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Barrie trustee back for third term as Catholic school board chair

While Joe Zerdin says the school board has made 'great progress' in some areas, 'there is still much work to be done'
2021-12-02 Joe Zerdin
Joe Zerdin is a Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board trustee in Barrie.

At the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board's (SMCDSB) initial board meeting on Wednesday, Dec, 1, Joe Zerdin and Janice Hutchison were acclaimed as chair and vice-chair of the board of trustees, respectively.

Zerdin represents Ward 1 Barrie (Wards 1-5) and Hutchison represents Essa, Essa-CFB Borden, Adjala-Tosorontio, Adjala-Tosorontio-CFB Borden, and New Tecumseth.

This is Zerdin’s third term as chair of the board, having previously served during the 2020 and 2021 school years. During his term he played an important role in leading the board through the pandemic shutdown, school reopening plan and the recruitment of a new director of education.

Prior to becoming a trustee, he volunteered for 14 years as a member of Catholic School Community Councils and has two children, one currently attending a Catholic school in the board and one who has graduated from the system.

“I am honoured to represent our board as chair once again and I thank my colleagues around the trustee table for providing me with this opportunity,” said Joe Zerdin. “We have made great progress this past year on strategic planning, governance and policy review and supporting our various school communities, but there is still much work to be done. One of our key areas of focus for the coming year is leading through equity and diversity so that every student feels included and well-positioned to reach their God-given potential.”

Hutchison has been a trustee for seven years and this is her third term as vice-chair, having previously served during the 2020 school year.

“I look forward to serving with my fellow trustees  the past two years have been challenging and yet there is still so much to be hopeful about,” said Janice Hutchison, board vice-chair. “We will continue to focus on the health, safety and well-being of students and staff, with new opportunities to introduce some of the practices that that we all enjoy in a more typical school year.”