EQAO's work is overseen by its Board of Directors, which is comprised of leaders from the education and business community.
Dave Cooke, of Windsor, was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for 20 years, serving in numerous capacities. In the early 1990s, he served as Ontario’s Minister of Education and, during this time, he established the Royal Commission on Learning, which led to the creation of EQAO. He is a former chair of the Erie-St. Clair Local Health Integration Network and a former member of the Windsor-Essex Development Commission Board. Before that, he served as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Windsor.
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Gerry Connelly is Director of Policy and Knowledge Mobilization for the Learning Partnership and is an adjunct professor at York University.
She is the former director of education of the Toronto District School Board and director of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Gerry’s career includes teaching and administration in both rural and urban environments in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, the United States and Ontario, at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. She has also worked in South Africa, China and Estonia, providing advice on inclusive schools, teaching and learning, curriculum development and second language learning. She is the recipient of many provincial and national awards associated with education.
Gerry has served on several boards, including those of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Humber College and Free the Children. She has also co-chaired the Sustainability and Education Academy, which provides leadership training and support both nationally and internationally in the area of education for sustainable development.
Norah Marsh has dedicated her career to creating new growth opportunities and inclusive learning environments for students. As a passionate advocate for public education for more than 26 years, Norah has worked with Ontario’s education community to strengthen student achievement at the school, board and provincial levels.
Norah’s career began as an English teacher with the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) in Kingston. In this role, she designed a range of innovative programs to increase student engagement and foster student voice. As a secondary school principal, she worked closely with school staff to create cultures of high expectation for student success. As a superintendent with LDSB and as the Associate Director of Education at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Norah promoted strategies to help each and every student succeed, regardless of background or circumstance.
Norah has a track-record of leadership and collaboration within provincial organizations, having served as the President of the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association, Chair of the Institute of Educational Leadership, and Chair of the Eastern Ontario Staff Development Association. Norah also has a strong commitment to community, and has worked with community partners to build integrated knowledge networks that support students and their families at school and at home.
As Chief Executive Officer of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), Norah intends to consult Ontario’s education community as the agency modernizes its large-scale assessment program. She will work with educators, students and parents to ensure that EQAO can continue to foster accountability and continuous improvement within Ontario’s publicly funded education system.
Norah received her Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree from the University of Ottawa, and her Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees from Queen’s University.
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David Agnew is currently the president of Seneca College. His previous leadership positions include president and CEO of UNICEF Canada, principal at Digital 4Sight, executive vice-president for Credit Union Central of Ontario, and Canada’s ombudsman for banking services and investments. Mr. Agnew was secretary to the cabinet in Ontario from 1992 to 1995 after serving as principal secretary to the premier. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 in recognition of his public and community service.
Gail Anderson worked at the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association from 1989 until her retirement as executive director in 2017. Her community involvement includes being a founding member of Classroom Connections Working Foundation and the Ontario Education Services Corporation. Ms. Anderson holds a Master of Education degree and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto.
Roland Boudreau, of Carlisle, brings to the board an extensive background in business. He is Loblaw’s Executive Vice-President, Special Projects, and is responsible for implementing new processes and technology that improve productivity in over 600 stores across 10 provinces.
Prior to his work with Loblaw, Mr. Boudreau was Vice-President for Ontario Operations at Metro and was directly involved in the strategic decision-making process for marketing, merchandising, labour relations, human resources and real estate. He has had similar leadership responsibilities with Walmart Canada and Provigo in Montreal.
Mr. Boudreau is active in his community, serving as a board member on President’s Choice Children’s Charity. He has also served on the board of Breakfast for Learning and has been an active volunteer in numerous other children’s charities throughout his career. He is committed to serving youth and supporting their success.
Mr. Boudreau is fully bilingual and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Laurentian University. He brings unique perspectives and talents to our board.
Abirami Jeyaratnam, a mentor and strong advocate for young people, Ms. Jeyaratnam has been involved in numerous projects supporting inner-city youth. Currently a student/parent support worker with Pathways to Education, she also has experience working with organizations like Free the Children, Canadian Tamil Youth Development, Westview Alumni Advocates for Youth, the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians and the Toronto District School Board. Ms. Jeyaratnam has forged a career helping young people develop the skills necessary to thrive.
A double graduate from the University of Toronto’s International Development Studies and Health Studies programs, Ms. Jeyaratnam is currently pursuing a Master of Education degree and a graduate diploma in Education in Urban Environments from York University.
Paule-Anny Pierre has been working in the field of evaluation and performance measurement for the past 20 years.
Ms. Pierre is a former mathematics teacher who has provided strategic guidance to executives on results-based management and conducted numerous evaluations of program effectiveness and efficiency. She participated in the evaluation of curriculum reform in the province of Quebec and played an instrumental role in developing the
Répertoire des indicateurs en soutien aux plans de réussite (school improvement plans).
Ms. Pierre has held various management positions in the federal government for the past 10 years and is currently Director General, Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Pierre Alain Riopel held a number of positions during his career in education, including teacher, department head, acting vice-principal and principal. Mr. Riopel was most recently superintendent of education for the Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l’Ontario and president of Collège Boréal. Mr. Riopel has also been involved in teacher training as an assistant professor in the French-language education program at Laurentian University. Mr. Riopel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Ottawa, and he completed the Master of Education program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.