Tony Stack leaving as head of N.L.'s English school board

Newfoundland and Labrador English District CEO and director of education Tony Stack is leaving as head of the board at the end of January. (Sherry Vivian/CBC - image credit)
Newfoundland and Labrador English District CEO and director of education Tony Stack is leaving as head of the board at the end of January. (Sherry Vivian/CBC - image credit)

The head of Newfoundland and Labrador's English school board is resigning.

Tony Stack will leave as education director and CEO of the provincial English school district at the end of January, the board has confirmed to CBC News. The board said Stack is retiring.

Stack took over as head of the board in 2017, after the former CEO — Darrin Pike — left for a new job with the teachers' union.

Stack had previously worked as a teacher and a principal at St. Peter's Junior High School in Mount Pearl and as associate director of programs for the school district.

He also served for decades in the Canadian military, retiring from the Canadian Forces Army Reserve in 2016 with the rank of brigadier-general.

As head of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, Stack has presided over a number of difficult situations — perhaps most significant among them, guiding the system through 2½ years of COVID-19 disruptions.

As the pandemic took hold in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2020, students and teachers were forced into virtual learning and then back to classrooms. Mandatory masking rules, thousands of students cut from bus routes, and limits on some school activities were among other changes.

Stack was also in charge during a 2018 spending scandal, when a damning report by the province's auditor general found some school board employees broke tendering rules, appeared to have taken gifts from vendors who did business with the district, and charged taxpayers for things like high-end clothing and accessories.

Most recently, Stack had asked the government to explain why it was building a new high school in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's — the town where Premier Andrew Furey lives.

"[The new school] was not one of the three priorities we identified nor has there ever been an infrastructure request for a high school in [Portugal Cove-St. Philip's]," wrote Stack in an email to deputy education minister Greg O'Leary on April 18.

The Department of Education, in an emailed statement, thanked Stack for "his contributions to education."

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Stack played a key role in helping lead schools through unprecedented times. We wish him all the best in his retirement," the department said.

"The department will now look at next steps to fill the position."

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