Elizabeth Wong, a student at McMaster University, replaces Christine Bingham as the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Trustee for Wards 1 and 2 for the remainder of this term.
Wong, who served as a student trustee in 2016-17 while attending Nora Frances Henderson High School on East Mountain, prevailed over nine other candidates after two rounds of secret balloting by trustees at a special board meeting. February 22.
Four of the 14 initial candidates dropped out before interviews for the post, created by Bingham’s resignation on November 29.
The 10 directors used ranked ballot voting which allowed them to list their top three choices in order, with six votes needed to gain majority support.
Before the vote, the candidates were asked to explain how they would “effectively engage, advocate and represent the diverse constituents” of the two wards, and where they wanted to focus their time and energy leading up to the October 24 municipal elections.
They had five minutes to do so, followed by two minutes for closing statements.
Wong said her bachelor of arts program in political science and labor studies focuses on race, gender, gender, education and the social determinants of health, helping her understand how these factors affect education and outcomes.
“These neighborhoods are so different in their needs and the only way to establish what those needs are is to have open lines of communication with communities, schools, students and staff,” she said.
“I hope I can be a spokesperson for the vulnerable populations of our board and I hope I can use my experiences to advocate and work for the students, communities and staff of Wards 1 and 2 and the greater community of HWDSB. »
Other nominees included former trustees Brian Gage and Larry Pattison, and Cameron Prosic, who served as a student trustee from 2018 to 2020, while attending Sir John A. Macdonald and then Bernie Custis secondary schools.
Gage, who represented Ward 1 for three years before the 1998 merger of Hamilton and Wentworth county councils, said he was a ‘fiscally conservative social democrat’ with more than 40 years of experience in of governance.
He said he attended schools in both neighborhoods and graduated from Westdale High School, where he helped successfully fight for the end of a dress code that did not allow women to wear jeans.
“In my lifetime I have seen real progress in social justice, but I recognize there is still a long way to go,” said Gage, who came second to Bingham in the election. 2014.
Pattison, who decided not to run again after representing Ward 3 last term, said his experience with various school communities will help him do the same with the 12 schools in Wards 1 and 2.
“I also know the pressure of being your own secretary, juggling family and work and all that that role requires,” he said.
“My family and I have not thought about this return to the office lightly, but the truth is that I love the job and have missed it since leaving the office in 2018, and I believe I always have a lot to offer.”
After announcing the results of the vote, board chair Dawn Danko congratulated Wong and said the vote breakdown would be included in the minutes of the regular board meeting on Feb. 28, when Wong is sworn in.
“A big thank you to all the candidates who applied,” Danko said. “Your passion for public education, for your communities, for Wards 1 and 2, was very evident tonight. I think it was a tough decision to make.