Montreal, October 26, 2023 – English Montreal School Board chair Joe Ortona has been elected as the new president of the Quebec English School Boards Association. Paolo Galati, chair of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board, has been elected as vice-president.
“I am very excited for this new challenge and grateful for the confidence our member boards have placed in me,” Mr. Ortona said. “I also feel quite honored to become the first EMSB chair in our 25 year history to serve in this prestigious position.”
QESBA Executive Director Russell Copeman noted that Mr. Ortona has been an active member for the organization’s board of directors and a leading voice for anglophone rights in the province. “At this juncture when English school boards are under tremendous pressure from the Québec government, Joe Ortona is the right person for this job,” he remarked.
Mr. Ortona also thanked outgoing president and vice-president Dan Lamoureux and Judy Kelley for their service to the QESBA. “Dan and Judy have provided the QESBA with thoughtful and steady leadership for the past several years and we thank them for their contribution and devotion to English public education in Québec”. Both Mr. Lamoureux and Ms. Kelley remain chairs of their respective school boards.
Joe Ortona is a graduate of the EMSB’s Vincent Massey Collegiate. Subsequently he enrolled in a three-year police technology program at John Abbott College, graduating in 2002. Instead of proceeding on to the police academy, he turned his attention to criminology, which he studied for several years at the Université de Montréal, before deciding on the career change that would steer him into his current profession: law. He was first elected as an EMSB commissioner in 2014 for Rivière-des-Prairies, becoming vice-chair in 2018 and chair in the fall 2020 elections.
Mr. Galati was first elected chair of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board in 2018, four years after becoming a commissioner. He was reelected as chair in 2021. For the past 30 years he has worked as a music manager and record producer for the label Whammo Music at Galati Entertainment Group. He studied economics and marketing at Concordia University.
QESBA is the voice of English public education in Québec and represents 100,000 students in over 300 elementary, high schools, and adult and vocational centres across Québec.