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STAO Election 2020

In addition to an election to fill a seat on the Board of Directors that is being vacated due to the term limitation in STAO’s bylaws, members are being asked to ratify the appointments of two members of the Board that were made earlier in the year to fill existing vacancies on the Board.

Ratification of appointments to the Board of Directors

Ms. Elaine Theofilos and Dr. Andrew Pasternak were appointed to the Board of Directors in 2020 to vacant seats on the Board. Below are the candidate profiles and statements. Members are asked to ratify their appointments to the Board for a term ending at the Annual Meeting of 2023.

At the AGM, you will be asked to Ratify these two members.
Headshot of Elaine Theofilos

Elaine Theofilos

By way of introduction, my name is Elaine Theofilos and I am Legal Counsel at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Before going to law school, I worked in sales and marketing roles, which helped me gain a deeper appreciation for project management and event planning. I worked with a variety of different companies on marketing projects such as: Pepsi, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Telus and Dr. Oetker just to name a few.

It was a diverse experience working with different companies and seeing their approach to marketing strategies. I also worked in account management at Lindt Chocolates. Not only did I learn a lot, but I also ate a lot of chocolate! After obtaining my law degree, I have worked mainly in the areas of corporate law and compliance. In addition to my work, I volunteer on various committees and campaigns at OLG such as: United Way, Federate Health, and the OLG’s Women’s Network.

I provide support for various fundraising and corporate events, and participate in execution. Lastly, I am on the Marketing & Communication Committee at the Young Women in Law, where I assist with drafting and posting content to bring awareness to events and information relevant to women in the law.

Now on to some non-work-related information, I love travelling and have been to many different places like Belgium, Amsterdam, Turkey, Israel, Turks and Caicos, France and Barbados. I even spent a summer teaching English to children in Italy. I spent time living with different families and learning about their culture and ways of life. I recently took up tennis lesson, which is a lot harder than I thought, but it is a lot of fun and it is great to learn something new! I also love baking and I know all the best spots in the city for any sweet treat to can think of.

Candidate Statement

I am excited to be appointed to the board of Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario, so that I can apply my expertise and experiences to help such a great organization. I strongly believe in the importance of education and ensuring students have the best foundation for their future. I also notice, that while the education system is trying to incorporate more practical teachings, sciences are not being encouraged as much as they should. I want support to a strong foundation for sciences. During university, it was challenging to work and complete my degree, and find the time to volunteer. Now that I have more time available, I want to give back to my community. My community is important to me, which is also why I proudly work at OLG. All OLG’s profits go right into communities across Ontario, to provide funding for schools, hospitals and public facilities. All the work that I do, centers around ensuring that we are a valuable partner with the public of Ontario.

Headshot of Dr. Andrew Pasternak

Dr. Andrew Pasternak

Dr. Andrew Pasternak has spent the last 20+ years working to bring early stage scientific innovations to market.  Andrew originally earned a Ph. D. in biochemical engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  After realizing that career as a practicing engineer or chemist was not for him, he completed an MBA from the University of Toronto with a focus on strategy and finance so that he could pursue the “business” side science-based companies.  

Since then Dr. Pasternak has worked in a number of technical sectors including drug discovery, pharmaceutical services, analytical instruments, and CleanTech.  Working in several different organizations, he has been involved in a wide range of commercial roles.  These include technology transfer, intellectual property development, research, business development, and operations.  He has experience working in early small stage start-up companies as well as larger public health organizations.

Dr. Pasternak is currently the Commercial Director at GreenCentre Canada, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing early stage CleanTech innovations being developed by early stage chemistry and materials-based companies across Canada.  He is also editor of an upcoming book, “How to Commercialize Chemical Technologies for a Sustainable Future” to be published by John Wiley & Sons in late 2020/early 2021.

Outside of work, Andrew loves spending time with his wife and 9-year old son.  He is an avid martial artist and enjoys being a very amateur piano player.

