Veteran educator becomes school board’s chief administrative officercare, will delay balancing budget
The Council of Commissioners of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) has announced the appointment of Nicholas Katalifos as its Director General effective March 29.
Given the fact he is not immediately available to fulfil these duties, Pelagia Nickoletopoulos will serve as Interim Director General.
Katalifos has worked for the EMSB and the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal for 29 years. For the past three years, he has served as the principal of the Wagar Adult Education Centre in Côte Saint-Luc.
A professional educator
Katalifos began his career in the education system as a teacher and was the principal of three elementary schools – Roslyn in Westmount and General Vanier and Pierre de Coubertin in St. Léonard. He was also the vice principal of two elementary schools – Gardenview in St. Laurent and Westmount High School.
Over the years, Katalifos has also been greatly involved with community groups and associations, particularly as they relate to special needs. Since 2010 he has been the chairman of the board of directors of the Giant Steps School and Resource Center.
Help for autism
The Giant Steps School was established to educate and provide assistance to students on the autism spectrum. In addition, the school runs a resource center for parents, professionals and autistic adults. His term as chairman ends in June.
Katalifos obtained his BA and MA in History from Concordia University, his Diploma in Education from McGill University and his Workplace Mental Health Certificate more recently from Queens University.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I cannot wait to get started,” Katalifos said regarding his new position. “I consider the EMSB to be part of my DNA. I am so proud to be assuming this position for a board which continually has the highest success rate among English Montreal school boards in the province.”
Right man for the job
EMSB Chair Joe Ortona said that the search committee mounted a thorough quest for a new director general. “Over his career at the EMSB and its predecessor the PSBGM, Mr Katalifos has worked in senior positions in our elementary, secondary and adult and vocational sectors,” said Ortona.
“He brings an in-depth knowledge of our operations and our challenges to his new assignment, and we are confident under his leadership we will continue to meet the needs of our students and their families and remain the top performing school board in the province.
“Throughout his career Mr. Katalifos has demonstrated a commitment to a team-oriented, project-based approach and to establishing an effective dialogue with all stakeholders including students, staff, parents and community partners and school board personnel.
Adjusting to the pandemic
“In the short term Mr Katalifos will be focusing on ensuring our teachers have the tools they need to help young people succeed once they are all back in the classroom and safety measures have been relaxed. Under his guidance we are determined to incorporate the key learnings from the pandemic into our day-to-day operations.”
Katalifos will also be working with the Council of Commissioners and his management team on the development and implementation of the EMSB strategic plan and overseeing the professionalization of administrative support services.