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Toronto District School Board

TDSB Appoints New Trustee to Ward 17

Trustees with the Toronto District School Board have appointed Aleem R. Punja as the new Trustee for Ward 17 (Scarborough Centre), at its regular Board meeting today. Mr. Punja was the successful candidate following an open application process that was launched after the election of former Ward 17 Trustee David Smith to the provincial legislature in June.

Mr. Punja is a Registered Social Worker and is committed to advocating on behalf of his community for public education. He currently works for the Aga Khan Council for Canada as their National Operating Officer overseeing a multitude of programs and services focused on rebuilding following the pandemic. He has held several volunteer roles, most recently as co-chair on the Toronto Public School Board’s Equity Policy Community Advisory Committee. He is the parent of two children, aged 7 and 11, and has a strong connection to Scarborough as both a student and an adult. 

A Selection Committee made up of Trustees reviewed each person against established criteria including having a connection to their respective communities, demonstrated interest and passion for publicly funded education, knowledge of key TDSB priorities, and evidence of a sense of accountability for use of public resources. The process was carried out in accordance with the requirements and eligibility criteria described in the Education Act.


Quick Facts

  • In total, 7 people put their names forward as candidates for the position.
  • 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 14, 2022.

Aleem brings a tremendous amount of passion, energy and personal experience to this position and is a champion for public education. I look forward to working with him in the coming months.”

- Alexander Brown, Chair, TDSB

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the students and families of Scarborough Centre and making a difference in public education for all.”

- Aleem Punja, Trustee, Ward 17