Candidate Statement

My name is Andrew Pasternak, and I am so pleased and honoured for the opportunity serve STAO as a director.  After completing my Ph.D. in chemical engineering and MBA, I have spent the last 20+ years working to bring early stage scientific innovations to market.  I am currently the commercial director at GreenCentre Canada, a not-for-profit chemistry organization dedicated to advancing early stage CleanTech innovations being developed by companies across Canada.  

Every day I see the value of a strong science education which is so needed to solve the many challenges we face as a society.  In my daily role at GreenCentre, I work to accelerate the growth of promising companies developing next generation CleanTech technologies.  However, true growth of these companies requires hiring young staff with a high level of scientific passion and expertise.  Where are these individuals going to come from?  Although often overlooked, it is the scientific education given to youth in our elementary and high schools that is most important in answering this question.  Science education is the real foundation for the introduction of technologies that will really impact our environment and society in the next 50 years.

That is why I am so delighted to be part of an organization that can so dramatically impact the learning and appreciation of science in the youth of today. In my brief time serving the organization so far, I have been extremely impressed with the passion and dedication of the STAO Board and management team.  STAO is in a great position to grow and offer real value to Ontario’s science teachers.  It would my honor to continue this journey by serving as a member of your board.

Election to the Board of Directors: Ms. Entisar Yusuf and Mr. Christopher Rawn-Kane (Chris) are standing for election.

You will be voting for one of the two candidates.

Headshot of Entisar Yusuf

Entisar Yusuf

Entisar Yusuf is a former IB teacher with eight years of teaching experience in the elementary sector. In her final three years of teaching, she became Co Team Lead for a team of eight teachers and developed school policy in both Behaviour Management and Student Assessment. Specifically, Entisar spearheaded a new Behaviour Management policy by developing a series of workshops and ongoing program facilitation for all elementary teachers and staff at her school. The following year she worked on a team to evaluate, research and reconstruct the Student Assessment Policy.

Entisar is also a recent graduate of the Master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy program at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto (UofT). Her thesis focus was on Black graduate students navigating higher education in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The purpose of her qualitative study was to gain deeper insights into the experiences of Black students in predominantly White higher education institutions across the GTA. It is hoped that her research will assist post-secondary institutions in implementing programs not only to attract and retain Black students, but offer supports to serve their needs and academic success.

In her induction as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, Entisar contributed to improving the UofT graduate student experience by founding a group called the Black Graduate Students Association (BGSA). Throughout her two years of presidency, she connected the Black community with initiatives that support and strengthen the members at UofT and beyond. On the BGSA, Entisar has applied for numerous funding opportunities and received grants for initiatives such as the Annual Black Policy Conference at Harvard Kennedy School in Boston, Massachusetts. With the help of her team, she was able to fully fund six executive team members to attend the conference for two consecutive years.

Upon her graduation, the BGSA had a total of 192 members. While at UofT, Entisar was a recipient of the following awards: The University of Toronto Student Leadership Award, the 2020 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) Impact Award, the Student Academy Innovation & Impact Award with the UofT School of Cities, and the Student Academy Leadership & Mentorship Award with the UofT School of Cities. Entisar has presented leadership workshops at the 2019 ULead Conference and the 2019 Presidents’ Retreat held by Student Life. Entisar has appeared in the Varsity Magazine twice for her initiative and success with the BGSA. She was selected to present speeches at both the summer and winter OISE Convocation ceremonies.

Entisar is passionate about the progress of education in Ontario and looks forward to being a lifelong learner.

Candidate Statement

From perusing through my personal profile, you will note that I have extensive experience in management, strategic planning and decision-making within education. I strongly believe my abilities and achievements will enable me to make a positive contribution to the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO).
As a Teacher and Co Team Lead at Emirates National School (ENS), I demonstrated effective policy governance.

Using my evaluation, consultation and presentation skills, I delivered a new method of conflict resolution to all staff members. My findings effectively transformed the school policy. I began by conducting a risk assessment and data performance analysis of existing policies and procedures. I then developed a skills workshop and program facilitation for all staff, using the Kelso’s Choice Program.

