Candidates for School Trustee, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Zone 9
- I attended Greenbank P.S. for French Immersion and Merivale H.S. for the Gifted Program. And I was a camp counsellor and teacher’s aide for special needs kids. So I know every student is different and that we should offer programs to help everyone achieve their potential.
- As an advertising copywriter, I’ve built billion-dollar brands and won the top awards. Since school board funding is based on number of students, I’ll use my ad skills to help promote the board so it can be well-funded.
- In my copywriting career, I use my various skills in unique ways. I acted as the Mini Man for Nutri-Grain bars in commercials I wrote, was the voice of Zeller’s radio, wrote songs for commercials and did stand-up comedy for brands. I’ll think outside-the-box to come up with new solutions for our schools.
- This summer I’ve done well in the Yuk Yuk’s and Absolute Comedy contests. Stand-up comedy requires looking at the world in new ways, and I’ll bring a fresh perspective to the school board.
- I care about the environment. I was in the Green Party of Ontario’s Shadow Cabinet. I was trained by Al Gore as a Climate Reality presenter. My love song for Green Party leader Elizabeth May went viral in the 2011 election. When I walk along the Canal, I pick up litter. And I carry treats for the dogs I meet. I want our schools to be green, from green roofs to food gardens, because green space is key for learning, especially after the pandemic’s online learning and masking has been so hard on kids.
- I love that Canterbury H.S. is there for arts-loving students. Could we use another arts school? What about other fields?
- I’ve drawn cartoons for The Ottawa Citizen, hosted Rogers TV shows, told stories on CBC Radio and hosted talk radio on Toronto’s CFRB, all because I love engaging with the public. On my podcast I interview locals, and I’d love to chat with you on my show to come up with ideas together. I’ll do a regular show about school board issues to keep you informed.
- People recognize me from my Facebook Neighbourhoods posts about my adventures. I’ll continue being open with you. Follow me on Facebook.
- I’m open to hearing all sides of issues. I invite all comments so I can learn from you and work with you. Email email@example.com.
When I reflect on the last two-plus years—they have been an incredibly challenging time for everyone, but especially families. As a parent to a child in public school I saw this first-hand. Children and youth are still trying to catch up socially, emotionally, and scholastically. As part of my platform, I focus on getting students back to learning and thriving.
My hometown is Ottawa. I live with my family in the Glebe Annexe. I have a 15-year track record of community development and currently serve children and youth as a director in a city-wide charity. I am passionate and committed and have time to devote to this critical public service position. I have significant experience managing complex budgets, large teams, committees, and multiple relationships for positive community outcomes.
Here are a few of my platform areas:
- Reinstate extracurricular programs that build school communities and student development.
- Address overcrowding at schools. The Province dictates class sizes, yet there are still creative solutions we can apply at the Board and school levels.
- Support evidence-based learning resources and Covid safety protocols, including masking, improved ventilation, and vaccines per Ottawa Public Health guidelines.
- Connect with staff, community partners, and the City to help make school streets safer, especially for drop-off and pick-up times.
- Champion the #righttoread, and interventions like structured literacy programs to get children back on track after a tough two years.
The Ontario Human Right Commission released a report after ten years of study earlier this year. The report clearly showed that we are failing our young people. Before the pandemic, 26% of Grade 3 students were not meeting literacy standards, and 19% of Grade 6 students. * Over half of students with special needs were not meeting the provincial average. Similar results were also found in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
Due to the pandemic, anecdotal results and outcomes are far worse for literacy, math skills, and social and emotional skills. If elected, I will be hyper-focused on helping close the learning gap for all children and youth in Ottawa, especially in Capital and Alta Vista Wards. We can create schools as safer spaces where all students thrive, especially 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized youth, but we need to do so together. To learn more, please visit: linktr.ee/jessieleewallace
It is an honour to put forward my name as a candidate for OCDSB Trustee in Zone 9 (Capital and Alta Vista wards). I am doing this not as a career politician, but as a family physician, anthropologist and mother of three who has spent her life advocating for equitable access to health care and education, Indigenous self-determination, rights for people with disabilities, LGBTQ rights, mental-health care and for the voices of all marginalized and vulnerable populations to be heard.
In my medical work, I advocate for patients. Over the last two years, I stepped into a public role, standing up for the health and well-being of the community. In August 2021, I put together a panel of healthcare workers, educators and politicians at City Hall in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park in Toronto to talk about safety in schools. I also acted as a delegate to the OCDSB and other school boards. As Trustee, I will advocate for ALL children and families, guided by the following fundamental principles:
1. Education should not be a privilege.
- Every child should have the opportunity and supports to thrive in school.
- Diversity should be celebrated and supported. No student should face discrimination on the basis of culture, religion, language, gender identity, sexuality, physical disability, learning disability or neurodiversity.
- Every student should enjoy access to enrichment opportunities in science, the humanities, the arts, music and sports.
2. Safety should not be a privilege.
- Schools must be safe, accessible and supportive to every student and family.
- OCDSB should lead, should go above and beyond, to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Just as we take care to prevent anaphylaxis by keeping peanuts and nuts out of elementary schools and ask students to be up to date with meningitis and other vaccines, we should use all of our tools to prevent COVID-19: Masks (N95s accessible to all students), ventilation, HEPA, testing, reporting, isolation and COVID-19 vaccines.
I have held other leadership roles in Ottawa: Chair of the Board of the Glebe Parents’ Day Care, Secretary of Glashan Parent Council, Secretary of the Board of Jewish Family Services Ottawa.
I am not afraid to speak. Politicians and Boards of Education have paused to listen. I was chosen as “Change-Maker of 2021” by the Ottawa Citizen for my advocacy.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg famously said, “Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Where there are problems in our community, I identify them and find collaborative solutions. This is my commitment to you if I am elected as Trustee.
Ottawa’s municipal election is October 24th
What am I voting for?
In this election, you are voting for mayor, ward councillor and the school trustee for the school board you pay taxes for. In the Glebe, you can vote for mayor, councillor of Capital Ward 17 and school trustee for Zone 9.
Who is running?
Mayor: 14 candidates (see ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/elections for list)
Ward 17 Capital Ward Councillor: (alphabetically) Rebecca Bronwich, Shawn Menard (incumbent) and Daniel Rogers.
Ottawa Carleton District School Board Zone 9 Trustee: Nili Kaplan-Myrth, Josh Rachlis, Jessie-Lee Wallace.
Ottawa Catholic School Board Zone 9 Trustee: Guillermo Fernandez, Shelley Lawrence (incumbent), Jenny Rivera.
Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, secteur 9, conseiller scolaire: Mahdi Djama Aouled, Joel Beddows, Marielle Godbout.
Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, secteur 9, conseiller scolaire: Johanne Lacombe (élue par acclamation)