Board of Trustees 2011 – 2014

Al Sygrove

ASygrove Board of Trustees 2011   2014Chair of the Board 2014
Trustee - Northwest Huron
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I was born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario where I attended London Road Public School as well as St. Clair Secondary School. Upon graduation from the University of Windsor and London Teacher’s College my wife, Louise and I moved to Goderich in 1971 to begin our first teaching assignments at Colborne Central and Victoria Public School respectively. During my 30 year teaching career I was able to obtain a Masters Degree in Education as well as a Specialists in Special Education. As well, I had the opportunity to serve as principal at three elementary schools - Blyth, Victoria and Zurich.

Goderich was a wonderful community in which to raise our two daughters. Our oldest daughter, Jill is a graduate of Sir Sanford Fleming College and is a Technical Resource Assistant at Huron Centennial Public School. She has given us two wonderful grandsons who also attend Huron Centennial. Our youngest daughter, Laura is a graduate of the University of Guelph and travels the world as a yoga instructor.

I am very proud, as a trustee, to represent the Northwest Huron region. Included in our area are Brookside, Colborne Central and Goderich elementary schools as well as Bluewater Secondary School and Goderich District Collegiate Institute. During my time as a trustee I have become aware of the challenges which face a small rural school board but at the same time I have quickly come to realize what a progressive board we have. The support I have received from my fellow trustees and senior administration has been greatly appreciated as well as the encouragement I have received from school staff and parents.

I place great value on public education in that it is accessible to all and shows a great respect for the uniqueness of each student. The key to a successful education system is the involvement of parents and community. This involvement is enhanced by the strong School Councils which exist in our region. Working together we ensure that our students are provided with the best possible learning opportunities in order to foster their success.

Julie Moore

JMoore Board of Trustees 2011   2014Vice-Chair of the Board
Trustee - Perth East
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I was born and raised in the City of Toronto and now find myself a resident of the beautiful region of Perth East. My husband Bob and I are raising our two young sons on his sixth generation family farm in North Easthope.

I hold a BA and MA from the University of Guelph and am a graduate of the BSW program at the University of Waterloo. My varied interests have led me to volunteer my time with the Perth East Public Library, the Huron-Perth Community Legal Clinic, the Avon Co-operative Nursery School and the Emily Murphy Centre.

I am looking forward to getting to know the elementary schools within the Perth East area (Central Perth, Milverton, Mornington Central, North Easthope and Sprucedale) and feel up to the challenge of promoting strong public education within our predominantly rural area.

Michael Bannerman

MBannerman Board of Trustees 2011   2014Trustee - City of Stratford
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I am a married father of four (1 daughter and 3 sons) residing in the beautiful City of Stratford. I hold a BA in Political Science/English with a minor in Psychology and a Certificate in Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Currently, I am working as a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist as part of an Assertive Community Treatment Team with the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance.

As an active community member I spend time volunteering with youth programs at the YMCA, coaching baseball and offering my time at various community events. In the past I have served as a member of the Stratford Police Services Board, the Canadian Mental Health Association (Huron/Perth) Board and the Huron/Perth Legal Aid Society Board. I am looking forward to bringing the experience I have gained in these roles together with my professional and family experience to my new role as Trustee for public education.

The area I serve, home to the world renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival theatrical productions, includes six elementary schools (Anne Hathaway, Avon, Bedford, Hamlet, Romeo and Shakespeare) and two 7-12 secondary schools (Stratford Central and Stratford Northwestern).

Lynette Geddes

LGeddes Board of Trustees 2011   2014Trustee - St. Marys, Perth South and West Perth
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I am pleased to be the incoming new Trustee for St. Marys, Perth South and West Perth. Together with my husband we own a business supplying equipment, software and training for people with disabilities, primarily visual and learning. Our blended family consists of six children ranging in age from 17 to 25.

I was raised with the expectation that I would complete a post-secondary education. My parents both grew up in rural Saskatchewan in the “dirty thirties” and decided at a young age that education and continual learning are keys to a fulfilling life.

I obtained my BA from the University of Western Ontario and continue to upgrade in the areas of administration and accounting. As well as my involvement in our family business I am currently the manager of the St. Marys Farmers’ Market, a position that helps to keep me current on the concerns and needs of our community. I feel very strongly about the importance of local, sustainable agriculture and believe that learning about food and nutrition are vital to the healthy growth of our children.

I have the pleasure of representing St. Marys, Mitchell and the rural areas surrounding these two communities. Located within this area are Downie Central, Little Falls, South Perth Centennial and Upper Thames elementary schools and Mitchell District HS and St. Marys DCVI at the secondary level.

Over the years that my kids were in school, I have appreciated the many hours other people put into kid’s education and activities. Now I welcome the opportunity to contribute.

Robert Hunking

RHunking Board of Trustees 2011   2014Trustee - Central East Huron
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My path to this new role was sparked by a quote by Benjamin Franklin that has always stuck with me: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

I am a life-long resident of Huron County, having lived my life on the family farm in Central Huron (Hullett). Home is with my wife, Kim and our three daughters. I attended Hullett Central PS, where my daughters now attend, and Central Huron SS. I hold a Diploma in Horticulture from the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture.

I am honoured to be serving the communities of Central East Huron as a new Trustee. Within these communities are Holmesville PS, Clinton PS, Hullett CPS, Seaforth PS, Grey CPS, Brussels PS, Central Huron Secondary School. These are vibrant schools, each with their own uniqueness. It is the students, staff and community that make a school and we have great schools.

