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Catholic board names new director

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John Madigan of Timmins this week was named as the new director of education for the Northwest Catholic District School Board, effective Aug. 25.

As reported in last week’s Times, the board approved the hiring at a special meeting July 10 but did not reveal who the winning candidate was until Monday morning.

“I think he’s a good fit for our board,” said board chair Gerald Rousseau. “He’s got many years of experience at the principal level in elementary schools, and that’s where our need is.”

Madigan brings to the position a wide-ranging experience as an educator, including many years as a teacher, principal, and director of education.

Reached Wednesday morning at his office in Timmins, where he is wrapping up his current post as superintendent of education for the Northeastern Catholic District School Board, Madigan spoke enthusiastically about the upcoming challenge.

“I hope to bring an attitude of wanting to work collaboratively with the trustees and the rest of the administration to meet the needs of the system,” he said.

Madigan stressed his first initiative will be to “meet and greet” the people he will be working with, as well as get to know the community as a whole.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of the job but also to getting acquainted with the new community, and the many people I’m sure we’ll make friends with,” he said.

He noted he plans to work closely with his colleagues to further understand some of the needs of the system.

“I’ve developed a system questionnaire that I will distribute to help me understand what the perceptions are of the needs of the system and also its strengths,” he said.

Madigan said he was encouraged to apply for the job by colleagues who work for the board in Stratton, who heard about the position and thought of him.

“They thought I would work well with the board and the staff [here],” he said.

Madigan added he is excited about living in Fort Frances, noting he and his wife enjoyed exploring the region by car recently.

“We were very impressed by the beauty of the area,” he remarked.

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