Trustees: Election results, priorities and values


Click to view the Election Results for TCDSB and TDSB School Trustees.

York West trustee Stephnie Payne is retiring, leaving her position up for grabs, in which 8 candidates have stepped up to the plate. Your local area trustees, both the TDSB and the TCDSB, work to ensure all students in Toronto can realize their full potential, acting as advocates for education who ensure public concerns are addressed.

Citizens, often distracted by the mayoral race, or the city counselor campaigns, might overlook the importance of the school trustee position. School trustees are very important. 250,000 students are served by the TDSB, including roughly 600 schools.

The TCDSB governs 201 schools, including secondary and elementary schools.

Every 4 years, 22 public school trustees are elected during municipal elections to represent each of the 22 wards. York West is a diverse community with unique needs, priorities and educational requirements.

Trustees make decisions to establish policies, set budgets, allocates resources, while collaborating with all levels of government in the best interest of their constituents and public policy. The TDSB is the English-language public-secular school board, and is the largest school board in Canada, its headquarters in North York.

According to the TDSB, its mission is “to enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become responsible members of a democratic society.”

This year’s candidates for TDSB trustee are:

Mirtha Coronel, Matias de Dovitiis, Kasim Dogan, Tiffany Ford, Sabrina Gopaul, Michelle Minott, Gincarlo Mosco, and Spiros Papathanasakis.

Here are key platform points compiled from interviews and candidate websites.

Tiffany Ford

My primary focus is on forging the interrelationship between students, teachers, parents, principal's and the community to maximize accountability and transparency.

Fiscal responsibility, but no budget cuts to classrooms, inclusive and safe school environment, more support for special needs education, monthly community meetings, more transportation (school buses) for students in York West, more afterschool programs, advocacy for more funding and support for York West schools, TDSB transparency, trustee accountability, advocacy for more holistic approach to caring for students, more support for E.S.L. students and programs, more change in 1 term than past 2 decades.

Kasim Dogan

As a teacher, I realized that there are many issues that extend beyond the parameters of schools. It is with this line of thinking that I have decided to run for the school trustee seat for Ward 4.

As school trustee I pledge to:

Bring greater transparency and accountability to school trustees, include community voices in shaping our schools, embrace inclusivity and equitability, place students’ learning and well-being as top priority, inspire a shared vision among students, parents, educators, and the wider community, commit to professional learning, knowledge, and practice, advocate for the needs of our students, schools, and community member, support stronger student nutrition and after-school programs, support the community use of schools as hubs, reduce school closures and land severances, advocate for more provincial funding and learning opportunities grants, increase school resources for Student Success Initiatives (SSI), advocate for more resources to assist teachers in the implementation of Growing Success and other professional development programs, provide more resources to Special Education and ESL departments.

Matias de Dovitiis

Matias believes that household income should not be a barrier for education. Matias is also dedicated to creating positive learning experiences for students. He is active in local schools and community centres where he regularly meets with youth and helps run important learning activities such as park cleanups and tree plantings.

“Teach 2 Learn (T2L) continues to grow.”

Spanish-speaking students have one of the lowest academic achievement scores of any other group, which is why I started an organization in 2011 to work to change this.

“Funding for Ward 4 Schools needs to be improved.”

Schools in Ward 4 should be receiving special funding allotments that are being diverted elsewhere. The funding was put in place to help communities in urban settings that have special needs, such as high percentages of immigrants. Instead the funding is being used by the TDSB for other purposes and our schools are suffering the consequences.

“The TDSB is not providing adequate transportation for many students.”

Many students in York West have to travel long distances to get to school, but do not meet the stringent guidelines the TDSB has set up. Chalkfarm Public School is a good example.

The issue of accessibility to schools is very important to many families in York West and I will work to find solutions within the TDSB.

Michelle Minot

I have worked with Michelle on school council, as well as at events she has organized for students and parents in the community. Her dedication to exemplary education for our children, and for parent involvement, is unparalleled! Michelle is exactly 100% what we need in a Trustee!

Promoting within the Toronto District School Board, Student success in Math and Literacy, Open Dialogue and Collaboration with Parents and Educators, safe and Inclusive Schools, Parent Engagement and Involvement, Community and Corporate Partnerships, Financial, Transparency and Accountability, Let's work together to build neighbourhoods and school communities that are safe, inclusive and that focuses on the physical, social, and academic development of each student.

Our community deserves a Trustee and leader that will champion the efforts of the York West constituents. As a resident of York West and having grown up in the Black Creek community, I am deeply concerned about the education of our young people. I believe every child deserves the best education possible regardless of the neighbourhood they live in.

Sabrina Gopaul

To further develop an education system that is responsive and accountable to the community, providing quality education to our children and youth.

Making quality education viable for students involving a placed-based strategy, creating the right environment for learning, investing in smaller class sizes and holistic teaching methods.

Restructuring funding to prioritize fixing our schools concentrating on infrastructure and modernization.

Strengthen the relationships between school and the community to change adverse board policies that interrupt access to education

Keep students in school and learning in the class room. Minimize suspensions and expulsions, Implement community mediation that will help assist youth in conflict situations

Spiros Papathanasakis

My work and the programs that I have created extend into this community and are working. Hope, access, support - I can offer this. This is where we can change lives. York West does not come close to reaching its potential. The opportunities are not as extensive as they should be here. With my experience I can contribute to giving hope and access to the children, youth and their families to expand their vision and possibilities.

My priorities for York West are:

Excellence & Equity for AllStudent Achievement & Well BeingFacility Repairs & EnhancementSchool Safety & Security

With the support of the voters, my first motions at the Board will:1. Increase student employment & training through the TDSB Focus on Youth Programs2. Examine and expand partnerships with grassroots community agencies and local groups3. Reactivate the Caring and Safe Schools Advisory Committee to give voice to the community4. Expand Transportation Services for Students5. Strengthen the partnership with the skilled trades to create more training and apprenticeship opportunities for our youth6. Create a more inclusive, effective and equitable special education model

Mirtha Coronel

Advocate for respecting core family values in education, committed to improve the quality of education for our students, dedicated to promote parent involvement in all aspects of education, firm adherence, to prudent fiscal planning, budgeting, and spending, today’s education shapes tomorrow’s leaders.

Gincarlo MoscoIt’s time! For a more a innovative approach to teaching so that all students receive equal learning opportunities.

Identifying and eliminating disruptive learning barriers will be my everyday duty as your trustee, for a healthier, safer, better learning equality for all Canadians.

I feel that I can contribute using what I know from a much better organized Catholic School system, and applying a more adaptable innovative teachings, as well structured governance that is missing from the Public School system.

Agenda:School Safety-Inspections to meet up to date safety codes.Crime Prevention-Police community response.Secondary School- Conflict resolutions guidance.Better consistent performance review – to correct learning barriers and to stay encouraged learning.Healthier Nutrition- eating awareness from the Canada food guide, to prepare for better learning, and a healthier country.Better support for students with learning disabilities and special needs.Class sizes-reasonable number of students per class for quality learning.