School board trustee hopefuls in the spotlight at West Lincoln meet the candidate night

West Lincoln residents had the opportunity to learn a little bit about the candidates vying for school board trustee positions at a recent all candidates night.

The Sept. 27 event at the Smithville Christian High School, hosted by the West Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, saw candidates given the opportunity to share a short speech about themselves.


For Catholic school board trustee, candidates Doug Joyner and Roberta Skoko were on hand. Leanne Prince was not in attendance. There is one seat available to represent Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln.

Joyner said he is a faithful man whose three children went through the Catholic school board system. This isn't the first time his name has appeared on a municipal ballot. Joyner highlighted his previous political experience as the former West Lincoln mayor, regional councillor and chair of public health and social services. Now he's set his sights on the school board.

"In a word, education matters," he said.

Skoko concentrated her comments on her faith and its role in school. “I assure you that with increased focus on faith formation, you will see a stronger, more unified and spirited Niagara region,” she said.

Raised in Niagara after immigrating from Croatia, she converted to the faith 12 years ago and has worked as a youth minister for two Niagara parishes, as well as worked closely with affiliated schools.


For District School Board of Niagara, Deanne MacIntosh and Jessica VanSydenborgh delivered short speeches. The two candidates are vying for one seat to represent West Lincoln and Wainfleet.

MacIntosh said her main platforms are mental health, special education, equality and transparency at the board level. She said that voters had told her that there wasn’t enough transparency at board level and their voices weren’t being heard. She promised to address every issue that came to her in a timely manner.

“It’s time to put the trust back in trustee,” she said.

VanSydenborgh was concerned that children were being told what to think and not necessarily how to think, and had concerns about some of the curriculum, content and teaching methodologies in classrooms.

“My commitment is to listen to parents, students and teachers and try to understand the issues that are causing mental illness, stress, low academic performance and even confusion,” she said.

Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News