York Region District School Board is mourning the loss of one of its student trustees.
The board announced June 13 that Munira Chakera of Stouffville passed away as a result of a collision. Members of the school community are expressing their condolences and sorrow.
“Munira’s leadership and positive presence was felt by many at her school at Stouffville District Secondary School, and throughout the region and the grief and sense of loss will affect many,” board chair Allan Tam and director of education Louse Sirisko said in the statement.
The exact circumstances of her death have not yet been confirmed publicly. YRDSB said it would be providing support to students impacted in the coming days, with the board’s traumatic events support team deployed to Munira’s school and other locations.
“Any family who feels their child may need support; please speak to your school so that we may coordinate appropriate resources and support,” the board message said.
Fellow student trustee Bruce Yu said he was incredibly devastated by the loss.
“Munira was the most passionate student leader I have ever met,” he said on social media. “She was a relentless advocate for student's voice, and excelled academically, winning countless awards and scholarships within her school and community.”
Parents and teachers also expressed their condolences.
“A bright light was extinguished when YRDSB Student Trustee Munira passed away,” Newmarket parent and education advocate Shameela Shakeel said. “I extend my deepest condolences to her family and friends. My 16-year-old is trying to process it all and just said, 'I’m learning that we can’t take anything or anyone for granted.' So true.”
Minister of Education Stephen Lecce also offered his condolences.
"So very sad to hear of the passing of Munira. A brilliant, positive, and strong student leader who will be tremendously missed," Lecce said on Twitter.
York Regional Police reported a collision that killed two women in Stouffville June 11. A transport truck with a trailer collided with a Toyota Corolla at 8:45 a.m. at the intersection of Warden Avenue and Stouffville Road.
A GoFundMe appeal, which said the victims were a mother and daughter, was raising money for surviving family, but did not name the victims. The GoFundMe reached its $3,000 goal June 13. Authorities have not yet confirmed if the Chakera family were the victims of this accident.
The board said flags would be flown at half-mast until the day of the service. The board said it would respect the family’s wishes for privacy, with additional information shared following family wishes.
The board said if you or someone you know is directly affected, you can contact Victim Services of York Region at 905-953-5363 or 1-866-876-5423. You may also reach out to 310-COPE at 1-888-695-0070.
Yu said that Chakera was the most dedicated colleague he could ask for.
“Fly high, Munira,” Yu said. “You will be missed.”