The Program was positively received by teachers and senior management at ENS and was adopted as an immediate teaching strategy for a widely faced behaviour issue at the school. ENS is still using the Kelso’s Choice: Conflict Resolution program today.

Along with my policy supervision skills, I look forward to applying learned governance skills from my University of Toronto (UofT) and Ontario Ministry of Education experiences. UofT has prepared me for STAO in theory and practice. My theoretical knowledge was gained through academic research, while my practical knowledge developed in my Presidency of the Black Graduate Students Association.

The Ministry of Education has prepared me for STAO by further developing my decision-making, negotiation and communication skills with key stakeholders to coordinate input and output of competing interests. Moreover, I recognize my ability to successfully establish cooperative, professional relationships with stakeholders at various levels. With my approachable nature, organizational skills and great work ethic, I am able to manage information flow and strict deadlines.

As a lifelong advocate of the STAO, I would be committed to upholding the value of excellence throughout daily operations, while being a knowledgeable and trustworthy ambassador of the STAO.

headshot of Christopher Rawn-Kane

Christopher Rawn-Kane (Chris)

Christopher Rawn-Kane (Chris) is a Healthcare Executive who has worked with multiple National, Provincial and Regional health charities in order to further their cause and most importantly provide support and services to those in need.  After spending over 30 years working in the healthcare system and directly and indirectly with our most vulnerable populations Chris knows what it truly means to provide support.   It is “to truly understand a person’s needs from all perspectives, and then find a way to allow that type of support  to happen.”

Christopher Rawn-Kane (Chris) is a Healthcare Executive who has worked with multiple National, Provincial and Regional health charities in order to further their cause and most importantly provide support and services to those in need.  After spending over 30 years working in the healthcare system and directly and indirectly with our most vulnerable populations Chris knows what it truly means to provide support. It is “to truly understand a person’s needs from all perspectives, and then find a way to allow that type of support  to happen.”

Outside of his CEO roles Chris  also works as an Accreditation surveyor for Accreditation Canada and CARF, has taught as an instructor at Sheridan College and is a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health LeadersChris holds a B.Sc. from the University of Waterloo, a Master’s Certificate from Cornell University in Management and Leadership as well as a Master of Business Administration degree.  Chris also holds an Executive Certificate from Windsor School of Law/Stitt Feld Handy Group in Conflict Resolution and Negotiation and is Black Belt certified in the Lean Six Sigma Process. 

In his personal life, Chris has worked with multiple organizations as a Board Member and volunteer across many sectors.  Some of those organizations include YMCA, YWCA, Special Olympics Ontario, various Community Living organizations, ALS Society, Sheridan College and a few Sports organizations on behalf of his children. Chris is married to a High School Science teacher and has two daughters.  The oldest will receive her Bachelor of Education and Masters of Education degrees from Western University in 2022.

Candidate Statement

I have always believed in being a life long learner. This is something that I try to instill in members of my family, my children and those I have had the privilege of mentoring and coaching over the years. The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the face of communities and how people interact within them which makes it a very important time to be an educator. I have always felt that educators have a much larger role than curriculum instruction and evaluation. It is a profession that requires support and assistance and I hope that I can be part of that.

If I was chosen to join STAO, I believe that my experience and skills will allow me to provide a perspective that would be unique to the Board. I bring the experience from a long career in Senior Management and Not for Profit leadership both from the perspective of a board members and as a Staff Leader.

Specifically, budget creation and maintenance, program creation, implementation and evaluation, Strategic and Operational planning and execution as well as Public Relations, Marketing and Fund Development from both staff leadership and board member roles. I have extensive experience in building efficient processes and evaluation through Science and MBA degrees as well a Master’s Certificate in Leadership and certificates in Six Sigma Black Belt and Conflict Resolution and Negotiation. All of which I draw upon in a variety of situation on a regular basis.

It would be my hope that if I was selected to join the board, I would be able to assist the Management team of STAO but also provide the oversight and governance required at the board level to remain a functional and strong organization into the future.

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