New leadership was elected at the Upper Canada District School Board. Trustee Jamie Schoular defeated five-term trustee chair John McAllister November 22. 

Schoular – who represents Ward 3 covering Westport, Rideau Lakes, Merrickville and Smiths Falls – was first elected to the UCDSB in 2018. He currently is a member of the board’s Parent Involvement Committee and was chair of Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario. 

He replaces McAllister, who served five consecutive one-year terms as chair. McAllister was elected chair in December 2018.

In his pitch to fellow trustees, Schoular highlighted his experience in public education as a teacher and principal, and his interest in leadership. Schoular said in conversation with colleagues, many have shown an interest in serving as chair or vice chair. 

“And I believe, if interested, they should have the opportunity to seek to be elected to these positions. This isn’t the monarchy, and we are not Supreme Court justices. It is not a position that belongs to any one person for an extended period of time,” Schoular said. 

He closed by saying that his job as chair would be to “support, encourage, facilitate and well, get out of the way and let you do your jobs.”

No vote tally was released however Director of Education Ron Ferguson said in announcing Schoular’s election that there was “a clear winner.”

“Thank you for your support. I look forward to working with all you collaboratively to continue with the many good things that are being done in our board,” Schoular told trustees.

The vice chair position election saw first term trustee Linda Johnston elected. Johnston – who represents Ward 1 covering Beckwith, Carleton Place, and Mississippi Mills – succeeds Corina Parisien who declined nomination for a second one year term in office. 

“I want to thank each and every one of you for your confidence and kindness while I was in the position. At this time however, I’ll be turning down the nomination,” Parisien said. 

In her pitch to trustees, Johnston said she supported the goals and the direction of the board.

“The board table is where we come together for a common goal,” Johnston said adding that the board has a moral imperitive to being inclusive to all. 

Ward 6 trustee Lisa Swan self-nominated for the vice chair position. 

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and I’m looking forward to working with everyone on this common goal,” Johnston said after her election. 

The new chair and vice chair immediately began in their roles, and will serve a one year term. 

While there were changes to the top of the UCDSB trustee leadership, there were no changes to the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. 

Sue Wilson was acclaimed for a second consecutive one year term as chair. Karen McAllister was also acclaimed to a second consecutive one year term as vice chair. 

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