Brenda Agnew

My husband, Graham, and I have two beautiful boys, Chase and Maclain, who are currently in grades 8 and 6 respectively at St. Elizabeth Seton Elementary School in Burlington. After having our boys in Oakville, where my husband and I lived previously, we decided to move our family to Burlington in the summer of 2011.

Since coming to Burlington, we have been active and engaged members of
our community. My husband has coached hockey for the past 7 years with
BLOHMA where our son Chase was a goalie. And he will be coaching for the
Burlington Eagles this coming hockey season. We have also been very active with our local baseball association where both Chase and Maclain participated as players. I have been on the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee for the past 4 years and just started a new term with them for another 4 years. We have always tried to instill in our children the desire to be caring and conscientious members of their community and to value the gift of being able to give back.

On a local school community level, I have served as Co-Chair of our Catholic School Council since 2012, just stepping down this year when I was elected Trustee. I do however continue to participate in numerous other volunteer school activities. Helping to organize back to school curriculum nights, end of school year BBQ’s, healthy living days, volunteer coordination, movie nights, and fundraising initiatives just to name a few.

Being an active and engaged parent in my local school community has been an extremely important and rewarding role for me personally. Being Co-Chair of the CSC has also provided me a chance to be more active with CPIC (Catholic Parent Involvement Committee) over the last number of years through the Council of Chairs meetings that are held several times a year. This has enabled me to meet and engage with other Chairs and Co-Chairs from our family of schools as well as other schools both locally and throughout Halton.

My youngest son Maclain has Cerebral Palsy. After he was diagnosed, I started to pursue opportunities to become further involved in the special needs community by participating on committees both locally and provincially to create awareness and acceptance for people and children living with a disability. In 2013 I was named to SEAC (Special Education Advisory Committee) as a representative of Easter Seals Ontario. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to be a part of SEAC, now serving as a lead Trustee. This position has allowed me to develop and foster relationships with numerous organizations, senior leadership, school staff, and parents. We work collaboratively to review policies and programming with the goal to provide a positive educational experience for special education students, that meets their unique needs, and by doing so, benefits all students in our system.

As a parent to a child with a disability, I have become so vastly aware of the continued need for inclusion, acceptance, awareness and accessibility for all people living with a disability. What is often good for one, is also good for many, and I have seen this first hand raising a child with Cerebral Palsy. I am very grateful for the numerous opportunities that have come my way to become involved with various provincial organizations. In my role as a family/parent advisor I have had many opportunities to assist with policy creation, setting research priorities, stakeholder engagement activities and knowledge translation. These occasions have provided valuable skills for listening, collaboration, relationship building and advocacy.

In my “spare” time I work as a client liaison for a law firm, and of course I am thrilled to be a newly elected HCDSB Trustee at Large for Burlington and look forward to working closely with all students, parents and staff as we continue to meet the ever-changing needs of our learners.

I look forward to serving the Burlington community as one of your Catholic School Trustees for the next 4 years.