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TVDSB Trustee Candidate Survey - Joyce Bennett

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.

Joyce Bennett Candidate Wards 7,8,9,10,13

Why do you want to be a school board trustee?
I am passionate about public education and preparing our children for their future.  I am experienced, accountable and approachable. I believe that every child can learn and every child has to be given the opportunity to reach his or her potential. I am willing and able to continue making a serious and full-time commitment to the role of trustee.  I want to ensure that board actions address the needs of all learners from JK to adults.  By actively listening to and working with students, families and the community I have made a DIFFERENCE.

What do you consider to be the most important role of a school board trustee?
 As a trustee I am a community advocate working on behalf of students, families and communities to promote student achievement and well-being.  

We set the strategic direction for the board to ensure that there is local accountability for student success. 

We put programs and policies in place that reflect the needs of students in the system.  

We work with the Director of Education to provide the direction for key achievement goals and develop policies, procedures and budget to ensure the safe and effective operation of our schools.

What do you believe to be the most important issue for the TVDSB to address over the next four years?
We need access to quality programs, resources and supports across the district with a focus on students who face barriers to academic success. Staff development must focus on improving the capacity of our teachers.

An increasing number of students are experiencing mental health challenges. We need to continue the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Mental Health And Wellness. A child’s readiness to learn and ability to focus has a direct impact on student achievement.

Declining enrolment has moved through the elementary panel and we need to focus on our secondary schools. We need to develop an innovative strategy to study our secondary school accommodation and program requirements to better prepare our students for their future.

All of our employee contracts expired on August 31 2014. All TVDSB unions have given notice to bargain.  We will be working with a new two-tiered system of negotiations.  Central bargaining issues will be decided at a tri-party table in Toronto and local issues will be negotiated in Thames Valley.  The focus must remain on what is best for our students and their learning.

What skills and experience do you have that qualify you to be a school board trustee?
 I am a respected leader among my trustee colleagues serving as Chairperson in 2002,2003, 2012 and 2013.  As Chair in 2013, I played a key role in the development of the Strategic Plan including the Mission, Vision and Commitments.

Parents appreciate that I am an empathetic listener and problem solver.

I have served on or chaired every Board or Administrative Committee over the years.

In 2001, I was presented with the Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit for outstanding service as a school trustee.

In the community I have served on the Board of Directors of Youth Opportunities Unlimited and Craigwood Youth Services.

In 2010, I received the YOU Steve Cordes Community Star Award for exceptional long-term commitment to youth.

Presently I am Chair of the Board of Directors for the YMCA Children’s Safety Village.

In all of these arenas I am a strong advocate, empathetic listener and a firm negotiator.

How can voters get in touch with you for more information?
I can be contacted at  or you can find me on facebook: