Ottawa’s Largest School Board Welcomes Majority of Newly Elected Trustees

There was significant turnover on the board because seven of the 12 directors no longer ran.

Content of the article

Alysha Aziz is among a group of new faces elected to Ottawa’s largest school board in Monday’s municipal election.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

There was significant turnover on the board because seven of the 12 directors no longer ran.

Content of the article

Aziz, 24, graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in social sciences last spring and landed a job with the federal public service.

In a few weeks, she will be making decisions about the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s $1 billion budget and helping develop policies for 70,000 English-language public school students in her part-time position as a trustee. .

« I’m probably going to be the youngest person there, » said Aziz, who represents Zone 2 in Kanata. « I’m going to do a lot of listening and learning. »

Aziz says she has a good idea of ​​what parents are concerned about after knocking on hundreds of doors. She carried a large notebook to write them all down, from complaints about canceled buses to concerns about school health protocols in the COVID era.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

« I was so excited to learn so much, » Aziz said.

She said she planned to « clean up her schedule for the next four years », working nights and weekends on trustee business.

Aziz grew up in Kanata and Stittsville. She currently lives in an apartment downtown, but says she is « saving up » to move back to Kanata.

Alysha Aziz, new trustee for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
Alysha Aziz, new trustee for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Photo by Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

The five outgoing directors who ran for the Ottawa-Carleton Board of Directors were re-elected: Lynn Scott, who recently served as Chair of the Board; Donna Blackburn; Lyra Evans; Jennifer Jennekens; and Justine Bell.

School board campaigns don’t get as much attention as races for councilors and the mayor. Being a titular fiduciary is usually a big plus simply for name recognition.

Aziz received a boost with the endorsement of Zone 2 administrator Christine Boothby last season. She also received support from administrator Justine Bell, who urged people to vote for Aziz because « she is running on a progressive platform to prioritize health and safety, fairness, to diversity, inclusion and active communication ».

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

It was a close race, with Aziz beating his challenger Ashley Darling by 165 votes, according to counts that are not yet official. Darling is a teacher and parent.

Another factor in the school board elections this time around was the participation of Horizon Ottawa, a community group that lobbied on behalf of “progressive” candidates for administrators and city councillors. Horizon Ottawa was registered as a third party advertiser during the election.

Four of the candidates for the Ottawa-Carleton School Board endorsed by Horizon Ottawa were elected, including Aziz, and three were not.

Another hotly contested race on the Ottawa-Carleton board was in Zone 9 covering central Ottawa, where Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth edged out competitor Jessie Lee-Wallace, who had the approval of Skyline Ottawa.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

Kaplan-Myrth is a family physician well known for her advocacy of COVID-19 safety measures and for organizing mass vaccination clinics which she dubs « Jabapalooza ». She has come to the school board several times to advocate for the wearing of masks and other public health measures.

The other newcomers: Suzanne Nash, Amanda Presley, Donna Dickson, Cathryne Milburn and Matthew Lee.

Nash, who was sponsored by Horizon Ottawa, worked for 30 years for the federal public service, volunteered with a program that provides free recreation programs for children and participated in school councils.

Presley, also supported by Horizon Ottawa, works in real estate and describes herself as an environmental and social justice advocate who has volunteered for her community association and as a union steward.

Advertising 6

Content of the article

Dickson, a father of four sons, founded the community organization Ashton Dickson Youth Empowerment which works to highlight the need for resources for racialized youth in Ottawa. She founded the organization in memory of her son Ashton who was shot and killed outside a club on Rideau Street five years ago.

Milburn has lived in Ottawa since 2011 when she attended the University of Ottawa and works and volunteers in the government, non-profit and education sectors.

Lee, who moved to Ottawa in 2016, is an aeronautical engineer for the federal government who participates in Canada’s cadet program and coaches young people in curling and biathlon.

At the Ottawa Catholic School Board, the election brought little change.

Advertising 7

Content of the article

All 10 incumbent directors stood for re-election and eight of them won.

Holder Glen Armstrong finished third in Zone 6, with Eugene Milito winning the close race. Tuesday De Kemp, who had been appointed by the board as director after the death of director John Curry, lost to Scott Phelan in Zone 1.

French school boards had less competitive races.

At the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, candidates from five of the eight school zones were acclaimed.

At the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, three of the seven administrator positions were acclaimed.

  1. File photo: Polling station at Ottawa City Hall.

    Here are the winners of the Ottawa School Trustee Races

  2. Mark Sutcliffe was out with campaign volunteers for support near Tunney's Pasture on October 19, 2022.

    How Mark Sutcliffe navigated the bike lane issue to his stunning election win

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Back to top button