Sheila Ward was born in Toronto and educated both in Toronto and Regina. She graduated from Saskatchewan Teachers’ College and completed two years toward (but did not finish) a B.Admin. degree at the University of Regina.
Sheila’s professional background includes 4 years as a secondary school teacher in Ancaster and Dundas, Ontario. In the not-for-profit sector, she has been Executive Director of the Regina and Kitchener-Waterloo YWCAs, and Director of Marketing and Communications for the YWCA of Canada. Her media background began when she was hired as a reporter with the Regina Leader Post, eventually becoming Assistant City Editor. Her freelance work included being an on-camera public affairs commentator for CBC TV and radio in Saskatchewan, and on the CBC national network for programs such as Marketplace. She was a panelist on a weekly CTV political television show in Regina and for several years filed stories as a stringer for the Toronto Star .
Sheila was Special Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Energy from 1976 to 1978, leaving to join Imperial Oil as an Employee Relations Communications Consultant. She established her own communications company in 1985.
Sheila was elected as a school trustee for the former Toronto Board of Education in 1991. She successfully introduced a motion that decreased the number of trustees in her own ward of Midtown, believing that being represented by 3 trustees with only 11 schools was a shameful waste of taxpayer money. The voters agreed and she finished third out of a field of seven candidates in the election of 1993 and thus lost her seat! She ran again when the Harris government amalgamated the six education boards in Toronto and was elected to the inaugural board of the TDSB in 1997. Re-elected in 2000, Sheila was acclaimed in 2003 and re-elected to 4-year terms in 2007, 2011 and 2014.
She has never been a candidate other than for the school board, believing very strongly that there is no other level of politics that has as profound an impact on the future of a nation as the quality of education it delivers to its citizens. “I am glad that others are willing to spend their time looking after potholes, sewers and snow ploughing. Those are essential and important tasks but for me education is where I want to serve my community and I am extremely fortunate that the voters of Toronto Centre Rosedale allow me to continue in a job I love.”
Sheila was a member of the board of the Toronto YWCA and designed its Women of Distinction program, now in its 32nd year. She is a member of the Ontario Parole Board. She has been a devoted genealogist for 20 years and is an avid baseball and football fan.