Kathleen Woodcock elected President of OPSBA


Headshot of Kathleen Woodcock.

Toronto, July 5, 2024 – The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) is pleased to announce that Kathleen Woodcock has been elected President for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years at its Annual General Meeting held yesterday in Toronto.

Currently in her sixth term as a Waterloo Region DSB Trustee, she has served the past two years as OPSBA’s First Vice-President.

Previously, as Second Vice-President, she co-led Project Compass through the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a thorough review of the organizational structures and processes of OPSBA. President Woodcock has served in a variety of school board leadership roles including chair, vice-chair, past chair and member/chair of statutory and ad hoc committees. Prior to becoming a trustee, she held leadership positions in her local staff union (WLUSA), and in the provincial organization representing university staff associations (COUSA). In retirement, she is also serving on the board of Third Age Learning – Kitchener Waterloo, a volunteer organization that provides lecture series for life-long learners.

“My commitment to public education as a cornerstone of democracy remains strong,” says President Woodcock. “I am passionate about student achievement and well-being and dedicated to improving public education for all students, families and communities and look forward to working with our member boards to ensure their voices are heard at Queen’s Park.”

Serving alongside President Woodcock, and also elected for two-year terms, are First Vice-President Kathryn Pierroz of the Rainy River District School Board, and Second Vice-President Michelle Aarts of the Toronto District School Board.

OPSBA’s Executive Council/leadership team for the 2024-25 school year will also include: Cathy Abraham, Past President (Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board); Jaine Klassen-Jeninga, Regional Chair, Central East Region (Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board); Donna Danielli, Regional Chair, Central West Region (Halton District School Board); Susan Humphries, Regional Chair, Eastern Region (Renfrew County District School Board); Bill Steer, Regional Chair, Northern Region (Near North District School Board); Arlene Morell, Regional Chair, Western Region (Thames Valley District School Board); Deborah Williams, Enrolment Representative (Toronto District School Board); David Green, Enrolment Representative (Peel District School Board); Elaine Johnston, Chair of the Indigenous Trustees’ Council (Algoma District School Board); and Kathy McDonald, Chair of the Black Trustees’ Caucus (Peel District School Board).

The addition of the Chair of the Black Trustees’ Caucus to OPSBA’s Executive Council follows the passing of a constitutional amendment at the Annual General Meeting.

2024 OPSBA Awards

Each year, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association honours individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of education. The recipients of these awards represent the many who contribute to the creativity and hard work that make our schools and education system world-leading.

Jack A. MacDonald Award of Merit and Certificate of Recognition

The winners of these student awards are selected based on a sound academic record throughout their career, accompanied by outstanding community service and leadership. This year’s Jack A. MacDonald Award of Merit was presented to Ailia Syeda, Frontenac Secondary School, Limestone DSB. Certificates of Recognition were presented to Grace de Varennes, Sydenham High School, Limestone DSB, and Ella Rickard, Napanee District Secondary School, Limestone DSB.

Dr. Harry Paikin Memorial Award

This award is given to an active or retired public school trustee for outstanding service. This year’s recipient is Trustee Arlene Morell, Thames Valley DSB.

Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award

The Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award is given to an active or retired member of the teaching profession for outstanding contribution to education in Ontario. This year’s recipient is Shaun Maddock, Special Education Consultant, Grandview School Authority.

OPSBA Award of Excellence and Achievement Award

The OPSBA Award of Excellence and the Achievement Award are presented by the local board to volunteers for outstanding, exemplary and/or unique contributions to the overall well-being of the school or community through in-school, board-wide, extra-curricular and/or volunteer activity. This year’s recipient is Moffat Mankuto, Executive Director of the Regional Multicultural Youth Council, Lakehead DSB.

The Achievement Award was presented to the following individuals:

  • Michele Gordon, Durham DSB
  • Andrew Gibson, Derek Doucet, and Jennifer Robertson, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB
  • Jason Pilot, Rebecca Cross, Moffat Mankuto, and Destiny Linklater, Lakehead DSB
  • Deb Katyal, Gloria Wen, Shehla Kerim, and Gillian Cooper, Ottawa-Carleton DSB
  • Daniel Park and Vickram Bachan, Toronto DSB
  • Krista Patterson and Jennifer Eason, Trillium Lakelands DSB
  • Laura Gonzalez, Zeinab Jradi, Andi McKillop, and Pierce Casey, Thames Valley DSB

For more information, please contact:

Shane Gonsalves
Managing Director, Government and Public Affairs

T.J. Goertz
Senior Communications and Policy Officer