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York Catholic school board's director of education retiring

Under Ab Falconi's leadership, the school board continued to achieve the highest graduation rates in the province
Ab Falconi, Director of Education at the York Catholic District School Board 2
York Catholic District School board director of education Ab Falconi is retiring Aug. 31. Supplied photo/YCDSB

The York Catholic District School Board announces the retirement of Ab Falconi as its Director of Education, effective Aug. 31, 2020. Mr. Falconi was appointed to the role on April 1, 2018. 

A Catholic educator with more than 30 years of experience, Mr. Falconi has worked tirelessly to support the faith-filled development of all York Catholic students in partnership with their families and local parishes. His collaborative and dynamic leadership style inspired a commitment to excellence amongst his team, and garnered the attention and admiration of his peers across the province. 

During his time at the helm of York Catholic, Mr. Falconi was responsible for leading many significant achievements. 

• In his first year, he pivoted the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan by conducting significant stakeholder consultation and strengthening the focus on each of the four strategic commitments. 

• Faced with a significant debt position prior to his arrival, he championed the Board’s multi-year financial recovery plan and delivered a balanced budget for 2019-2020. 

• Mr. Falconi has been a strong advocate for the health and wellbeing of students, staff and families. 

• He championed the need to address human rights and equity at the Board. He launched initiatives to address all forms of racism, including Anti-Black Racism (ABR), and was committed to working with students, staff and families to ensure services are provided in an equitable and inclusive manner. 

• He enabled expansion of the Board’s successful STEM initiatives with a more robust focus on STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and math). 

• Under his leadership, York Catholic continued to achieve the highest graduation rates in the province and its students consistently outperformed their peers in all areas of Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) testing. 

• In 2019, the Board celebrated its 50th Anniversary of delivering excellence in Catholic education across York Region.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Mr. Falconi for his exceptional leadership and his commitment to the faith-filled development of students and staff,” said Maria Marchese, Board Chair. “As a forward thinker, along with his enthusiasm for excellence in education, York Catholic is a better place because of his leadership. We wish him the best on his well-deserved retirement.” 

“I am honoured to have been part of the York Catholic family and am proud of what we have accomplished together,” said Mr. Falconi. “Not only is it one of the highest performing school boards in Ontario, it is also filled with amazing people who care deeply for the students they are entrusted to serve. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented staff both on the senior team and across the system. I also appreciate the support and guidance I received from the Board of Trustees. Working closely within York Catholic’s strong school-home-parish partnership has been a highlight over my career in Catholic Education. I know York Catholic will continue to soar for another 50 years and beyond.” 

The Board of Trustees will meet later this month to initiate a recruitment process to hire Mr. Falconi’s successor.