Meet your 2016-17 Student Liaison Committee

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The PVNC Student Liaison Committee is comprised of an elected Student Trustee and one student leader from each PVNC secondary school.

The committee also includes the Director of Education and a Board Trustee. It meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month during the school year.

As we continue as a Board to support the best instructional and assessment practices in our schools with a focus on student achievement and wellbeing, it is integral for PVNC to have a connection to our student leaders and to encourage our student bodies to have a voice at the Board level.

Pictured above, (back row to front row, left to right) Director of Education Michael Nasello, Board Trustee David Bernier, Student Trustee Zachary Smith (St. Stephen CSS), AJ Woods (St. Mary CSS), Stefani Aleksanderek (Holy Trinity CSS), Winston Steward (St. Thomas Aquinas CSS), Cole Cotter (St. Peter CSS), Emma Montgomery (Holy Cross CSS), and Katrina Kraemer (St. Stephen CSS).


Meet your new PVNC Student Trustee – Zachary Smith

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Written: June 2016

Two words – student voice – means a lot to incoming Student Trustee Zachary Smith.

Students need a voice that represents and understands what it’s like to come to age in today’s modern world, the Grade 11 St. Stephen Catholic Secondary School student says.

“I think that it’s very important that the student voice is well represented and that students are leading each other,” he said. 

“We’re growing up in a different time than what our parents did and our teachers did, so students helping students is very important.”

When Zach takes on the role of Student Trustee in August, it won’t be his first leadership role – far from it.

He has spent most of his teen years in leadership positions.

He represented the students at his school as a member of the Student Council Liaison Committee this year. He has sat on the St. Stephen school cabinet since Grade 9 and he is a mentor to younger students as a Link Leader.

As a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadet with a senior rank, Zach leads recruitment efforts in the Clarington area, helping to ensure new cadets are prepared and accepted into the program.

He’s the oldest brother of five siblings, a founding member of his school’s ultimate Frisbee team and he’s on the St. Stephen Cross Country and Track and Field teams, with a special affinity for the 2,000-metre steeplechase.

Zach will assume his new position as Student Trustee in August. His appointment was announced at the April Board meeting. The Student Council Liaison Committee, whose members are comprised of students from each of the six PVNC secondary schools, elects the Student Trustee each year. The Student Trustee takes part in all public meetings of the Board, participates with other trustees in discussions, provides reports to the Board, and represents student positions. They do not vote on issues.

Outgoing Student Trustee Gordon McLaughlin, of St. Peter CSS, pushed the Student Council Liaison Committee forward in a positive direction, Zach noted, highlighting the committee’s “Voices That Challenge” Student Leadership Conference in March that brought together student leaders from all six secondary schools.

“Being a member of Student Council Liaison Committee was incredible,” Zach said. “I felt that the accomplishments of this year’s committee were great. We can continue to build on what we have already achieved. “

In the meantime, Zach is preparing for a very busy summer. He is one of only 60 cadets across Canada accepted into the prestigious Advanced Aerospace Program in St. Jean, Quebec where he will train with the Canadian Space Agency in areas such as mathematics, rocketry, scuba diving and more.