A community view the best for education

As we all emerge from a long cold winter, spring is always the perfect time for us to reconnect with friends and neighbours who live, work and play in Emery Village. It is with this in mind that I am pleased to contribute this first in a series of columns to connect with you.

Like many residents, I have longstanding roots in this community. We have been a part of Emery Village’s rich history of hard working immigrants and unwavering entrepreneurial spirit. I come from a family with a strong tradition of community activism and public service.

My uncle, Joseph Piccininni served as a Toronto City Councillor for more than 25 years. It is this legacy and belief in diversity that inspired me to run for election in 1997 to represent this area as the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) Trustee. I am honoured to fight for families who live here.

Many of you have recently seen in the media, negative stories about school boards and trustees. Naturally this has led many to ask me what trustees really do, so let me try to explain.

You have no doubt heard the cliché, “It takes a village to raise a child” and nowhere is it more true perhaps than in Emery Village. My role as a school trustee is to be an active part of that “village” – a community of families working together to ensure our young people have the best education, services and schools so they can take advantage of every opportunity to be successful and productive citizens. As your advocate and facilitator, I work as part of a village team with dedicated people like Toronto City Councillors and Members of Provincial Parliament to make sure your community voice is heard and you receive the services our families need and deserve.

A visible sign of this partnership in action can be seen in the new, state-of-the-art, two-storey, 5,300-square-metre St. Simon Catholic School, being built near Weston Road and Wilson Avenue. Emery Village is already one of the best places to live in Toronto and the new school will become a centre of community activity, benefitting students and families for generations to come. This is a wonderful example of how great things can happen when we all work together as a caring community – a village of people who share a common vision to create a vibrant area where can live, learn, work, shop and play.

I want to express my appreciation to Emery Village Voice Publisher Sean Delaney for making this publication a monthly must read – because it connects, people, businesses and families through stories that reflect this area’s richness and diversity.

Thank you for letting me be your Catholic Trustee voice in education. Next issue I will talk about Special Education in our schools.

Sal Piccininni, TCDSB Trustee, Ward 3