Colleen Russell-Rawlins, a grandmaster educator that spent 29 years at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) before becoming interim director of education at Peel public board last year will return as the Director of TDSB on August 5.
Russell-Rawlins is a former student of the Toronto board as she attended Alexmuir public school and Albert Campbell Collegiate.
While reacting to her appointment, she said: “In my role at the Peel District School Board, I have been focused on eradicating systemic racism and oppression, and I will continue to do so at the TDSB.
“Throughout my career, equity was my foundation for improving student engagement, well-being, and achievement. I welcome the opportunity to continue to work with trustees, students, families, and dedicated staff to ignite learning and innovation and focus on the success of students who are currently underserved.
“On a personal note, it’s a unique and a humbling experience to return as director of education for the schools where I was once a student.”
Her appointment was recently approved by the trustees.
She was known at the TDSB for her work in early literacy, commencing the groundbreaking Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement and anti-racism.
While talking to the Star, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said: “We welcome the leadership of Ms. Russell-Rawlins as she continues her work to build inclusive, academically enriching and safe learning experiences for students,”
The Chairman of the Board, Alexander Brown said: “we are excited that Colleen will return to her roots at the TDSB and begin the enormous task of leading Canada’s largest school system out of the pandemic with renewed optimism.”
Interim Director Karen Falconer, who will direct the activities of TDSB till August 5 tweeted: “Much respect: leader of leaders. You will again rock @tdsb …once our student and now, in your own words you will lead an ‘education system where students’ identities are respected, their potential is promoted&they learn to thrive in an increasingly complex world.’ #SuperProud”