2018 Candidates for School Trustee (School District 40)

Candidates for School Trustee (in alphabetical order by last name):

Ansari, Anita
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

I am a professional engineer, a working mother and a community activist. I have lived in New Westminster for almost a dozen years. I’ve volunteered as a first aid attendant with St. John Ambulance, and supported the community garden society’s formation; I continue to serve as an administrator of the New West Mom’s Group, and Co-Chair the board of New Westminster’s oldest non-profit daycare society. In all my roles, I lead through collaboration, engaging in meaningful discussions and turning them into action. I view schools as the hearts of our communities, and I want public schools to give our children a solid well-rounded education. I bring to the table my engineering skills, to move forward the building of new schools. I am running for school board to do my part in making our city a healthier, happier and more inclusive space.

Campaign contact information:

Email Address: anitaansaricampaign@gmail.com
Website Address: anitaansari.ca


Beattie, Dee
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

New Westminster resident, born and raised in Sapperton.

I am a mom, grandma, and foster parent.

Twenty -five years working as an education assistant and Inner City Secondary School Support Worker, I have seen how our most vulnerable children are falling through the gaps.  

I believe our school district can and should support every child, every day.

That’s how I have lived my life, and those are the values I will bring with me to our school board.

Around the city, you can find me volunteering:

  • Acting president, McBride Sapperton Residents Association
  • NW Community and Social Issues Committee
  • Royal City Musical Theatre
  • Royal City Gogos to benefit Stephen Lewis Grandmother to Grandmothers Foundation.

I look forward to working towards a quality education system that meets the needs of students, parents, teachers, and staff.

Every Child Every Day

I am Labour endorsed by the NWDLC  and part of  Team Cote

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-522-0408
Campaign cell number: 604-837-0448
Email address: deebeattienw@gmail.com
Website address: deebeattie.ca


Connelly, Danielle
New West Progressives
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

Community engagement has always been important to me and when my kids were born, it became an integral way to make connections. From serving on PACs and the NWMHA executive to organizing the Rally to Rebuild NWSS in 2016 and helping with multigenerational projects at Century House, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and gain a broader appreciation and understanding of our diverse community. 

Commitments would include:

  • Evaluate / improve communications with parents and students (listening and responding in a timely manner to their needs)
  • Health, safety and wellness (district-wide mental health strategy and accessibility in all schools)
  • advocate to secure funding to meet the needs of all our students
  • Education for the future (technology, apprenticeships and environmental stewardship)

My guiding principal will always be to put students first.

I’m proud to be a candidate running with the New West Progressives.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-803-1657
Email address: info@danielleconnelly.ca
Website address: www.danielleconnelly.ca


Dhaliwal, Gurveen
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

I was born and raised in New Westminster with Queensborough having always been my home. I work for the Province and hold a Bachelor of Arts from UBC, with a major in Sociology and minor in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. I am an active member of our community and I see an opportunity for our district to be more supportive, and champion inclusivity. I'm committed to introducing creative approaches and a fresh perspective to ensure that every student is supported and that our community thrives because of it.


  • Ensuring all students have families have access to mental health support services
  • Utilizing traditional and modern methods to connect with families
  • Continuing to promote and foster environmental stewardship from K-12
  • Coordinating with the Province and the City to plan for the unique needs of each school
  • Making New Westminster a leader in implementing BC’s new curriculum

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 778-834-7014
Email address: info@gurveendhaliwal.ca
Website address: GurveenDhaliwal.ca


Diaz, Alejandro
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

I am a father of three kids. Harrison, Parker and Beckett (ages 9, 8 and 4). We are a busy household!

As the father of a child with autism I understand both the challenges and joys of raising a child with special needs, and the importance of an inclusive environment. 

Given the number of residential developments under construction/ planning stage in the city, current school capacity and the future New High School’s capacity need be re-evaluated to manage all this new growth.

I opened a Restaurant in 2015 and I love my job as it allows me to take an active role in the community. As being a parent, there are many joys and challenges, but wouldn’t change it for anything

I am proudly serving as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of Tourism New West and I am an advocate and supporter of Canucks Autism Network, both since 2016.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-727-7435
Campaign cell number: 604-727-8176
Website address: alejandroforschoolboard@gmail.com


Falbo, Lisa
New West Progresives
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

Residing in the Moody Park neighbourhood since 2005 where my daughter attends public school. Proud to have worked for the public sector for over 20 years.  Volunteering gives me the opportunity to listen and learn from the community.  Organizations include Multicultural Society, Honour House, Glenbrook Parent Advisory Council and the Hyack Ambassador Program. I'm honoured to work along such intelligent and dedicated youth. I feel I'm serving our future community leaders.

