EQAO’s work is overseen by its board, which is drawn from leaders in the fields of education and business.
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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Hélène C. Chayer was director of education and secretary-treasurer of the
Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario from 1998 to 2007. She was the first woman to hold this position. Ms. Chayer has worked in various capacities in the area of education for over 30 years. Her involvement in various regional, provincial and national committees such as the Council of Ontario Directors of Education, the
Conseil ontarien des directrices et directeurs de l’éducation de langue française, the
Conseil ontarien des directions de l՚éducation catholique de langue française, the
Regroupement national des directions générales de l՚éducation, the Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques, the Educational Leadership Centre and the Education Quality and Accountability Office has made it possible for her to establish a truly remarkable network in the field of education. She was the first person to coordinate the Association des gestionnaires de l՚éducation franco-ontarienne and was actively involved in implementing a mentoring program within it. She has also been a member of the board of governors of Laurentian University. Over the years, she has developed expertise in strategic planning and implementation and has offered related services to several francophone organizations. She has been a board member of EQAO since 2008.
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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 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. She served as Chair for the Ottawa Council of Partners and the City of Ottawa's Multi-Agency Risk Intervention Tables.
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.
A lifelong learner, 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.
Dr. Richard Jones has worked in the field of large-scale student assessment for three decades. He joined the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) when the agency was established in 1996. During his career at EQAO, he has served as Project Manager for National, International and Special Projects and Director of Assessment and Reporting. Before coming to Ontario, he was Director of Assessment and Evaluation with the Saskatchewan Department of Education and Coordinator of Provincial Learning Assessment and Assistant Director of the Provincial and Scholarship Examination Program with the British Columbia Ministry of Education. In these roles, his responsibilities included designing and implementing initiatives related to student evaluation, program evaluation, curriculum evaluation, provincial learning assessment, school and school board improvement planning and accreditation, education quality indicators and national and international testing. Dr. Jones has conducted numerous program evaluation projects in the public and private sectors in Canada and abroad.
Prior to working in the field of assessment and evaluation, Dr. Jones served as researcher and senior manager for an American-based consulting firm on projects based in the Middle East. He has several years of teaching experience at elementary, secondary, community college and university levels in Canada and Africa. Over the years, he has consulted, made presentations at conferences and authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on assessment and evaluation topics. In recent years, he has published two professional books on large-scale assessment and program evaluation, as well as three books on personal-interest subjects.
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.
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.
Dr. Dieudonné Detchou of Ottawa, is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and is currently counsel at the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program at the Department of Justice, Canada. In 2008, he was awarded the Department of Justice’s Deputy Minister Excellence Award for his outstanding contribution during the first trial under the
Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.
Since April 2010, Dieudonné is a member of the board of directors of the Caisse Populaire Vision Desjardins of Ottawa. He is also an elder and a member of the Christian Development Committee at Rideau Park United Church in Ottawa. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights and a community developer for the J’Nikira Dinqinesh Education Centre. In this double capacity, he helped coordinate Nelson Mandela’s visit to the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument in Ottawa. He has also been a member of the City of Ottawa’s Advisory Committee on Race Relations and the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Advisory Committee on Race Relations.
Dieudonné is fully bilingual. He holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in common law and the other in civil law, a master’s degree in private law and a doctorate in international and corporative law.
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 of Evaluation and Performance Measurement at Statistics Canada.
Dr. Pamela Toulouse is an Indigenous Scholar with over 20 years' experience in the field of education. She has well over 50 publications and resources that range from books, curriculum pieces, articles, videos and other critical contributions. Dr. Toulouse is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Laurentian University in Sudbury. She has won many coveted teaching awards at her institution and is a member of the Sagamok First Nation.
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