Testimonials


"I have been fortunate to work alongside Donna for several years in my capacity as council chair.  I have been involved with my children's schools for 13 years and I have a yet to meet a trustee who works harder or is more committed than Donna.  She gets things done...She is always available and willing to help.  She believes strongly in what is best for all students, and recognizes that in order to achieve that sometimes difficult decisions have to made.  Donna is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get involved with her schools, whether it is helping clean up yards, popping popcorn at a movie night, attending graduations or supporting fundraising initiatives.  She is known for her rotating wardrobe of school hoodies and t-shirts and  has a strong presence in her schools and with the parents she serves.  She has established strong relationships within her zone, and is the only choice for school board trustee"
Helen Crawford, Chair, JMSS
Former Chair Cedarview Middle School and Mary Honeywell Elementary


"Donna brings passion, courage and commitment to everything she does as Trustee.  In my years of involvement at three different schools I have witnessed again and again her willingness to contribute in ways both large and small, and often outside any spotlight.  She is a tireless advocate for kids and parents and has a common sense approach that gets things done.  She is present and approachable and reachable... and genuinely enjoys getting to know those she serves.  Thank you Donna!"
Janice Ballinger, current vice-chair Cedarview Middle School and former co-chair Mary Honeywell Elementary School

"As the current Chair of the Knoxdale Community School Council, I have been working closely with Trustee Donna Blackburn for the last few years in support of our school community and can attest to her dedication to, and her passion for education and her genuine support for the communities and schools she serves. Donna truly believes in, and continues to advocate for the best educational experience for all students regardless of their personal circumstances and for the support and resources they need for achievement. Donna regularly attends School Council meetings, events and functions in her Zone - always in her best school spirit wear - and actively keeps in touch with with Council and school administrators. Donna is a dedicated volunteer and spends a great deal of her time at school and community events in support of on-going school projects and those in need in her community. When one of the schools in our community welcomed several new to Canada students and their families, Donna reached out to various community groups and School Councils and was very successful in raising much needed support. Donna is a very personable, hard-working, and committed Trustee and it has been my pleasure to work with her in support of our students, school and community."
Heather Gordon, Chair Knoxdale Community School Council

"Donna Blackburn is an experienced and caring trustee for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Donna truly cares about all students attending OCDSB schools. She is a tireless volunteer and can be seen at car washes, movie nights and other fund- raising events for the schools in her zone. Donna delights in the successes of students and staff and attends ceremonies in their honour. She is constantly learning and gathering information that will help her in the decision making process which takes place in the board room and this makes her a thoughtful and competent representative for her constituents.

When she is re-elected, Donna will continue to represent her zone in the board room with the same competent, thoughtful and caring approach that has been the hallmark of her tenure so far"

Lynn Laide, Retired OCDSB Administrative Assistant

"Donna is an outstanding school board trustee and I am glad to see that she is running again to represent the schools in our area. I have known Donna for many years, as a parent at Barrhaven when I was principal there, as a trustee and as a friend. Before she became a trustee, she was a volunteer at the school as well as a member of the school council. In her role as trustee, she has always been very supportive of the students and their families, while at the same time respecting the expertise and commitment of school and board staff. The OCDSB community will continue to be well served  If Donna is successful in being re-elected."
Sandy Richardson, Retired Principal, OCDSB

" Donna has proven term after term her commitment to improving the education of every student in the OCDSB. Her hard work was demonstrated by leading the charge to obtain funding for, and the subsequent construction and opening of, the Half Moon Bay Public School in Barrhaven which allows my daughter to attend school right in our community. She goes above and beyond for each school in her Zone, very frequently visiting each one while sporting their school clothing. I will happily and confidently cast my vote for Donna again this election, and rest easy knowing I have a Trustee that is committed to giving my children the best education possible."
Ryan Knuth, Half Moon Bay Resident, Parent

"For several years now, and being involved in three schools at the elementary, middle and secondary level, I have had the good fortune to know and work with Donna Blackburn. Donna has proven time and time again her dedication to public education and Barrhaven families. Donna has been a consistent presence in our school community as a volunteer and advocate for EVERY student. It is so important to have someone who advocates for, and understands the fundamental link between student well-being and achievement. I have found Donna to be a sound decision maker at the Board level, carefully balancing the needs of her constituents and the OCDSB as a whole in a way that benefits public education in Ottawa. I have valued Donna’s support and contribution over the years. "
Jodi Parker
Co-Chair Cedarview MS School Council, Former Chair Mary Honeywell School Council and Memebr of John McCrae School Council


"I am School Council Chair/Co-Chair at two different schools with the OCDSB. Donna is my trustee at both. I have worked alongside her on many occasions over the last eight years and found her to be very dedicated. If there is a problem Donna is quick to address it and does so professionally. She does not sugar coat anything, which I believe is what makes her good at her job. She has no problem calling someone out on not looking out for ALL of the children with the OCDSB. Even though she is not a member of some committees she still takes time out of her busy schedule to attend those meetings to keep herself informed. It has been a pleasure to watch Donna fight for our children and I hope she is able to continue to do so! I’m looking forward to working with her for at least another four years! "
Gemma Nicholson
School Council chair Carleton Heights Public School
School Council Co-Chair Merivale High School

