After scathing report, York school board searching for new director of education

Less than two weeks after a review of the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) found evidence of spying, favouritism and a "culture of fear" among staff, the YRDSB has announced that they are replacing director of education J. Philip Parappally.

"We wish to acknowledge Mr. Parappally's 17 years of service with our Board and wish him the very best on the next chapter of his life," said YRDSB board chair Loralea Carruthers in a statement on Wednesday.

The board will work with the Ministry of Education to locate a suitable replacement, the statement said.

In the meantime, associate director of education Leslie Johnstone will fill the role.

"We look forward to getting back to serving parents and students with integrity and excellence in an environment that is frugal, transparent, and free of bias," said Carruthers. 

Parappally came under fire as a result of a review initiated by Education Minister Mitzie Hunter after two high-profile incidents of racism and Islamophobia and mounting complaints of systemic discrimination within the board.

It described Parappally as creating a "fearful and threatening environment" in which staff members were encouraged to spy on each other and compensation and promotions were determined by favouritism.

The review also raised concerns that Parappally's contract had been extended to an "unprecedented" 10 years despite the fact that he'd had no genuine performance reviews.