Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
I am please to announce that Colleen Russell-Rawlins has been appointed Director of Education for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The appointment will take effect August 5, 2021.
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. Colleen brings with her a strong commitment to student learning, achievement and success and exceptional background in addressing anti-Black racism, oppression, and equity.
Ms. Russell-Rawlins is currently Permanent Interim Director of Education for the Peel District School Board.Over her 29-year career with the TDSB, Russell-Rawlins has held a variety of roles in education, including teacher, principal, superintendent, and Associate Director of Education.
While at the TDSB, she had a leading role in delivering several aspects of the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan with a focus on equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression. Her many accomplishments at the TDSB include ending various forms of streaming by improving early literacy and improving access to academic pathways and creating the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement.
In 2018, she served as the President of the Ontario Supervisory Officers' Association and most recently, was recognized as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Women in Canada in 2020.
Interim Director of Education Karen Falconer will remain Director of Education until Ms. Russell-Rawlins’ appointment takes effect.
The appointment of Ms. Russell-Rawlins brings to close an extensive, year long recruitment process that included stakeholder consultation on Director of Education job criteria, and desired experience and background that helped inform the candidate profile. Stakeholder involvement in creating the candidate profile include input from staff, trustees, union and federation leaders, as well as Chairs of Community Advisory Committees, Chairs of the Special Education Advisory Committee and Chairs of the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee.