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English Montreal School Board director-general to resign Thursday

The English Montreal School Board has proposed transferring Galileo Adult Education Centre.
The English Montreal School Board has proposed transferring Galileo Adult Education Centre. Global News

Change continues at Quebec’s largest English-language public school board; just one month after longtime chair Angela Mancini stepped down, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB)’s director-general is leaving her position, too.

In a statement on the board’s website, Ann Marie Matheson said she is proud of the work she and her team did over her five years as the EMSB’s senior-most unelected official, despite what she referred to as “the obvious challenges and headwind that we faced.”

Read more: Police called to EMSB special meeting after parents express anger, frustration at board announcement

Matheson was originally appointed to her post by Mancini — when Matheson served as an EMSB commissioner from 2011 to 2014, she was a member of Mancini’s political party, and she served as a strategist for Mancini’s successful 2014 re-election campaign to the board chairmanship.

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However, the two clashed publicly in recent years as discontent with Mancini’s leadership style grew among the board’s elected commissioners.

Read more: Internal fighting continues at the English Montreal School Board

“I’m not sure that had it been my decision I would’ve accepted the resignation,” said EMSB commissioner Julien Feldman. “I think Ann Marie Matheson is a highly respected Director General and gets people very organized in the administration.”

With the board under provincial trusteeship since November of last year, EMSB trustee Marlene Jennings is responsible for appointing Matheson’s successor. In the EMSB’s statement online, Jennings says a professional search agency has been hired to select a candidate.

In the meantime, Evelyne Alfonsi, a 22-year veteran administrator at the board, will take over Matheson’s role on an interim basis once she leaves her role on Thursday.

–With files from Global’s Gloria Henriquez