Board of Directors
Our board is the leader of change.
The Education Foundation of Ottawa’s board brings together expert knowledge of the academic system, a deep understanding of the importance of education, and a passionate commitment to children. Through their leadership and guidance, the Education Foundation of Ottawa continues to provide for the well-being of our school board’s 15,000 students living in poverty.
Camille Williams-Taylor – Director of Education, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Camille Williams-Taylor is an innovative leader and an accomplished learner who will ensure that excellence and equity co-exist throughout the District. She cultivates an environment that embraces creativity and brings together a variety of voices to foster positive relationships and support student learning and well-being. Building a vision for public education that ensures students have the best learning opportunities in a safe and caring environment is Director Williams-Taylor’s priority. Her goal is to always influence and motivate colleagues, staff, community partners and students to galvanize their voices and realize their potential.
Her leadership capabilities evolved through time and experience. In the last three decades, she has been a classroom teacher, a principal, a superintendent, a Ministry of Education student achievement officer and a Faculty of Education course director. She believes learning happens everywhere. In every one of her roles she has learned from students, staff, and community leaders. As an educational leader she is tasked with fostering change to encourage young people to leverage their talents and come up with innovative approaches to building possibilities. This task motivates her approach to leadership.
Lynn Scott – Chair, Board of Trustees, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Lynn was first elected to the Carleton Board of Education in 1994. Elected to serve on the OCDSB in 1997, she became the first Chair of the newly amalgamated board in 1997-1998. In subsequent terms she has served as Vice-chair several times and as Chair in 2007-2009, and was chosen again as Chair for 2018-2019. Trustee Scott cares passionately about public education, and brings an in-depth knowledge of OCDSB schools and our local communities, together with an up-to-date understanding of student needs. She is well known for her commitment to student well-being, student-focused learning, fiscal accountability and good governance.
Michael Bell – Lieutenant, Canadian Forces (Retired)
Michael grew up in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, moving to Ottawa in 2008 to complete his undergraduate studies in Political Science and Arabic Language and Culture. As his studies came to a close, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces. His career has offered him many unique challenges few have had the opportunity to experience, including spending nearly 4 years with the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, which allowed him to travel to some of the most complex environments in the world. Now serving as a Lieutenant (Navy) with the Chief of Force Development, Michael manages over $50 million in projects, seeking to leverage innovative technologies to increase the security of our forces at home and abroad, while simultaneously strengthening Canada’s economic base.
In 2015 Michael started his Executive MBA at the Telfer School of Management of the University of Ottawa. Always keen to enhance the learning experience of others, Michael ran for and was elected by his peers as Class President. Michael has taken full advantage of his time as Class President, using the opportunity to take on a number of initiatives, including support to various local charities, helping raise over $20,000 for the Oshki Kizis Lodge, Ancoura, and JA Ottawa. Graduating in June 2017, Michael has been working hard to enable the classes’ support to JA Ottawa, wherein he has helped secure over 45 volunteers and $10,000 to provide the largest one-day delivery of JA programming in JA Ottawa history; the majority of the schools they will be supporting are within the OCDSB.
Through his Executive MBA, Michael’s passion for education grew, believing that innovation and education were the two most important factors that would lead to the future well-being of Canadians. Seeing a skills gap first hand among graduating students, particularly in the realm of entrepreneurship, business, and financial literacy, has been key in driving Michael towards supporting the next generation of leaders. As he explored this space, Michael came to see the impact of income disparities across our great city, and just how important it is to address this in order to ensure our future has the education they need to flourish as contributing members of society. It is this important lesson that has driven Michael to OFE, believing it offers the greatest prospect to address the underlying obstacles to success.
Geoff Best – Executive Director, Ottawa-Carleton Education Network
I was first introduced to the EFO through my role as Executive Director of the Ottawa-Carleton Education Network. At the time I was surprised to learn how many students in our schools were in need of assistance for many things that most students in Canada take for granted: 3 meals a day; proper clothing; school supplies; etc. The EFO is doing its utmost to provide emergency support for many of these students but needs ongoing support to meet the needs of all. I joined the board because I want to help the EFO continue to boost and sustain these efforts and to look for ways to find long-term solutions to problems of inequity. I hope to be able to raise awareness and engagement in the foundation locally and internationally.
