The local Catholic school board is introducing a new Director of Education.

On Thursday, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board announced the appointment of Frances Bagley – who assumes the position for interim director Catherine McCullough.

Bagley comes to the board with over 30 years of experience in education – having most recently held the position of Associate Director of Education: Strategic Leadership for York Catholic District School Board.

Board Chair Joe Zerdin says with the addition of Bagley – it wraps up a comprehensive recruitment process to find a permanent director.

“Today, on behalf of my colleagues on the Board, we welcome Frances Bagley to our team. We have every confidence that her strong strategic leadership skills, experience and commitment to collaboration, will serve our system very well in the years ahead,” Zerdin said.

Bagley meanwhile, says she feels honoured and privileged to begin the new role and she looks forward to working with staff, students, families and parishes.

One of her key areas of focus will be serving the students through community engagement opportunities that focus on student achievement, well-being and success.

“Maintaining and enhancing strong connections with our various stakeholders is more important now than ever as we continue to navigate our teaching and learning practices in the COVID-19 environment,” Bagley said. “I know there are many opportunities and challenges ahead and I will continue to model my faith and be a strong advocate for Catholic education as I embark on this journey with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic community. I know that the collaborative work of many minds, hands and hearts will continue to guide us in a proactive, innovative and supportive manner.”

Bagley will assume the position on November 1st.