Louise Sirisko has been appointed the new director of education for the York Region District School Board.

Sirisko has been working at the provincial Ministry of Education for about the past three years as director of the branch overseeing special education policy and programs. She began teaching in 1990, in Peel Region, later becoming a vice-principal, a principal and an elementary school superintendent.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and history from the University of Toronto, an education degree from York, and a master’s in education/business administration from Brock.

Sirisko is known for her work in equity and inclusion.

“Louise brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role, including direct experience with another large GTA board and with the province,” said Loralea Carruthers, York board chairperson, in a news release. “We are confident that our board will benefit from her commitment to equity, inclusion and human rights. Louise has a proven track record of building positive relationships with students, families, staff and community members to advance student achievement and well-being.”

“I plan to continue the focus on building relationships within our communities and earn trust and support for our collective vision,” said Sirisko. “Working together, we will strengthen public confidence in the board through a student-centred commitment to engagement, achievement, well-being and equity.”

The appointment comes after a couple of tumultuous years at the school board, which culminated in Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter appointing investigators to look into allegations of racism and a lack of financial accountability.

Sirisko starts her new job in the new year.

The York board is the third largest in the province with more than 123,000 students in 177 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools.

Photo courtesy of the York Region District School Board