Father, Coach, Entrepreneur,
Journalist, Community Advocate

l live close to Mount Pleasant and Eglinton with my wife Natalya and our son Aristotelis (Aris) who is at John Fisher Public School (French immersion).

I’ve been working since I was 13 years old. First in the family sub shop and cleaning the Zerhs (Loblaws) bakery after school. Along the way I’ve done jobs from bilingual bill collector to English conversation partner.

I was born into Thorncliffe Park. School for me was a struggle (link to the story of my school experience which is below my CV). Public education gave me a chance to reach further.

I speak French, Russian and Greek. I capped my formal education with a maîtrise (master’s) from Université Laval.

Today I run a online startup company I co-founded called Expertise Finder. You can find me after school playing soccer at John Fisher, reading a physical copy of the paper in a local cafe or getting around on my bike.

Work

2012 - Present

Expertise Finder, Co-Founder

Based on a problem I had as a  journalist I co-founded Expertise Finder: Search Engine for Journalists to Find Experts

2009 - 2011

The Agenda with Steve Paikin, Producer, TVO

Produced feature interviews:
Prepared host Steve Paikin with interview questions, booked guests, managed studio team

Interviewees included:
Jane Goodall, Dalton McGuinty and Mike Harris

2004 - 2014

International Election Observer: Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan

With the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE):

  • Ukraine Presidential Election, Sumy, Ukraine, 2014
  • Ukraine Parliamentary Election, Chernihiv, Ukraine, 2006
  • Kazakhstan Presidential Election, Oskemen, Kazakhstan, 2005

With Other Organizations:

  • Long Term Observer, Ukraine Parliamentary Election, responsible for Poltava Oblast, Ukraine, 2012 (Canadian Mission)
  • Moldova Parliamentary Election, Chisinau, Moldova, 2005 (Helsinki Committee)
  • Ukraine Presidential Election, 2nd round re-vote, Donetsk, Ukraine, 2004 (Canadian Mission)
2001-2018

Canadian Election Official

City of Toronto:
– Managing Deputy Returning Officer, Toronto (2014)

Elections Ontario:
– Supervising Deputy Returning Officer, Toronto (2018 & 2014)

Election Canada:
– Registration Officer, Toronto (2015)
– Deputy Returning Officer, Hamilton (2007)
– Special Ballot Officer & Revising Agent, Ottawa (2004)
– Poll Clerk, Quebec City (2001)

CBC Television

Associate Producer, News Morning, June 2007 – Aug 2007
Intern, The National, May 2007 – June 2007

CBC Radio

Contributor, The Global Village 
– Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan (2006) 
– Chisinau, Moldova (2005)

Community

2017 - 2018

Co-Chair, John Fisher PS Construction Committee

  • de facto spokesperson for parent council group in fight over health and safety concerns of 35 story tower next to school
  • brought extensive media coverage
  • appeared regularly in media
Spring 2018

Parent Representative, TDSB Vice Principal Interviews

  • decided whether to recommend candidates for VP positions as member of interview committee (two principals, superintendent and one parent)
2014 - present

Volunteer, John Fisher Public School

  • school trips and events

Coaching

  • Nitros Parent Coach, North Toronto Soccer Club
  • House League Coach, North Toronto Soccer Club
  • Leaside Baseball, House League Coach
With my son at Nitros practice (North Toronto Soccer Club)

Langauges

  • English (native)
  • French (fluent)
  • Russian (conversational)
  • Greek (conversational)

Education

Université Laval

Maîtrise en science politique/Master’s in Political Science

University of Western Ontario

BA, Public Administration and Public Policy

Elementary and High School

  • Cassandra Public School
  • Norman Ingram Public School
  • Don Mills Middle School
  • North Park Collegiate and Vocational School (Brantford) 

My LinkedIn profile:

Taylor Roberts

“Stavros Rougas is a terrific, forward-looking candidate for TDSB Trustee in Ward 13.

