By Ashlee Cabral

May 1, 2019


Catholic School Trustees Elect New Leaders, Honour Service


Toronto—May 1, 2019—The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) is pleased to announce the results of its Annual General Meeting election held on April 26.

“It is with gratitude that I acknowledge all the candidates who stepped forward to serve the mission of Catholic education at the provincial level as an OCSTA Regional Director. The newly acclaimed and elected trustees take on a responsibility to serve the best interests of students and the priorities of Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic schools. I welcome their commitment and support for the important work we do as part of Ontario’s vibrant education system,” said OCSTA President Beverley Eckensweiler.

OCSTA Regional Directors – Election Results:


Region 1: Colleen Landers, Northeastern CDSB
Region 3: Michael Bellmore, Sudbury CDSB
Region 5: Linda Ward, St. Clair CDSB
Region 10: Todd Lalonde, CDSB of Eastern Ontario


Region 2: Frank Bastone, Kenora CDSB
Region 4: Marino Gazzola, Wellington CDSB
Region 9: Linda Ainsworth, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland & Clarington CDSB
Region 11: Clifford Casey, Brant Haldimand Norfolk CDSB and Kathy Burtnik, Niagara CDSB

*CDSB – Catholic District School Board

Trustee Award of Merit

Each year OCSTA selects one or more trustees who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to Catholic education to receive the Association’s Award of Merit. Following are the 2019 recipients:

Trustee Vikki Dupuis has served on the Wellington Catholic District School Board of Trustees for 24 years. A former Vice Chair of the board, Trustee Dupuis served this year as the Project Manager for the re-structuring of Kids Ability – a local community service agency serving children and families in Guelph and Wellington. Trustee Dupuis is also a compassionate voice and champion of inclusion as the board’s representative on the Special Education Advisory Committee.

Former Northwest Catholic District School Board Trustee, Anne Marie Fitzgerald was a Trustee with the board for 24 years. During that time, she served for several years as Chair of the board and one year as Vice Chair. Throughout her term as Trustee, Anne Marie helped develop the board’s initial governance policies and took that insight and perspective to the provincial level as a Regional Director on the OCSTA board.

Student Trustee Alumnus Award

The 2019 Student Trustee Alumni award was presented to Dr. Trevor Arnason – former student trustee with the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Trevor is a public health and family physician who recently returned to Ottawa from Nova Scotia, where he was Medical Officer of Health for Halifax and part-time physician at Dalhousie Student Health Services. He is currently Associate Medical Officer of Health at Ottawa Public Health where he works with his team to protect the health of the community and decrease health inequities.

25-Year Service Award

Many Catholic trustees dedicate a significant part of their lives to the service of their local schools and the goals of Catholic education in this province. To honour that contribution the Association awarded the following trustees with 25-year service awards:

Elizabeth Crowe, York CDSB
Vikki Dupuis, Wellington CDSB
Dave Howard, Renfrew County CDSB, and
Linda Ward, St. Clair CDSB

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is the provincial voice for publicly funded Catholic education. Founded in 1930, OCSTA represents the interests of Catholic school boards that collectively educate approximately 550,000 students in Ontario, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.


For more information, please contact:

Sharon McMillan, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
Tel: 416-932-9460, ext. 232/Cell: 416-460-7937/E-mail:

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