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Toronto District School Board

TDSB Director Colleen Russell-Rawlins to Retire

Categories: News News Releases

Director of Education Colleen Russell-Rawlins will be retiring from the Toronto District School Board. During a Special Board meeting today, Trustees were notified of her retirement, which will take effect in November 2024. 

Colleen Russell-Rawlins is an accomplished educator with a career that spans more than three decades and includes senior leadership positions with the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Peel District School Board, and Toronto District School Board (TDSB) - two of Canada’s largest school boards. During her tenure at the TDSB, she oversaw the expansion of access to French Immersion, improved access to child care, early years, literacy supports, implemented the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement, launched the modernization plan for the board’s People and Culture Department and narrowed disproportionate outcomes for many underserved students. She recently led the team in creating the TDSB’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan which centers student belonging, achievement, and revitalizing schools, workplaces and processes so every student can thrive. 

The Board will soon begin a formal search process for a new Director of Education. Additional information will be shared once that process has been approved by the Board

“Colleen accepted the role of TDSB’s Director of Education when COVID-19 was still a very real element of our daily lives and helped lead the school board through the very challenging time following the height of the pandemic. Among other things, she has supported early years, professional learning in math and literacy, leadership development, the growth of the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement and a modernization initiative that will create transformative change in a number of different areas of our organization. Most recently, Colleen’s leadership was instrumental in the formation of our recently released Multi-Year Strategic Plan. From her earliest days as an elementary teacher, to her achievements at the highest level of the largest school board in Canada, Colleen has made tremendous positive change for students, staff, families and communities across our city and beyond. I am truly thankful for her steady, caring and principled leadership – not just as Director of Education, but as a leader in our system for so many years.”

- Rachel Chernos Lin, Chair, TDSB

“It has truly been a privilege of a lifetime to serve our vibrant and dynamic communities and to witness the remarkable brilliance, achievements and impact of students, staff and educators. I am filled with gratitude for the support, collaboration and dedication that I have benefitted from and witnessed daily through each season of my career - as a teacher up to and including the Director of Education. My commitment to service remains unwavering. I look forward to continuing to contribute, through new avenues, to a better world which includes all of us.”

- Colleen Russell-Rawlins, Director of Education, TDSB