Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) held their 2020 Public Education Symposium (PES) last month in Toronto, in partnership with the Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario (ACÉPO).
One of the highlights of the PES each year is awarding the OPSBA President’s Award. This year, Algoma District School Board (ADSB) Trustee Russell Reid, was one of two recipients of the OPSBA President’s Award, which recognizes Trustees who have provided 25 years of service or more to public education in Ontario.
Russell has continuously served the communities of North Algoma and Chapleau as Trustee for 26 years, having been first elected in 1994. He was ADSB Chair for two years and Vice-Chair for five years. Over the years, committees of special interest to Russell have included Principal & Vice-Principal Selections, Director & Superintendent Selections, and the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).
As residents of Wawa since 1989, Russell and his wife (high school sweetheart Maria) have had two sons go through the public school board, graduating from Sir James Dunn Public School and Michipicoten High School.
A community-minded individual, Russell has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Wawa for over 20 years and an involved member of his community. He has been employed by the Regional Employment Help Centre as an Employment Services Coordinator for 27 years.
ADSB Director Lucia Reece spoke about Russell at the award ceremony. “Not only because Russell lives in a community along the shores of Lake Superior, I have to liken Russell to a lighthouse. A lighthouse truly is a symbol of great strength and has two main purposes: to provide navigational guidance; and to warn of dangerous areas. As a Director, I appreciate having Russell at the table as he provides both of those purposes to our discussions and decisions. Russell, when the issues, or shall I say “the waters” get stormy, you always weigh in with navigational guidance and experienced insight to warn of potential dangers. For that I say “Thank You” for being a beacon and for your never-ending watchfulness. We are lucky to have your guiding light.”
Russell believes that everyone, from pre-school to adult, who enters an ADSB site, deserves to graduate as a “Confident Learner and Caring Citizen”, able to contribute to their communities, province and country. His personal belief is to live by the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self”.
Russell states: “It is an honour to have maintained the support of all the Northern Communities I represent for such a long time. The success of all learners the Algoma District School Board serves is, always has been and always will be my top priority. I am proud to be a small part of such a dedicated Team ADSB.”