May Day is an important piece of New Westminster's heritage. We need to keep the tradition alive. It meets many of the educational requirements. Improve how we communicate with parents, students and ensure the voice of the citizens are listened to at the School Board.  New Westminster Progressives was formed in 2017 in an effort to provide independent candidates the opportunity to work in collaboration to bring balance and  develop a strong vision for the  city and school system.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 778-863-7201
Email address: lisa@nwprogressives.ca
Website address: nwprogressives.ca


Gifford, Mark
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

I’m dad to an amazing Lord Kelvin student, and husband to my better half. We love New West for its sense of community, diversity, and commitment to kids and families.  It’s great to be involved, whether as Trustee and current Chair, representing New West at local and Provincial tables, volunteering with neighbours, or coaching soccer. 

My 20-year career has focused on growing communities that help children, youth, and families thrive. By day, I serve as Executive Director of Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, a vibrant community hub in East Vancouver. 

I’m proud of the strides we’ve made to restore financial health, build schools, invest in classrooms, and advance strong inclusion priorities. Together, we must deepen our resolve to improve learning and well-being for struggling students, address pressure on school spaces, and help students and parents find the knowledge, people, and sense of belonging to thrive in the school of life.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-838-0444
Email address: info@markgifford.ca
Website address: www.markgifford.ca


Graham, Lisa
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

My name is Lisa Graham and I am the mother of two New Westminster born-and-raised NWSS graduates. My autistic son, David, graduated with an ‘Evergreen’ certificate from the Life Skills program; my daughter, Julie, is now pursuing a nursing degree.

Having not run in the previous election as my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but having previously served twelve years as a New Westminster School Trustee, I have a unique knowledge-base and a proven track record of both education and community-based service… and I am eager to contribute to the transition into a new era of education in New Westminster.

To be sure, the opportunities and challenges that are currently facing SD40 will require the kind of skilled advocacy that I can bring to the board table. On the voting ballot, please mark a tick for ‘Lisa Graham, Board of Education Trustee.’

Thank you for your support!

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-540-8577
Email address: lisa_graham@shaw.ca


Lalji, Mary
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

I’m a wife and mother of two young children and have been a resident of New Westminster for more than 15 years. As the public relations and event coordinator at Key West Ford, I have had the pleasure of working on many events that contribute to making this city great.

I am passionate about the city, its services and programs and believe everyone can make a positive difference where they live. It’s something our family works hard at through countless hours of volunteer time at the district and city level through city events as well as the Hyack Football program.

I’m proud to be engaged in the community through my role as a School Board trustee and have gained valuable insight into opportunities and challenges facing our parents and students. I am looking forward to continuing to create initiatives that give our students the best experience in their formative years.

Campaign contact information:

Email address: marylaljinw@gmail.com
Website address: www.marylalji.com


Leberg, J.P.
New West Progressives
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

Though never previously politically active, having three children in the New West public school system has engaged JP in the community by helping with French, coaching soccer and baseball, and volunteering.

JP’s professional experience includes working in technical sales and marketing. There is always something new to learn and people to explain it to. Feeding this passion for learning, JP has added the desire to contribute to his community by running with the New Westminster Progressives as a school trustee candidate.

Previous experience working on inter-provincial red-seal trades programs, the development by committee of curricula and their implementation has helped JP understand what it takes to ensure positive progress is made at the municipal level.

JP is a long-time resident of Glenbrooke North and in his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife, three kids and his family and friends while hiking, biking and boating in BC’s backcountry.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 778-796-7374
Email address: jp@nwprogressives.ca
Website address: www.nwprogressives.ca


McCallum, Cathy
Link to nomination documents
(Oct. 4) Amended Statement of Disclosure

Profile submitted by candidate:

I have been a resident of New Westminster for the past ten years. I am a physician (General Practitioner) currently working in New Westminster and Burnaby. I wish to promote public education that parents can trust to help each child reach his/her potential; to promote education that enables children to learn to function in Canada and the rest of the world with good will and respect towards those of other ideologies..

