Upper Grand District School Board appoints new Director of Education

GUELPH – The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) has announced Peter Sovran will take over as director of education and secretary-treasurer for the board in September.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am happy to welcome Peter … He is eager to get to know everyone in our system and to begin our work together,” said UGDSB board chair Martha MacNeil in an April 22 press release.

“Peter’s range of experiences … will serve him well in his new position.”

Sovran’s 27-year career has included leadership positions with the Hamilton-Wentworth, York Region and Toronto District School Boards and the Ontario Ministry of Education.

“I am very humbled and excited about the opportunity to work with the dedicated trustees, staff, and community partners that serve the students of the Upper Grand District School Board,” stated Sovran.

“Together, we will ensure that UGDSB continues its well-established position as a leader in learning, service excellence, environmental literacy and is proudly reflective of the distinct communities in its boundaries.”

Currently an associate director at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Sovran also worked with the board as executive superintendent and superintendent of student achievement.

With the ministry he served as a senior manager and senior policy advisor and his career has included stints as an elementary school principal, vice-principal and teacher (elementary, secondary and adult education).

UGDSB officials also commended Sovran for his “commitment to addressing the gaps in student learning that exist due to systemic and historic barriers,” including two years working with the Anishinaabeg of Kabapikotawangag Resource Council First Nations School in northwestern Ontario.

Sovran replaces retiring director Dr. Martha Rogers, who has worked in education for more than 46 years. She has served as UGDSB director since 1995, making her the longest serving director in Ontario and one of the longest serving directors in Canada.

“After 26 years of outstanding leadership from Dr. Rogers, our system is strong, stable, and thriving,” stated MacNeil.

Board officials say that given “the long-standing tenure” of Rogers, “the search process for a new director was a very large undertaking.”

The board of trustees “is grateful for the assistance of Jordene Lyttle and Marilyn Gouthro of executive search firm Promeus during this process,” officials added.

The press release notes the search involved consultation with various “stakeholders in the educational community”.

Sovran will officially take over as director of education and secretary/treasurer on Sept. 1, though he will be involved in the transition over the coming months.