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TBDSB Trustee Candidate Survey - Ruth Tisdale

On September 14th, I emailed the London candidates for Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) Trustee.  As outlined in a previous blog post, this was done to provide more exposure to this important position and to give Londoners an opportunity to get more insight into the candidates.

Ruth Tisdale Candidate Wards 1,11,12,14

Thank you for the opportunity to provide information about the trustee elections. It is encouraging to see someone taking the time to provide information on a role that impacts our greatest resource, OUR STUDENTS!!  

Why do you want to be a school board trustee?
Our children are our greatest resource and our future. We must ensure that we are providing the very best educational opportunities for all children. As a mother of 5 children I have witnessed first hand the accomplishments and struggles as my children navigate public education.  In the past, as a school council member, Home and School member and community member I have worked alongside other parents and community members who are as committed to making a difference in lives of all our students as I am. I have heard their concerns, shared their struggles and celebrated with them when their children have accomplished great things and overcome challenges. And for the past eight years as a trustee of the Thames Valley District School Board I have worked tirelessly to improve the opportunities for students in our community. I would be honoured to continue to serve my community with my passion and dedication for all students.

What do you consider to be the most important role of a school board trustee?
I believe that the most important role of a school board trustee is that of a “learner” and “listener”.  We must listen to the voices of our students, parents and community, and we must be willing to educate ourselves about the issues, investigate alternatives, and ensure that when making decisions we are putting students first.  

What do you believe to be the most important issue for the TVDSB to address over the next four years?
Student success is the most important issue. We need to ensure that we are providing all students with the resources and educational programming they need to be successful. We are faced with the challenge of preparing our students for a future that changes at a very rapid pace. Technological advances and new jobs which we cannot even imagine yet, are the reality for the students of today.  We must find new and innovative ways to expand the teaching of 21st century skills into the education of our students in order for them to be prepared to meet their future.

This is a great challenge, complicated by budgetary constraints and compounded by the realities of declining enrolment.  The effects of the decline in enrolment have now reached our secondary schools, and as students and parents can attest the impact is resulting in timetabling issues and access to the depth and breadth of course offerings to which our students have become accustomed. This is especially true in our rural and smaller high schools.  We must continue to explore opportunities for partnerships to address school utilization in both the elementary and secondary panels, and innovative ways for students to access course offerings.

What skills and experience do you have that qualify you to be a school board trustee?
First and foremost I am a mother of 5 children. Three of my children have graduated from TVDSB schools and the youngest two are still students. As a parent of a student with special education needs I have experience advocating for the resources required to be successful. I have been involved with the schools and the school board as a parent for 18 years. I was a member of school councils and Home and School Associations for many years and served in numerous leadership capacities before running for Trustee in 2006. Prior to my election as a trustee, I also served as the Vice Chair of the Thames Valley District School Council, Resolutions Chair for the Thames Valley Council of Home and School Associations, Chairperson of the Thames Valley Special Education Advisory Committee, as well as participated on other board committees as requested in order to ensure the parent voice was represented.

As a trustee for the past eight years I have assisted parents and community members with concerns and have served on many board committees including the Audit Committee, Budget Advisory Committee, By-law Review Committee, Chairs Committee, Negotiations Advisory Committee, Policy Working Committee, Special Education Advisory Committee, Supervised Alternative Learning Committee, TVDSB/City of London Liaison Committee, Thames Valley Education Foundation, as a Director on the Ontario Public Schools Boards Association (OPSBA), a member of the OPSBA Education Program Work Team, and for the past year I have served as Chair of the TVDSB.

In my community I have volunteered with Scouts Canada and Canadian Parents for French.  I am a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), and graduated from Brescia University College with a Honours Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies with majors in Accounting and in Community Development. My education provides me with the skills to ensure accountability and to understand the importance of community. I have a wealth of experience and knowledge of the education system both within TVDSB and the province of Ontario. Most importantly, I have a true passion for public education and ensuring that all students succeed.

How can voters get in touch with you for more information?
Email me at rt@tisgroup.ca or call 519-859-7076

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