The Upper Canada District School Board has named its next Director of Education.

Ron Ferguson, who has 18 years of experience working with the board, will take over the role on June 30th.

Ferguson says he’s honoured to be selected for the position.

“All of our decisions will be about doing what’s best for students,” Ferguson said. “Parents have put tremendous trust and faith in us to ensure their children’s wellness and academic achievement, and we will not let them down.” 

Ferguson’s career path has come full circle.

A former UCDSB student, he’s worked as a teacher, and principal with the board, and he currently holds the position of Superintendent of Human Resources. 

As the new Director, he says his top priorities will be managing the pandemic, and ensuring the health and wellbeing of students and staff.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we’ll then turn our focus to more aspirational goals including helping make up for some of the losses that have resulted from such a disruptive, and to put it lightly, less than ideal year of schooling,” he said.

Ferguson takes over the position from the retiring Director Stephen Sliwa. 

He says Sliwa’s guidance through these difficult times will be missed.

“He’s had to manage school consolidation and closures, the largest deficit in the history of our board, labour unrest, and then a once-in-a-generation pandemic,” Ferguson said. “Through it all, he never flinched. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for this and he should be very proud.” 

Ferguson says his experience working as a teacher, and principal, will serve him well.

He adds the most important thing to the board is having great educators doing innovative things to ensure all students have successful lives.