The Renfrew County Catholic District School Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Searson as its new Director of Education.
Searson, who has been employed by the Board for 19 years with the last seven as Superintendent of Educational Services, will take over the role on February 1, 2021, following current Director Jaimie Perry’s retirement at the end of January.
“Over his years with our Board, Mark has demonstrated all of the qualities and skills we were seeking in our next director. He has brought innovation and inspiration to every role he has held along with leadership abilities and an unwavering commitment to Catholic education,” states David Howard, RCCDSB Chair.
Searson joined the Board in 2001 and in 2002 became a program leader at St. Joseph’s High School in Renfrew. He subsequently served as Principal at St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School in Calabogie, St. Joseph’s High School and Bishop Smith Catholic High School in Pembroke before taking the position of Superintendent in 2013.
As Superintendent, his portfolios have included Human Resources; Student Success and Secondary Management, responsible for programming for grades 9-12; Learning Technologies, leading reorganization of the Learning Technologies Department; Special Education Advisory Committee, revamping RCCDSB’s special education plan; Student Health and Wellness, launching a new program around Student Mental Health and Wellness; Early Years Lead, implementing a new Kindergarten program and report card as well as coordinating the creation of three new daycares within RCCDSB facilities; and Schools Supervision for 10 Board schools across the county.
Searson received his Honours Bachelor of Arts – History and Geography from University of Western Ontario, Certificate in Special Education and Bachelor of Education from Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, and Masters of Education – Administration and Leadership from University of New Brunswick.
Additional qualifications include Supervisory Officer and Principal Qualifications, Special Education Specialist, Honours History Specialist and Special Education – Learning Disabilities.
Past and present community involvement includes the minor hockey association in Eganville as a coach, trainer, manager and statistician with the Upper Ottawa Valley Aces. Searson serves his home parish, St. James The Less in Eganville, as an Altar Server Coordinator and as a Eucharistic Minister.
He is married to Catherine Searson and they have four children who all attended elementary school at St. Michael’s Catholic School, Douglas and secondary school at St. Joseph’s High School in Renfrew.
“It is an extreme honour and very humbling to be appointed as the next Director of Education for the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board,” says Searson. “The senior team will work hard at ensuring a smooth transition and I hope to provide a sense of stability as we continue to implement our Return to School Plan during this global pandemic. Along with our new safety protocols and procedures we will continue to hold Our Vision front and centre as we love unconditionally and strive to pass on the Good News of Jesus Christ, make it relevant in the world today and to be the hope for the future.”