The Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board has announced that Bruce MacPherson, Director of Education, is retiring at the end of July 2012. In making the announcement, Chairperson, Norm Bethune, said, “It is with regret that the Board has accepted Mr. MacPherson’s letter announcing his intention to retire at the end of July. Bruce MacPherson has provided this Board with outstanding leadership throughout his tenure with our Board. Bruce has left a legacy of creative and innovative programming, technological advancement, fiscal responsibility and openness and transparency to the public. He will be missed by all our stakeholders in Catholic education.”
Bruce MacPherson has spent his entire career with Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board starting as a teacher at St. Basil’s in Owen Sound. He then was promoted to the position of principal, supervisory officer and for the last five years as Director of Education. As a Catholic school educator for over 30 years he has demonstrated outstanding ability and leadership in Catholic education at both the provincial and local school system levels.
In his various roles, Mr. MacPherson has always ensured that students were at the centre of his decision making. When he realized that the Board needed to find a way to have more students reading earlier, he sought out and introduced Reading Recovery, an evidence-based reading intervention program which has positively changed outcomes for many children who have become able readers. The Board has maintained one of the highest success rates in Canada ever since.
In collaboration with his Trustees, Bruce developed a process for monitoring student achievement and school improvement planning. He leads the trustees in school visits focused on the mandate outlined in Bill 177 and assists the trustees to monitor achievement and celebrate successes in every school.
Early in his role as Director, MacPherson initiated a strategic planning process. He co-chairs the Catholicity component. He is deeply committed in his consistent support of our Catholic school system and focuses on the faith formation of our students, staff and school communities. He strives to ensure that our staff have the resources necessary to provide our students with the opportunities to excel beyond their potential within our Catholic schools.
In the fall of 2010, Niagara University received Ministry approval to provide the Master of Science in Educational Administration and Supervision program in collaboration with the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board. This program has been established in large part by the determination and encouragement of Bruce MacPherson. As a result of his exceptional leadership in advocating for continuous staff learning on behalf of students, he received the Niagara University Education Leader of the Year Award in the fall of 2011.
MacPherson has demonstrated leadership beyond the system in his role on regional curriculum committees. He was responsible for the planning and implementation of a Regional Conference on Autism for the eleven district School Boards in the Barrie region. At the provincial level, Bruce’s leadership is evident with his current work on the executive of ECCODE (English Catholic Council of Directors of Education). He has served as a mentor to new Directors and is always quick to share best practices with others.
Mr. MacPherson has been advised that he will be the recipient of the 2012 Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers Association (OCSOA) Distinguished Leadership Award which will be presented at their annual meeting. This award is presented by OCSOA to one of its members who has demonstrated outstanding ability and leadership in Catholic education at both the provincial and local school system levels.
Through his years of dedication to Catholic education and through the modeling he has provided as a Catholic education leader, Bruce MacPherson has dedicated himself to meeting the mission of the Board to provide children with quality learning experiences through community partnerships that nurture each student in body, mind and spirit and embrace the teachings of Christ, giving witness to Gospel values. He often quotes St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” His leadership actions are certainly consistent with this directive.