Friday, Sept. 15, 2023
New year kicks off with two new student trustees
Near North District School Board (NNDSB) Chair Erika Lougheed and Director of Education Craig Myles welcomed trustees back after summer break and warmly greeted two new student trustees at Tuesday’s Board meeting.
Student Trustee Dora Chen and Indigenous Student Trustee Albany Benson were appointed following their recommendation by the Near North Student Senate (Chen) and the Indigenous Youth Council (Benson). Both students attend Chippewa Secondary School.
Chen has been a member of student council, a student senator and is the student representative on the Chippewa renaming committee. She ran for office because she wants to “give students in NNDSB a voice at the Board table, as I believe students should have a say in their own education.” She also wants to advocate for initiatives that will benefit students.
Chen says she is most passionate about French language education, as well as education funding, especially creating opportunities for students interested in the arts.
Benson has a history of community involvement, including being a figure skating coach, organizing donations for Fort Albany, raising money for the food bank and organizing events for Indigenous students at school.
She wants to act as a voice for all Indigenous youth in NNDSB, and to “ensure they feel comfortable and heard at school. I aim to fulfil the needs and rights of Indigenous students.”
Chair Lougheed encouraged the student trustees to “get in and ask questions”. Trustee Julie Bertram welcomed them, and said she was looking forward to their participation which is “important in these types of rooms.”
The organizational Board meeting, in which trustees elect the year’s Chair and Vice-Chair and select the committees they would like to work on, will be held Nov. 14, 2023.