LBPSB chairperson Suanne Stein Day takes personal leave amid turmoil

Click to play video: 'LBPSB chairperson takes leave of absence'
LBPSB chairperson takes leave of absence
WATCH ABOVE: Amid much controversy at the Lester B. Pearson School Board, chairperson Suanne Stein Day announced she is taking a personal leave of absence and assistant director Steve Balleine will take his retirement. Global's Gloria Henriquez reports – Apr 26, 2017

Major changes were announced Tuesday at the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB).

Suanne Stein Day will be taking a personal leave of absence as chair of the board.

She will be replaced by commissioner Noel Burke in the interim.

“It’s something that needs to be done. I’d honestly like to keep my private life, private,” Suanne Stein Day told Global News.

Stein Day said dealing with her personal issues will likely keep her away from the board for months.

EXCLUSIVE: Former teacher worried about quality of education at EMSB, LBPSB

Along with that, Steve Balleine will be taking his retirement at the end of the school year.

Story continues below advertisement

Balleine is the assistant director of the school board and is responsible for overseeing the vocational programs.

This announcement comes in the midst of turmoil at the LBPSB.

READ MORE: Investigation underway into quality of Quebec’s French proficiency programs

An investigation was recently launched by the province’s anti-corruption squad to review the practices of both the LBPSB and the English Montreal School Board (EMSB).

Global News first reported Monday about allegations that some teachers were being forced to pass unqualified students at one of their vocational programs.

Stein Day said her leave has nothing to do with the allegations.

“Absolutely 100 per cent. I haven’t reacted in a year-and-a-half to any of the accusations and calls for my resignation, and I’m not acting in response to that now,” Stein Day said.

“In fact, I acted as long as I could for everything to die down so it didn’t appear to be associated.”

Global News spoke to some parents about what’s going on at the board.

“If it’s an issue of corruption that needs to be sorted and it’s a legal issue, I guess there’s people on that side of things but on this side, the teachers are doing a good job,”Arthur Grafftey​, a parent at St. John Fisher Elementary in Pointe-Claire.

Story continues below advertisement

“My first reaction was that she was stepping away to perhaps let the dust settle. I’m not privy to any information that she’s given so I can’t speculate,” Nicole Freeman, a parent at Lakeside Academy said.

The Quebec English School Board Association (QESBA) told Global News they “do not interfere with, or comment on member board internal affairs.”

“In the end, I hope the communities reflect on the fact our system boasts a collective 86 per cent success rate, and I think, one of the best in North America,” Jennifer Maccarone, QESBA’s president said.

Sponsored content