Director of Education Announces Retirement

After over 40 years of dedicated service to Lakehead Public Schools, the Board is announcing the upcoming retirement of Director of Education Ian MacRae.

Ian MacRae has held the position of director of education with Lakehead Public Schools since 2014. He has been an integral influence on the leadership of the Board. An esteemed leader and revered friend to many, Ian MacRae says he is grateful for having had the opportunity to be an intrinsic part of the Lakehead Public Schools community for most of his life.

“Dedicating my career to students, colleagues, and schools has been a humbling experience. I am very fortunate to have served in the role of director of education for eight years and 24 years previously as a secondary administrator. My years as a teacher-coach at Fort William Collegiate Institute stand out as the most rewarding time of my career. Walking the spirited halls of secondary schools, coaching competitive athletics, and encouraging students and colleagues to pursue their dreams has been tremendously gratifying,” said Ian MacRae.

Ian MacRae began his career with Lakehead Public Schools in 1975 teaching chemistry, general science, and physical education. He became vice-principal at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute in 1988 and continued as a secondary administrator at Hillcrest High School and Port Arthur Collegiate Institute. From 1998 to 2009 during his eight years’ tenure as principal at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute, he established anti-bullying programs, inaugural school councils, and new partnerships with community groups, in particular Thunder Bay Police Service.

In 2009, Ian MacRae was appointed superintendent of education and director of education in 2014. Ian MacRae has forcefully advocated for the Board’s motto You belong here and for the respect of all students in our schools. In recent years, he has focused the Board’s initiatives on reconciliation, pride, and health and safety during the pandemic.

Ian MacRae says the pandemic presented unprecedented challenges for the education sector, and he is cognizant and appreciative of the unwavering efforts of students, families, and staff. “The pandemic has been a trying time; although it was incredibly difficult territory for everyone, I am fiercely proud of the resilience, strength and perseverance of our school communities,” said Ian MacRae.

Lakehead Public Schools is honoured to have had the privilege of the formidable leadership of Ian MacRae. Ian MacRae gained the admiration and support of a myriad of students, colleagues, and associates during his career. His resolute commitment to quality education and a memorable school experience for all students will be acclaimed for years to come.

“All trustees at Lakehead District School Board send Ian MacRae their best wishes today and into the future. Ian has shown his complete dedication to the position by being present every day through this long and difficult pandemic. Ian’s pride and love of Lakehead Public Schools is evident. We will miss his stories of education, his one-line witticisms, and his knowledgeable experience in education. Congratulations to Ian and may the road ahead be full of light and adventure,” said Ellen Chambers, chair of Lakehead District School Board.

Ian MacRae’s retirement will be effective August 2022.