Colleen Schenk – Chair of the Board 2016
Trustee – North Huron, Morris Turnberry and Howick
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.”
Alyson Kent – Vice-Chair of The Board 2016
Trustee – City of Stratford
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).
Trustee – Southwest Huron
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 more than 20 years. We have five adult children (two girls, three boys) and one grandson.
Our two youngest sons both graduated from Conestoga College in Software Engineering Technology and are employed as software developers, while our youngest daughter is attending the University of Waterloo, working on her Ph.D., 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.
Trustee – St. Marys, Perth South and West Perth
This is my second term as Trustee and, as our Strategic Plan says, I am Always Learning.
I obtained my BA from the University of Western Ontario and currently, together with my husband, own a business supplying equipment, software and training for people with disabilities, primarily visual and learning. 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.
Our blended family consists of six children ranging in age from 21 to 29 each of whom are following unique paths building on the foundation of their primary education. I believe in public education that is accessible to all so that children learn about the uniqueness and value of people as individuals. When I see children in other countries literally risking their lives to get an education, I am reminded of its necessity in our complex world.
As a trustee I will always strive to keep the education and the well-being of our students as my core reason for being on the board. 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.
Trustee – Northwest Huron
It is a privilege for me to represent the community of Northwest Huron on the Avon Maitland District School Board. Northwest Huron consists of the Town of Goderich and the municipality of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh and includes Goderich Public School, Brookside Public School and Goderich District Collegiate Institute.
I have lived with my husband Lee on a farm in Ashfield for 40 years. I value and understand both the assets and challenges that rural students, teachers, parents and community residents face. I worked locally in industry for 7 years in the field of Accounting prior to realizing a lifelong desire to teach. I taught secondary school Accounting, Mathematics and Computers for 25 years for the AMDSB.
While teaching I was involved as a volunteer coach of students in curling, badminton, debating and school reach. Since retiring I participate on two Boards where my intention is to give something back to the community. I sit as a Director on the Lake Huron Learning Collaborative Board whose mission is to bring post-secondary opportunities to our community. I have recently accepted a position as Director on the Huron County Library Board where I look forward to supporting cultural, economic and educational access and opportunities to all county residents.
My two daughters received excellent educations graduating from Brookside Public School and GDCI before becoming teachers themselves at Little Falls Public School and Listowel District Secondary School.
I am proud of the secondary education teams that I was part of at CHSS, Madill and GDCI. My interest in education remains high because of my new commitment to this Board. I am excited that my four grandchildren are being educated within our Board.
I encourage parents to get involved in school councils and to participate in their children’s education where possible. I look forward to working together to support and encourage public education. I would be happy to discuss concerns or issues with you.
Trustee – Central East Huron
I am honoured to be serving the communities of Central East Huron as a Trustee. Within these communities are Clinton Public School, Hullett Central Public School, Seaforth Public School, North Woods Elementary School and 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. I used the word honoured, could I have used the word privileged or fortunate? Depending how you see my role and my fulfilment of it, you might have a different one. The role of Trustee of Constituents and the role as Trustee of the Board may not always align.
My path to this role as trustee 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 or have been involved as a Parent, ARC Member, School Council Member & Chair, PIC Member and now again as Trustee.
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 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.
As this is the age of computers, technology and social media for our students and for us, I invite you to follow me as I continue my journey as a Trustee within AMDSB. My blog, ‘My Path of Learning’, http://blogrehlearning.blogspot.com/ will let you see and follow my adventures of being a trustee and learn with me. I am @yesknowno on Twitter.
There is a wealth of information available to everyone as we move toward the “Internet of Everything” which makes education and learning that much more of a challenge. A challenge that I know the Avon Maitland District School Board will meet.
Trustee – Perth East
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.
Trustee – Stratford
It is my honour and pleasure to, once again, with Trustee Kent, represent the City of Stratford on the AMDSB. My wife, Maureen, and I have lived in Stratford for over forty years after moving here from Toronto. Our three daughters are graduates of our public schools in Stratford. My life-long interest and support of public education was rekindled as my grandchildren are entering public schools.
Ontario has a proud tradition of providing internationally recognized, strong and effective public education that provides skilled people at all levels to support our Provincial economy and our wonderful quality of life, but this is not the only, or maybe even the most important role. The maintenance and growth of public education as it faces constant changes in both education and society is my priority. There are some many challenges as we take on the task of providing the very best for our students and our communities. Among these issues are attracting, maintaining and providing for exceptional staff at all levels of service to our students. We need to provide current, creative and appropriate programs and facilities that support student achievement and wellbeing. It is essential that we honour all student abilities and pathways while preserving, promoting and enhancing confidence in public education. All of this must be done in a fiscally responsible manner while setting a moral tone and example.
As an educator my goal was to have students become happy, healthy contributing members of our society. That goal has not changed now that I am a trustee. Clearly these are difficult tasks. That is why I invite your ideas and questions. Together we can accomplish wonderful things for our students.
Trustee – North-Perth
I am excited to be the Trustee for North Perth, which includes the following schools: Wallace; Listowel Central; Listowel Eastdale; Elma; and Listowel District Secondary School.
My husband Allan and I live in the Elma Ward of North Perth and we have 4 children: 2 in high school and 2 in post-secondary studies (Early Childhood Education and Nursing). I was born and raised in Elma Township on a dairy farm, attended Elma Township Public School and Listowel District Secondary School. My education continued into a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Health Promotion at the University of Western Ontario.
We have been very involved in the Elma School community as parent volunteers and serving on the School Council for a combined 16 years. Along with being a household manager, I am a certified Reflexologist. I have had many opportunities to volunteer throughout Perth County, but most currently volunteer at Knox Presbyterian Church in Stratford, help with local sports teams managing or coaching, and lead 4H clubs in Perth County.
As parents and community members, we have a wonderful opportunity to be active in the school community through different venues of volunteering, fundraising, attending School Council meetings, and more. I encourage parents and guardians to be active within your school community even in just a small way. A strong public education within our predominantly rural areas of Huron and Perth counties is the key to raising great future citizens.