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School board shocker! Erika Lougheed resigns from NNDSB

‘It was a shock,’ Hammond admitted, ‘we were not prepared for that”
Tonight, Erika Lougheed (left) resigned from her role as chair, and board trustee. This past November Erika Lougheed was re-elected to the chair of the NNDSB, and Ashley St. Pierre was chosen as Vice Chair / File photo

Erika Lougheed did not attend tonight’s Near North District School Board meeting, and it may be a long time before she attends another.

It was announced tonight that Lougheed has resigned as board chair and has resigned as board trustee as well. She was elected to the chair position in November of 2022.

Vice Chair Ashley St. Pierre made the announcement, as she was serving as chair in Lougheed’s absence. St. Pierre informed the board “that effective today, Erika Lougheed has stepped down from a role as trustee and chair with the Near North District School Board.”

“I would like to take the time to thank Erika for her dedication of service and commitment to us. She has made valuable contributions to our board and will be missed.”

See: Lougheed elected new Near North Board chair

St. Pierre noted that “to ensure a seamless transition” and compliance with the Education Act, Director of Education Craig Myles will provide an outline of the procedure to replace a trustee at a future meeting. An interim Chair will also be elected at a future meeting.

A reason was not given as to why she resigned. The board declined further comment. However Lougheed has come under sharp criticism for the way she handled the renaming of Chippewa Secondary School issue. It remains the defining point of her leadership. BayToday reached out to Lougheed, but did not hear back in time for this story.

See: Chippewa: 'People who have signed the petition may not have a full understanding of the issue' Lougheed

But, Rob Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario of the Near North Teacher's Local, did share a few thoughts with BayToday about Lougheed’s resignation.

“Erika was a very positive impact on the board and on the union,” he said. “Very supportive of all our teachers and all education workers.” He noted that recently, he spent time with Lougheed visiting schools, and “she was extremely compassionate, and cared about the job that we did and also acknowledged the great job that our educators do.”

“It was a shock,” he said of her resignation. About an hour before the meeting, he explained that he received a call from Lougheed, letting him know of her plan to resign.

“It was a shock,” he reiterated. “We were not prepared for that.” He left it at that, not wanting to speak for Lougheed. But he did mention how the former chair “listened to people, and we’re going to miss that.”

“We had a chair that actually went into the schools and listened to the concerns that our members had.”

“And that’s showing true leadership,” Hammond concluded. “Her decision comes as a huge shock, and a huge loss.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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