Building a stronger education system for our children’s future.
I was born into a family of scholars, where I was quickly swept up in the long-standing love for learning. My grandfather was a university president, and my father was a professor and one of China’s first post-doctoral scholars. You could say it’s in my blood.
At the age of 10, I immigrated to Canada. I received both my elementary and secondary education in the Toronto District School Board and went on to complete a bachelor’s degree at the University of Western Ontario. I loved learning so much that after graduating, I then went out
to attain a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) certification, and a marketing-focused MBA degree from the Schulich School of Business.
Professionally, I have been fortunate to lead an exciting professional career working in various roles ranging from financial management in the aerospace industry, business development and portfolio management in private equity, and most recently leading business strategy in the telecommunications industry. This is all in addition to my work as a TDSB Trustee, which is legislated to be a part-time position.
When not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, being a part of this incredible community, traveling to other parts of the world, and watching live musical performances.
One place I’ve been able to use my passion for education is the Royal Canadian Air Cadets 166 Bulldog Squadron. It operated here in Don Valley North, from Woodbine Middle School in the Don Mills Peanut area. I was a Civilian Instructor serving as a Training Officer in charge of
cadets in their second year of studies. 166 Squadron has since moved to George S Henry Academy just south of our ward and continues to bring amazing value to the community.
In 2018, I was elected to become the TDSB Trustee here in Don Valley North. During the past four years, I used my knowledge base and diverse set of experiences to introduce a pragmatic and business-oriented perspective into its decision-making process.
As a Trustee, I was thrilled to help the TDSB introduce improvements in its STEM-focused education, financial management, and parent engagement, all while ensuring the safety of our students during the worst public health crisis in recent history. (See my Accomplishments section for more details)
In addition, I was able to help hundreds of parents and students navigate the system and lend a helping hand in coordinating effective resolutions to their concerns.
My work with the TDSB focused on being an advocate for you AND your child to represent the needs of all students across the Toronto District School Board.
I am incredibly passionate about education. I want to guarantee that our students receive a high-quality education that will provide the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to help them achieve their goals.
As a Trustee, I plan to advocate for a strong and balanced education system for our students. I will ensure that school resources are utilized to support student learning, achievement, and well-being.
We must continue to improve student achievements, build more robust foundational knowledge in core subjects (math, science, language), and close the learning gap created throughout the pandemic years.
We must continue to be good stewards of the TDSB and ensure that all of its resources and funding are spent effectively to educate our students. We must include parents as true partners in education and work as a team to create better futures for our kids.
And we must provide our students with the opportunity to pursue their passion and dreams by giving them access to high-quality subjects in arts, business, humanities, physical education, social sciences, and more. (see Priorities section for more details)
I want to continue as TDSB Trustee for Don Valley North so I can work tirelessly to ensure that the school board improves education for our children. I want to use my knowledge and experience to bring new ideas to the TDSB so that the school board continues to innovate and find better ways to help our students compete successfully in their future. I want to make sure that the voices of students and parents are heard and respected throughout the system.
I believe I continue to be the best candidate for TDSB Trustee in Don Valley North, and I ask to receive your support.
James Li, MBA CPA
Candidate for TDSB Trustee, Don Valley North (Ward13)