Four new trustees elected at UCDSB

BROCKVILLE – Four incumbent trustees and four new trustees were elected to the Upper Canada District School Board on October 24.

The board, the largest in Eastern Ontario outside of Ottawa, saw three trustees lose their seats in the trustee election.

In Ward 1, representing the eastern half of Lanark County, Lynda Johnston beat current board vice-chair Donald Cram.

Carole Dufort defeated 22-year incumbent Bill MacPherson in Ward 2 (Perth/Western Lanark). MacPherson has served on the Special Education Advisory Committee for the board and was previously a vice-chair in the 2018-22 term.

Ward 5 in Brockville/Augusta Township saw Michel LaBonte defeat incumbent one-term trustee John McCrae.

Current board chair and three-term trustee John McAllister defeated two challengers in Ward 4.

“I am pleased to serve another four years as Trustee on this UCDSB board,” McAllister told The Leader. “My goal is to continue building healthy relationships with all stakeholder and always to inspire confidence in public education.”

McAllister did not indicate if the would seek the trustee chair position in the new term. He served as chair for the entirety of the 2018-22 term.

Ward 8 (Cornwall) trustee David McDonald defeated challenger Ryan MacKay by fewer than 400 votes to return for his seventh consecutive term. McDonald was first elected in 2000 and is the longest-serving trustee at the UCDSB. Ward 6 trustee Lisa Swan and Ward 3 trustee Jamie Schoular also fended off challengers for re-election.

North Stormont resident Curtis Jordan defeated Jasper-area resident Andrew Shanks by a three-to-one margin in Ward 9 representing Stormont and Glengarry Counties. Current trustee John Danaher is retiring from office and did not run for re-election.

“I am humbled more than words can express as I write this letter of gratitude to the thousands of voters who’ve elected me to serve as trustee,” Jordan said in a statement to The Leader.

The support I’ve received in my candidacy has been absolutely positively surreal.

Two trustees were acclaimed as well. Larry Berry (Ward 7 - Dundas County) and Corina Parisien (Ward 10 – Prescott-Russell) were unchallenged in their bid for a second term at the board.

In a release from the board, Director of Education Ron Ferguson said he was looking forward to working with the new board.

“As a school district, our primary focus is to prepare all students to have successful lives and help them achieve their fullest potential. I strongly believe we are well-positioned to continue with that mission.”

Trustees begin the 2022-26 term of office on November 15 and will be sworn in at the board’s inaugural meeting on November 16.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader