Elect Natasha Miklos ~ Kitchener School Board Trustee
At the upcoming municipal election on Monday, October 24, 2022 you will have the opportunity to vote for mayor, ward councillors, regional chair, regional councillors, and school board trustees. These elected officials will make important decisions affecting your city, region, and school boards.
You can find out more about how to vote as a resident of Kitchener here:
I grew up in Waterloo Region and graduated from Eastwood Collegiate’s Integrated Arts Program. I loved school, which afforded me many opportunities to develop essential skills that helped me become resilient and adaptable in adult life.
I have worn many hats in my work life, including: stage manager, choreographer, licensed electrician, bus driver, project manager, and youth camp leader.
Running for the board is new for me but serving my community isn’t. I have worked as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I am involved in helping families navigate separation and divorce in local church ministry. My formal education coupled with my lived experiences have positioned me to relate effectively to the needs of children and parents. I was raised by a single parent and was bullied in school. I am currently a single parent to a school-aged child. I am a survivor of domestic violence. I am very familiar with the family court system and have years of experience advocating for myself and my daughter. I am keenly aware of the many challenges facing today’s families, and am prepared to advocate for your children too.
We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we do get to choose our response moving forward. I would like to see our students empowered with skills that promote resiliency and the ability to solve real-life problems. I look forward to bringing all of these experiences and skills to the Waterloo District School Board!
Why I Want To
Be A Trustee
You may have little interest in local school board elections, as I had. Then I noticed how political our school boards had become. I’m not arguing one ideology over another: I’m focused on objective, age-appropriate, non-ideological instruction and I will bring that commitment to my position as a trustee.
I believe in a division of responsibilities between teachers and parents: Schools can focus on teaching the core educational competencies in language, math, history, arts, etc., while parents instill their own culture and values in their children.
However, more and more parents are expressing serious concerns about the current direction of the Waterloo Region District School Board. I would partner with parents to present their concerns to the school board to ensure a fair, safe, objective and age-appropriate school environment, and to create an open dialogue regarding board decisions.
Current School Board Happenings
A growing number of parents and community members have real concerns about the current direction of the Waterloo Region District School Board. Our board has been in the news a lot... and not for the right reasons!
Like many parents I’ve followed the story of veteran teacher (now retired) Carolyn Burjoski with shock and concern. Carolyn came before our board to express her concern about the age-appropriateness of sexual content found in books currently available to students in our elementary school libraries. Her calm presentation was met with extreme hostility and then censorship by board chair, Scott Piatkowski.
When trustees Cindy Watson and Mike Ramsay advocated for Carolyn, other trustees - aligned with Piatkowski - came against them. The berating and censorship that Burjoski suffered has led to a lawsuit against the WRDSB.
(see: 'Silenced and punished': WRDSB teacher speaks out about controversial school board meeting | CTV News )
(see: Statement by Carolyn Burjoski |YouTube )
And that’s not the only lawsuit. Long-time trustee Mike Ramsay was forced to take the board to court after a majority of his trustee colleagues suspended him from meetings. They said he had breached the code of conduct but they refused to make public the details of his alleged transgression. Court documents suggest that Mike’s support for Carolyn Burjoski was integral to the complaint against him.
(see: Waterloo Region District School Board Trustee Mike Ramsay speaks up about sanctions against him | TheRecord.com )
As news reports show, the board’s lack of transparency extends beyond their refusal to disclose the details of Mike’s case. Recently, the same trustees who suspended Mike from the board, shot down a
motion put forward by his colleague Cindy Watson that asked for details on what kids are learning about race in our schools. Cindy had heard from parents about classroom instruction that was harming students psychologically as it was casting some as oppressors and others as the oppressed. She asked for a report with all the facts. The other trustees on the board voted to make sure the issue would not be examined.
I can’t turn a blind eye to what I see happening in our board. I want all voices to be heard. I want all students to be valued.
We want our children to learn how to read and write. The single biggest equalizer in history is literacy. By teaching a child from any socio-economic background how to read and comprehend what they read, you empower them to take control of their futures. More than ever, we need a school curriculum that engages students to succeed in our world.
Transparency & Accountability
The evidence of mistrust in our current public school system is mounting. Many parents have pulled their kids out of the public system to seek alternatives like private school, home schooling and learning pods. Other parents talk about wanting to pull their kids out but cannot afford the time and money to do so. When parents go to work and drop their kids off at school, we entrust our kids to the care of their educators. That trust is being damaged when social ideologies creep into what should be academic learning in math, English, history, and science. Transparency will help rebuild trust between parents and educators.
Education Not Indoctrination
Our public schools and boards have become very political when we weren’t looking. They are no longer as neutral as the word “public” should suggest. A radical social agenda has crept in. Our children are being used as “agents of change” to advance a global agenda to deconstruct societal norms. Canada is beautifully multicultural and affords all families the freedom to live out whatever faith and culture they choose. Public schools can best partner with parents by focusing on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic while parents teach culture and values to their children.
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