Two senior TDSB staffers resigning as crucial deadline looms, sources say

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SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) – Two key managers of the Toronto District School Board are leaving their jobs, sources have revealed, days before the board’s deadline to respond to demands from Ontario’s Education Minister.

Two of the board’s three associate education directors are departing. Lou Vavougios, associate director in charge of human resources, informed his boss, director Donna Quan, last week that he is retiring effective the end of February. Gen Ling Chang, the associate director responsible for academic programs, handed her notice to Ms. Quan on Tuesday evening, according to school board sources.

School board trustees hold a final meeting on Wednesday evening before Friday’s deadline to inform Education Minister Liz Sandals how they plan to address under-utilized schools. One in five, or a total of 130 schools, are less than two-thirds full, according to provincial guidelines.

The board is coming under renewed pressure from the Ontario government to sell surplus properties.

Trustees and staff have been working around the clock over the past few weeks to address a series of demands made by the Minister, including closing trustees’ offices at the TDSB headquarters and laying off their constituency assistants. The most contentious issue, which will be voted on Wednesday evening, is the Minister’s demand for a three-year plan to address the under-utilized schools.

The loss of two senior staffers comes just days before Friday’s crucial deadline, when the school board must respond to a series of demands made by Ontario’s Education Minister.

“That’s a huge loss to our system,” said trustee Chris Tonks. “They will be sorely missed.”

Trustees have expressed fears that if they don’t meet the deadline, the Minister will might appoint a supervisor to take over the school board.

Mr. Vavougios told trustees he is ready for retirement, according to sources. Christopher Usih, an executive superintendent, has been named as his interim replacement. Ms. Chang made the rounds to some trustees on Wednesday, telling them she was “ready” to leave, the sources said.

A TDSB spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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