The St. Clair Catholic District School Board has announced the appointment of Bob Crawford as project coordinator to develop a board-wide plan for school reopening in September.
“The health and safety of our students, families and staff is the Board’s top priority, as we begin to consider what a return to school in September might look like,” stated Amy Janssens, associate director, corporate services and treasurer.
“That is why we are looking to Bob, with his tremendous background and experience in emergency services, both locally and at the provincial level, to lead this important process for our board. We are indeed fortunate to have an individual of his calibre to take on this leadership role.”
School board officials say Crawford is the former chief of fire and paramedic services for Chatham-Kent, having served in that role during two tours of duty over 14 years.
He was also general manager of community development for the municipality from 2012 to 2017.
His career in emergency services has spanned more than 40 years, and also includes positions as district chief – emergency planning, research and development for both the Toronto Fire Services and the North York Fire
Most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, he also led a project to develop an emergency field hospital for the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.
Former assistant superintendent of education Brenda Courey, who retired from the Board in 2015 after 18 years of service, has also been hired to assist Crawford.
Throughout the term of their contracts, both Crawford and Courey will report directly to associate director Amy Janssens and executive manager, human resource services, James Duff.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our students, families and staff as we begin to plan for the return to school in September,” stated John Van Heck, chair of the board.
“The importance of this project cannot be over-stated and we believe that Bob is the best qualified candidate to lead it for us.”
The contracts for both Crawford and Courey will conclude on September 5, 2020.