We're a group of passionate leaders from public schools across the Halton District School Board. We meet once a month to provide the student perspective on board issues and to voice the questions and concerns of Halton students. The Student Trustees relay these perspectives to the Board of Trustees to ensure that students are being represented. Each year, we also organize and run the Halton Youth Leadership Symposium, a conference for Halton students.
Matthew Burnes is a grade 12 French Immersion student at Oakville Trafalgar High School and one of the two Student Trustees for the Halton District School Board in the 2019/2020 year. In his previous three years of high school, Matthew has pursued many athletic, academic, and humanitarian goals. Matthew has represented both Ontario and Canada in downhill ski racing, is a six-time OFSAA medalist in skiing and rugby, and is a cross-country runner for his school. Matthew has also served on the youth advisory committee of an MP, is an International AP Scholar, a Shad Fellow, and is a top-twenty finisher in the Canadian National Examination of Forensic Sciences. On the side, Matthew has co-founded an environmental NGO that currently works with organizations such as the ORC and the CN tower, and is the Chief Developer of an educational NGO based in France. In the summer of 2019, Matthew became the Student Trustee Representative for the Golden Horseshoe region, comprising 756 000 students and 7.82 million people. Matthew loves video games, skiing, and hanging out with his dog.
Olivia Lau is a Grade 11 student in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville. As one of the HDSB Student Trustees, Olivia represents over 64,000 students from 105 schools and acts as an advocate for students at the board table. Olivia served on the HDSB Student Senate in 2017 and has constantly been involved in the community through her school’s HOSA (Future Health Professionals) Chapter as an Executive member, DECA, TechUnder20 Club, Rotary Club, and has been an ambassador for the Junior Economic Club of Toronto and the medical conference “Operation Med School”. She also has a passion for yoga, the dramatic arts, and basketball (as a coach for 2 years), all of which she likes to do in her free time. In the future, she hopes to pursue the medical field, but before the goes off to university, she hopes to travel more to Europe and Asia! Olivia is also a full-time volunteer at HPIC (Health Partners International of Canada) where she packages humanitarian medical kits which are sent abroad.
To join the HDSB Student Senate, students must be in grades 7 to 12 in a Halton District School Board school. In early September, all school principals will receive a letter inviting them to select one Student Senator per elementary school or two Student Senators per secondary school. It is up to each school to select their Senators. The letter to principals will contain all necessary information for Student Senators, including the pre-set meeting dates.
Senate meets once a month at the J.W. Singleton Education Centre in Burlington (2050 Guelph Line, Burlington). Consistent attendance is critical. Meetings shall be held from 6 - 9 PM for all senators (pizza is served during this time). Please see the meeting dates listed below.
MEETING DATES FOR 2019-20:
In early September, the Student Trustees will send a letter to all HDSB principals indicating that each school is to select its senators (1 per elementary school, 2 per secondary school). Each school has its own method of selecting Senators, but the most common approach is to put out an announcement inviting any student to express their interest. If a school does not announce the opening for the Senate position, we would recommend the student schedule a meeting with the principal to express their interest. If this is not possible or if you have any questions/concerns about the selection process, then please email Olivia at email@example.com.
Any student from Grades 7 to 12 who currently attends a school in the HDSB can apply/be selected.
Nope! Student Senate offers the opportunity for all students. If you're passionate about making a difference in your school and community, we want to hear from you!
Please contact Olivia at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work out accommodations for you.
No. Pizza of several varieties are supplied! Please contact Olivia at email@example.com if you have any dietary restrictions.
The Halton Youth Leadership Symposium (HYLS) is the conference the Student Senate puts on every year. Watch for conference details in Spring 2020.
All Senate meetings are on Tuesday evenings. See the specific dates here.
It varies every meeting but generally...
Discussion of relevant issues
Working on projects
Eating pizza :)
Read the minutes of our past meetings here
HDSB’s two Student Trustees Olivia Lau and Matthew Burnes and their executive team. To read more about Matthew and Olivia, click here.
A Student Trustee represents students at the board table. His or her job consists of three main parts:
Running Student Senate
Attending Board Meetings
Attending the Ontario Student Trustee Association’s (OSTA-AECO) conferences, as well as being an active member of the organization
To learn more about being a Student Trustee or OSTA-AECO, please visit www.OSTA-AECO.org
All details are here.
The date of the election for the 2020-21 school year is TBD.