SIMCOE COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
After 34 years in education, Steve Blake, Director of Education for the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB), has announced his retirement, effective July 31, 2021.
Blake began his career as an educator in 1987 with the Durham District School Board, where he also served as a department head, vice-principal and principal at several schools within the district. In 2009, Blake was hired by the SCDSB as a Superintendent of Education responsible for supporting area schools and a portfolio that included Student Success. In 2013, Blake was hired by the Bluewater District School Board as the Director of Education. In 2017, after an extensive consultation and recruitment process, Blake was appointed Director of Education for the SCDSB.
As one of his first actions as Director, Blake led staff and the Board of Trustees through a strategic planning process from which the SCDSB Strategic Priorities were established. “Once established, Director Blake built a culture focused on the four pillars of the Strategic Priorities – Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Community and Well-being,” said Jodi Lloyd, Chairperson of the Board. “It is evident that through Director Blake’s leadership, the decisions of staff and the Board of Trustees in relation to student achievement, well-being, programming and budget, have been in clear alignment.”
“Expanding partnerships with stakeholders and building relationships with students, their families, the community and the Board of Trustees has been a priority for Director Blake,” notes Chairperson Lloyd. “Director Blake’s capacity to build trust through accountability continued to move this board forward. His ability to foster strong cohesive teams, dedicated to enhancing the student experience at the SCDSB is commendable.”
Chairperson Lloyd added, “we would be remiss not to acknowledge that this has been one of the most challenging times in education. With responsibility for an education system of over 50,000 students and 6,000 staff, we are truly fortunate and grateful for Director Blake’s strength in leadership, dedication and commitment to the health and well-being of students and staff during this difficult time. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we wish Director Blake all the best in his retirement knowing that we were truly fortunate to benefit from his steadfast leadership. It has been my privilege to work with Director Blake as Chair and on behalf of the board would like to express our deep gratitude to him for his service to the SCDSB.”
In announcing his retirement, Blake said “I have enjoyed an incredible career as an educator. I have been inspired, and impacted profoundly, by so many amazing staff and students over the years. I am fortunate to have been surrounded and supported by leaders in many different capacities. Together, we have risen to challenges and celebrated the successes of our collective efforts. The SCDSB Board of Trustees has always displayed considerable trust in me, and the confidence that my senior leadership team has shown in me has been truly humbling. The connection with a board chair is one of the most important ones for a director and I have been tremendously thankful for the valuable working relationships that have been established with Chair Jodi Lloyd and former Chair Peter Beacock. These relationships have been personally fulfilling and served our system well.”
At the June 16, 2021, Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees passed a motion appointing John Dance, Associate Director/Superintendent of Human Resource Services, to the position of Interim Director, effective Aug. 1, 2021.