Alfred Heim
Published On: Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014

Proust Questionnaire For South Stormont Candidates – Wendy MacPherson

wendy macphersonSSN – We are asking all candidates to fill out our mini survey so the public can get to know them better.  We are posting them as they arrive in chronological order.

Up is Wendy MacPherson who is running for the Ward 9, trustee position, in the Upper Canada District School Board.

The Ward is all of South Stormont,  South Glengarry, North Stormont, and North Glengarry.

1) Who are you?
My name is Wendy MacPherson and I live in rural North Glengarry with David, my husband of 16 years and 3 beautiful daughters aged 15, 13 and 11. I have a variety of interests; I have participated on school council at the elementary and high school level and keep informed on the subject of learning disabilities through supporting the Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa (LDAO). Furthermore, I serve on the Policy Advisory Council for the Glengarry Federation of Agriculture (GFA) which is a branch of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).

2) Why are you running for office?
After 12 rewarding years on Parent Council’s I am prepared for the work of becoming and the honor of getting elected as Trustee. My time involved with the elementary, intermediate and high school levels has allowed me to become acutely aware of the challenges parents, and students face. Furthermore my rural aspect to living in the country surroundings is another experiences I think needs a strong voice when it comes to policy’s the Ministry wants imposed on small schools but is designed for large urban schools.

I also would like to add as a volunteer at schools my experiences as an Organizer, Fundraiser and Partner with other parents and school administrations has the perfect foundation to being a positive and influential Trustee. As such I would be filling the need identified by local parents for a hard-working, caring and involved Trustee who thoroughly understands what it is to have school-age children in the public school system today

3) What are the three best things about our community?
While, of course, there can be special aspects to individual towns within South Stormont I would say that they share certain good qualities as a community.

First and foremost would have to be that the children are comfortable and cared-for as they grow and learn. The population is somewhat spread out geographically but people come together to work, help and play as a family. No one is a number in a sea of other numbers.

Second would be the engaged local businesses and volunteers. South Stormont is full of people who are giving of their time and money so that families are provided many of the same opportunities found in larger population centres without having the trappings of big-city life.

Lastly, in an age when technology invades so many aspects of our lives, South Stormont’s rural environment and tourist attractions are a huge benefit. The ready availability of opportunities to step outside and experience nature provides a balance to the bombardment of television and computers/internet.

4) What are your three priorities to improve South Stormont?
Communication: As Trustee, a number one change I would work very hard at improving is opening communications with Parents, Parent Councils and School/School Board Staff. My hope is to do away with the days of parents not knowing their School Trustee, or feeling that the School Board is not hearing their concerns, or not being informed/consulted on matters that impact our children and schools.

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Meeting Real Needs: As a Parent with 3 children in the public school system I have a perspective that is common to that of other local parents. I would be proud to voice this perspective when the Board is discussing school policy. This would hopefully serve to develop policies that would deal with real needs of families.

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Support: There are groups of students that often need more support from the system because their needs differ from the majority. As Trustee I would lend support to these groups and advocate for their needs.

5) Who was your hero as a child?
My childhood hero would have to be my Mom – hands down. She managed a beef farm in Quebec when I was growing up. This allowed us to eventually move to Ontario and start our own set-up. She did it all and with immense grace and integrity up until her retirement in 2012. And still today she impresses me to with her energy and positive mindset. She taught me that I can do anything and that the right choice isn’t always the easy path.

6) If you could brand the South Stormont of the future in one word what would that word be?
My one word for the future of South Stormont Parents and Students is “KNOWLEDGEABLE”.

The job description of Trustee is to liaise between Parents, Schools and the Board. In this capacity I would seek to create open dialogue between these groups and remove the mystery behind policy-making. I would faithfully report on my efforts and those of the School Board.

Likewise, I would be sure to make myself available to hear the concerns of parents and guardians. In my opinion it’s pretty simple; communication=awareness=knowledge.