Grand Erie Bids Fond Farewell to Long-Serving Superintendent and Educator
Grand Erie District School Board is wishing a fond farewell to Linda De Vos, Superintendent of Education, as she winds down a career in education spanning 35 years.
“Linda has provided Grand Erie with visionary leadership, exemplary administration, and an enduring commitment to staff and student success,” said JoAnna Roberto, Director of Education. “We will miss her tremendously but she leaves us better off for the wisdom and experience she brought to her role as Superintendent.”
De Vos’s career in education began in 1985 as an elementary teacher in what was then the Oxford County Board of Education, amalgamated into the Thames Valley District School Board in 1998. De Vos was promoted to vice-principal in 2003, and two years later, moved into the role of principal. She was an administrator at Maple Lane Public School, Elliott Fairbairn Public School, Algonquin Public School, and Otterville Public School. In 2013, she became Learning Supervisor, overseeing Math, Science, Technology, and Environmental Education for Kindergarten to Grade 12. She left Thames Valley for Grand Erie in 2015, where she’s been responsible for the Elementary Program, School Effectiveness, and Early Years portfolios as well as the Haldimand Elementary Family of Schools, in her position as Superintendent.
“Linda and I started our roles as Superintendents at the same time in Grand Erie, and it was the beginning of not only a fantastic working relationship, but also a very valuable friendship,” said Liana Thompson, Superintendent of Education, responsible for Special Education and the Brantford Elementary Family of Schools. “Linda’s approach has always been open, transparent, and collaborative, with a focus on building and sustaining positive relationships. She is highly respected and admired because of it.”
In addition to the portfolios she is accountable to, De Vos’s leadership has also involved monitoring and measuring student achievement in literacy and numeracy, supporting school administrators in School Achievement Plans, developing system professional learning for educators, and collaboration with Ministry and community partners in working towards a broad range of goals.
“Linda’s leadership style is one which inspires and motivates those around her,” said Marion Kline, Principal Leader, School Effectiveness, who has worked closely with De Vos. “She brings people together to work towards a common goal and a shared vision, listening to the voices of others and valuing their input when making decisions. It has been such a pleasure to work with her.”
De Vos should find no shortage of things to keep her busy in retirement; she and her husband Dwayne live on a working farm in Oxford County, which is a gathering spot for their two sons, daughter and their spouses, as well as two grandchildren (Cal and Emry). She also looks forward to travelling when it is safe to do so.
“I’ve been privileged to have a career that I’ve remained passionate about, one that has been both rewarding and filled with inspiration – both professionally and personally,” said De Vos. “I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities thanks to amazing mentors who have influenced my career at so many critical points. It’s been a professional dream come true to lead Grand Erie’s Elementary Program, including Early Years, as well as to collaborate with system leaders and my family of schools’ administrators. It’s been my privilege to serve the Grand Erie community for the past five years as well as the Thames Valley community before that.”
De Vos will retire from Grand Erie in the new year.