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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning

​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.

Kay EsinKay Esin text.jpg

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.

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

I am Allison Kerr... and this is my story.  Click here.jpg

Allison Kerr
Allison Kerr text.jpg

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.

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

I am Allison Kerr... and this is my story.  Click here.jpg

Tanya Hawthorne
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.

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

I am Joseph Stellpflug... and this is my story.  Click here.jpg
View Video
Tanya Hawthorne
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.

"...If you see something thats not right, you do something."

I am Tanya Hawthorne... and this is my story.  Click here.jpg

Alphonso Garcia
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.

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

I am Alfonso Garcia... and this is my story.  Click here.jpg

View Video


Durham District School Board
400 Taunton Road East,
Whitby, ON
L1R 2K6 Canada

Phone: 905-666-5500
Fax: 905-666-6474
Toll Free: 1-800-265-3968
TTY 905-666-6943, 877-868-5575
© Durham District School Board, 2013