Andrew Walker, a student at St. Michael’s Choir School, will be the student trustee with the Toronto Catholic District School Board for 2012-13. Photo courtesy of Toronto Catholic District School Board

Walker gets TCDSB student trustee nod on second go round

By  Erin Morawetz, The Catholic Register
  • April 29, 2012

TORONTO - If you can’t find Andrew Walker in choir practice, leadership meetings or studying to maintain his honour role status, try checking the Toronto Argonaut schedule — chances are, if there’s a game, he’s at it.

“I’m a big Argos fan,” Walker said. “I’m a season tickets holder. My dad and I go to every game.”

It’s that kind of commitment that saw Walker chosen as the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s student trustee for the 2012-13 school year.

“This was my second year running for student trustee,” Walker said. “It’s certainly something I’ve had my eye on since Grade 9. Last year… it was certainly a heartbreak when I didn’t get it.”

This time around, Walker said he focused less on the campaign and more on the issues. And he said hearing his name announced as the successful candidate is one of his proudest moments.

“It was certainly an incredible feeling,” Walker said.

“Last year (when I didn’t win) I just put a sad face on Facebook,” Walker said. “This year when my friends saw a happy face on Facebook, they knew right away what it meant. They were so happy for me.”

Walker is bringing to the role of student trustee many ideas, one being to re-strengthen the school board’s partnership with L’Arche, a faith-based charity created to help people with developmental disabilities. Walker recognizes there are many students at Catholic schools in Toronto who might be dealing with some of these issues themselves.

“Being involved in Catholic School Leadership Impact Team, I’ve seen a whole spectrum of students,” Walker said. “I think it’s important to remember all students, and all sides of our society.”

And there are certainly many different sides to this student leader, who, in addition to being a part of the eco-club, social justice team and debating team at St. Michael’s Choir School, sings every Sunday at St. Michael’s Cathedral. He and his class have even formed their very own choir, which he has conducted for the past two years.

“(It’s called the Benefit Choir) because it’s all for the benefit of people around us,” Walker said. “The original creation of it was done by a class that graduated a couple years ago.”

The choir sings on an on-call basis, but Walker said its main goal is to spread the Christmas spirit during the holiday season.

“We sing at hospitals, malls, at Billy Bishop airport,” Walker said. “At (the airport), it’s great to see the faces of people as they get off the plane, coming home, or people who aren’t home… it’s nice to give just a bit of Christmas cheer and make them smile.”

Despite his busy schedule, Walker still makes time for having fun with his family, which now includes a baby sister born on Good Friday. He says he’s looking forward to coaching his 13-year-old sister’s house league baseball team this summer, as well as hopefully having the chance to be an umpire.

Walker says his passion for sports has taught him some very valuable lessons.

“(One of the most influential people in my life) was my former football coach,” Walker said. “He taught me that it wasn’t about being in the limelight, but about putting in the hard work and making (the game) better for everyone.”

Walker hopes to use his role as student trustee to do just that — make the high school experience better for everyone.

 

Student trustees for 2012-13

Halton: Noah Parker, Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School, Burlington; Emily Wilson, Christ the King Catholic Secondary School, North Halton; Jarrod Baddeliyanage, St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School, Oakville.

Simcoe Muskoka: Emily Cecchetti, Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Bradford-West Gwillimbury.

York: Kara Waites, St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School; Sai Juttukonda, Cardinal Carter Catholic High School.

Elections for Dufferin-Peel and Durham Catholic boards had not been held by press time.

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