Board of Trustees
School board trustees are elected officials who are supposed to serve the community and, above all, students.
Parents of Black Children has taken the time to evaluate the performance of trustees, record any instances of anti-Black racism, and also share information about trustees who are strong advocates.
While trustees with limited information may not have instances of anti-Black racism or strong advocacy that ends up in the news, their silence speaks volumes. Silence is complicity in the harm perpetuated against Black students and their families in Ontario schools. Trustees must actively stand up for what is right and make their support for the the fight against anti-Black racism in Ontario schools known.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and is constantly evolving. If you have information to share about the conduct of trustees, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Terrell-Tracey (East Gwillimbury/Whitchurch-Stouffville)
Issues: From her first run for the position of trustee, Elizabeth Terrell-Tracey has demonstrated blantant anti-Black racism.
Her actions have been noted in national newspapers, including the Toronto Star.
A small collection of her words and actions include:
- Stating in a public Facebook post that her opponent in the election, Lena Singh (who is a woman of colour), was from Guyana and warning voters that “You are backing someone not born in Canada” and “We need a trustee that was born in Canada … (Singh) was born and raised in Guyana. You deserve to know.”
- In June 2019, the YRDSB voted unanimously that she had breached its board of conduct and banned her from attending school board meetings. As a result, since June of 2019 Terrell-Tracey has been receiving her salary for being a trustee withour performing her duties as trustee.
David Sherman (Markham/Vaughan)
Issues: David Sherman attempted to undermine the renaming of Vaughan Secondary School to Hodan Nalayeh Secondary School by questioning the legitimacy of the votes for the new name and suggesting there were “outsiders” who exerted undue influence on the process. He went so far as to publicly post an email from ANCHOR (formerly VACA) on his personal Twitter account in an attempt to shame the organization for respectfully reaching out to him in an effort to explain why his words and actions are harmful to the Black community, and demonstrating his wish to select a name of his own choosing, without community consultation at all.
Thanks to community advocacy, his efforts were not successful. However, throughout this entire process David Sherman demonstrated his blatant anti-Black racism.
Cynthia Cordova (Board Chair & Rep. for Georgina)
Issues: In a Trustee meeting on January 28, 2021 Trustee Cordova told Trustee Sinclair that she “didn’t like [Dr. Sinclair’s] tone” when Trustee Sinclair [the only Black trustee] raised concerns about how the process of renaming Vaughan Secondary School was impacting the Black community.
Simon Cui (Richmond Hill Wards 1, 2 & 4)
Issues: During the process of renaming Vaughan Secondary School to Hodan Nalayeh Secondary School, Simon Cui voted with David Sherman to subvert the wishes of the community.
Please see details on David Sherman for more info.
Dr. Elizabeth Sinclair (Vaughan Wards 3 & 4)
Allan Tam (Board Vice Chair & Rep. for Markham Wards 4 and 5)
Bob McRoberts (Aurora and King)
Ron Lynn (Markham Wards 2, 3 and 6)
Juanita Nathan (Markham Wards 7 and 8)
Nadeem Mahmoud (Vaughan Ward 1 and 2)
Linda Gilbert (Newmarket)
Cindy Liang (Richmond Hill Wards 3, 5 and 6)