It is time for a change and Rougas possesses the knowledge, enthusiasm and leadership skills to rejuvenate this important role. He is passionate about improving the representation of children and parents in decisions that are made by the TDSB.”

via Facebook

Maria-Cristina Cue

“A great opportunity for Ward 13 to have a positive force at TDSB. Stavros knows how to go from great ideas to get things done. He also knows how to go from not-so-good ideas to better ones.
 
We trust his real interest in improving education and well-being of children and schools across the district. Stavros, your decency and common sense will shine at TDSB!”
 
via Facebook
Thorncliffe Park was the first place I lived, it’s part of Don Valley West. We lived at 43 Thorncliffe Park Drive, one of the towers where generations of newcomers continue to start their new lives alongside Canadians in the community for many years.
 
I lived in Don Mills until I was 12. I attended Cassandra Public School, Norman Ingram Public School and Don Mills Middle School, before moving to Brantford for high school.
 
I have a BA from the University of Western Ontario and an MA in political science from Université Laval (yes I studied in French).
 
The Path
 
I didn’t like school, I wouldn’t call it hate, just neutral. I was a TDSB special education student in primary school. I struggled to read, I mixed up words/letters. I broke down at times in my special education classroom. I didn’t want to look stupid so I got good at avoiding words.
 
I remember one time being humiliated misspelling blu (left out the e) in front of the class while at Norman Ingram, grade 5 I think. It was the late 1980s, the teacher was old school and near retirement, likely trained in the 1940s. You knew who was a good and who was a bad student.
 
But I would dominate outside. I was always the fastest runner and good at all sports (master of none).
 
High School
 
In grade 9 I failed two of my eight classes. I credit the sports programs at North Park Collegiate in Brantford with keeping me from dropping further. I got a lot of my sports fix from school. Teams led by volunteer teachers. Looking back, I believe one bad/unlucky move and I could have ended up dropping out.
 
But I was given a fighting chance. Public education doesn’t give up on you.
The change started with a friend in grade 10. He helped me study for biology. I didn’t really understand the concept. He was the youngest of ten children, arriving in Canada when he was eight. His parents did not speak English and struggled financially. His brother, still living at home, joined a gang.
 
A couple running a local badminton club had taken him under their wing, he excelled. With me he was patient. Studying with me didn’t help his marks.
 
I passed biology – 56. I earned that 56.
 
Later I got a private English tutor and with encouragement (and hopeless grammar lessons) I decided to try to learn to read properly. I started with some classics like Charles Dickens. It was a disaster. Biographies by Don Cherry and Larry Robinson – now we were talking.
 
I decided I wanted to go to university. I had to climb myself out of general level classes to advanced level (old school system with OAC/grade 13). There’s a reason it was rarely done. I might have been the only student who had studied with everyone in my grade. The advanced classes were quieter, less drama, fewer social issues, but fewer funny, raw and exciting moments.
 
University
 
I didn’t get into my program of choice at the University of Western Ontario until they lower the cutoff a month later. I loved everything a university – the classes, the ideas, the life. It opened up a new world. One where my non academic ‘real world’ skills helped, I had been working continuously part-time since I was 13 (to be clear I didn’t contribute financially to the family, I did it for extra money).
 
As the years at university went by I became proportionally better, even if I never got top marks.
 
Today
 
I still mix up words/letters at times. I learned how to deal with those who discount the content no matter what if an “i” is not dotted or a “t” is not crossed. I had to become better to compensate, and over the years that belief that I always had to work harder has paid off.
 
I was a journalist. I have founded a startup. I’m a volunteer coach. I speak four languages. I played a central role in a piece of federal legislation being changed.
 

Insatiably curious. It’s why I learned to speak French, Russian and Greek. It’s why I got a master’s at Université Laval studying in French even though my parents didn’t attend university or speak French. I’m always learning.