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Student Trustee Elections

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Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) is preparing for the 2024-25 Student Trustee election process. A Student Trustee is a member of the Board of Trustees and part of the deliberations and decision-making of all matters brought before the Board.

Some critical responsibilities of the Student Trustee are to represent the interests of students during deliberations of the Board of Trustees and to communicate Board decisions to students. Student views are considered in the decisions made by the Board of Trustees. Being a Student Trustee gives students valuable learning opportunities and experiences.

HWDSB is committed to hearing the voices of students through Student Trustees. Two Student Trustees for 2024-25 will be selected through an election process.

As with previous years, Shakowennakara:tats (Indigenous Student Trustee) will be raised through CC:ROSE. CC:ROSE is a student-led community for Indigenous learners who want connect with each other through unique cultural opportunities and by sharing their voice as Indigenous youth across HWDSB. Further information regarding this process will follow.

Learn more about Student Trustees.

Timeline for 2023-24 Student Trustee Elections:

For more information, contact:

Heather Miller, Officer of Trustee Services
[email protected]
905-527-5092 ext. 2279

HWDSB students in grades 7 to 12 can vote for candidates from February 20 to 23, 2024. Votes are tallied by school to create each school’s top two choices.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR 2024-25 STUDENT TRUSTEES.

Before online voting opens on Tuesday, February 20, students can get to know their 2024-25 HWDSB Student Trustee candidates through their written and video responses.

For the written submission, candidates were given the following prompt:

In 200 words or less, tell the student body of HWDSB why they should vote for you as one of the two Student Trustees for 2024 – 2025.

For the video submissions, candidates were asked to respond to the following two questions:

  1. What does Education mean to you?
  2. What would you like to accomplish as Student Trustee, as both a member of Student Senate and as a member of the Board?

Read and watch the submissions from Student Trustee candidates below so you can make your vote count next week. Voting will be open from February 20 to February 23 at 4 p.m. Stay tuned for the voting link, which will be shared on the HWDSB website and social media channels.

Click here to learn more about Student Trustee elections.


Oluwafikunayomi (Fikun) Alabi

Hello Everyone,

Imagine our school district as a lively kaleidoscope-a mix of shapes and colors, where every student is a unique piece- step into this colorful world with me, Oluwafikunayomi (Funki) Alabi, in Grade 11. I thrive on teamwork, collaborative improvement and being a reliable support.

My mission on this board is to make each student’s awesomeness seen and celebrated. If I am elected as a Student Trustee member, we will create a school where everyone feels safe with their views and treated as special just like the vibrant pieces of a kaleidoscope. Our school board can be an exciting place where every student is valued and encouraged to shine.

My focus is to create a sense of community. I would love to work with the board to make sure everyone, especially the minorities and unique members of our community, feel safe, welcome, and heard. I also want to focus on crucial things like the mental wellness of our students, better school resources and loads of fun school activities.

I am ready to take up this colorful adventure to make our school board a place where students can be a part of our extraordinary unique pattern.

Thank you!

 

Reign Cooper

Hey HWDSB! I’m Reign Cooper. I’m a member of the Student Council, Wellness Committee, and Student Senate, where I am a co-secretary. I’m also a member of HamONYouth, where I serve as their representative for the Student Senate. I’ve developed strong collaboration and leadership skills and learned that students can achieve remarkable feats when given support. Given the role of student trustee, I aim to apply these principles to the school board:

  1. Communication and Engagement: Ensure active communication, utilizing feedback forms, and enhanced transparency for all student voices to be heard.
  2. Safe Spaces and Inclusivity: Create an inclusive, respectful environment by addressing student concerns, valuing diverse student populations and make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable.
  3. Mental Health Support: More accessible mental health resources and supports.
  4. Mentorship Program: Implementing a program for smoother transitions between elementary and high school. Additionally, the program would help students interact with one another, give advice, discuss their learning strategies, and have any needed support.

Let’s collaborate for a brighter, more inclusive HWDSB. Your vote for me is a vote for effective representation and positive change.

Judi Ghadban

Hello! My name is Judi; I’m a grade 11 student, and I’m very excited to run for HWDSB’s 2024-2025 student trustee!

