two children in school)

Community Involvements:
Hamilton Bengals Novice 1 Lacrosse coach
Stoney Creek Warrior Minor Atom & Atom AE Hockey trainer
Muscular Dystrophy Canada – firefighter advisor (fundraising)

Other Notes:
2008 Muscular Dystrophy Canada Canadian Firefighter of the Year

Summary:
The only candidate to live in Ward 9 (two others live in Ward 5 and are served by schools in Ward 9), Jackson’s cover letter provides an general overview of how his skills are transferable to trustee.
We’ll learn more during his speech, which will get closer attention as the only candidate living within the ward boundaries.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Jacqueline Kovacich” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 8

Employment:
Sales Associate/Key Holder – Hallmark Cards

Education:
Honours B.A. Arts (Labour Studies) – McMaster University

School Board Related Experience:
None listed

Community Involvements:
Hamilton Lacrosse Association

Other Notes:
Opens resume stating “To obtain a full-time position as a Trustee.” Trustees are officially part-time and poorly paid.

Summary:
This candidate is looking for a full-time position, which is not what a trustee is. Kovacich notes the transferable skills from her degree and her placement with Local 1005; but with her opening statement, trustees are very much unlikely to give her consideration.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Christopher Litfin” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 1

Employment:
Undergraduate Student, 2nd year, Arts & Science Program- McMaster University

Education:
Undergraduate Student, 2nd year, Arts & Science Program- McMaster University
Westdale Secondary School

School Board Related Experience:
Involved in high school student government during secondary school

Community Involvements:
Hamilton Fringe Festival

Other Notes:
Max Rotman Humanitarian Award, 2011

Summary:
Litfin focuses upon his recent experience as a secondary student at Westdale, and how programs such as “music, theatre production, technology, and the languages” enriched him as a student. His cover letter is active and shows a strong desire to contribute as a trustee.
I’m looking forward to hearing him speak tonight.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Carly McAskill” class=””]
Twitter:
@CarlyMcAskill

Website
carlymcaskill.com

Residence:
Ward 2

Employment:
Artist and Professional Communicator
Teaching Assistant

Education:
Master of Fine Art, Drawing and Painting with thesis, York University
Bachelor of Fine Art, with Honours, Drawing and Painting with thesis, Ontario College of Art and Design
B.A., Religious Studies, McMaster University

School Board Related Experience:
None listed

Community Involvements:
Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts

Other Notes:
Max Rotman Humanitarian Award, 2011

Summary:
I interviewed McAskill for Hamilton Magazine as the neighbour of Charlton Hall and know her as a friend of a friend.
An impressive young person with extensive arts and communications experience, she focuses her cover letter upon how these skills and how they can contribute to the mix of 11 trustees.
Looking forward to hearing her speak tonight.
[/toggle_content]
[toggle_content title=”Meghan McIntosh” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 12

Employment:
Self-Employed – Motivational Speaker, Legacy for Ministry Program

Education:
Master of Theological Studies – Tyndale Seminary (2 credits)
B.A., Social Development Studies – University of Waterloo

School Board Related Experience:
Co-chair SAGE Quest Steering Committee at Ryerson when her son attended. (date not provided)
Volunteer 1999 – 2011

Community Involvements:
Violinist, Brant Christian Orchestra

Summary:
Cover letter and resume provide an overview of her skill sets, keeping within the short one page normal for cover letters seeking an interview.
We will learn more tonight when she has the opportunity to speak.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Tyler McNeil” class=””]
Twitter
@Tyler_McNeil

Residence:
Ward 7

Employment:
Manager CBC TV Scheduling – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Education:
Diploma, Broadcasting – Television and Communications Media – Mohawk College

School Board Related Experience:
None listed, daughter entering JK at Ray Lewis School

Community Involvements:
Board Member, Hamilton & District Extend-A-Family

Summary:
McNeil focuses his letter upon his numerous community involvements in recent years, including on Brantford’s Community Advisory Committee on Disability Issues.
He says being a parent of a student in the system will provide a first-hand perspective.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Jeff Reynolds” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 12