If schools are to deal with controversial topics, I believe that only what is acceptable to parents with both secular and religious ideologies should be taught.

I try to be a good team player. I am interested in the overall philosophy of public education and its role in our society.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-519-0305
Email address: cathylea@telus.net


McIntosh, Scott
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

I, Scott McIntosh am proudly born, raised and educated in New Westminster.  Married to Jessica with two sons.  Kent is a student of Richard McBride School and our younger son Wyatt will be one of the first students at the new Richard McBride.

I graduated from NWSS.  BCIT education includes a diploma as well as completion of the Red Seal Carpenter Trade and numerous engineering courses.  This enabled me to stay in my Sapperton neighbourhood and build my family home. 

Presently a long-term employee of the City of Vancouver, Engineering Services since 2001.  An active member of CUPE 1004 having served as a shop steward and board member. 

I have acquired the skills of listening, compassion and the ability to understand there are three sides to all stories.

Using all my skills, I, Scott McIntosh pledge to be fiscally responsible and approachable.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 778-892-4115
Email address: scottmcintosh@shaw.ca


Russell, Maya
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

My husband and I are ten-year Sapperton residents; we have three children in New Westminster schools. I want to keep up the excellent progress in the District and speak up for the needs of working families, for the supports every student needs to access an education and for making our schools more family-centred. I bring over twenty years’ experience getting things done in government and non-profit organizations. As a parent I’ve been involved in the District Parents Advisory Committee, Queens Park Preschool, Salmonbellies Minor Lacrosse and Royal City Soccer. I’ve seen the amazing work staff and teachers do to make up for two decades of staff cuts and under-funding, and I’ve also seen students struggle or even have to leave our public schools. As part of Team Cote with Anita Ansari, Dee Beattie, Gurveen Dhaliwal and Mark Gifford I am committed to strengthening public education for every child.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-553-1924
Email address: info@mayarussell.ca
Website address: www.mayarussell.ca


Sy, Cyrus
New West Progressives
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

My wife, two kids and I are proud to call New Westminster home.

Our schools, teachers and staff are at the heart of an inclusive, vibrant community that helps every child achieve their full potential.

For nearly 20 years, I have worked as an engineer and marketing professional in the BC technology industry helping organizations transform their business or solve complex problems.

As a trustee, I would bring a unique and valuable perspective in preparing our students to thrive in a rapidly changing world. I would work to:

  • promote innovative, responsible use of technology in education
  • maximize the use of our school facilities to benefit our community
  • advocate for improved funding and support for our schools

I have previously served on the board of Parent Support Services Society of BC and Kolumbia Inn Child Care Society.

I am proud to be a candidate running with the New Westminster Progressives Team.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 778-863-7201
Email address: cyrus@nwprogressives.ca
Website address: nwprogressives.ca


Tsonev, Steve
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

Steve has lived in New Westminster since 2007. His love for the city has inspired him to give back to the community. Steve is currently volunteering at the local electoral district association and at Grandview-Woodland community policing centre. Previously he has served as President of Point Grey Village Business Improvement Association and on a number of strata councils.

Steve is a firm believer in the public school system and this, along with his passion for education, is the catalyst for his candidacy for school board trustee.

"Well educated children are the best investment we can make for our future, thus education should be top priority for everyone." In addition, increasing transparency and improving accountability are on the list to tackle the moment he’s elected into office.  Schools are the backbone of the community, placing students in the centre of attention will have a ripple effect across the entire city.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-245-2758
Email address: steve@tsonev.ca
Website address: www.tsonev.ca


Woodward, Douglas
Link to nomination documents

Profile submitted by candidate:

Doug is a retired NWSS teacher, having taught there from 1974-2018.

Doug and his wife Donalda live in New Westminster. Doug graduated from University of Hawaii earning his Bachelor of Education.  For 44 years he coached football, basketball, volleyball and track and field at NWSS. The past 10 years he has been on the Board of Directors for the Douglas College Centre for Sport, Recreation and continues in this role.

As an independent candidate, Doug will use his 45 years of experience in teaching to ensure that all children receive the attention they need to gain the best possible education in all areas of their development.  He is especially concerned with the mental health and well being of our youth. He also would like to create greater partnerships  with students, teachers, and parents to make changes that will promote excellence in our school system.

Campaign contact information:

Campaign phone number: 604-516-0801
Campaign cell number: 604-992-1940
Email address: dougwoody11@gmail.com