Municipal elections 2022-Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) zone 10 trustee candidates

By Manor Park Chronicle

The Manor Park Chronicle contacted, or attempted to contact, all candidates in the Rideau-Rockcliffe and Rideau-Vanier wards, as well as the local zones for three school boards. (The incumbent trustee for zone 11 of the French Catholic school board, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, has been acclaimed.) Out of a total of 23 candidates, 16 responded. Below are profiles for candidates running for trustee in zone of the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Cindy Desclouds-Simpson

Cindy Desclouds-Simpson Photo supplied

Cindy Desclouds-Simpson M.ED., the current trustee for Zone 10 (Somerset, Rideau-Rockcliffe, Rideau-Vanier) is running for a second term as trustee for the OCSB. Cindy, a former teacher, principal and executive director of Youville Centre (a high school for pregnant and parenting youth) has a wealth of experience in business, governance and education.

As a recipient of a United Way Community Builder of the Year Award for “Growing Up Great in Ottawa” in 2015, Cindy has always placed a high value on community involvement. During her past term of office, she worked collaboratively with the director of education and the senior administration team to find innovative solutions to often complex questions posed by the global pandemic. Cindy was also the trustee for the virtual elementary and secondary schools and witnessed firsthand the ingenuity and resourcefulness of staff and students to adapt to this innovative way of learning.

Multiple discussions with parents at school events, and on the phone have enabled Cindy to understand the unique challenges faced in the schools she represents and by the students in her schools. As a liaison between families, the school and school board, she strived to find creative solutions to complex challenges.

Priorities for next term include:

• Representing the views of her constituents at the school board table,

• Promptly replying to constituents’ challenges by liaising with school and board personnel,

• Developing/Implementing a strategic plan that in reflected in OCSB’s balanced budget priorities,

• Supporting Catholic social teachings and gospel values,

• Implementing the OCSB mental health and well-being strategy,

• Implementing the OCSB equity, diversity and inclusion framework,

• Pandemic recovery – academic and mental health support,

• Continued support of the deep learning framework pedagogy,

• Further engagement of parent groups (Parent Involvement Committee, Ottawa Catholic School Parents’ Association, Special Education Advisory Committee) in collaborative decision making particularly with regards to budget allocations

• Further engagement with students specifically my fellow student trustees, the Student Senate, the Black Student Forum, the Indigenous Student Forum and our school-based gay-straight alliances to enable all students to have an authentic voice in shared decision making.

As a successful candidate, Cindy will continue to work hard to represent her constituents and make fiscally responsible decisions that benefit the entire Ottawa Catholic school community. Most importantly the academic and mental health of students and their families will remain her first priority and she will continue to be available to her constituents to provide help and support wherever possible.

For further information please consult – – or contact Cindy Desclouds-Simpson at

Cameron Bonesso

Cameron Bonesso Photo supplied

My name is Cameron Bonesso and I’m running to be your next OCSB trustee. For years, I’ve had the pleasure to live in Zone 10. Currently, I’m a 22-year-old university student. I also work as the owner of a small consulting firm while balancing my studies.

I’m running for trustee because as a young adult, I can bring a fresh voice to our city’s Catholic school board and inspire more of our community to get involved in our education system. You may be wondering why someone as young as myself is running for school board trustee — and that’s a great question. As a young candidate, I have an ambitious plan to build a better Catholic school board that works for everyone.

The top three challenges that I see needing to be addressed at the board level and for our zone in particular, is:
• increased funding for mental health programs,
• greater focus on improving the quality of the special education programs offered, and
• ensuring that students can return to the classroom this fall in a safe and welcoming environment.

On special education, I am committed to working closely with the board’s Special Education Advisory Committee to improve the quality of special education by expanding the types of programs offered and by placing greater emphasis on “life skills” classes.

Coming out of the pandemic, students have faced disruptions to their own learning journey through the switch to online learning. As a student myself, I know first-hand how the pandemic has impacted the mental health of young people which is why a big priority for me as a candidate is advocating for increased funding for board-wide mental health programs such as the OCSB Mental Health and Emotion Well-Being Strategy for not only students, but staff as well. Parents need to be assured that their children can attend St. Brigid and other schools in our zone with their mental and physical health as top of mind.

While being a trustee is paid as a part-time position, it truly is a full-time responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Where I lack experience, I make up for with my energy, passion for education policy and drive to continuously learn. I promise to always be accessible to hear your concerns and feedback.

On October 24, I hope to count on your support to become your next OCSB trustee for Zone 10.