But I’m sure the majority of you don’t care about student trustees. At first, I was like that. I thought being a student trustee was just a title people ran for to add to their CVs.

The question, “Why should I care?” is valid. A student trustee is the bridge between the board and the student body. They are supposed to represent the student’s voice: your voice.

As a student trustee, I want to magnify the student body’s voice. I may not be perfect, but I have the tenacity and passion to improve our school board. I plan on doing this by:

  • Having clear communication through all stages of discussion.
  • Instating student mental health days.
  • Creating equal opportunities for mental health counselling.

Now, enough about me, what do YOU want? We often feel ignored and disregarded, but I want to fight for your needs because they matter. If you want to raise your voice to spark change, I would be honoured to be the fuel that pushes for it.

 

Lex Lemieux

My names Lex and I’m running for HWDSB Student Trustee 2024-25. If elected my main priority would be understanding your concerns and bringing them to the board.

I’ve always been interested in advocacy but in grade 8 is when I really committed to it. In grade 8 I realized students at my school felt excluded by the language used about washrooms. I created a petition for more inclusive language regarding bathrooms in response to this, which has got over 5000 signatures.

When I recognized extreme transphobia in my elementary school, I reached out to CBC and got an article written about it, which became the 10th most read article of 2022.

Since then, I’ve joined two advisory groups at HWDSB where I advocate for change relating to LGBTQ+ & mental health issues at HWDSB. I helped to re-word the HWDSB dress code in an inclusive way. I’ve also attended many events related to inclusiveness.

That’s enough about me, because this is about you. This is about the issues at your school that you want changed. My goal as Student Trustee would be to listen to your voices to understand how I can advocate for the change you want to see.

 

Victoria Li

You’ll never be able to achieve “success”.

We as students strive to reach for an unimaginable goal of unlimited achievements, all to arrive at the same destination. Success. But what does this mean?

I define success as a place of harmony, somewhere where those around me can live in equity, opportunity, and accessibility no matter their race, gender, religion or academic goals.

So, how do I visualize our success? What can we DO to take a step towards this? Let’s start here:

  1. Bring together a DIVERSE group of students to be involved in the INNER WORKINGS of our education system. Provide an opportunity of monthly meetings for YOUR VOICES to be heard. To make a CHANGE, we must all contribute our ideas, beliefs, and values no matter how small or impactful.
  2. Find a student who can RELATE to you. Speak and connect online with someone like-minded, someone who has experienced what we have on an emotional level, and someone who cares for your MENTAL HEALTH.
  3. Implement a FREE educational platform for ALL students to help each other with schoolwork or provide ADVICE for high school and post-secondary pathways.

Now, it’s your turn. How do you define success?

 

Lauryn Maphosa

I would be a great student trustee because I’m passionate about creating a healthy learning environment that is designed by students and represents the student voice. As a trustee I would help students to participate in decisions that concern their education, as well as advocate for improved student wellness through social activities/events.

I am an excellent listener and am always up for a conversation with peers who aren’t afraid to voice their opinions. As a student trustee I will observe what my peers’ concerns are and represent them with the trustees.

What I hope to do is ensure that students’ concerns are taken seriously. I acknowledge that students have different learning styles and am committed to improving classroom experiences by incorporating unique resources such as quiet spaces in the classroom which will include flexible seating options such as bean bags, pillows, mats etc so that students can feel their best while learning. In conclusion, I believe that the HWDSB students should cast their votes for me because, should I be elected, I will speak for their demands and advocate for their comfort in the classroom.

Malcolm McDonald

I have always had a dream and passion for helping others through public service. I have always carefully listened to what students had to say and worked as hard as I can to implement their wishes. The students at the school board need a strong voice who will advocate for them unequivocally and share their values to the board respectfully. I have previously demonstrated I am capable to serve in this role through my former service as elementary student Senator, elementary student co president, elementary valedictorian and grade 9 representatives. I have also canvassed with our provincial MPP Sandy Shaw, and I understand how to listen to all perspectives along with being able to forge compromise. I also love to meet and greet new people so if I was elected student trustee, I would capably listen to all the concerns of my fellow students and work as tirelessly as I could to propose their concerns to the school board and work on getting a positive solution. I am well rounded, and a part of multiple clubs and sports teams at my school. I and understand the value of extracurriculars and would humbly love to include student trustee to that list.

