Jacqueline Spence, sister of TBSD (Toronto District School Board) Director of Education Chris Spence, has been named principal of the Africentric School. Spence, a veteran inner-city educator replaces founding principal Thando Hyman who requested a transfer to another school. Spence’s resume includes principal at two Jane/Finch elementary schools – Gosford and Shoreham and three years as the Director of the Urban Diversity program at York University’s Teachers’ College. She returned last fall as TDSB’s central co-ordinating Principal of Equity and Inclusive Schools where she helped develop curriculum for the Africentric High School program that will debut in September at Winston Churchill Collegiate.
When Trustee Howard Kaplan was questioned about the issue of favoritism he said, “There’s no favoritism at all in any of this process; the Director (Chris Spence) doesn’t have a say in individual transfers and appointments. Principals are selected by the local trustee, Superintendent and members of the school’s parent council.” Spence says she views the appointment as a “wonderful opportunity to work with students whose needs aren’t being met”.