Acclaimed trustee asks for discussion

Anthony Piscitelli, recently acclaimed Trustee of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, is very pleased with his new position, but he is also still somewhat disappointed that there wasn’t actually an election and an opportunity for public debate.

“I’m happy to start in the Catholic School Board as a Trustee, but I really wish that there had been an election on one level,” said Piscitelli. “I think there are some important issues that are coming up…and I’d really like to see the public start to take an active interest in where the Catholic education system should go.”

Piscitelli, a Laurier graduate and now part time Master’s political science student, has always had an interest in governance and community involvement. Some of his previous experience includes serving as a Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union vice president: university affairs, WLU Student Publications president and first president of Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG) after being highly involved in the referendum campaign to establish the organization.

Piscitelli is currently supervisor: planning and research, for Waterloo Region and also sits on the board of directors for two organizations, Your Neighbourhood Credit Union and The Self Help Alliance.

Aside from his passion for serving the community and governance
involvement, the long term well-being of the separate school system was a major factor in motivating Piscitelli to run for the for the Catholic District School Board.

“When you look at provinces like Quebec who’ve gotten rid of the Catholic School system, especially given the demographics of Quebec, I think it’s only logical that over the next twenty, thirty years that there’s going to be pressure to move toward one school system,” explained Piscitelli.

“I think it’s important for the Catholic School system to start to react to some of those criticisms now and to start adapting and becoming a system that all Ontarians can feel comfortable supporting.”

One issue Piscitelli identified is the question of whether to allow non-Catholics to attend the Catholic school system, of which he favours the open model that accepts all students, Catholic or not.

Piscitelli also discussed ownership of the Catholic District School Board, expressing the opinion that it should be accountable to all citizens, not just Catholic voters.

As Piscitelli explained, everyone is affected by the quality of education and its ability to instil moral values, and for this reason Piscitelli feels it’s important to have a wider conversation beyond the Catholic population.

According to Piscitelli, this would have been another interesting topic of public debate had there been electoral discussions.

“These are the types of issues that I know there is pushback,” said Piscitelli.
“I think it would be really fruitful if in Waterloo Region if the trustees were talking about that in a forum where the voters are actually deciding and kind of weighing in on that.”

While Kitchener and Waterloo representatives were acclaimed, Cambridge had an election to appoint trustees.

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