Bruce Rodrigues

TCDSB director of education to take over education quality office

  • June 7, 2013

TORONTO - Before ushering in the new school year the Toronto Catholic District School Board will bid farewell to Bruce Rodrigues.

On Aug. 1 Toronto Catholic’s current director of education will officially take on his new position as CEO of the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), it was announced May 31.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Rodrigues. “We certainly have moved forward in terms of the work we have down here with .... the organization trying to achieve the Multi-Year Strategic Plan. I would have liked to have seen how it all unfolded but at the same time going to take on the challenges of the EQAO office is certainly a welcomed opportunity.”

In 2012 Rodrigues helped establish the board’s first Multi- Year Strategic Plan with the intention of overseeing its execution until 2015. Taking on his new role at EQAO, however, means ending his contract early and thus leaving his vision in the hands of a successor.

EQAO is an academic assessment agency which monitors the achievement of Ontario’s students compared to other provinces and countries.

“We are delighted to welcome Bruce to EQAO and entrust to him the leadership of this world-class agency,” said Brian Desbiens, chair of EQAO’s board of directors. “Bruce’s remarkable experience in senior education portfolios, his dynamic and collaborative leadership style and his absolute dedication to helping students achieve will be tremendous assets as the agency renews itself for a vibrant future serving the citizens and students of Ontario.”

Prior to his taking on the education director’s role at the TCDSB, Rodrigues spent 25 years in Waterloo serving as associate director of education, superintendent of schools as well as a teacher and department head for the local Catholic board.

Before ending his two-year stint as director of education, Rodrigues said he will help to continue to guide the board through its budget as well as support his successor.

“From our end it is really business as usual in terms of moving the agenda forward,” he said. “It’s important to keep on track. Whoever comes in I’ll try to support them in ensuring a smooth transition so that they can pick up the ball and continue the good work that has already been going on.”

Rodrigues said his successor should embody three key characteristics: faith, hope and charity.

“I think that really encapsulates what the new director ought to bring to the role; that sense of having a deep faith grounded in great hope and work with the heart of charity.”

According to Rodrigues his distributive leadership model, which allocated greater responsibility to senior staff and trustees, should accommodate a smooth transition.

Ann Andrachuk, TCDSB chair, said she hopes to find someone similar to Rodrigues who will continue to foster a team-based work environment.

“Working together as a team works better than working with an iron fist,” she said. “We are hoping that there will be a smooth transition and that the individual coming in will have already pre-informed themselves on the operations of the board and the direction that the trustees have set the board into.”

While Andrachuk is confident the board will find a suitable replacement, she did admit that a lot of work needs to be done before classes resume in September.

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