For years, Sherlyn Figueira has become known across our community as a busy body renowned for her capacity to organize and manage events, big or small.
She did so as part of her thriving business on the side while she held down a full- time job and looked after her family that includes three children one in high school, two in elementary school and another in daycare.
With so much at stake, Figueira is not comfortable with the way the school system is run.
“People have no clue about school boards. Many have never seen a school commissioner and most parents complain about the lack of support when dealing with issues about their children’s education.”
Well, she plans to do something about it.
She has joined with Team Lagacé-Dowson and is challenging for a seat in the
up-coming school board elections. She will be running in Ward 2
NDG-Montreal West district against Ruth Rosenfield (Team Angela Mancini) and
Joseph Lalla and Connie Primiano two independents.
“What troubles me most is the lack of transparency in the way decisions are made about the daily operations of our schools,” says the longstanding resident of NDG. “So although I serve on two governing boards, I find myself rubber-stamping decisions that have been made by others. That’s never good.”
Figueira says she has joined forces with Anne Lagacé-Dowson, well-known and well-respected radio broadcaster and her team to bring changes to the board.
“I’ve observed the system long enough to know that it has become stagnant,” she says. “I think it’s an opportunity for parents and other Montrealers to come out to inject new blood into the system.”
The elections are the first in seven years for the EMSB, which is the largest of the English boards in the province.
On Nov. 2, voters will be voting 10 commissioners, reduced by 13 because of a recent provincial law, and most importantly for a chairperson.
The race between current chairperson Angela Mancini and Lagacé-Dowson has injected some excitement in the media and is expected to entice more interest among Montrealers for a vote that usually draws a 17% participation rate. All residents in the EMSB zone who do not have kids in French public schools you can vote in the school board elections. Call 1 (888) 353-2846 to see if you are eligible and registered to vote.
Race on at the Lester B. Pearson
Covering an area that expands from Verdun through the West Island to the Ontario border, residents in the Lester B. Pearson School Board territory will vote for 12 commissioners. It used to be 21 before the provincial law was changed. Two commissioners have been acclaimed so 10 wards are being contested on November 2.
Incumbent chairperson Suanne Stein Day who has held the position for the past 11 years is being challenged by vice-chair of the board Angela Nolet and Chris Eustace, a retired educator.
Well-known community worker and education advocate Linton Garner is make a run for post as commissioner in Ward 7, which he has been serving since 2011.
According to Education Minister Yves Bolduc, these elections, the first in seven years for the 69 English-speaking school boards, might serve as an important barometer on the English community’s ability to maintain its control over educating their children.
He described the elections as “a test of credibility” for the province’s 69 boards.