What's New

New Executive Assistant Appointed

OPSOA and PCODE are pleased to announce the appointment of Joey Martino as our new Executive Assistant. Joey brings a wealth of experience to her new role gained through the various positions she has held within the Toronto District School Board.

Joey may be reached at Joey.Martino@opsoa.org and 416.479.5443.

Public Council of Ontario Directors of Education (PCODE) Announces the Appointment of a New Executive Director

The Public Council of Ontario Directors of Education (PCODE) has completed its selection process for a new Executive Director. Larry Hope, Vice-Chair, PCODE is pleased to announce that Jim Costello has been selected as the next PCODE Executive Director.

Jim brings many years of senior administrative experience to the role. He currently serves as the Director of Education for the Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB). He has been Director for eight years and prior to that served as a Supervisory Officer with Special Education and Human Resources portfolios. Most recently Jim has provided leadership at the provincial level as Chair of PCODE and Chair of CODE. Jim expressed his sincere interest in continuing to provide a strong, clear voice for public education in Ontario.

Jim plans to continue as Director in LKDSB until July 2019. Wayne Joudrie has agreed to continue to serve as PCODE Executive Director in the interim period.

Colleen Russell-Rawlins Assumes Role of OPSOA President for 2018-2019

Members of the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA) have elected Colleen Russell-Rawlins, Associate Director, Equity, Well-Being and School Improvement, Toronto District School Board, as their 2018-2019 president.Ms. Russell-Rawlins will assume her role as president on September 1, 2018.

“It is an enormous privilege to have been elected as the President of the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association,” says Colleen Russell-Rawlins, Associate Director in the Toronto District School Board. “I am extremely proud to represent OPSOA members who strengthen public education by continually improving outcomes for all students, especially those who have been underserved.”

An advocate for educational equity, Ms. Russell-Rawlins has been with the Toronto District School Board in increasingly senior roles for over 20 years. In her previous role as Executive Superintendent of Early Years, she has led teams that delivered on complex Board and Ministry of Education priorities and has co-designed and successfully implemented school-based improvement processes, which have led to sustained improvement in achievement.

OPSOA is the professional organization representing over 300 Superintendents and Directors of Education from the thirty-one English language Public District School Boards of Ontario.OPSOA advocates for public education as a fundamental right of all students in Ontario.

OPSOA President's Leadership Award

In recognition of the District School Board for the support of their staff serving in the role of President of the Association, an annual OPSOA President's Leadership Award is granted to a student/students from a school of the President’s Board.Recipients are recognized for their outstanding leadership, outstanding contribution to school and/or community and other criteria as determined locally.

Recipient: Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute, Toronto District School Board

Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI is a vibrant secondary school serving over 900 secondary students in the south-east corner of the Toronto DSB. Laurier hosts many student-initiated and student-led leadership activities focused on improving well-being, equity and providing service beyond the school. Both staff and students are proud that their student leaders represent the diverse student body. Here is a snapshot of some of their activities this year:

    • Laurier United has a focus promoting equity in the school and purposefully engages the voices and leadership skills of those students who may have been previously excluded from leadership opportunities.
  • Their students actively volunteer beyond their local school. Laurier students offer a community outreach program focused on seniors as well as a peer assistants program where secondary students provide subject-based tutoring in local elementary schools.
  • Lastly, Mind Over Matter is a program which offers a variety of activities throughout the year designed to raise awareness about strategies to support positive mental health and well-being.

This array of leadership programs benefits both the student leaders engaged in each of these co-curricular programs and the border Sir Wilfrid Laurier community.

OPSOA Distinguished Leadership Award

The OPSOA Distinguished Leadership Award is presented annually to a Member who has demonstrated outstanding ability and leadership in public education at both the provincial and local school system levels. The candidate is a leader in a number of OPSOA initiatives and is valued by colleague Members and by the education community for that leadership.

Recipient: Lila Read, Coordinating Superintendent, Waterloo Region District School Board

Lila, an OPSOA member for eight years, is an outstanding leader both within the Waterloo Region District School Board in her role as Coordinating Superintendent and within community at large. Lila has shared her leadership expertise and experiences with many. As a mentor, she has nurtured the leadership capacity of future Supervisory Officers in the OPSOA/OPC SOQP program as well as newly-appointed Superintendents within the OPSOA mentoring program. She has been approached by Ministry staff to develop a series of podcasts to share the WRDSB leadership story with a focus on their journey, vision, and adoption of productive working relationships as a foundation for system improvement. Lila was also scheduled to present a workshop at the 2019 International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement. Lila has worked to develop a partnership with Google Waterloo regarding innovative digital practices that is benefiting not only to students in our system but also opportunities for students beyond our system. Embracing the belief that Global Competencies are essential for all students, Lila has fostered a number of projects through this partnership. With oversight for the implementation and monitoring of the Waterloo Region District School Board's strategic plan Lila has assumed a collaborative approach working with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure that feedback on implementation of the strategic plan has come from students, staff and a number of community groups. Lila facilitated these conversations herself and made a commitment to all to engage in subsequent conversations with each group to provide an update on work that has been done as a result of their feedback. Lila has also worked to bridge the gap between the public and private sector introducing the HERO Generation in Waterloo Region District School communities, a positive education framework that supports both staff and student well-being. Built upon Plasticity Lab's socio-emotional of HERO Traits (Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, Optimism), HERO Generation provides educators with tools to build a positive school culture where students can flourish. Lila ensured that the impact of the HERO Generation was evaluated working with researchers from Plasticity Labs and Sir Wilfrid Laurier University. Lila also serves as a member of the Smart Waterloo Region Advisory Committee. As an active member of the Advisory Committee, Lila is representing the Waterloo Region District School Board and advocating for supports for both students and staff. As well, Lila is a member of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier University Senate, a leader in Rotary fundraising endeavours and long-standing board member with the local chapter of Nutrition for Learning. To the Supervisory Officers who brought forward Lila's name – thank you for recognizing her as a Distinguished Leader.