...And This Is My Story - Video Series

Every day, the people of the DDSB give so much of themselves to contribute to a better future for our students.  This work unfolds in spaces such as lunchrooms, special education classrooms, gymnasiums, playgrounds, and offices across the ancestral and treaty land upon which our schools are located.  This project aims to connect us from corner to corner of the DDSB to help us become better known to each other, and to the students and parents we serve. 

Through this, we can develop an appreciation for our various lives and stories.  This is what shapes who we are, and profoundly affects our approach as we collectively strive to Ignite Learning.

"We are DDSB" will remain synonymous with diversity, inclusion and equity.


and this is my story

“The best thing a teacher can do… is make sure the student realizes you are on their side.” 


Chris speaks candidly of a childhood growing up in Newfoundland that was shattered by a traumatic family tragedy. It’s an emotionally moving story of perseverance, providing insight into the powers of empathy and understanding that are so important to educators, students and school communities.

and this is my story

“The day you stop learning is the day
you cannot give back.” 


Senthuran shares his personal journey of surviving the Sri Lankan Civil War, and the struggle of rebuilding his life in Canada. His story shines a light on the importance of perseverance and continual learning.

and this is my story

“Teachers play a huge part in student learning and understanding why kids aren’t learning.” 

Stephanie shares her personal journey of living with and overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and panic attacks following a childhood accident involving her identical twin sister. It’s a powerful reminder of the importance of mental health.

and this is my story

“We can use situations to empower us, or we can allow them to drive us down." 

Margaret shares her personal journey of growing up feeling marginalized in English schools that were ill-equipped to address diversity issues, prejudice and overt racism. She later moved to Canada in her teen years, and continued to live her inspiring story of resilience, perseverance and success.

and this is my story

“I was the identified kid and I turned out OK." 

Katie, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when she was born, has been a lifelong champion for inclusivity. Having been raised by parents who instilled in her a “never give up” attitude, Katie’s disability has never defined her. Now she teaches children to do the same and to face their challenges head-on.

and this is my story

“In the job that I have, I am able to be myself. I feel welcome. I feel that my identity matters here." 

After immigrating to Canada from Afghanistan, Toufan found it difficult to be comfortable with who she was and where she came from. Her ESL teacher taught her to be proud of her background and who she is, and today Toufan shares that message with her own students at Terry Fox PS.

and this is my story

“If one kid is alive...then isn't the
whole thing worth it?" 

Eden describes her experiences at the Board-supported initiative Camp Rainbow Phoenix… how the camp experience has changed, and perhaps even saved, her life. It’s a touching look at how a week or two at this camp can be life-altering.

and this is my story

“When the students know that the teachers are there for them, then they excel and reach beyond their potential."

As a child, David loved school, but found that he was not the traditional learner. His love of sports kept him in school. He made connections with some of his teachers and coaches who were great mentors, leading him to eventually become a teacher and now, a principal.

and this is my story

“Every student across our board, I want their student voice to be heard."

Tyler, Sally and Risann discuss their shared passions and varied paths to becoming Student Trustees. Each of them took a different route to leadership, but all agree on the importance of leading the change, and being the person to stand up for others around them.

and this is my story

“They know, that when push comes to shove, that we are there for them…"

Denise loves her job. Starting out as a caring Mom, eventually her passion led to her going back to school and working at the Durham District School Board as an Educational Assistant at Gordon B. Attersley Public School.

and this is my story"...Excellence Without Excuses, to me means giving my best and ...not selling myself short."

Kay Esin and his parents share how the 100 Strong Academy program has had a positive impact on Kay. It has instilled pride in his heritage, and helped him to dream of a future that includes college or university.

and this is my story

"...I want my students, I want my parents, I want my teachers to feel comfortable with the skin they are in."

Allison discusses growing up as a child of immigrant parents. She explains how her childhood insecurities about who she was, have led her to inspire her students, parents, and teachers to feel comfortable in the skin they are in.

and this is my story

"...Education, first of all, is my one single hope around changing anything in the world..."

Joseph discusses the challenges he has encountered throughout his career in education. As an openly gay man, he’s encountered both subtle and overt biases. He shares these experiences, as well as much more of his eye-opening journey.

and this is my story

"...If you see something that's not right, you do something."

Tanya discusses how being raised in a unique blend of cultures has influenced who she is.  Her parents' and grandparents' bravery, and approach to initiating change has had a large impact on her career in Leadership.

and this is my story

"...I am perceived as... a math person.  But there's a lot more than that."

Alfonso explains how being a teacher and seeing it 'click' for children is exhilarating.  He speaks of overcoming childhood bullying and how he persevered through life's challenges with the help of great friendships and influential mentors.