Board ap­points new di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion

Chris Roehrig re­places Dr. Vince Mac­Don­ald in top job in April 2019

The Beacon Herald - - NEWS - GALEN SIM­MONS STAFF RE­PORTER

After six years as di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion for the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board, Dr. Vince Mac­Don­ald has an­nounced he will be step­ping down from the role in April.

“It’s just a sea­son-of-life kind of thing,” Mac­Don­ald told the Bea­con over the phone Wed­nes­day. “I love my work and I spent 31 years in ed­u­ca­tion and I ab­so­lutely love this role, but it’s ... time to move on to other jour­neys.”

In prepa­ra­tion for Mac­Don­ald’s de­par­ture, re­cently elected board of trustees chair Amy Cronin an­nounced the ap­point­ment of Chris Roehrig as di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion and sec­re­tary to the board at Mon­day’s in­au­gu­ral board of trustees meet­ing.

“I would say Chris brings with him ex­ten­sive lead­er­ship abil­i­ties and ex­pe­ri­ence,” Cronin said. “... He un­der­stands Huron-Perth be­cause he spent a lot of his ca­reer in Huron-Perth as a vice-prin­ci­pal, a prin­ci­pal, and he re­ally spoke to what Huron Perth stands for through the in­ter­view process.

“He talked about a fo­cus on stu­dent achieve­ment and well­be­ing, and faith for­ma­tion routed in gospel val­ues.”

For the past six years, Roehrig has served as di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion with the Brant Haldimand Nor­folk Catholic District School Board. Prior to that, he also served as su­per­in­ten­dent of ed­u­ca­tion re­spon­si­ble for sec­ondary school su­per­vi­sion, cur­ricu­lum, and hu­man re­sources.

In Huron-Perth, Roehrig was vice prin­ci­pal at St. Anne’s Catholic Sec­ondary School in Clin­ton, and Prin­ci­pal at both St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Goderich.

“I’ve been with my cur­rent board for -- this is my sev­enth year. That’s a long time as di­rec­tor, so I was ex­cited to search for a new chal­lenge, and I’ve al­ways kind of had one eye on Huron-Perth. My daugh­ter was born there, we still hol­i­day there, we have friends in Huron County, so I’ve al­ways kind of had my eye on the place, hop­ing I could find my way back,” Roehrig said.

Hav­ing been ap­pointed di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion at the same time as Mac­Don­ald, Roehrig said that he and the out­go­ing Huron-Perth di­rec­tor have be­come close col­leagues and even friends over the past six years. As he also knows many of the trustees and se­nior staff, Roehrig said he is ex­cited to work for a board with such a stel­lar track record in the prov­ince.

“It’s a high-achiev­ing and fan­tas­tic school district, and it’s had strong lead­er­ship,” Roehrig said. “... It’s ex­cit­ing to join a team like that, where you know you’ve got re­ally good peo­ple that com­prise the se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion and the trustees.

“... Again, they’re a stu­dent-fo­cused group and a kind and com­pas­sion­ate group, and a hard­work­ing group.”

As for Mac­Don­ald’s de­par­ture, Cronin said she and the board will miss the out­go­ing di­rec­tor’s com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing for the needs of staff, stu­dents, and par­ents through­out the school board.

“He’s a col­lab­o­ra­tor. He’s a leader. He has a fo­cus on the vi­sion and the strate­gic plan that the trustees have set out for him, and we’re def­i­nitely go­ing to miss him,” Cronin said.

Dur­ing his ten­ure as di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion, Mac­Don­ald over­saw the im­ple­men­ta­tion of teacher train­ing for new tech­nolo­gies; the pro­mo­tion of ed­u­ca­tion sur­round­ing so­cial jus­tice causes en­dorsed by the school board; the devel­op­ment of a men­tal-health sup­port strate­gies for stu­dents and staff; and the ap­pli­ca­tion of 21st-cen­tury learn­ing through real-world prob­lem solv­ing and ex­pe­ri­en­tial ed­u­ca­tion, among other ini­tia­tives.

“I just ab­so­lutely love this role and I feel priv­i­leged to have had a chance to play a role in the devel­op­ment of chil­dren and youth,” Mac­Don­ald said.

Though he’s not ex­actly sure what life has in store for him next, Mac­Don­ald will spend the next sev­eral months pre­par­ing Roehrig for his new role, which he will of­fi­cially step into on April 18, 2019.

Also at the board of trustees’ in­au­gu­ral meet­ing Mon­day night, Cronin her­self was elected to a sec­ond term as chair. Elected to serve along­side Cronin as vicechair was Jim McDade, a re­tired teacher, prin­ci­pal, and co-or­di­na­tor with the school board.

McDade has served on the board of trustees rep­re­sent­ing the ar­eas of Ash­field-Col­borne-Wawanosh, North Huron, How­ick, Cen­tral Huron, Mor­ris-Turnberry and Goderich since 2007, while Cronin has served on the board since 2011 as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Huron East, Perth East, and North Perth. gsim­[email protected]­media.com

Mac­Don­ald

Roehrig

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