New Director of Education Monteith outlines incoming goals

FUNDS IN FUNDS OUT Director of Education for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Sean Monteith at a board meeting earlier in the year. Monday evening at Eastside Secondary school in Belleville a school board meeting was held and the 2018-2019 Consolidated Financial Statements were discussed. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)




With the 2019-2020 school year underway, the new Director of Education (DOE) for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) is setting synergetic aspirations.

At the monthly meeting of the HPEDSB Monday night, Sean Monteith presented his entry plan report to the board of trustees entitled, “HPEDSB Moving Ahead”.

After 25 years with the Keewatin Patricia District School Board in Kenora, Monteith came to the HPEDSB mid summer to replace retiring DOE Mandy Savery Whiteway.

At the request of the trustees at a special meeting held earlier this month and in support of the Monteith’s System Working Goals for the 2019-2020 academic school year, the new DOE shared the following 10 working goals from his entry plan report.

The themes include: Staff engagement,AutonomyMentorship, Tone and building culture, Community engagement, Recognition and acceptance of challenges and opportunities, Public confidence, Board of trustees empowerment, Reconciliation with indigenous partners/advocates for social justice and Empowerment of principals and vice-principals to be leaders of student achievement

“If we support these themes well and work towards these goals, we will get to a public confidence narrative where we invite invested parties from across the district,” Monteith stated. “Those that support us and those that criticize us and inviting them to conversations with an openness and sincerity that helps us rebuild confidence in some communities and builds confidence we have in other communities in the HPEDSB.”

Through Monteith’s report it showed the one remaining consistent is a driven focus on students.

Monteith said these goals are lofty and strong but, most importantly, achievable and if all staff, families, community partners and students work together,  this global accomplishment will increase potential for local students.

“We should embrace this openness and encourage all staff, community partners, Indigenous communities, families and most importantly students to help us,” Monteith said. “Doing so will only make us better, and in turn make the potential for our young people better, We will no doubt face many challenges and setbacks, and we will address each one individually and methodically; but we will face each one unreservedly.”

Monteith said in the report the potential for change and new opportunity in education is about as anticipated now as he has ever experienced in his 25 year career as a supervisory officer. He also added he feels the HPEDSB senior administration team is among one of the strongest he’s ever encountered.

“Even though we have faced some challenges and adversity we are heading towards our finest hour and it’s a treasured part of the journey,” Monteith added.

According to Monteith, the local public school board’s next large scale exercise is to develop a five-year strategic plan.

The development of this strategy is expected to commence within the next 60 days and will be brought forward to the HPEDSB for approval in 2020.

For Monteith’s full report, please visit