The next four years will involve significant budgetary and policy changes that affect the public school system in Waterloo Region. With extensive experience in budget management, government relations and student-centred advocacy,

Waterloo Region needs to elect WRDSB Trustees like Samantha.

Over the last ten years, Samantha has consistently been involved in initiatives, projects, programs and organizations that aim to better the lives of students, not only in Waterloo Region, but across the country. In 2018, Samantha was chosen as one of ten women to receive the Province of Ontario’s Leading Women, Building Communities award for the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo.

Her applicable experience includes:

✔︎ 5+ years of exemplary budget management
✔︎ 6+ years of thought leadership on diversity and STEM
✔︎ 10+ years in student-centred advocacy on diversity, inclusion, and STEM
✔︎ 10+ years of board experience related to educational institutions and non-profits
✔︎ 7+ years of Federal, Provincial, and Municipal government relations and advocacy

She has worked at and with a variety of educational institutions and education-centred organizations over the last ten years, including:

✔︎ Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College and the University of Alberta
✔︎ Founding and current member of the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Working Group of the International Citizen Science Association
✔︎ Waterloo Region’s Business & Entrepreneurship Program, a specialized program for high school students in both WRDSB and WRCDSB
✔︎ Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, Canadian Federation of Students, FedS, WLUGSA, WLUSU, OPIRG, and PIRGS Canada
✔︎ Represented over 300,000 students at over 20 post-secondary institutions and written hundreds of surveys, qualitative studies for stakeholder engagement, bylaws, and policies

Samantha is passionate about education and equity. If elected to be a Trustee for the Waterloo Region District School Board, Samantha will tirelessly work to ensure that every student in Waterloo Region is supported and given the tools that they need to have a positive and successful educational journey.

2 thoughts on “Why Vote Samantha?

  1. Sounds very commendable. However, I see nothing really about your support of teachers and the difficulties they have in their diverse classrooms with so many special needs and expectations, with teacher bullying, and lack of support, in many cases from parents and the community. So many people seem to feel that because they’ve been taught and attended school that they are as expert as those who have trained and continue to train in delivering a highly professional programme to their students. Unless your teachers feel supported, the students are going to suffer too.

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    1. Hi Donna,

      Thank you for your comment. You’re absolutely right – if our educators are not supported, our students will suffer. As the child and sister of teachers, I’ve seen first hand some of the vitriol and bullying that our educators face first hand. I know first hand what it’s like to be on the picket line for education. I know the effect that it has on students, families, and our community when our educators are forced to make a public stand and demand for manageable classroom sizes, fair compensation and safe work environments. I also know first hand the kinds of personal sacrifices that educators make, both in the classroom and in labour negotiations, to ensure that the students are put first.

      The next four years will involve at least one (though I suspect it might be two) collective bargaining agreement (Aug 31, 2019). As a trustee, my first concern is for our students and that means working with our unions to ensure that our students are given the best possible education; this can only be done when we have educators who are supported and able to do their jobs to the fullest extent and it certainly cannot be done if our educators are forced to be on the picket lines for weeks at a time due to hostile labour negotiations. I also know that our educators cannot teach without the dedicated work of support staff. The staff deserve to work in an environment where their rights are respected and valued. The right to collectively bargain is one of those rights that I will work to protect.

      I’m proud to say that I received the Waterloo Region Labour Council’s endorsement, and that came from demonstrating to teacher’s unions (ETFO and OSSTF) how I would support our educators and our students. Previous to that endorsement, I also spoke as a delegation on the 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum WRDSB special meeting and defended our educators’ rights to refuse to teach curriculum that went against their professional knowledge as per the Ontario College of Teacher’s bylaws (https://samantha-wr.com/2018/08/29/my-health-ed-curriculum-delegation-statement-to-wrdsb/).

      I hope this addresses your concern and please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any additional concerns and questions.

      – Samantha

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