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Shelley Wister-Smith, former Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) Branch President in District 16

Dear colleagues,

As a retired YRDSB Secondary School Teacher, I have seen recent changes in the education system that are disturbing. The challenges that educators face in the work place have grown, while at the same time the resources needed to address these challenges are being removed. 

There is only one candidate in the Richmond Hill YRDSB Trustee by-election who has proposed meaningful policies to get our school board back on track. That is why I am endorsing Robert Kolosowski and encourage all of my fellow educators to unite behind his common-sense vision.

As an advocate for public education, I have worked hard to make Ontario’s education system work better for teachers and students. Robert has always stood shoulder-to-shoulder with me and has supported my efforts to bring about policy changes such as the following:

  • Minimizing online/hybrid learning from home as a general rule.

  • Investing in lowering class sizes, increasing mental health counselors (psychologists and social workers) and special needs supports rather than bureaucracy.

  • Making PA days more productive for teachers. Presentations should be based on valid scientific data to improve teaching tools and to provide a space for teachers to question Board initiatives. Feedback from teachers to the bureaucracy at the Board and Ministry needs to occur in a two-way conversation.  

  • Qualifying students for specialized programs based on merit and not a random lottery.  

  • Examining schools in other jurisdictions that have had positive results in reducing truancy and emulate them. 

  • Reversing any bans on Police Officers visiting schools. It is important for students to develop good relations with Police and understand their purpose in a civil society.

  • Recognizing that suspending students for bad behavior is not a deterrent. Meaningful consequences are needed, not free play time at home.

  • Having “life skills” programs to teach children how to effectively work with their peers and to become more resilient throughout their lives. 

From July 13th to 15th, please join me in supporting Robert Kolosowski by electing him as our next School Board Trustee. The future of our public education system depends on our participation in this important election.



Shelley Wister-Smith

Former Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) Branch President in District 16



Carol Nerling, former YRDSB Secondary School Principal and Educator


Dr. Reza Sadjadi, former Professor of Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University


Aviva Polonsky, President of the Federation of Teachers for the HST and educator


Jonathan Nadler, Engineering Professor and former candidate for Trustee who competed against Robert in 2022

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