Cathy Abraham elected President of OPSBA


Toronto, June 4, 2018 – The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) is pleased to announce that Cathy Abraham has been elected President for the 2018-19 school year at its Annual General Meeting held on June 1, 2018, in Niagara Falls.

A four-term Trustee and three-time Chair of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB), President Abraham’s experience and knowledge of our public education system will be invaluable to OPSBA throughout the next year.

“Over the coming year we will continue to be vigilant in moving our Association’s priorities forward,” said President Abraham. “We must never forget that we are, and will always remain, the champions of public education in Ontario. We are advocates for each and every student who enters our schools.”

In addition to her work with the KPRDSB, President Abraham has served OPSBA and the wider community:

  • Two terms as OPSBA Second Vice-President (2016-2018)
  • OPSBA Education Program Work Team Chair
  • OPSBA Policy Development Work Team Member
  • OPSBA Central East Region Vice-President (2007-2010)
  • OPSBA Trustee Labour Negotiation Representative
  • Variety of other leadership opportunities including with Rotary, Newcastle Community Hall, and as a founder of the Newcastle Family Connection resource centre

President Abraham will be supported in her role by Michael Barrett, Chair of the Durham District School Board, who was elected as First Vice-President, and Carol Ann Sloat, Trustee with the Grand Erie District School Board, who was elected as Second Vice-President. OPSBA’s President and Vice-Presidents offer unique insights, school board expertise and commitment that will provide strong leadership for the Association in the year ahead.

OPSBA’s Executive Council/leadership team for the 2018-19 school year will also include: Laurie French, Past President (Limestone District School Board); Angela Lloyd, Vice-President, Central East Region (Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board); Robert Hunking, Vice-President, Western Region (Avon Maitland District School Board); Mark Mannisto, Vice-President, Northern Region (Superior Greenstone District School Board); Donna Danielli, Vice-President, Central West Region (Halton District School Board); David Shields, Vice-President, Eastern Region (Renfrew County District School Board); Shelley Laskin, Vice-President (Toronto District School Board); and David Green, Vice-President (Peel District School Board).

Elaine Johnston, Indigenous trustee with the Algoma District School Board, was acclaimed as OPSBA’s First Nations Director. Trustee Johnston’s dedication and commitment to the role will continue to strengthen public education for Indigenous students and foster broader perspectives for all students.

2018 OPSBA Award Winners

The Association is also pleased to announce the recipients of the President’s Award and the Dr. Harry Paikin Memorial Award which were presented at the AGM:

Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit (trustee)

  • Janet I. McDougald, Chair and Trustee, Peel DSB
    Trustee McDougald has served the Mississauga community and the Peel DSB as a trustee for 30 years, and been Chair of the board for the past 20. Most recently, the Peel board trustees named a new elementary school in Port Credit in her honour – Janet I. McDougald Public School.

President’s Award in recognition of 25 years of service in public education

  • Joyce Bennett, Trustee, Thames Valley DSBTrustee Bennett has represented her London constituents with the Thames Valley District School and the former Board of Education for the City of London since November 1988. She previously received OPSBA’s Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit in 2001.

A full list of the 2018 OPSBA Award winners can be found on the OPSBA website.

The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association represents public district school boards and public school authorities across Ontario, which together serve more than 1.2 million public elementary and secondary students. The Association advocates on behalf of the best interests and needs of the public school system in Ontario. OPSBA is seen as the credible voice of public education in Ontario and is routinely called on by the provincial government for input and advice on legislation and the impact of government policy directions.

For more information, please contact:

May Moore
Director of Communications
Ontario Public School Boards’ Association
(416) 340-2540, ext. 111