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Bradford needs more schools, say English school board trustee candidates

Bradford West Gwillimbury residents who support the public system have two candidates from whom to choose

Supporters of the public Simcoe County District School Board, English language, have a choice of two candidates in the upcoming municipal election.

Jeanny Salmon, the trustee for the English separate school board, was acclaimed.

Debbie Connors

Debbie Connors is a life-long resident of Bradford, mother of three children, and an active volunteer in her children’s school.

“It is extremely important to me to be involved in the school community,” said Connors. “I have spent 12 years on the school council organizing parent engagement events and various fundraisers.”

The biggest issue facing the school board at this time is “the ability to get the funding required from the province to build new elementary schools. We must work on building two elementary schools within the urban area in the immediate future,” she said. “I strongly support efforts to increase student achievement and keep any financial cuts away from the classroom.”

Connors said she sees trustees as the local community’s voice at the board.

The true success of a trustee is their ability to represent their constituents’ needs at the board table, and to help with strategic planning priorities in the areas of student achievement, capital planning, programming, budgeting and policy development,” she said.

That is why she is running.

“Children’s time in school and the education that they receive has a huge influence on their future. Through public education, we have incredible opportunities to make positive changes in people’s lives,” she said. “Education can be the great equalizer.”

She concluded: “I believe that students must be at the forefront of every decision that is made as they are our future. I believe passionately that education is paramount to our success as a society, and that a strong educational foundation is the cornerstone of every student’s future.”

Contact Connors at

Donna Da Silva

Donna DaSilva, a resident of Bradford for the past 18 years, is the current school board trustee for the Simcoe County District School Board in New Tecumseth and Bradford West Gwillimbury.

“Our community is growing so quickly that all of our schools are over their capacity. Therefore, we need more schools faster than we can build them,” DaSilva said, when asked about the key issues facing the school board.

“In addition, we need to improve upon efficient communication between the school board and the community, for all concerns to be heard. With this in mind, these issues are being addressed in the anticipation of being improved upon.”

DaSilva sees the role of a school board trustee as providing “good governance, collaborating and engaging with members of the board to make policies that are benefiting the success of all students.”

She was clear as to her reasons for seeking re-election in the 2018 municipal election.

“I am running for English public school board trustee because I am committed to supporting student engagement and acting in the best interests of all of our schools, and continuing to help improve and enhance the safety of all,” she said.

“I am running for re-election because I believe that I still have much more to contribute to my community. I feel as though I am not finished effectively enriching student achievement and well-being.”

DaSilva can be reached at


Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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