Interim Director of Education Announcement

Interim Director of Education Announcement
Posted on 07/28/2020

July 28, 2020

Dear Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board families:

After a long and distinguished career with our Board, Brian Beal’s last day before retirement is July 31st. I know the staff, students and families at Simcoe Muskoka Catholic greatly appreciate the inclusive, consultative and strong leadership he has provided over the past several decades. 

The position of Director of Education has been posted and an independent agency is currently conducting a thorough recruitment process and we anticipate it will take a least a few months to permanently fill this important leadership role. In the meantime, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that, effective immediately, Catherine McCullough will lead our Board as the Interim Director of Education. 

Catherine served the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board for 17 years in several roles including teacher, principal and superintendent of education. She was promoted to the position of Director of Education for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board and most recently has been working in a research and consultation capacity, sharing her expertise on leadership development in both the private and public sector. She continues to work closely with school boards across the country on training programs which are focussed on change management, organizational relationships and strong leadership. 

We are incredibly fortunate to have someone with such strong education and leadership qualifications guiding us during this critical period for education in Ontario. We have every confidence that her knowledge, skills, vast network in education and her deep connection with our community will serve us well and help ensure a smooth transition during the challenging weeks and months ahead. 

Catherine wanted to share the following message:

“I feel like I am coming home - Simcoe Muskoka Catholic is where my heart is and already have such a strong connection with the people here. There are still a lot of familiar names and faces and I am looking forward to reconnecting with our wonderful school communities. 

I know and love the culture of this Board and I really believe that we will be well-positioned to address the challenges ahead. My priority is ensuring a smooth and safe transition back to school for our students and staff. I am also a strong proponent of open, collaborative and frequent communication so that everyone has the information and knowledge they want and need, especially during this unprecedented time” 

As you are aware, the Ministry of Education has committed to announcing their plan for school start-up shortly. Catherine has hit the ground running and once the details have been released by the Ministry she is committed to working closely with the Board’s senior team to quickly assess and plan for our September start-up. I know she will share as much information as possible, as quickly as possible, so that we can all begin the transition into the 2020-2021 school year. 

Thank you for helping to wish Brian Beal all of the best in his retirement and welcoming Catherine into this role. 


Joe Zerdin

Board Chair