Empowering student voice: meet your 2022 student trustees.
Representing student voice across the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School board, student trustees Siobhan Marie and Madelyn Gaskell are ready to represent students across all age groups to encourage empowerment and involvement in Board-level activities.
Student trustees take part in all public meetings of the Board, participate with other trustees in discussions, provide reports to the Board, and represent student positions. They do not vote on issues. The Student Liaison Committee, which includes the student trustees, junior and senior reps from all six secondary schools in the Board, a trustee, principals and the director of education, meets monthly to discuss student issues. Issues that are generated at the Student Liaison Committee are brought to the Board of Trustees via the student trustees.
Read below to hear directly from the student trustees:
Madelyn Gaskell: Junior Student Trustee
“I have always wanted to be a Student Trustee. Growing up in the St. Alphonsus community, and now attending Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, has allowed me to understand the faithful, fearless, and wonderful community of our school board. Seeing extraordinary examples of leadership from a young age has equipped me with skills that I often draw from inside and outside of the boardroom. My goal was to extend my leadership and be a voice for all PVNC students as Junior Student Trustee. This year, I look forward to working alongside the amazing Siobhan Marie, my co-trustee. In addition, I hope to collaborate with the wonderful Student Council Liaison Committee to run an Elementary level leadership retreat. Overall, throughout my term, I aim to put an emphasis on elementary student voices and compare and contrast their opinions with those of high school students.
I believe having access to both age groups would allow myself, Siobhan, and the Student Trustees who will come after us to effectively advocate for PVNC students as a whole. An individual who has played an instrumental role in this initiative is Mrs. Mantifel, who, although never taught me directly, had a significant impact on my life. A teacher at St. Alphonsus during my time there, Mrs. Mantifel exemplified leadership in countless ways, and advocated for even the smallest of concerns. She ensured each student felt heard, and cared for. I hope that this retreat provides elementary students with the same opportunity to have their voices heard. I would be remiss in not mentioning my Mother, Angela Gaskell, who has always been my biggest supporter. In my spare time, I am a competitive dancer at Next Generation Dance Company and I play rep soccer for Peterborough City. This year, I am also serving as the OSTA-AECO (Ontario Student Trustees Association) Student Well-Being Co Chair. Following my time at Holy Cross, I hope to attend Saint Francis Xavier University and study political science. I look forward to the year ahead!”
Siobhan Marie: Senior Student Trustee
“When I was running for this position in Grade 10, I had three key goals I wanted to accomplish during my time as a student trustee, which were to advocate for underprivileged and underrepresented youth, amplify student voice, and to further advance the student legacy that PVNC student trustees have been working towards. This year, alongside my co-trustee Maddy, I hope to achieve my personal and professional goals by continuing to advocate for student voice at both the board and provincial levels and working with and speaking to students in person more often. This position is a privilege and an honour to be in. Not only did my experiences working in and learning about Ontario education this past year positively influence my goals for post-secondary, but I was able to make so many incredible connections from across the provinces with other youth change-makers.
After high school, I plan on pursuing a teaching degree and working within the realm of educational research. This goal was reaffirmed when I was recently appointed to be the Policy Coordinator on the Ontario Student Trustee Association’s Executive Council for the 2022-2023 year. In this role, I look forward to strengthening OSTA-AECO partnerships and leading projects this year with a primary focus on curriculum. In my free time, I love to drive around and listen to music with my sisters, go shopping, and watch rewatch Criminal Minds when things seem to get a little too hectic. Overall this year I really look forward to working with Maddy and continuing to elevate student voice within the PVNCCDSB and in the province of Ontario. Thank you!”
About The Student Council Liason Committee
The Student Council Liaison Committee includes the student trustees, junior and senior reps from all six secondary schools in the Board, a trustee, principals and the director of education, who meet monthly to discuss student issues. Issues that are generated at the Student Liaison Committee are brought to the Board of Trustees via the student trustees. The committee is comprised of a junior (Gr. 11) and a senior (Gr. 12) representative from each PVNC Catholic Secondary School. Members represent the student voice at the Board level and have the opportunity to participate in special board-wide events.
Each year, the Student Council Liaison Committee and Student Trustee(s) plan four events for the student councils from across the board to meet with one another. Read the first volume of the student handbook created by Junior Student Trustee Siobhan Marie based from the first meeting themed “Voices that Accompany: Being Creative”.