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Toronto ON, M5S 0A1
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Council Members

First Last, OCT

location
Serves on: Council
Term: Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2023

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Natacha Akineza

Natacha Akineza, OCT

Toronto, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Human Resources Subcommittee
Term: Oct. 5, 2023 – Oct. 4, 2025

Natacha Akineza is an accomplished educator and consultant with a diverse background in education, leadership, and community engagement.

With more than a decade of experience as a French Immersion Teacher with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Natacha is known for her commitment to inclusive education, exemplified by the successful implementation of a project on Canadian Black Heritage at the board. She has completed many in-service programs, including a Certificate in Leadership from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario’s Code Black program and a mentorship and leadership program offered by the TDSB.

In her leadership capacity, Natacha acts as Person of Responsibility at her school, and she served as a member of the LC3 Inclusion Learning Cadre, where she took part in meaningful conversations about student support and identity.

Natacha has also engaged in consulting roles for not-for-profit organizations, actively contributing to initiatives that create a positive impact and address racism and discrimination from a Francophone perspective.

She holds a Bachelor of Education in Primary/Junior French Immersion and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Glendon College, York University.

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Mark Baxter

Mark Baxter

Brantford, Ont.
Term: April 4, 2024 to April 3, 2027

 

Abena Buahene

Abena Buahene

Toronto, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Human Resources Subcommittee and Selection and Nominating Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2024

Abena Buahene has held senior roles with several regulatory/ compliance focused bodies in Ontario, most recently as the former deputy registrar of the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO).

Prior to joining the CAO, Abena was registrar and executive director of the Ontario Film Authority, where she helped lead the implementation of the organization’s inaugural regulatory mandate.

Abena’s regulatory executive experience also includes tenures as registrar and CEO of the College of Denturists of Ontario and the College of Opticians of Ontario.

She has previously served as a public member appointee on councils of the College of Psychologists of Ontario and the College of Chiropractors of British Columbia, as well as a member of Centennial College’s board of governors.

Abena has a bachelor of arts from Lakehead University, and a bachelor of laws from the University of Windsor. She was called to the bar in British Columbia.

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Jonathan	Davey

Jonathan Davey

Toronto, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Audit and Finance Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2024

Jonathan Davey is vice-president, Indigenous Financial Services for Scotiabank, where he leads a national strategy of community-based partnerships based on wealth management, and commercial, retail, and small business banking.

Prior to joining Scotiabank, Jonathan served as special adviser and counsel, Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio in the Assistant Deputy Minister’s Office in Canada’s Department of Justice, and Crown counsel, Aboriginal Law Division in the department’s Ontario Regional Office.

Jonathan currently serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Indigenous Works, Our Children’s Medicine (Kiinago Biinoogi Muskiiki), and the Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association.

Jonathan obtained his juris doctor from Osgoode Hall at York University and holds a master of public administration government (politics and policy concentration) from Cornell University.

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Valerie Fontenelle, OCT

Valerie Fontenelle, OCT

Toronto, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Audit and Finance Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2024 – Dec. 31, 2025

Valerie Fontenelle has worked in education for more than 30 years, including in her current role as a teacher at Glen Park Public School in Toronto.

She’s a devoted educator and community leader whose extensive professional experience includes nearly equal parts classroom teaching, governance , and administration.

During her career she’s held a wide range of governance and leadership roles. She served as vice-president and then president of Lawrence Heights Community Daycare, and at Flemington Public School was the elementary grade position of responsibility (POR) and the primary grade chair.

Valerie has chaired grade team meetings and provided ongoing support as part of a school administrative team, making decisions to help determine school vision. She’s also conducted professional development workshops for teachers, hosted teacher candidates from several post-secondary institutions, mentored new teachers and provided leadership for a long list of special events and programs at the school level.

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Douglas Gosse, OCT

Douglas Gosse, OCT

North Bay, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Selection and Nominating Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2024 – Dec. 31, 2025

Douglas Gosse is a tenured professor at Nipissing University, where he also served as Associate Dean, Education and Professional Studies, Teaching Chair in Learning Outcomes, and Chair, Graduate Studies in Education at Nipissing’s Schulich School of Education.

Prior to joining the Nipissing University faculty as an assistant professor in 2005, Douglas was a graduate assistant and Teacher Education Program assistant at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT), as well as an instructor in the University’s department of anthropology.

Douglas was a supply teacher for the Toronto District School Board from 2002 to 2005.

Douglas holds a bachelor of arts in francophone literature from Laval University, as well as a bachelor of education and a master of education from Memorial University of Newfoundland’s faculty of education. In 2005, Douglas earned a doctor of philosophy in social justice and cultural studies from OISE/UT.

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Elaine Lajeunesse

Elaine Lajeunesse

Bloomfield, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Human Resources Subcommittee and Selection and Nominating Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2024

Elaine Lajeunesse is a senior executive with deep expertise in operational efficiency and risk management. She is the founder of Eldal Executive Coaching.

With more than 30 years of experience, Elaine has held numerous roles in various financial institutions, across many jurisdictions and through times of significant change and transition, most recently serving as senior vice-president (SVP) and chief risk officer (CRO) at TD Financial Group.

