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Board of Directors
Grants for Schools
Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation
Zeba Ahmad, is an alumni of Evan Hardy Collegiate (’83) and the University of Saskatchewan (’89). She began her professional career as a pharmacist and practiced for over 20 years. Most recently she worked as a Business Development Executive at EY Saskatoon for seven years. She now shares her time between the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation as the executive director and as a consultant for NexGen Energy. Zeba is a tireless volunteer in our community, and she brings enthusiasm to all her leadership roles. She served as past board chair of the Royal University Hospital Foundation and the Saskatoon Community Foundation. She is also a former inaugural chair of Gold Medal Plates Saskatoon, a former board member of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, and most recently, a volunteer for the Thundering Ahead Campaign for Wanuskewin Heritage Park and board chair for the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation. For her community involvement Zeba has received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in 2007 from the Governor General and was named a Top 100 Alumni of Influence, College of Pharmacy Nutrition in 2014. She was also the recipient of the Leadership Saskatoon Community Leadership Award in 2016. Zeba is passionate about Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Canada. Her parents instilled in her the importance of community. She believes all of us have a responsibility to contribute to the wellness of our community; professionally and socially. Zeba is most proud of her two children, Faraaz Akhtar and Sakeena Akhtar. Both are alumni of Evan Hardy Collegiate and the University of Saskatchewan.
DonnaLyn is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and worked in the Agriculture field for 10 years before finding her true passion in the not for profit sector. She has held leadership roles with the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, Square One and the Humboldt & District Chamber of Commerce and received her Certified Association Executive Designation (CAE) in 2019. She is also a certified soccer coach, assisting with the Lakewood Soccer Association girls’ teams. DonnaLyn has sat on various boards and committees, including the Saskatchewan Chamber Youth Education and Training committee, the Saskatchewan Financial Literacy Network, DTN YXE, Saskatoon Aboriginal Employment Partnership (SAEP), Saskatoon University Constituency Association, Humboldt Regional Newcomer Centre, Humboldt Co-operative Preschool, and the Humboldt Doctor Recruitment & Retention Committee. DonnaLyn and her partner Eric Olauson have 4 children: their son Connor is working towards his commercial pilot’s license and their three daughters are in grades 7, 9 and 10 and are all avid soccer players. DonnaLyn loves her community and province and is passionate about our youth being given the opportunity to learn and grow to become our future leaders.
George Rathwell is from Regina and area. He attended both of the province’s universities where he earned three degrees. George had a successful 34-year career as a teacher and administrator at a number of schools in Saskatoon prior to becoming a senior administrator with Saskatoon Public Schools. During his time in and out of the classroom, George helped lead major educational initiatives including advocacy for First Nations and Métis education and responding to the rapidly emerging multicultural education needs in Saskatoon Public Schools. He has been and is a member of a number of community boards, including SaskSport, Wanuskewin, the Trades and Skills Centre, READ Saskatoon, and the Children’s Discovery Museum. George is married to Shammi and they have two daughters, Nikita and Mika. Shammi’s family immigrated to Saskatchewan 50 years ago, so the experience of New Canadians is very important to the Rathwell family.
Avon Whittles, B.Ed., M.Ed. served as the Director of Education/CEO for Saskatoon Public Schools. As a teacher, consultant, principal, superintendent, deputy director and director she maintained a focus on student and staff engagement, improving learning outcomes, and developing exciting educational opportunities for young people. She was an enthusiastic champion of the Saskatoon Board of Education’s priorities Literacy for Life and Collegiate Renewal and worked at the provincial level to develop a new education sector strategic plan for Saskatchewan. Avon has served on and has presented for a number of local, provincial and national organizations and is inspired daily by the gifts that young people and their families bring to learning and to those around them. She has been an advocate for literacy development her entire career and knows how gaining these important skills can be life changing for individuals and for capacity building in our community.