Executive Leadership Profile

An educator by profession since 1994, I have served as a teacher in the Western Quebec School Board (1994 - 1998) and as teacher, vice-principal, principal, and supervisory officer in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (1998 - 2017). Prior to becoming Director of Education for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board in the Summer of 2023, I served as Director of Education at the Renfrew County District School Board (2017 - 2023).

As Chief Education/Executive Officer of the District, as well as Secretary to the Board, I am accountable to the Board of Trustees, and through Statute, to the Minister of Education for the operation of the District. My key areas of responsibility include: provision of educational leadership; maintenance of a strategic focus and management of policy implementation; enhancement of communications and community relations; management of human resources and professional development; demonstration of fiscal accountability; and, demonstration of a strong relationship with provincial officials and advocacy for the District’s needs.

Two essential functions lie at the heart of leadership… providing direction to the system through an inspirational vision, and, influencing stakeholders both internal and external to the organization. Leadership is defined as “the exercise of influence on organizational members and other stakeholders toward the identification and achievement of the organization’s vision and goals.” Management, as an integral aspect of leadership, is focused on processes and/or products that provide direction and keep the system running smoothly (Ontario Leadership Framework, The Institute for Education Leadership, 2013).

A positive work culture is built through collaboration, where staff at all levels of the system work together, share knowledge, skills, different worldviews, and lived experiences to improve achievement and well-being. My approach to leadership in public education focuses on three key elements – instructional leadership, operational management, and organizational citizenship – in the best interests of the students, staff, and school communities I so proudly serve.

Instructional leadership provides an intentional focus on the ‘instructional core’ of teaching and learning environments – the dynamic interplay between students, educators and tasks associated with the ‘big ideas’ of the curriculum. This includes:

  • integration of student-centred frameworks for learning and wellness, as well as benchmark assessment systems and networks of guidance for program pathway selection, along with accompanying professional development for educators,
  • continuation of a human rights-based approach to capacity building for all staff as it relates to inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility, as well as Indigenization and decolonization, along with training related to bias awareness and critical consciousness in the organizational culture, and,
  • coordination of a comprehensive employee systems review, with emphasis on an asset-based approach to human resources and continuous refinement of recruitment, retention and succession planning strategies that continue to diversify staff over time.

Operational management involves the effective and efficient operation of the organization, through policies and associated procedures, including oversight of schools and central departments which includes the:

  • implementation of a renewed multi-year strategic plan based upon identified strategic priorities, including key actions and progress indicators, as well as departmental action plans provided annually,
  • provision of comprehensive annual budgetary processes, including the optimization of resources (human/material/fiscal) through differentiated allocation, along with the utilization of accumulated surplus for one-time projects, and,
  • mobilization of a risk management framework to address the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, including the creation of a cybersecurity incident response plan.

Organizational citizenship refers to the behaviour of staff that is discretionary in nature, not explicitly directed or mandated, that promotes the successful function of the organization. This includes:

  • rejuvenation of an explicitly coordinated approach to organizational culture that celebrates the strengths of its students, staff, and school communities, including the continuation of strategic communications that are multi-modal and multi-lingual, pertinent and timely,
  • enhancement of consultative processes through community partners, including the Advisory Committee on Equity and Community Equity Partners Group, as well Advisory Committees for Indigenous Education and Special Education, along with Parent/Guardian Involvement, for example, and,
  • publication of a ‘thought leadership’ series issued regularly, and representation on committees at the regional, provincial, national, and international levels as Director of Education.

The smart, successful leadership and sound, sensible management of the organization – as a large, complex institution of public education – relies on the operationalization of these key elements in a clear and insightful, creative and innovative manner.

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