Expanding programs that allow students to earn post-secondary credits while in high school and increasing mentorship and tutoring programs are high among Michael Coteau’s priorities if re-elected for a third term as Don Valley East public school board trustee.
He also plans to advocate for elementary schools to be within walking distance of students’ residences and create student internships with green-focused companies.
It’s no surprise that Toronto District School Board (TDSB) chair Bruce Davis has endorsed Coteau, saying he deserves to be re-elected.
“Michael has been an exceptional advocate for his constituents and for the children of this city,” said Davis. “His work on community access to schools, nutrition programs, digital literacy and school effectiveness has been first-rate. When Michael gets up to speak at the school board, people listen.”
There has been a three per cent increase in reading and writing results in Grade Three in Coteau’s riding which is 4.5 per cent higher than the overall average in Ontario. The Math results in Grade Six in Don Valley East are also six per cent higher than the provincial average.
Coteau, who grew up in the Don Valley area, voted for, and was a strong supporter of, the Africentric Alternative School which opened in September 2009.
TDSB trustee James Pasternak who was one of the strongest supporters of the Africentric School, is running for city councilor in Ward 10 (York Centre).
“Toronto is a great city, but it faces many challenges,” said Pasternak. “We need new ideas and approaches and it’s time to rebuild confidence. City Hall needs to listen better to the communities it serves.”
Pasternak was elected to the TDSB four years ago, winning over 50 per cent of the popular vote. During that period, he chaired the Audit and Special Education committees. He has also sat on numerous standing and ad hoc committees and brought motions to the TDSB to start an alumni association, have the school board participate in the organizing of the Pan Am Games and provide seniors a greater voice in policies that affect adult education.
In addition, Pasternak has been a strong advocate of fiscal responsibility, supporting the reduction of trustee office budgets by 10 per cent and a balanced budget, and a tireless voice for students with special needs and the funding of TDSB pools.