Zainab Ryani

Hello HWDSB students I’m Zainab Ryani, a grade 11 student and I’m running to make real change.

I’m currently student council president, and on the music council. These positions have taught me the importance of leadership and collaboration.

I am also the relations officer of the Muslim Association. Through that role I was able to foster inclusivity among our diverse student population, and as student trustee I will work to make this a board-wide effort.

Beyond school walls I have actively participated in board-led experiences such as student senate during which I was able to connect with students from schools across the board. We were able to work together to make positive impacts on a district level, and with my other board experience with eco initiative we worked towards making HWDSB more eco-friendly.

With all my experiences I know that I am able to cater to every demographic and assure theneeds of the student body at HWDSB. I am committed to being an advocate for the student voice and making certain that your ideas, concerns and hopes are heard.

Thank you for your time and vote Zainab Ryani for student trustee!

 

Jenna Suboh

Are you feeling isolated, underrepresented, and unheard at school? Well, I am here to change that. Vote for me Jenna Suboh as your Student Trustee, and I will ensure that no student’s voice is left unheard. I will commit to working hand in hand with the student body to make our schools a safe space for all.

I have had experience advocating for students in our board through my work to successfully pass the anti-Palestinian racism motion. To pass this motion, I collaborated closely with Thomas Lin, one of our current student trustees, to collect student experiences through social media posts, and online forms, and I shared my prospective as a Palestinian student during the creation of the resolution for the motion. I had the privilege of speaking on behalf of students at the board meeting delegation to represent the perspectives of our diverse student body.

I am dedicated to amplifying inclusivity and ensuring that every student feels seen and welcomed within our educational community.

 

Fatema Syed

Hey HWDSB! My name is Fatema Syed and I am currently a grade 11 student. Currently, I am apart of student senate which allows me to advocate for student voice and student involvement throughout HWDSB.

During my time apart of senate I was able to support and help Student Trustee Lin with his motion towards the Anti-Muslim and Anti-Palestinian racism occur throughout HWDSB.

As an individual who is passionate about student involvement and voice, I am apart of my student council where I am able to take student ideas and bring them to life. Here students come to me with ideas of what they would like to see, and with the help of friends and other club members I am able to bring their ideas to life.

As a student, you should vote for me as I would love to bring all students ideas, ensure that HWDSB is a safe and equal school board for all students or different races, as well as have enough support available to students regarding their mental health and any additional physical needs they may require.

Vote for me to have the opportunity to raise your voice and make tangible change within the school board.

 

George Zeng

Dear HWDSB,

These past few years have sure been an experience. It’s been over 4 years since COVID, yet it still feels like it was yesterday. As a school board, we’ve completely, and positively remodelled our system, navigating issues in mental health, inclusivity and equality, and the recognition of equity-deserving communities.

In 2018, HWDSB launched the We Help Campaign, rebranding the HWDSB Helps app and pushing for increased focus on the mental health and well-being of students. In October 2021, HWDSB Student Trustees launched their Instagram account. This year, in January 2024, HWDSB launched its new multi-year strategic plan, with the slogan: “Be you. Be excellent.” Admittedly, it has taken some time to pick up the momentum lost to COVID – but we’ve stayed strong and can continue to do so.

As your Student Trustee for the 2024-2025 term, I have no doubt that we can do amazing things together, with me serving as the bridge between you and the board. This coming school year let’s focus on creating a community; that values the input of each and every student; that ensures accessibility, transparency, and equal representation; and that prioritizes mental health, inclusivity, and school safety.

Together, let’s make history.

 

Interested in becoming a Student Trustee? Attend the Student Trustee Information Session!

HWDSB is committed to hearing the voices of students through Student Trustees. Two Student Trustees for 2023-24 will be selected through an election process.

We encourage any secondary students interested in being Student Trustees to attend the Student Trustee Virtual Information Session to learn more about the role and election process.

Student Trustee Virtual Information Session

Stay tuned for a full recording of the virtual Information Session.

Updated on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.
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