McDougald acclaimed as of chair for unprecedented 14th term, school to be named in her honour
AT their annual meeting on Dec. 1, trustees of the Peel District School Board acclaimed Janet McDougald, trustee for Mississauga wards 1 and 7, as chair. McDougald has been a trustee for 23 years, has served as chair for 14 years and was previously vice-chair for three years. Suzanne Nurse, trustee for Brampton wards 2 and 6, was acclaimed as vice-chair. Nurse is starting her sixth year in public office. Trustees also made the decision to officially rename Hartsdale Avenue Public School in honour of McDougald.
Trustee Beryl Ford announced the renaming of the school. In her comments she noted, “Since becoming trustee in 1988, Janet has worked hard as a member of the board—and as my vice-chair—a role she held from 1994 to 1997,” said Beryl Ford, trustee for wards 7 and 8 in Brampton. “She has an incredible work ethic, and a deep commitment to what is very best for the children of Peel. She is a passionate, and even some would say, relentless advocate for our students at the local, provincial and national level.”
Joined by family at the surprise announcement, McDougald noted, "This is so special—to have a school named for me, and especially for the school to be in my community. "Thank you to all of my trustee colleagues. This is truly an amazing hounour."
Upon returning to the role of chair, McDougald highlighted, “It’s truly a privilege to serve the board in this capacity—and a privilege that I take respectfully and seriously," McDougald said in her inaugural remarks. “I want you to know that I never take this role—or your support—for granted.”
McDougald added, “As a board, our ability to disagree civilly, work together well, reach consensus and always treat each other with respect makes us not only highly effective, but I believe a model for other boards. Why? Because underlying how we treat each other, how we work together, how we support each other is the key belief that what we do is not what is politically expedient, or what might make headlines, or even what is ‘popular’, but rather what we absolutely know to be best for the students of Peel.”
“As I reflect on my 14 years as chair, and my over 20 years as a trustee, I’m struck by how well that guiding principle—students first—has served this board, our students and this community,” said McDougald. “In good times and bad, our unwavering commitment to the needs of children has guided us and made sure that our decisions were the right decisions for the right reasons. That is something we should be proud of as a board—it is our greatest strength.”
Tony Pontes, director of education, shared some of the major achievements and stories of the past year in his annual report to the board. “When you think about an annual report, you might picture graphs and numbers—an overwhelming amount of data. Although data is important—and a ministry requirement—it’s never the main focus of our reports. That’s because we’re about so much more than numbers. We are about the stories behind the numbers.” The printed annual report will be available at the end of January 2012.
Janet McDougald Public School will be located at 498 Hartsdale Avenue in Mississauga.
View the complete text of McDougald's and Pontes’ remarks at www.peelschools.org.