This evening, Trustees with the Toronto District School Board appointed Abdul Patel as the new Trustee for Ward 21 (Scarborough-Rouge River). Mr. Patel was the successful candidate following an open application process that was launched after the election of Neethan Shan to Toronto City Council in February.
As a long-time resident of Scarborough, Mr. Patel helped develop the TDSB’s first Faith Accommodation Guide and has acted as a resource to the TDSB’s Human Rights and Equity Office on matters of faith and cultural accommodations. He currently serves as a member of the TDSB Equity Policy Advisory Committee.
A retired imam, Mr. Patel has been a commissioner for the Ontario Human Rights Commission, member of the national Board of Governors for Scouts Canada, a police chaplain, civic leader and board member on a number of community-based, non-profit organizations. He is a father of three children — all graduates of TDSB schools —and has a passion for diversity and inclusion.
In total, 91 people put their names forward as candidates for the position. Working together with executive search and recruitment firm Phelpsgroup, a Selection Committee made up of Trustees reviewed each person against established criteria including demonstrated community engagement, demonstrated interest and passion for publicly-funded education, prior or current involvement with the TDSB, demonstrated knowledge of key TDSB priorities, connection to Scarborough's communities, and evidence of a sense of accountability for use of public resources.
• Mr. Patel is the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Governor General’s Award for Community Service.
• He is fluent in four languages.
• The Education Act requires Trustees to appoint a qualified person to fill a vacancy within 90 days of the office becoming vacant.
• This appointment is for the remainder of the current Trustee term which ends November 30, 2018.
“Abdul has experience, strong Scarborough community roots and is an advocate for public education. He’s perfectly suited for the job.”
- Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB
“As a full time community volunteer, I am ready to bring my energy and time to this important role and serve the residents of Ward 21 with integrity and ensure that the same opportunities my children received in the public system are there for future generations across our great city.”
- Abdul Patel, Trustee Designate, TDSB