Veteran educator Rainbow board’s new education director

Bruce Bourget assumes his new duties at the end of August

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Bruce Bourget says one of his first tasks as the new director of education for the Rainbow District School Board is to allow students to reconnect when classes resume in the fall.

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“Public education prepares students to be active, confident, capable and contributing members of society,” Bourget said in a release. “Rainbow Schools play a critical role in the academic, social, emotional and physical development of children and young adults.

“Our first goal will be to reconnect as we safely reopen Rainbow Schools for in-person learning.”

Rainbow students, like those across Ontario, have been restricted to remote learning for much of the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, the provincial government announced plans for a return to class this fall.

Bourget will replace Norm Blaseg when he retires at the end of August.

“I am honoured to continue contributing to student achievement and well-being in collaboration with a dedicated team,” Bourget said. I look forward to working with trustees, staff, students, parents/guardians, federations/unions and community partners to gather input for the creation of our new strategic plan.

“Together, we will define our priorities and move them forward, including our ongoing work in truth and reconciliation and equity and inclusion.”

Trustees unanimously approved Bourget’s appointment at a special board meeting on Tuesday.

“A long-time employee of the board, Bruce Bourget has the qualifications, experience, skills, knowledge, competencies and qualities to lead Rainbow Schools,” said board chair Doreen Dewar. “More importantly, he has the vision to move our key leadership priorities forward, with students as the focus for decision-making.”

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“A respected educator and educational leader, Bruce Bourget has held a number of positions of added responsibility within the board. With his all-encompassing experience and successes, he is well prepared to assume his new leadership role.”

The board said his appointment followed an extensive recruitment process guided by Promeus Inc – Partners in Executive Search. A candidate profile, developed with public input, provided the framework for selecting the best person for the position.

The English-language Rainbow District School Board is the largest board in the region, with schools in Greater Sudbury, Espanola, Manitoulin Island and the District of Sudbury. It has 41 schools and more than 14,000 students.

Bourget is a graduate of the former Nickel District Secondary School in Sudbury. He has a masters of education from Nipissing University, a bachelor of education from Queen’s University and a bachelor of physical and health education from Laurentian University.

He joined the board in 1993. He has taught math, physical education, business studies and science. He served as a special education resource teacher and physical education program Leader.

Bourget was appointed vice-principal in 2001 and quickly promoted to principal. He was principal of Lockerby Composite School from 2003 to 2008 and student success leader/principal of program for Grades 7 to 12 from 2008 to 2010, providing system-wide instructional leadership for Rainbow Schools.

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For the past 11 years, Bourget has served as superintendent of schools. In addition to overseeing a family of schools, he has been responsible for a number of portfolios, including human resources, labour relations, student success, and health and safety, including the development and implementation of all protocols and procedures to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

He also played a lead role in the creation of Barrydowne College, “a highly successful re-engagement school” at Cambrian College. Since its inception, hundreds of students have returned to school to complete their diploma and pursue their studies or find employment.

An Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program recipient, Bourget has coached basketball, volleyball, and track and field and has convened OFSAA basketball. He was the Northern Ontario Regional Team and Centre for Performance Coach for Basketball Ontario and served as Provincial Chair.

In 2010, Bourget was chair of the Olympic Torch Relay Celebration in Greater Sudbury. He has coached club basketball since 2010. Before that, he coached Walden Minor Soccer.

[email protected]

Twitter: @SudburyStar

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