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Steve Russell 2018-08-30T09:34:09+00:00

Why run for Trustee?

Children matter most.

Our public education system in Ontario is something to be really proud of and something to protect. I see it as “the roots” of our diverse, inclusive, informed and educated citizenry. I think Trustees play an important part in the system. They work as a collective to make decisions, and at that table there should be a mix of experience and perspectives. My background prepares me well to contribute to the important dialogue that will precede Board decisions. As a Trustee, my first job will be to listen to as broad a range of stakeholder voices as I can, and to speak on behalf of students, parents, educators and supporters of education to find the best possible outcomes for our kids. This takes lots of time and energy and I think a fresh set of ears and eyes among the Trustees is a necessity for the health of the Board over the long term.

What drives me?

I love education. I’ve been a teacher all my life.
We all have a responsibility to our community. After years of observing and talking about politics, I’m inspired to “step up” and try to make a difference.  That’s a crude way of saying it, but it is a value instilled in my by my late father, who always believed that it was important to give something back to the community. As a retired educator, I have the time and perspective on education that allow me to participate within the political arena. I think I can make a difference.

Should there be a retired teacher at the Board table?

I think so. I’ve worked at both the Peel Board and the KPR Board, so have seen education from the inside, in two different communities. A healthy Board of Trustees should include many different perspectives and have members from all walks of life, but it should not exclude those who have an intimate understanding of education itself.
I have worked as the Arts Consultant for the KPR Board (six years) so I’ve seen how our Board works from the inside. I know its structure and personalities. I’ve been on the Equity and Diversity Committee and worked hard on the First Nation, Metis and Inuit policy roll-out. I managed the subject council meetings for all of the secondary schools, so learned about the range of issues that concern teachers around the Board. I’ve taught additional qualification courses in Drama to many teachers in the elementary panel, and learned how hard they work and what stresses they face day-to-day. I’ve been Head of the Peterborough Regional Integrated Arts program, and was its leader while PCVS was closed and the program moved to TAS. Those difficult years taught me a great deal about the politics and the community impact of Board decisions. I’ve been President of the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE) and a writer of Ontario curriculum and resources for the Ministry of Education. I’ve been Treasurer of the International Drama Educators Congress (IDEA) Canada, so have seen education in Ontario through the eyes of international guests. I’ve been a presenter throughout the province for OSSTF training workshops in support of teachers interested in ending  gender violence and supporting the LGBTQ students throughout the province, and also supporting students with special needs. I’ve been on committees for the provincial OSSTF, so have seen a bit of that the union from the inside. I’ve been the President of the Theatre Guild and managed / Chaired monthly Board meetings there, learning the processes required for effective action to be taken within the confines of Board processes. I am a father and grandfather, and my children have gone through the school system. They, more than anyone, have taught me the importance of effective,  humane, supportive and challenging schools.
The Peterborough Trustees must keep the Peterborough schools foremost in their minds, but their decisions as a group apply to a huge Board. If elected, I pledge to make sure that our local schools are never ‘short-changed’ as a consequence of being part of a much larger Board. Each school in our city is its own community and each of them needs to be respected and supported. The facilities within a city are a resource for the whole community, and the school Board must always recognize the importance of maintaining the building a playing fields that are an asset to the whole city.

Endorsements

As a recently retired educator with the board Steve has direct knowledge of what works with kids and how the board can support them best.  Throughout his distinguished career he has worked closely with board administration and is highly respected by both administration and parents alike.  Now retired Steve will have the time to truly support the students of KPR.

Paul Doig, retired Vice-Principal

Steve Russell views issues with a clear, fair and critical eye. He finds the most logical solutions that help kids the most. The Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB should include Steve as a trustee.

Ron Dodson, former colleague

I have had the privilege of knowing Steve Russell for over 30 years since my early days with Second City. Jumping ahead, I  then had the opportunity to teach improv to teachers in Steve’s upgrading program through the  KPR board. Steve is very well respected among all of his peers. He leads with confidence and actively listens. He thinks carefully before he speaks and is eloquent in his responses. His ideas are creative and there is always a sense of fun and possibility  in the room. I truly cannot imagine a better candidate for Trustee than Steve Russell.

Linda Kash, actress and teacher

I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Steve for the past two years with the Peterborough Theatre Guild.  Steve works tirelessly to ensure that our community theatre is running efficiently in all capacities. Steve’s dedication to professionalism and being a positive voice has elevated the theatre community to new heights in the past few years.  Steve is a caring, passionate, intelligent man who is willing to listen to all sides of an issue.  He is a man of service and integrity who wants the best for our community.

Danielle Breau, teacher

Steve will be a staunch advocate for all KPR students and education workers; he knows how to make the system shine.

Tracey Germa, Vice President OSSTF District 14

Steve Russell is an exemplary educator and leader. He will be an outstanding trustee for the KPR Board of Education.

Luigi Iannacci, Trent University Faculty of Education

Steve Russell… a very organized man with student values and success a priority … a forward thinker … would be an excellent addition to the Board of Trustees

Marion Griffin, Retired 47 year teacher

You have my support.

Ann Farquharson, attorney and former city Councillor

Steve Russell will provide strong leadership and advocacy in addressing the needs of all students, parents and community members.  His (30?) years of experience in public education provides him with a unique awareness of current educational issues such as student safety, funding, transportation, facility renewal and special education.  He is hard working and skilled in communication.  Now more than ever, experience matters and the students, parents, community members and the KPR Board of Education will be well served by Steve Russell as one of their Trustees.

 

Jeanne Gray, Trustee - Halton District School Board