The executive director of Hamilton’s public school board has resigned amid an executive appointment to the local chapter of the YMCA.
In a release on Monday night, the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) said secretary of the board Manny Figueiredo will step down officially on Feb. 28, 2022, to take on the post of regional president and chief executive officer of the YMCA.
“The experience of director of education, and working in service of our students and families in Hamilton, has been a tremendous privilege,” Figueiredo said in a statement.
“Advocating for human rights, while working hard to remove barriers for currently and historically underserved students, has led to personal challenges fulfillment. I am grateful to the staff for supporting our board as we continue to create a positive culture for students and staff.”
Figueiredo, who’s been in the business of education for close to 27 years, took on the post with HWDSB on Aug. 1, 2015 when he stepped in for John Malloy — who was appointed assistant deputy with the ministry of education in January of the same year.
The soon-to-be-former education director started as an educational assistant before becoming a teacher in the Waterloo region.
During his six-years-plus as director, Figueiredo navigated HWDSB through the COVID-19 pandemic, a bullying review process following the death of Devan Selvey in October 2019, allegations of racism against board members, and mitigating an ongoing shortage of school bus drivers.
He’s held supervisory roles in both the catholic and public boards joining the HWDSB in the 2009-10 school year as superintendent.
Figueiredo told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton he’s going back to the place where he started his career.
“It was probably one of the first places I found where I could belong and my parents could afford to send me,” said Figueiredo.
He says the recent civil war in Syria and the work the YMCA does for the immigrant community is one reason for his move.
“And it was really…a moment in my life when I was at the border of Syria during the Civil War there and came back that summer and saw so many of our newcomers come in and saw the work that our settlement workers at the Y do to our new families,” Figueiredo said.
A spokesperson for the HWDSB says the board will find a new education director in a “timely manner.”
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