Catholic School Board Director Looking Forward to Year Ahead

It's full-steam ahead at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

Director of Education Terry Lyons gave his annual state of the board address underlining the importance of doing more with less while keeping the student learning experience priority one.

Lyons says the ever-improving sports and skilled trades academies as well as the international student program are going to play a big part in the board's success going forward.

He says the provincial government has made it clear it's committed to finding efficiencies — a reality the board is well aware of.

"We continue to look at ways to be creative and innovative and meeting the needs of our communities and our students. We know that we might be entering into some tough times, but it's not all about the cuts. I want it to be more about finding ways to generate revenue utilizing all the resources that we have to create new opportunities for our kids in our board."

Lyons says the international program has allowed the board to boost enrolment while also marketing Windsor-Essex as an academic destination.

"We're trying to run with that. We think it's a great opportunity. We're going to continue to expand our international education program creating global learners, not only for our own board, but having global learners come to our board and having exchange possibilities for our kids because we think that's going to be really positive as we move forward."

AM800-News-WECDSB-Terry-Lyons-State-Of-The-Board-Address-1

Director of Education for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, Terry Lyons (centre), gives his first State of the Board address on January 30, 2018. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

He says technology is changing the way the board operates as well.

"The internet has changed the entire world. Social media has changed the entire world. Learners are inter-connected more now than they've even been. We've had delegations from Italy come and those kids are still friends and they still communicate. Those are all different things that, when we were young, we didn't necessarily have those experiences, but these are great learning opportunities for kids."

Lyons adds one major challenge the board will have to tackle in 2019 is contract negotiations as agreements for all organized labour groups are due to expire in August.