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Simcoe County student trustees say farewell as school year closes

July 9, 2020   ·   0 Comments

This year’s group of student trustees who served Simcoe County’s public schools were recently recognized by the Board for all of their hard work in the 2019-2020 school year.

“They’ve been an amazing group of students to work with,” said Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) Trustee for Oro-Medonte/Springwater Peter Beacock.

“We met most nights prior to a board or committee meeting to go over the agenda, talk about the items coming up for discussion and discuss how some of these items effected students,” he added.

“They always had great questions about the topics and were able to learn a lot about how the school system works.”

One of the largest accomplishments achieved by this year’s three student trustees, Maya Aldis, Mylan Nguyen, and Fouz Ui-Mubeen was getting a motion approved by SCDSB that provides free menstrual hygiene products to all of its high schools starting this fall.

“There was a report done that clearly articulated the information needed to ensure the motion had the best chance to pass and, of course, we all know it did,” Beacock noted.

A key focus for this year’s student trustees was making sure student voices had representation at the table. They achieved this through doubling attendance at student senate meetings.

The increase is highly attributed to the student trustees’ efforts in relocating those meetings. They went from being hosted at the SCDSB Education Centre to high schools across the region, making them more accessible to fellow students.

“The focus of their meetings centred around equity, inclusion and diversity as well as sustainability and leadership development,” said Beacock.

“It’s unfortunate the school year did not end the way we had hoped; these incredible students, trustees, had worked really hard to plan their final student senate meeting at the Education Centre,” he continued.

“Every secondary school was to be represented at the meeting and there were going to be multiple learning opportunities for attendees.”

While this special meeting wasn’t brought to fruition, the plans have been handed off to next year’s student trustees who are making it happen in the 2020-2021 school year.

Student trustee Maya Aldis of Nottawasaga Pines SS, who represented Banting Memorial High School, gave a big thank you to Beacock and SCDSB Superintendent Dean Maltby, at their final meeting on June 17.

“You have been so instrumental in our term. Thank you for your dedication to helping us, supporting us, guiding us, and being an open line of communication for all of our many questions,” she said.

“You have not only helped with our student trustee experience but you have also prepared us for our future endeavours. Both of your hard work has certainly not gone unnoticed. We will never forget you both.”

Aldis is heading off to Queens University in the fall with a scholarship and is excited for her next step in education.

Student trustee Fouz Ui-Mubeen of Orillia Secondary School said the past year has been filled with incredible opportunities and he’s enjoyed working closely with incoming student trustees as of late.

“Let me tell you, the incoming student representatives are excellent for the role, they bring some remarkable skills and ideas with them,” he said.

“They are very passionate about advocating for their peers and I think they will definitely excel due to the excellent mentorship available from staff and trustees here as well as the Ontario Student Trustees Association.”

This year’s student trustees planned a Leadership Symposium in May focused on the environment, mental health and inclusion, but it was cancelled because of COVID-19.

Ui-Mubeen said this event will hopefully be held by next year’s student trustees as the legwork for hosting it is largely complete.

He’s successfully obtained a scholarship to study at the University of Ottawa this coming school year.

Student trustee Mylan Nguyen of Bear Creek Secondary School said she’s grateful to have worked with her fellow representatives.

“Fouz and Maya are exceptional leaders and it has been a pleasure to work together on these projects, from adaptability, collaboration, problem solving, and many more skills, our experience as student trustees has allowed us to bring these universal skills to our future career paths,” said Nguyen.

“Whether we end up working in politics or not, the lessons and experiences from this role have helped shape us to the people we are today.”

Nguyen will be attending the University of Western Ontario in September on three scholarships and looks forward to her future learning.

“It is my pleasure to have worked with these students and I wish them all the best as they move on to their next educational journey,” said Beacock.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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