Employment:
Sales Manager, Education and Live Reptile Show performer, ReptileStore.ca

Education:
Not listed

School Board Related Experience:
Chair of HWDSB Parent Involvement Committee since 2009
School Council at Ancaster High School
Parent member – Board Commmittees

Community Involvements:
Hamilton Lacrosse Association
Chedoke Minor Hockey Association

Summary:
Reynolds, as chair of the HWDSB Parent Involvement Committee, is the most active candidate in Board activities and has been involved since the transition into the new Board in 1998.
He notes this prepares him for work as a Trustee and adds that his employer is in a “Code Red” area providing him “many insights and a keen understanding of the decisions made by Trustees”.
He provides three letters of reference.
[/toggle_content]
[toggle_content title=”Nerene Virgin” class=””]
Residence:
Not provided.

Employment:
Retired teacher and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcaster

Education:
Graduate Brock University ESL – Teaching English as a Second Language
Graduate Brock University Special Education – Intellectually Gifted
Graduate Toronto Teachers’ College – Certified Primary/Junior/Intermediate

School Board Related Experience:
HWDSB Black History Committee
Council of the College of Early Childhood Educators 2009-present
Teacher Special Education 1975 – 79

Community Involvements:
Hamilton Committee Against Racism
Board of Directors – Phoenix Place
Volunteer Media Relations Trainer in non-profit sector

Other Notes:
2012 John C. Holland Award for Business & Professional Achievement

Summary:
Virgin opens her cover letter strongly with her experience as a teacher, listing the schools she taught, and the impact she had on students.
She states her committment to equality and justice, listing the committees she sits on that advance these goals.
A member of the Council of the College of Early Childhood Educators which oversees early childhood educators in Ontario, she can provide insight into this growing area of the Board mandate.
As a journalist, she say the “values that guide effective journalism – discretion, an emphasis on balance and fairness, transparency, accountability, and accuracy are also those adhered to be effective Trustees.”
Virgin was for the Ontario Liberal Party canadiate in Hamilton Mountain in 2007 before withdrawing and running in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. She was criticized at the time for being a parachute candidate because she lived on the Mountain.
She placed a close second behind Paul Miller.
[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Philip Watkins” class=””]
Residence:
Ward 8

Employment:
Field Manager – Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Accounting Instructor (part time/casual) – Sheridan College

Education:
Certified General Accountant

School Board Related Experience:
Campus Manager/Principal Franchise Owner, The Pen Centre (St. Catharines) and Mississauga – International Business Schools (1986 – 2003)

Community Involvements:
St. John’s Anglican Church
Treasurer, Victims Assistance Volunteer Program, Burlington, OPP
Financial Management Institute, Ontario Chapter: Municipal Sector Representative also served as Secretary, Vice President, President and Past President.
CGA information sessions at high schools, colleges and universities.

Summary:
Watkins provides a strong reasons for his appointment with a finance and government background. He presently oversees ambulance communications centres “thoughout southern Ontario” and transfer payment agencies, “including two First Nations communities”.
He brings extensive experience with creating and managing government budgets. With much experience on volunteer Boards and community organizations, his CV is impressive with a unique skill set.
Will his speech, the last of the candidates, convince trustees to elect him in the vote that immediately follows?
[/toggle_content]

Speech Schedule

4:00 Paul Armstrong
4:10 Awish Aslam
4:20
4:30 Ralph Baigent
4:40 Stewart Beattie
4:50 Caroline Braganza-Re
5:00 Break
5:10 Break
5:20 Sally Braun-Jackson
5:30 Deban Brunette
5:40 Edward Cole
5:50
6:00 Chris Erl
6:10 Shirley Glauser
6:20 Carolyn Harris
6:30 Break
6:40 James Jackson
6:50
7:00 Jacqueline Kovacich
7:10 Christopher Litfin
7:20 Carly McAskill
7:30 Meghan McIntosh
7:40 Tyler McNeil
7:50 Break
8:00
8:10 T.J. Perl
8:20 Jeff Reynolds
8:30 Nerene Virgin
8:40
8:50 Philip Watkins