As this is the age of computer and social media, I invite you to follow me as I begin my journey as a new Trustee within AMDSB. My blog, 'My Path of Learning', will let you see and follow my adventure of being a trustee and learn with me. For those Twitters out there, I am @yesknowno.

The wealth of information out there and to learn makes education and learning that much more a challenge. The challenge that I know the Avon Maitland District School Board will meet.

Alyson Kent

AKent Board of Trustees 2011   2014Trustee - City of Stratford
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I am honoured to serve as a new Trustee for the City of Stratford where I am employed in the investment industry. As parents of a blended family, my partner Mark and I are raising four children ranging in age from 7 to 17. My daughters are in the French Immersion program at Bedford, where I am involved with the school council. I also served as the chair of the Romeo School Council while my youngest was a student there.

I have actively volunteered in many areas, including the Heritage Stratford Committee (vice-chair), Habitat for Humanity, the Stratford Chamber Music Board and the Stratford and Perth County Community Foundation Events Committee. Over the past ten years I have worked with a number of non-profit organizations and arts groups, including The Quilt: A Cancer Support Project, the St. Marys Children’s Choir, and Playmakers! Theatre School. I hold a BA in History/Political Science and an MA in Canadian Labour History from the University of Victoria.
The area I serve, a city of diverse heritage and attractions, includes six elementary schools (Anne Hathaway, Avon, Bedford, Hamlet, Romeo and Shakespeare) and two grades 7-12 secondary schools (Stratford Central and Stratford Northwestern).

Colleen Schenk

cSchenk Board of Trustees 2011   2014Trustee
- North Huron, Morris Turnberry and Howick
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I am humbled to be serving my 6th term on the school board, and honoured to represent the Municipalities of North Huron, Morris Turnberry and Howick.

In addition to serving as Chair and Vice-Chair at different times over the years, I also served for 3 years as President of the Ontario Public School Boards Association; a group comprised of school board trustees across the province who help to set policies and advocate provincially on behalf of our students.

My background includes a degree in Landscape Architecture, and I designed Provincial Parks before relocating to the Wingham area.
My family and I have long believed in community service, and I have served on many boards and committees such as Habitat for Humanity and MADD.

My husband and I have 3 children, all born and raised in Huron County.

I strongly encourage our parents and community members to become active in the school community and help us grow our children into valuable and contributing members of our society. "We are better prepared for life if we learn one new thing each and every day."

Jenny Versteeg

JennyVersteeg20111 Board of Trustees 2011   2014
Trustee - North Perth
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My husband Art and I were married in 1979. Since them we have farmed northwest of Kurtzville and raised four children. We had dairy cows for 25 years and now simply cash crop. Once we had neither kids nor cows to tie us down, we both looked for a way to give back to our community. There had been many times during chores that other parents made sure our kids could play sports, do 4-H, and get to youth events, and it seemed like it was our turn to be involved. As things turned out, my husband is now in his second term on Council in Howick, this term as reeve. I am now serving my third term on the AMDSB, and had the privilege of serving as vice-chair for two years and chair for three years. Art and I have some very interesting dinner conversations as we talk about our work.

I have a BSc from the UWO and a diploma in Agricultural Production and Management from RCAT. I occasionally find my self wondering if everything I learned in these schools is obsolete, or now taught by Grade 8. I’m sure as more time passes that will only become truer, but I also learned how to learn, and that has given me great pleasure over the years. I have compiled two local history books, and am coming close to finishing a third.

I am very proud to represent North Perth on the board. I believe in a strong public education system that is available to everyone, and in the advantages of kids learning about, and accepting each other as they are because they are classmates. I believe that as a trustee that I need to keep the education and the well-being of our students as my core reason for being on the board. I also believe in being accessible to my constituents. Contact me by email at

Randy Wagler

RandyWagler2011B Board of Trustees 2011   2014

Trustee - Southwest Huron
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I am honoured to serve as the Trustee for the municipalities of South Huron and Bluewater, which for School Board purposes are known collectively as Southwest Huron. My wife Debby and I have lived in Exeter for 18 years. We have 5 adult children - 2 girls (who are both married) and 3 boys.

Currently, our two youngest sons are attending Conestoga College, while our youngest daughter is attending the University of Waterloo, working on her master’s degree, and her husband is employed as a mechanical engineer. Our eldest daughter has completed her Masters degree in Social Work; her husband is an occupational therapist, and our eldest son has successfully completed an apprenticeship in carpentry. I guess you could say we’ve been involved in almost every pathway possible after high school!

I grew up in Waterloo County, attended Baden Public School from grades 1-6 (no kindergarten back then!), grades 7-8 in Wilmot Township Senior Public School, and Grades 9-13 at Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School. I received my B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Queen's University, Kingston. I have worked in the chemical and nuclear industries, and am presently employed by Honeywell as a Product Manager. I am a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.

I am a trustee because I believe that public education is what "levels the playing field" in our society. No matter what the social or economic background of a person, a strong public education system gives everyone the same opportunity to succeed. In our area, the challenge is to deliver a high quality education that is fair and equitable to all of our students in spite of the large geographical area we serve.

I am very proud of the quality of education we deliver in a largely rural area. Even though we are a small Board, I am constantly impressed by the quality and dedication of our staff as they strive to deliver a variety of programs to meet the needs of all students.

The area I serve covers the southern-most part of Huron County, and includes the beautiful shoreline of Lake Huron from Grand Bend to Bayfield. Communities include Bayfield, a beautiful lakeside village, Crediton, Dashwood, Exeter - known for its white squirrels, Hensall - known as the "White Bean Capital of Canada", Huron Park, and Zurich - famous for its Zurich Bean Festival.