On Thursday, Dec. 17, TDSB Chair Alexander Brown announced the appointment of Karen Falconer as TDSB’s Interim Director of Education. Karen will step into the role following the retirement of Dr. Kathy Witherow at the end of December 2020.
Before this appointment, Karen served as an Interim Associate Director, Executive Superintendent, Principal and Teacher at the TDSB, as well as a French-language teacher in Montreal and Scarborough, with over four decades of experience. Through her role as an educator and a leader in public education, she has focused her efforts on serving the students and families of underserved and marginalized communities, in keeping with her commitment to ensure that all students across the system experience high levels of success and well-being.
Chair Brown also provided an update on the permanent Director of Education search process – one of the most significant and exciting endeavors for the Board and for all of our TDSB system and community partners. The Chair said that conducting the search during the pandemic has posed more challenges than first anticipated and that now that we are entering the holiday period, the recruitment process will pause until February 2021.
In February 2021 the search process will resume and will be extended. Chair Brown expects a recommendation on a permanent Director will go before the Board of Trustees in May 2021 with an announcement to follow. Chair Brown said the recruitment of a permanent Director is one of the most important decisions for the Board and will have a significant impact on students, staff and families in the years to come. Taking additional time to make this important decision is in the best interest of our school system.
“Karen has proven herself as an effective leader in public education and has stepped up to the many challenges we continue to face during this pandemic.”
- Alexander Brown, Chair, TDSB
“It’s an honour to take on the role of Interim Director of Education for the largest and most diverse school board in Canada whose mandate is to transform teaching and learning while building strong relationships and partnerships. I will take this opportunity to continue our commitment to keeping our students and staff healthy and safe, and ensuring that all students and staff have access to the programs, services and supports needed to succeed in Toronto’s public schools.”
- Karen Falconer, Interim Director of Education, TDSB