Dear Friends & Neighbours!
Thank You to all 25,000+ Don Valley West voters who came to the polls and casted their ballots for TDSB Trustee! I am humbled and delighted to receive so much support, and honoured to serve as Trustee for every student and family in Don Valley West.
When I put my name forward to run for Trustee back on July 27th, I had absolutely no experience in campaigning or anything to do with elections. All I knew was that I felt ready to tackle the job of school trustee and was excited to talk about public education.
I was so fortunate to be able to count on so many wonderful friends, family members and educators – and friends of friends, friends of family, and friends of educators — who provided advice, manpower, and support.
At the heart of this campaign was a truly grassroots effort on the part of parents. We started by reaching out to parents we knew at every school in our ward who were, like us, committed to a strong belief in the importance of public education. Through this outreach, we were able to connect with people all over the ward, learn about their concerns, and share my vision for the TDSB.
And then we pounded the pavement. Each weekday morning, together with volunteers, I greeted parents at different schools all over the ward. I canvassed door-to-door, again with volunteers, just about every afternoon and evening.
We also attended so many wonderful and varied functions – Eid celebrations, Coffee Parties, Fall Festivals, Back to School Events, Church BBQ’s, All-Candidates Meetings and even participated in a Trustee Debate. Since the beginning of August, I have talked to literally thousands of constituents and together with my team, met with or passed along literature to tens of thousands more!
It’s been a crazy couple of months. The campaign was exhausting but exhilarating. But what struck me over and over again, and resonated so deeply with me, was just how much the people I met throughout Don Valley West truly cared about public education. Their passion for their children and for great public schools buoyed me on those long days and long nights in a way I never would have thought possible.
I want to thank all the other candidates who ran for Trustee in TDSB Ward 11. With eight candidates, support for public education is alive and well in Don Valley West!
I have enormous respect for the efforts of Amara Possian, Hafiz Khan, Stavros Rougas, and all others. It was enlightening to debate Amara, Stavros, and Hamam Mamdouhi (thanks again Bessborough PS School Council for organizing).
The campaign may be over but the work has just begun. Now comes the real work: tackling the issues that face both the TDSB and all of us here in Don Valley West – issues such as funding and resources for special education, the problem of overcrowding and planning for accommodation, the extensive backlog of school repairs and maintenance issues, and the crucial task of providing all students with a rich, modern, and varied curriculum.
Before I sign off, I want convey my deep appreciation to the many folks who helped make this campaign so successful and to the many donors who supported this campaign. There are too many to thank personally here — but there was also a core group of individuals who went above and beyond giving their time and energy to this campaign and they deserve a special shout out. They include friends, neighbours, educators, fellow-volunteers and mentors. See for many of their names: here.
A very special group of people I have saved for last to thank: my own immediate family — my three daughters, Chloë, Greta and Pippa, my mom Beverley, and my husband and best friend, Ken.
You have supported me in countless ways and become so independent over the last 3 months that I hope you will welcome me home with outstretched arms and not be completely thrown by my reappearance in your lives!
But not to worry, your new-found skills will serve you well once I am officially sworn in at the start of December!
Rachel Chernos Lin
Trustee-Elect, Don Valley West