Director of Education

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher is a respected leader in public education. He was appointed on Sept. 1, 2019 as Director of Education for the Thames Valley District School Board, where he provides support and leadership to more than 75,000 students and thousands of educators and staff. 

Mark is an optimistic and proactive problem-solver, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of Director of Education.

Mark holds a Bachelor's degree from McGill University, and has been awarded Master’s degrees in Education, focused on curriculum and leadership.

In 1994, he began his career as an educator at the Durham District School Board. It wasn’t long before his commitment to student learning and his passion for getting the best from colleagues led to his promotion as Vice-Principal.

Mark found new challenges at the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, where he served at a school and system administrator. Following this, Mark joined the Ministry of Education as Student Achievement Officer. He moved on to the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, where he was appointed Superintendent of Education for School Climate and Student Well-Being.

In 2016, Mark returned to Durham District School Board to take on the role of Superintendent of Education of Leadership and Operations and then became the Associate Director of Academic Services, where he was known for his “enthusiasm, work ethic, passion for education, and sense of humour.”

Mark developed a strong set of beliefs and values during his journey as an educator, leader – and parent.

He believes in the power of leadership and that all effective educators have to be committed – every day – to improving outcomes for all students. Mark believes it is a sacred duty as a senior educational leader – and it’s an expectation he has of all staff members – to care and lead. 

He’s committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn and thrive. To do this, Mark believes educators must build trust and a spirit of collaboration with their students and their colleagues – focusing on developing other’s capacities, rather than focusing on their limitations.

Good leadership sometimes starts with very simple things, like the power of a warm welcome. When you greet a student with the words: "I'm glad you're here" – they know they matter to us. 

(In fact, a study found that when teachers greeted their students at the door, academic engagement increased by 20 percentage points.)

For Mark, the essential qualities of leadership include:

  • Optimism – never losing hope that the best possible outcome can be achieved
  • Resilience – embrace change and adapt to challenges with grace, humor and goodwill
  • Self-efficacy – believe in your ability to achieve your goals, and
  • Proactivity – look to the horizon, anticipate and act in advance of future situations . . . not waiting to be asked to act, or requiring a detailed set of instructions.

At the end of the day, Mark believes no matter how good we become, we should always want to do better.

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