Follow Brent Hutzal on Twitter @BrentHutzal
Brent and his family reside in the Bridgeport area of Kitchener. Brent and his wife, Carolyn, to whom he has been married for 12 years, have two awesome daughters - 8-year old Kate (who attends grade 3 at Bridgeport Public School) and 3-year old Claire (who attends Emmanuel at Brighton Childcare Centre and will be part of the entering JK class at Bridgeport in September 2019). Brent and Carolyn are expecting their third daughter in December.
Brent is one of four children in his family and was born and raised in Georgetown, Ontario (65km east of Kitchener), where his parents still reside (although Brent has been pressuring them for many years to move to Waterloo Region). Brent graduated from Georgetown District High School and then attended the University of Western Ontario where he earned two undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics.
Brent married his best friend, Carolyn, 12 years ago. They were engaged while both graduate students at the University of Western Ontario – Brent was pursuing his MBA, while Carolyn was in medical school. Carolyn’s medical residency program took them to Calgary, where Carolyn completed her pediatric residency program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Brent worked at WestJet (in the finance department and then as Manager of Web Business), and where Kate was born.
Brent was a corporate middle manager workaholic, working 80-100 hours per week with no overtime pay and no banked time available. Brent's life changed forever with the arrival of his first amazing daughter, Kate. Carolyn took her maternity leave and started parental leave and Brent continued to work those extensive hours. Brent was not aware that his priorities were quietly changing over these months. To make a long story short, Brent took parental leave to create some balance in their household and so that Carolyn could get back into the swing of things in her career, especially since she would be writing her medical licensing exams later in the year.
These next few months were clearly the most life-changing and memorable for Brent. Brent was a career manager, MBA graduate, and designated accountant, but all of a sudden he was loving his life as a stay-at-home Dad, where he and Kate had created such a strong bond. Brent could not see himself only spending time with Kate on weekends after his parental leave was complete. Ultimately, Brent parted ways with his employer and he started his own consulting/accounting/bookkeeping business that he was able to transfer to Ontario when Carolyn accepted a new position as a pediatrician in Kitchener.
Brent has since realized a new passion – teaching! Brent started down this path as an instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University and has now been a member of the School of Business at Conestoga College for three years, where he now serves as professor. Brent is honoured to have the opportunity to educate post-secondary students (including graduates of WRDSB) and he enjoys seeing their eyes light up and that “Aha” moment when they understand a vital life skill or component of the course. This role as professor at the college further connects Brent to the world of education and how students can be better prepared for life after WRDSB.
Brent believes in being a contributing member of the community. Brent has volunteered in each of the communities in which he has resided: Brent has been co-chair of the Parent Involvement Committee with the Waterloo Region District School Board, Brent is a member of the Board of Directors at Emmanuel at Brighton Childcare Centre, Brent mentors entrepreneurs with Futurpreneur in Waterloo Region, Brent teaches Sunday School to kids in JK-grade 2, Brent was a member of the Board of Directors for Autism Calgary, Brent fulfilled the role of Executive Director of Ivey Connects, Brent founded the Youth for You volunteer organization that inspired high school students to accomplish community service projects, and Brent has been a coach for the Special Olympics bowling and soccer programs.
Brent has worked with numerous children with special needs (visual, hearing, autism, and others), has served on the board of directors for Autism Calgary and has assisted Special Olympic athletes in soccer and bowling programs. Brent has worn hearing aids since Grade 6 and he knows what it is like to be “different”, to be bullied in those challenging middle school and high school years, and the importance of having strong friendships and a supportive network.
Brent's wife is a local pediatrician and is able to advise Brent on the more complex children's health issues in our region, as she has first-hand experience on a day-in, day-out basis. Brent would strive to connect pediatricians in our region with the school board, in order to better understand and leverage this first-hand knowledge.
Brent wants to be a voice for your children who have learning challenges and he believe that the school board can be doing more to support your children who are getting “lost” in the system as they progress in school.
Between his family, his teaching responsibilities, and other commitments, Brent has a little time for fun. Brent enjoys running and has completed two full marathons and numerous half marathons, including the past four Waterloo Half Marathons. Brent also loves all things Blue Jays and baseball - as proof, “back in the day” he worked as an usher for the Blue Jays for two seasons where he was paid slightly more than minimum wage to watch baseball and help fans finds their seats. As further proof, he named the family dog, Colby, after a former player of the Blue Jays.
Brent’s Mom has her ECE and taught for 40 years at Little Cherub Nursery School in Georgetown.
Brent’s Dad was raised near Sudbury and he worked on the family farm and in the mines after his father passed away. As a young adult, he went back to school for accounting and worked in finance for the Town of Halton Hills for decades.
Brent has three siblings, four brothers-in-law, three sisters-in-law, nine nephews, and four nieces, who are scattered all over Ontario and Michigan.
Brent’s in-laws are retired and reside in Orillia (when the local weather is warm) and Florida (when the local weather is cold).
Brent’s grandfather was a season’s ticket holder of the Guelph Platers (the old OHL team in Guelph before they moved to Owen Sound and Guelph secured a new team). Besides his family, the Platers were his pride and joy – he would actually boo the Kitchener Rangers. Despite this booing of the Rangers, Brent still loved him.
Brent’s grandmother worked at Conestoga College in the cafeteria in the 1960’s and 1970’s. She would be thrilled to see that Brent is now a professor at Conestoga College.