Education and students matter to me because they shape the culture that we live in. In my work, I am fortunate to be able to visit schools and meet with students around the world. It strikes me from those I have visited, that in countries where education promotes a strong sense of belonging in its schools, that the culture tends to be more inclusive and the country positively engaged in its growth and development. Students who are in need, who go to school hungry, are not on an equal footing with their peers and are likely to feel that they don’t belong and at a great distance from the culture that they live in. It is important to me that all students feel a sense of belonging and that they are recognized as important participants in their community and culture.
Matthew Frye – Lawyer, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Matt is a strong believer of the importance of supporting others and he has found that the best place to do that is with the Education Foundation of Ottawa (EFO). As the spouse of a teacher in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Matt’s appreciation for the work of the EFO runs deep; he often sees first-hand the big impact that a little help can have on the life of a student in Ottawa and their family. When Matt is not supporting the work of the EFO or working with students as a Counsellor with the Faculty of Common Law at the University Ottawa, he is with his family including his spouse, Cassie, his adopted senior beagle, Gus, and his son, Charlie.
Zofia Jurewicz – President, Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates Architects Inc.
Designing better schools is what I do. As an architect, my work lies in creating spaces that are conducive to learning. I invest my time and my heart in visualizing new ways to help young minds flourish. As a board member, I get to invest directly in our children. I get to help imagine schools where all children are included, no matter where they come from or what they have. We work to remove barriers for children living in poverty, creating a system that not only reaches out to help but also encourages and teaches other children to care for each other. The Education Foundation of Ottawa shows all students that they are worth investing in, and that changes lives!
David Smith – Philanthropist, Owner Nate’s Deli, Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre
David has become well known for his commitment to his community and its well being. He credits his parents with having instilled in him the gift of giving early in life, particularly for those who are the most disadvantaged in the community. This has been a particular inspiration throughout his life. David’s boundless enthusiasm and unshaken belief in mankind represents the key ingredients to his incredible success in gathering like-minded people around an issue or a cause to change things and improve the lives of others. His passionate commitment to the carious causes and fundraising on their behalf in Canada and elsewhere.
Sandra Walker – Vice-Principal, OCDSB – Westwind PS
Sandra came to education 15 years ago as a second career. She started her teaching career at Queen Elizabeth PS. Sandra taught 5 years at this high needs school, created lessons on economic shopping and cooking for a family as part of her math curriculum, and she introduced financial literacy lessons on the value of education through the ONFE Junior Achievement program. Sandra has always been a strong advocate for a Caring Adult program, a program that has proven how one caring adult can make a difference in a student’s life. She brought this program to her new school, and is seeing a turnaround in student behaviour. Believing that students need to know how to learn, she has modeled for and supported other educators to maintain high expectations, create safe spaces, and recognize strengths so students can start to be in charge of their learning and advocate for themselves.
As a central educator and now a vice principal, Sandra has taken these beliefs into her position of education leadership. She always listens first, will stand beside her teachers to inspire, encourage them to take risks, and to learn from failures and successes. She understands and implements the board vision of student achievement, well-being, and community support in building tomorrow’s leaders. Before education, Sandra ran her own business. She was an active part of her children’s school councils, working on many committees. Sandra spent a number of years raising funds, writing grant proposals, supporting staff in creating successful learning environments. Sandra volunteered in her community for many years as a soccer coach for the boys competitive program. She has a BSc from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, an MA and BEd from University of Ottawa. During her years at Queen E many of her students accessed the Education Foundation supports, and as a result they were better equipped to be successful at school.
Tracy Shapiro – Vice-Principal, OCDSB – Canterbury High School
Tracy has been working in education for twenty-three years as a teacher and administrator, she believes that every decision made on behalf of students should be student-centered. She is a strong proponent for ensuring equity in opportunity to programs for our most at-risk students. While working as a vice-principal at Woodroffe High School and Glebe Collegiate Institute, she has had the opportunity to work with community organizations that have partnered with our schools to support at-risk students in socio-economic disadvantaged areas of Ottawa. These include Pathways to Education in the Pinecrest Community and SWAG (Students Will All Graduate) in the Carlington Community.
She has also been in charge of Toonie Tuesday events at her previous schools and knows and understands the work that the Education Foundation of Ottawa does. .Her volunteer experience has extended beyond the OCDSB by helping with Shepherds of Good Hope and participating in annual fundraising activities for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. The Education Foundation of Ottawa has supported many students and families she has worked with in her schools.