Her other roles included: SVP and CRO, Economical Insurance Group, adviser to the CEO, Athos Risk Group, vice-president (VP) and CRO insurance, BMO Financial Group, and, VP actuarial services, Northbridge.

She has served on various boards for Athos Risk, TD Insurance, TD Reinsurance (Barbados) Inc. and OASIS Centre des femmes.

Elaine’s volunteer experience includes work with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, Canadian Life and Health Insurers Association Inc., Insurance Bureau of Canada, and Ontario Conference of Casualty Actuaries.

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Diana Miles

Diana Miles

Rockwood, Ont.
Serves on: Council as Chair, Audit and Finance Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2024

Diana Miles is a lawyer and chief executive officer of the Law Society of Ontario.

Diana has been with the Law Society for 20 years, holding various leadership roles, including executive director, organization strategy and effectiveness, and executive director, professional competence.

Throughout her career at the Law Society, she has overseen the development of regulatory policy, financial, operational and governance matters.

Prior to joining the Law Society, Diana was chief operating officer of a large Toronto law firm. Diana is a Chartered Director (CDir) with extensive governance and board experience and has worked with private and not-for-profit boards as a board member and governance facilitator. She has previously held board positions in the energy, health care, insurance, and professional services sectors.

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Jonathan	Rose

Jonathan Rose

Kingston, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Audit and Finance Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2024

Jonathan Rose is a professor and head of political studies at Queen’s University.

He teaches and researches in the areas of Canadian politics, political communication, and citizen engagement. A committed teacher, Jonathan has won several teaching awards at Queen’s and has taught at universities in Japan, the U.K., and New Zealand.

Jonathan has lent his expertise on electoral democracy to several advisory boards and panels, including the Government of British Columbia’s academic advisory panel on electoral reform (2017) and the Government of Nova Scotia’s expert panel on government communications leading to and during an election (2018). In 2018, he was an expert panellist for the Bank of Canada’s advisory panel that chose Viola Desmond for the $10 banknote.

He has written, co-written, and edited five books and a number of articles in the scholarly and popular press. Jonathan’s latest book, written in 2021 with colleagues from around the world, is called Deliberative Mini-Publics and examines a form of citizen engagement.

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Imran Syed, OCT

Imran Syed, OCT

Pickering, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Human Resources Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2024

Imran Syed, is a principal with the Durham District School Board (DDSB). With more than two decades of education experience, as both a teacher and an administrator, Syed is a passionate leader of equity and inclusion. He is the co-founder of the Muslim Educators Network of Durham (MEND), which aims to empower educators who identify as Muslims, and to create safe and inclusive spaces for all. He also serves on DDSB’s Equity Council, where he uses data to drive equity, while working closely with students, parents, the community, and other educators.

Imran holds numerous leadership roles, including as a past member of the Durham Children’s Aid Society’s board of governors, the EQAO Sensitivity Review Committee , and the DDSB New Teacher Induction Program committee.

He holds a master of science in education from the University of New England, a bachelor of arts (honours) from the University of Toronto , and a bachelor of education from the University of Windsor.

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Maria Vasanelli, OCT

Maria Vasanelli, OCT

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Audit and Finance Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2024 – Dec. 31, 2025

Maria Vasanelli has spent more than 30 years working in education and is currently the director of education for the Superior North Catholic District School Board. Before joining the school board, she was director of strategic initiatives and professional learning with the faculty of education at Lakehead University.

Maria has been a teacher, supervisory officer, and educational consultant. She also served as superintendent of education for the Durham Catholic District School Board and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board. As well, she was a sessional instructor in the faculty of education at Ontario Tech University, and taught education law at Lakehead University.

Maria has served as a leader and member of several not-for-profit boards, including her current role as chair of the Board of Governors at Lakehead University. She has also served as a member of the Executive Committee focusing on governance and strategy for the Canadian Mental Health Association, board chair of Catholic Family Services of Durham, and was a roster member for the Ontario College of Teachers Accreditation Committee. Maria holds a master of education and an MBA.

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Tammy Webster, OCT

Tammy Webster, OCT

Breslau, Ont.
Serves on: Council, Selection and Nominating Subcommittee
Term: Jan. 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2024

Tammy Webster, registered member of Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg, serves as Indigenous education and equity consultant for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, delivering professional development material and training for teachers, principals, and staff.

She is also co-chair of the board of directors and former managing director with Anishnabeg Outreach in Kitchener, where she offers an expert voice, infusing and amplifying Indigenous perspectives.

As well, Tammy is a member of the President’s Advisory Group for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ont. She was interim co-convener of the Region of Waterloo Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group, a former member of the Parent Involvement Committee for the Waterloo Region District School Board and a member of the Community Editorial Board for The Record newspaper, serving Waterloo region.

Tammy also serves as a member of the Waterloo Region Children and Youth Planning Table, Wellbeing Waterloo Region Connector’s Hub, the Aboriginal Relationship Council with Conestoga College, and Wellbeing Waterloo Region: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Advisory and Advocacy Circle.

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