June 15, 2020 — TORONTO

Student trustees across Ontario cast their ballots online last week to determine who would comprise the executive council at OSTA-AECO for the 2020–2021 term. Justine Mackay, a Grade 11 student trustee from Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, has been officially elected as President, OSTA-AECO, effective August 1.

The president leads the organization’s advocacy arm and is one of the official spokespeople for OSTA-AECO. Mackay will work closely with the Ministry of Education, as well as other partners in education, to ensure that the voices of Ontario’s 2 million students are represented by Ontario’s provincially-elected officials.

“I am extremely honoured and humbled to be elected as OSTA-AECO’s president for the upcoming year,” Mackay says, “and am thrilled to work alongside the rest of the incoming executive council and general assembly to continue advocating for Ontario’s students in the publicly-funded education system.”

In addition to provincial advocacy, the executive council provides professional development to student trustees throughout their terms, similar to adult trustees’ associations like OPSBA and OCSTA.

Additionally elected to the executive council for the 2020–2021 term:

  • Teresa Siby, Catholic Board Council President (York Catholic DSB)

  • Mahek Dhaliwal, Public Board Council President (Thames Valley DSB)

  • Annika Dela Torre, Catholic Board Council Vice-President (Durham Catholic DSB)

  • Zachary Garbaty, Public Board Council Vice-President (Grand Erie DSB)

  • Joy Liu, Policy Coordinator (Ottawa-Carleton DSB)

  • Kirsten Kelly, Public Affairs Coordinator (Halton Catholic DSB)

  • Luca DiPietro, Operations Coordinator (Niagara Catholic DSB)

  • Josh Hill, Outreach Coordinator (Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic DSB)

The incoming executive council met today to appoint the following positions to its ranks:

  • Jazzlyn Abbott, Media Design Coordinator (Renfrew County DSB)
  • Arpita Savaliya, Professional Development Coordinator (Durham DSB)

Over the course of the next year, Mackay is excited to find ways “to best support students and ensure equity in our schools and classroom environments as we transition back into in-person learning.” She highlights “upholding OSTA-AECO’s Vision Document,” which the 2018–2019 executive council developed during its term and eventually released in May 2019.

Mackay is committed to supporting and advocating for the well-being of all students—“especially during these times where the future is so uncertain,” she reiterates. With her team, she looks forward to “support inclusive curricula that best represents all students irrespective of race, gender, or sexuality, (dis)ability, religion, or socioeconomic status to strive for further equity within our education system.”

The incoming cohort of the executive council will work with OSTA-AECO’s board of directors over the next week to appoint the organization’s Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officers.

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For additional information, and for media inquiries, please contact:

OSTA-AECO Communications
[email protected]
t: 888.994-9374

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