New supervisor for Windsor board

  • September 6, 2013

A new set of eyes is keeping watch on the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

Last month Janine Griffore took over as the provincial supervisor for the board which has been under supervision since August 2012.

“(The biggest challenge) over the next school year will be restoring the confidence in the board,” said Griffore. “It is all about developing those personal relationships so that people see that you are actually there to work with them because oftentimes when we talk about the role of a supervisor it is us against them.”

Griffore became the Ministry of Education’s assistant deputy minister for French language, aboriginal education and research last December. She takes over the supervisory role from veteran supervisor Norbert Hartmann. Hartmann was appointed supervisor of the board by former minister of education Laurel Broten last August after Windsor-Essex Catholic ran a deficit budget for the fifth time in six years. Over the last year he has established several policies and procedures to correct the board’s habit of overspending its budget. These include a board by-law requiring that a balanced budget be in place no later then June 30 of each year. As well, there is now a requirement that all motions to implement new programs, services or alter existing ones include an identified source of funding.

Additionally the board is now required to include a contingency of no less than 0.5 per cent in all of its budgets.

“In terms of financial stability I think the board has aligned itself well,” said Griffore. “All of these kinds of new structures and upgrades in their process, if you will, will help ensure the financial stability of the board going forward. Now we are entering into phase two and that is kind of putting those structures in place to help restore, if you will, some of the relationships and to try and build consensus on the decisions going forward to the board.”

Griffore’s work experience in the Windsor-Essex area is what gives her confidence that she is the right person to do that. While holding various positions with the French Catholic school board since 1998 — most recently director of eduction from 2004 until moving on to the Ministry of Education — Griffore became familiar with the needs and dynamics of the Windsor-Essex area.

Now she needs the area to become more familiar with her.

“It is important for people to get to know who I am and what my work style is,” she said. “In this next phase in terms of decision making I am basically reaching out to the trustees and very specifically the chair and the vice chair because if we are seeking to build consensus on decisions well then I need to be consulting with them and I need to hear the trustee voice. That will help us to move towards restoring full power back to the board very shortly.”

When that will be though, Griffore would not speculate.

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