The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board will be looking for a new director of education this summer.
The local public school board announced Tuesday Mandy Savery-Whiteway will be retiring from her post effective Aug. 30, 2019.
A native Trentonian, Savery-Whiteway has spent her last 35 years involved in education and has been a senior staffer with the HPEDSB for the past dozen years.
“Education is a people business, focused first and foremost on students. It has been my privilege to be part of public education for over 30 years. Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has afforded me many professional opportunities. In particular, for almost six years, I have been humbled and honoured to serve as director of education. I am truly grateful to the board of trustees for their confidence and support during my tenure in this role,” said Savery-Whiteway in a media release.
Savery-Whiteway took over for Prince Edward County resident Rob McGall as director of education in 2013 and was at the helm of the local public education body for what was likely the rockiest time in its amalgamated history.
During a time of declining enrolment, reduced funding and desperate infrastructure renewal needs, the board undertook a number of cost of cutting measures that included school consolidation in nearly every corner of the Board’s catchment area.
And while those directions were a tough pill to swallow for parents and the public, keeping half open schools propped open and ignoring critical infrastructure needs were a non-starter for a school board managing under the stress of a provincially mandated financial recovery plan.
“(Savery-Whiteway) has been an exemplary leader of the board. Her passion for education that began many years ago grew into a lifelong love of teaching and learning. I’m aware that under her leadership, the strategic plan priorities and goals have become embedded in the work done each and every day. On behalf of the board of trustees, I’m looking forward to continuing to work with her in support of student achievement and well-being,” said board chair Shannon Binder.
During her time at the board, Savery-Whiteway has taken on roles of increasing responsibility. Her career with the board began in 1986 as a teacher at Trenton High School and in 2002 she served as vice-principal at Bayside Secondary School.
Savery-Whiteway served as principal at Centennial Secondary School from 2003 to 2007 and was later appointed as a system principal for Student Success in 2007.
She began her climb up the ranks of the senior administrative ladder at HPEDSB by serving as assistant superintendent followed by superintendent of human resources between 2010 and 2013.
She also served as an education officer with the Ministry of Education in 2009-2010.
As a member of the senior leadership team, Savery-Whiteway had responsibilities for Safe Schools, Student Success, School Effectiveness, strategic planning, health and safety, schools and Education Centre departments. Upon becoming director of education, those grew to include overall responsibility for student achievement and well-being; leadership and leadership development; fiscal responsibility; organizational development; planning; personnel management; director/board relations; board communications and community relations; student/staff/district recognition and public relations.
Savery-Whiteway has been a member of several professional associations including the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association – Labour Relations Network; North American Association of Educational Negotiators; Ontario Public Supervisory Officials’ Association; and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She has also served on the executive of the Council of Ontario Directors of Education.
Board members will determine next steps for finding a new director of education in the coming weeks.