DDSB Appoints Three New Superintendents to Fill Vacancies

Posted On Thursday July 30, 2020

New Superintendents will provide system leadership and continued stability during COVID-19

The Durham District School Board (DDSB) is pleased to announce the appointment of two Superintendents and one Acting Superintendent to fill current vacancies.

Gary Crossdale

Gary Crossdale will become Superintendent of Education, responsible for the Safe Schools portfolio and assumes responsibility for the Maxwell Heights SS and Eastdale CVI Family of Schools.

Crossdale has over 30 years of experience working with children and youth, spending the last 25 years at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Most recently, he has been the Central Principal of the Caring and Safe Schools Program since 2013 and prior to that, he spent 17 years as an elementary teacher and administrator in Toronto’s Regent Park community. His focus on equity, anti-racism and anti-oppression has resulted in stronger educational connections and engagement by students, parents and community members to school spaces. As an accomplished leader in this area, his work has been instrumental in helping to reduce suspensions and expulsions while developing collaborative and positive relationships with school administrators. He also holds a Masters in International Education.

Erin Elmhurst

Erin Elmhurst will become Acting Superintendent of Education behind Acting Associate Director of Academic Services Jim Markovski. She will be responsible for the Early Years and Poverty Strategy portfolios and will be sharing responsibility for Indigenous Education with Superintendent Mohamed Hamid. She will also assume responsibility for the Dunbarton HS and Pine Ridge SS Family of Schools.

Elmhurst has been an educator for 22 years, with 12 of those years as an administrator with the DDSB building trusting relationships throughout the system. Most recently, she has excelled in her role with over the past four years as the Education Officer for Indigenous, ESL, and Outdoor Education, where she built a robust and collaborative ESL team from a department of 4 to 24 after examining the needs of ELLs and adjusting the service delivery model. A collaborative leader, her approach is centered on human rights and equity and she has co-led and facilitated the capacity building of Indigenous and Racialized educators in the administrative promotions process. She also holds a Professional Masters of Education in Indigenous Education.

Jack Nigro

Jack Nigro will become Superintendent of Education, responsible for the Elementary Curriculum portfolio and will be working with Superintendent Stephen Nevills for a K-12 focus on curriculum. He will assume responsibility for the RS McLaughin CVI and GL Roberts CVI Family of Schools.

Nigro has worked in education for 30 years, serving in various roles as a teacher, Education Officer with the Ministry of Education, Superintendent of Curriculum at the Halton Catholic DSB and most recently as Superintendent of Education including Family of Schools, Student Achievement, Indigenous Education, and Equity and Inclusion at the Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB. He is recognized as a leader in Equity, Inclusion and Indigenous education across the province and has a strong commitment to close achievement and opportunity gaps among students. He was recently appointed as the 2020-21 President Elect of the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association, where he previously served a Co-Chair of the Professional Learning Committee and Equity Committee. He also holds a Masters of Education.

All three superintendents will be starting by August 24, 2020. They were selected following an extensive search to create a superintendent hiring pool, where candidates from across Canada applied to be considered and participated in a comprehensive process.


“The Board of Trustees is excited to welcome Gary Crossdale, Erin Elmhurst and Jack Nigro in their new leadership roles. Their expertise and dedication to public education will make them tremendous additions to the senior leadership team.”

 -         Chris Braney, Chair of the Board

 “We are lucky to be adding three exceptional education leaders to our team who have the experience needed to contribute right away as we work to manage the changes brought on upon us by COVID-19. They will also help us continue moving forward on our strategic priorities and operational goals, with a strong emphasis on equity and inclusion to support student success and well-being.”

 -         Norah Marsh, Acting Director of Education