"It has been always very important for me, as a parent, resident of Barrhaven, and a long-standing member of the parent council for quite long time to have a “medium” to voice my opinions, to advocate on behalf of my children needs, and to represent such voice in appropriate channels. To me, Donna has immensely been a great support for our community, children, and parents. She pursues no boundary to reach a diverse group of parents. I remember how she approached me (as an Arabic speaker) to help the influx of Syrian students in her schools, lending them hands not only in their classrooms, but beyond: by supporting them and merging them in the Canadian school system and in their corresponding communities. Personally, as a Muslim parent, she showed a great sensitivity and much care to my cultural and religious background .It is such a pleasure to have a female leadership, like Donna, in our community!"
Aliaa Dakroury, PhD.
Co-chair of Longfields Davidson Height Secondary School (LDHSS) School Council
Former chair of LDHSS School Council
Former chair of Farley Mowat Public School, School Council
Former chair of Greenbank Middle School, School Council


"Donna Blackburn is one of the most active and hard-working trustees we have seen. She genuinely cares for her schools and the students within their walls and this is clearly shown in her constant support and appearances at the schools’ events and activities. Donna is a vocal and tireless advocate for her school families, understanding the importance of providing the best possible school environment for the benefit of both students and parents. In a world of policy-based public education, Donna always strives to put the students first, tirelessly advocating for outcomes that are in the best interest of the families she represents. We are very lucky to have a trustee like Donna Blackburn working for our children’s best interests and ensuring they have the opportunity for the brightest future possible."
Julie and Ed Dunnigan
Parents, Merivale High School


"Our family was dealing with a difficult situation with the school board. I recall sending Donna a detailed e-mail late one Sunday evening. Within 5 minutes she responded saying she would be looking into the situation Monday morning. I received a call mid Monday morning that our stressful family situation was happily resolved. My husband and I will never forget what Trustee Donna did for us in such a short period of time and are forever grateful. Trustee Donna will always have our support because of her hard working attitude, her fast acting, no nonsense approach. She really is a wonderful and charismatic person who is exceptional as a School Board Trustee and we are so lucky to have in her in this position. "
Gelena and Mauel Smiley, Parents of four OCDSB students

" Donna Blackburn has our students’ best interests at heart.  In the first four years that I knew Donna, she donated countless hours to fundraising for Barrhaven Public School, which in turn provided the opportunity to enhance both the learning and teaching environment at the school.  During parent council meetings she used her background in social work to offer salient points of view concerning the rights of others.  As OCASC representative for the school, Donna was always well-informed about issues facing the school, parents, and the school board.  Donna is articulate, intelligent, dedicated, and compassionate.  She regularly visits all the schools in her zone and maintains open communication with the parents and staff of those schools. She advocates for not only the schools in her zone but also sees the big picture for the whole district. Donna is an asset to our community. "
Shirley Hilchuk, Former Treasurer, Barrhaven Public School Council

"Donna Blackburn is a valued trustee whose work ethic is unparalleled! She consistently puts students, parents and families first. She is tireless in representing the schools entrusted to her in Zone 3 and is ever-present at events and always available to connect with via telephone, email or social media. Donna always puts what is best for students and the board before any other consideration(s). I have had the pleasure and honor to know and work with Donna for many years and know her to be true to herself, her values and her beliefs, both professionally as well as personally. She is the epitome of integrity and a truly valuable asset to the OCDSB." Lorrie Vidalin
Merivale HS School Council Chair 2014-present
Sir Winston Churchill PS SC Treasurer 2012-2014
Carleton Heights PS SC Chair/Co-Chair 2010-2013
McGregor Easson PS SC Chair 2005-2010


"I thoroughly endorse Donna Blackburn for reelection as a Trustee at the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) for Zone 3, Barrhaven/Knoxdale-Merivale. I have known Donna for approximately six to seven years.

Our acquaintance began on the OCDSB’s Advisory Committee on Equity (ACE) where I was the Chairperson and she a Trustee. During that period she has demonstrated her dedication and willingness to put in the hard work in for the children and families she represents as a Board Trustee.

As the Trustee for Zone 3, Donna ensures that the voice she brings to the Trustee table for her community is heard at the Board of Trustee meetings. She has very strong values that she brings to the Trustee table and because of these values she is not afraid to stand alone on a subject she feels is worth fighting for. Those values and commitment are voiced and demonstrated at the Advisory Committee meetings in which she participates, including that of ACE.

Donna represents a Ward, similar to most Wards in the Ottawa-Carleton District, that consists of an immigrant and socio-economic challenged population. Donna is one of several vibrant voices around the Trustee table that are championing the delivery of the Equity Pillar of the OCDSB’s Strategic Plan.

Donna’s dedication to this pillar is to ensure that the OCDSB places an equity and inclusive lens on the review, development, implementation, and monitoring of all policies to support student achievement and well-being, especially for the students in her riding.

Based on my experience of sitting on ACE with Donna, I would recommend for her to be re-elected as the Trustee for Barrhaven/Knoxdale-Merivale. You could not have a better person in your corner."
Harvey B. Brown, Renshi
Ottawa Chito-Kai Martial Arts School


"I am a resident of Zone 3 – Knoxdale-Merivale ward, but my initial introduction to Donna was through the Special Education Advisory Committee. As a member of the SEAC, I was always impressed with how Donna was clear and consistent with her objective – the best interest of all students. She is passionate and involved. Both my children attend schools in Zone 3 and it is inspiring so see her at the schools regularly, taking part in the popcorn days, the art shows and the fun nights. She proves over and over again her dedication to the students in Zone 3."
Tina Morden, Special Education Advisory Committee, Community Representative
 
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