Candidates for Zone 9 School Trustee

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board has two candidates vying for a spot on the board as trustee for Zone 9, as does the Ottawa Catholic School Board. The Glebe Report asked each candidate for a statement as to why we should vote for them on October 22.

Ottawa Carleton District School Board

Rose-LaBrecheRose LaBrèche

Why I am running to be an OCDSB Trustee

It’s that time again – when we head to the polls to vote for mayor, city councillor and school board trustee. I decided to run for a trustee position in 2018 because I care about our youth, the future of our nation. Because I care about cultivating a culture of achievement, inclusivity and opportunity. Because I care about the mental health and physical well-being of students. Because I want our youth to see themselves reflected in leadership roles and have diverse representation.

I believe in equal access to quality education, as all youth deserve a chance to develop their skills with modern technology. We should aim high: to create an engaging environment to promote self-assured, intelligent and well-prepared students for what comes after school. We need to give them the means to succeed outside of a classroom setting. I want them to have access to the support they need such as quality infrastructure, a safe learning environment, mental health support, and an outlet for creativity and suppressed energy.

I believe that supporting the community, while understanding and responding to the needs of residents, underpins best practice for decision-making. Our students need resolutions reached with proper consultation and strong decision-making in challenging circumstances. Someone with experience. I can offer that and more. I’ve been a public servant for over a decade – I understand the need for wide-ranging engagement in decision-making. I have also been an active member with youth through initiatives such as Grow Smart Girls and empowering students to find confidence through sport. From my experience in elite sport over the past 20 years, I understand the need for relationship building to achieve goals, a champion for difficult issues, and the positive impact a healthy lifestyle can have on mental and physical well-being.

I will engage with the community to ensure that views from parents, students and other stakeholders are heard. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to discuss school issues – it would be my pleasure to speak with you.

Rose LaBrèche is a public servant and international rugby match official who represented Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and is running as a school board trustee candidate in Rideau-Vanier/Capital for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

Lyra-EvansLyra Evans

Lyra hopes to bring change to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) through fair funding of schools, equity and by ensuring that students in the board will continue to receive the comprehensive sex education they deserve.

Lyra believes that a student’s quality of education should not depend on their catchment area. While field trips, guest speakers and well-stocked libraries may seem non essential, they are sources of enrichment with an immeasurable impact on a student’s experience of school. Many schools in low-income neighbourhoods don’t have the same capacity to fundraise so they can afford these opportunities for their students. For this reason, Lyra will advocate for an increase in funding to low-income schools.

Lyra came out as trans during high school, a difficult experience for her that highlighted the difference between a policy of inclusion and a truly inclusive environment. Marginalized students tend to feel less welcome in their schools, experience higher rates of detention and suspension, and are less likely to graduate than their peers. As it stands, the OCDSB does not collect quality data on education outcomes for racialized, disabled and LGBTQ students. Lyra will promote more rigorous data collection on education outcomes for these students to develop a better strategy that will help them succeed.

The current provincial government has taken several steps back in terms of education. As of this fall, Ontario will be reverting to a version of the 1998 sex-education curriculum. In consequence, students will be taught from a curriculum that fails to cover such essential topics as: consent, sexting, gender identity and same-sex relationships. As a former sex educator with Planned Parenthood, Lyra has taught from the 1998 curriculum and experienced its shortcomings first-hand. In addition to walking back on the sex-ed curriculum, the government has ceased efforts to work towards reconciliation in schools that would incorporate Indigenous content into social science curriculums. As a trustee, Lyra will lobby the provincial government to continue the process of updating the history, geography and social studies curriculums with Indigenous content, and to bring back the 2015 sex-education curriculum. Lyra will also support teachers who continue to teach from the 2015 sex-ed curriculum.

Lyra’s history as a former student of the OCDSB, a sex educator and a community organizer make her ideally suited to represent and defend the needs of students. While the role of school board trustee is frequently overlooked, Lyra recognizes its immense potential to improve the lives of students.

Ottawa Catholic School Board

Regan-Preszcator2Regan Preszcator

My name is Regan Preszcator and I am the incumbent candidate running for Ottawa Catholic School Board trustee in Zone 9, representing River and Capital wards.

I felt it important to start by acknowledging the work of former Trustee Kathy Ablett. Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing her personally, I am familiar with the work that she has done in the community and the type of woman that she was. Her contributions to the board will not soon be forgotten.

I am first and foremost passionate about giving children the best possible start to life, and the best way to do that is to ensure that they have access to quality education and the resources that they need. Other issues of importance to me pertain to women’s leadership and encouraging more women to actively seek leadership roles within their communities. In addition to being a firm believer in promoting education, I am a strong proponent of encouraging people to advocate for the best interests of their communities and to take active roles in achieving a sense of equity and inclusion for marginalized youth.

The board is doing excellent work to ensure that the mental health of all students and staff is a priority. Efforts towards reconciliation with our First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities within the board is a positive step towards healing and continuing to build an inclusive community. I am supportive of the board’s inclusive special education model and the work the board is about to do to improve programming for gifted learners. Reducing barriers to learning by increasing support for students will ensure equal opportunity for all. Should I be elected to continue as your school board trustee, I would like to continue to expand upon this work.

As a trustee, my goal is to continue to defend Catholic education and to give children and youth the best start at life. By working together to empower our community, we can give a voice to staff, students and ratepayers to ensure that all concerns are heard and that collaborative consultation is conducted whenever possible. I will continue to advocate for students and assist families in maintaining open lines of communication with schools and the board.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Shelley-LawrenceShelley Lawrence

It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to introduce myself to you. I live in Zone 9 and am running for the position of trustee in the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB). I know and understand the unique characteristics of this area.

I believe in Catholic education and the life skills and values it leads students to develop and live by. As a Catholic religious sister with vast experience in education, I hold this gift very close to my heart.

I was a chaplaincy leader in the OCSB for 25 years serving in St. Paul H.S., St. Matthew H.S., Immaculata H.S. (2001–09) and, lastly, at St. Francis Xavier H.S. I am a recipient of the OCSB Director of Education Commendation (May 2006) for excellence in education and an archdiocesan award for my work with youth (2013) during those 25 years. I am retired and presently volunteer at an adult learning centre in this zone teaching ESL to new immigrants and refugees who have come to live in our country. I hold a B.A., B.Ed. and M.A. I am a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an international order of women serving in 42 countries whose service in the church is education.

In the budget for the new school year (2018–19), the board has allocated $400,000 for spending on programs and materials in religious education. It has also increased funds for Second Language teachers to assist the growing number of new students who have come to our country and register in our schools. To deal with the increased needs that revolve around mental health issues, the board has also increased funding for trained professionals, and programs and resources for students. Of course the principle of equity – continuing to ensure a balanced budget that promotes equity, safe, inclusive and accepting schools – is one of my strong convictions and one of the most important roles of a trustee.

The most important role of the trustee is to listen to YOU, the ratepayers, and bring your needs to the table and direct your concerns to the right people. You can count on the fact this will happen if you elect me. As a Religious and an educator, I am skilled in working collaboratively and have many years of doing so. I would work hard and be honoured to represent you.

Please check out my website: Thank you for reading this!

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