Pat Daly is back for a second term as president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association. Photo by Evan Boudreau

Pat Daly takes on familiar post with Ontario trustees

By 
  • August 19, 2016

For the first time since forming in 1930 the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) has elected a president to serve a second term.

Pat Daly of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has taken the reins at OCSTA for the second time.

“I was the president from 1996 to 1998 so I have some sense of the role and the responsibilities,” said Patrick Daly, long-time chair of the Hamilton Catholic board. “Obviously some of the issues have changed, as have a number of things, ... (but) many of the issues are the same too. They have evolved and are different but generally they are the same.”

Daly, the association’s 28th president, was elected to the office by his peers this past spring during OCSTA’s 86th Annual General Meeting held April 29. Each of the OCSTA’s 237 members were entitled to cast a ballot in the election.

“I am honoured and deeply appreciative of the confidence Catholic trustees have placed in me,” said Daly in a press release following his election. “I am committed to working with trustees, the government and all our education partners across the province.”

And while Daly understands that his role as a provincial executive is to support the work of local level trustees, he also hopes to teach the public what it means to be a Catholic trustee — a lesson he began learning as a young boy by watching his father serve in the role.

“One of the things that I really hope to be able to do by working with other trustees and the staff is to highlight the contributions of Catholic trustees,” he said. “I do believe that there is indeed a need to promote what in fact they do and what they accomplish.”

Unfortunately much of the general public lacks an understanding of a trustee’s “day-in-the-life,” Daly believes, which can lead to a disconnect between trustees and parents.

He also said trustees must remain diligent in their efforts to maintain a funding model that is both adequate and equitable.

Serving as Daly’s vice-president is Beverley Eckensweiler, chair of the Bruce-Grey Catholic school board, while Kathy Burtnik holds the immediate past-president position. In total 18 trustees from across the province make up the board of directors.

Although Daly’s workload has effectively doubled for the next two years as his time is split between Toronto and Hamilton, the provincial president is looking forward to every minute of it .

“Working with Catholic trustees ... overall it’s a wonderful experience,” he said. “I am really just filled with hope for the future with lots of great things happening.”

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