Meet the Student Trustee candidates for the south riding:

Marina Growden

Eastwood Collegiate Institute

My name is Marina Growden, I am a Grade 10 student at Eastwood Collegiate Institute, in the Integrated Arts Program. I have multiple reasons for wanting to be a student trustee, the biggest one being that I want to make a positive change in the WRDSB, for everyone.

One change I’m thinking of is better enforcement of the policy against phones in class. I admit I have used my phone during class time, usually because lessons aren’t always engaging. The solution I thought of to help this problem is to have class be more interactive and involve topics that students are more interested in when available. A good example I thought of is in Civics class, discussing news stories and debating the pros and cons of the topic.

I am also a strong member of the Truth and Reconciliation Club and the Indigenous Student Association as I’m a proud Ojibwe person, and I’ve decided to run for student trustee in 2025-2026. I could bring a different point of view to topics.

Another reason I want to be a student trustee is because I assume it would lead me to many different opportunities that could benefit my future greatly. I want to be someone when I’m older. I’m a flexible person, a team player, and I am grateful to be able to go to school, and consideration that I might be a student trustee is greatly appreciated.

For many reasons, I am excited to run to be a student trustee.

Amir Kayumov

Grand River Collegiate Institute

Hey! Do you have an opinion on literally anything? Do you want to have your thoughts and feelings be heard? Do you want to connect with others who hold these same beliefs? Because my name is Amir Kayumov, and I am here to make sure your opinions are heard and validated, and can make an impact on our community in Waterloo Region. A bit more on who I am – I am currently a Grade 11 student at Grand River Collegiate Institute. I believe all students should have a voice and a platform to express themselves. Over the years, I have participated in many leadership positions (ranging from actual leadership councils to simple mentoring positions for younger students) at different schools. Being able to communicate in these positions – whether it be with the general student body, other members of the council, or especially teachers – is a skill that is integral and I have managed to develop ever since elementary school. I have participated in effective speaking and debating courses, which allow me to make the promise that conversation between students, myself, and other members of the Board, will be as smooth as possible and that all will have the chance to speak for themselves. Commitment is also vital for a student trustee, which is a strong suit of mine, having been committed to the Royal Canadian Air Cadets for close to 5 years (and over 2 cities), to an Orchestra for close 6, and many other clubs I am involved in.

Devansh Lakhanpal

Jacob Hespeler Secondary School

Hello, I’m Devansh Lakhanpal, currently in Grade 11 at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School, and I’m eager to bring my diverse experiences and leadership skills to the role of Student Trustee. Serving as the Student President, I’ve been dedicated to effectively representing and leading my peers. My active participation in the school’s volleyball team emphasizes the importance of teamwork, showcasing my passion for sportsmanship and cooperation. Beyond the classroom, I contribute to my community as an employee at the Region of Waterloo Library, highlighting my commitment to education and community participation.

My involvement in the Air Cadet Program has been transformative, sharpening my leadership, citizenship, and physical fitness abilities. Being a member of this programme, instilled in me a strong feeling of duty and a strong desire for personal growth.

As a Student Trustee, my goal is to amplify the voices of my fellow students and foster positive change within our educational community. Drawing from my experiences as Student President and my involvement in sports and community service, I bring honed leadership skills and a profound sense of responsibility to the table. I plan to commit five to ten hours per week, engage actively with students through in-person roundtables, and utilize various communication tools to ensure an ongoing dialogue with the student body. This role, for me, is not just a responsibility but an opportunity to bridge the gap between students and the board, ensuring our diverse perspectives shape decisions that impact us all.

Mahi Patel

Glenview Park Secondary School

Hi! My name is Mahi, and I’m a Grade 11 student at Glenview Park Secondary School (GPSS). My goal is to create a safe, effective, and healthy environment for students across all of WRDSB.

Understanding the importance of equality, inclusivity, and diversity within the WRDSB community and beyond, I am a strong believer in using teamwork and communication to create change.

I am a proud member of GPSS’s student activities council, field hockey team, soccer, athletic council, SHSM, and Fedprov. I also founded Glenview’s HOSA club, a health professionals club that works on raising awareness and gaining expertise through local competitions and the national HOSA competition. Outside of the Glenview community, I’ve done field hockey, dance, and tutoring. I am also a member of youth outreach organizations such as Youth Empowering Youth and Youthivist. I currently hold a Flight Sergeant Position (FSgt) in the Air Cadet Program, where I assist with teaching and planning activities for cadets. I also have a basic glider pilot’s license and am working towards my eligibility to take others into the air.

From participating in various clubs to volunteering in my community, I have witnessed the incredible potential of WRDSB’s student body and the change we are capable of creating. It is this potential that has fueled my desire to advocate for each and every student to build a vibrant, inclusive community in the Waterloo Region.

Cameron Rigby

Preston High School

My name is Cameron Rigby. I am a 16-year-old leader from Preston High and I live Kitchener, Ontario. At Preston, I have become known for my organization and leadership skills. Whether it’s planning school dances or coordinating fun intramural tournaments, I have always been passionate about bringing people together and turning ideas into reality. Being a leader isn’t just a title, it’s who I am.

My passion for Hockey, Golf and Snowboarding isn’t just about personal success, it’s about inspiring my teammates and friends to try and achieve their best no matter their abilities or strengths. I have had the opportunity to be a captain, both in sports and in the community, volunteering at elderly homes and homeless encampments. These leadership experiences are not just a job for me, but a reflection of my commitment to making change and having a positive impact on the community, and people around me.

My leadership skills have grown at the international level by being a part of CISV, which international educational peace program. I’ve been a camp counsellor in both Great Britain and Colombia I have personally seen the power of global understanding and cooperation in breaking down cultural barriers.

My history of leadership is proof of my ability to motivate, coordinate, and make significant contributions to the community, and our school board. I hope for the chance to represent you and serve as an advocate for the voices of high school students in the Waterloo District School Board.

Sanaa Selby

Glenview Park Secondary School

My Name is Sanaa Selby, and I am a Grade 11 IB Student at Glenview Park Secondary School.

To me being a Student Trustee is about leadership, and the ability to build community and strength within our school board.

As a volunteer for Plan International Canada, an organization dedicated to advancing children’s rights, and equality for girls, I have had the ability to grow and foster skills, like public speaking, Innovation, and communication, and curated experience when it comes to advocating for groups that don’t have a voice.

I have been the co-lead of my school’s Black Student Union for the past two years, and it has allowed me to develop a strong capacity for leadership, and has allowed me to better understand the weight and responsibilities that a leader must take on to accomplish the goals they set out for their community or group.

As an active member of our school board’s Black Youth Advisory Council, I understand the importance of collaboration when it comes to policy making, and has allowed me to cultivate an open mind when it comes to all new ideas and perspectives.

I am also a member of my school’s Student Activity Council, and being a part of this team, has fostered a passion for learning, and promoting what the students in and out of my school want to see throughout their high school years, and its has established me with the skills to speak openly and honestly about the needs of the student body.

Overall I do not doubt that I can make a difference in our community and school boards, and make our student body proud.