In 2014, when I was elected the Trustee for Eglinton-Lawrence, the TDSB was facing numerous challenges. The Board was plagued with many governance-related issues and here in our community, we were facing the potential sale of a community greenspace, and many schools that where kids needs were not being met.
I was fortunate to be elected with 10 other new Trustees, many, like myself who had run on a platform of creating a more transparent and accessible Board focused on Equity and Well-Being of every student. The Ward I represent as Trustee includes both Lawrence Park and Lawrence Heights, which can sometimes be a challenge as both communities have unique and distinct needs. I am proud of the work we have done as a Board. We have a brand-new strategic direction, worked through some deep and powerful work during the Enhancing Equity Task Force, hired an amazing Director of Education, Dr. John Malloy and united as a Board with our Senior Team to focus on the success of each and every student.
Here in our community I have been amazed at what we have accomplished together, saving the green space at Bannockburn School from being sold by the TDSB, maintaining Vaughan Road Academy as a Core Holding and seeing a small community hub being developed, and securing capital funding from the Province for the relocation of Baycrest Public School into the former Sir Sandford Fleming Academy building. I have also been fortunate to stay connected to the community by hosting many Ward Forums on a variety of topics in my time. Our Ward was also the first to receive a Parent's Reaching Out Grant so that we could do focused seminars engaging parents, students, administrators and teachers from every school in the area to build parent engagement and closer school communities.
As I look ahead, I am excited to be bringing these experiences to City Hall. The opportunity to be a leader within the TDSB has taught me the importance of the City and Board to be working closely together, many of the issues we face are common ones, especially when we focus on students and children.