Canada: Obeng Appointed CEO-Superintendent of the Burlington School Board

51002061 (1)Ghanaweb – Yaw Obeng, a Ghanaian-Canadian educationist based in Canada, will take the helm of the Burlington School District in USA on July 1, 2015. His contract with the District School Board is for three years.

Mr. Obeng aged 45 years, is currently serving as superintendent in the Halton District School Board in Burlington, Ontario. Yaw Obeng who arrived in Canada during the 1982/83 school year as a Grade 6 student from Maryland, USA was born to Opanyin Kofi Obeng and Madam Akosua Oppong in Germany. As providence would have it, little Yaw was taken from Germany to his homeland-Ghana in 1969 by his grandfather, Opanyin Stephen Oppong who became his greatest mentor in the early 1970s. Little Yaw therefore began his elementary education at the Association International in Accra, Ghana. He later moved with his parents to the United States where he continued with his elementary school before entering Canada.

It was at West Humber Collegiate in Toronto that Yaw had the motivation to become a leader in the teaching profession, which is mostly dominated by mainstream Canadians. That was his dream! And to achieve his dream, he effectively combined his talents in sports with hard work in the academics to win merit awards for both academic and athletic excellence. After completing his secondary education in 1988, Yaw chose to go to the University of New Brunswick to train as a professional teacher, completing his postgraduate studies at the university in 1993.

He later did some supply teaching in both New Brunswick and Ontario. At that time it was not easy securing a full-time job. However, the school in Ontario at which Mr. Obeng worked as a long term teacher requested the then Etobicoke Board of Education to employ him as full-time teacher. That school happened to be his former Middle School!

Yaw was eventually appointed Departmental Head for Community Services as well as Curriculum Consultant (K-OAC) at the then Etobicoke Board of Education in 1997. He later became a Vice Principal at Humber Summit Middle School in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in 1999 until 2001 when he was appointed the Principal of Brookview Middle School of the TDSB in the Jane/Finch area- a challenging neighborhood in the Greater Toronto Area. In 2004 he moved to the TDSB head office as a Supervising Principal charged with System responsibilities: Program & Instruction Department-budget, targets and actions. He served professionally in that capacity at the TDSB until his elevation to the post of Superintendent of Education in the Halton District School Board in 2006.

He impacted the Ghanaian community in Toronto with his administrative leadership experiences and demonstrated a commitment to the development community assets. Yaw constructively engaged parents and community organizations in building a positive environment for our youth to grow. He, also, had the opportunity to address our youth during community youth summits.

Already the Burlington School Board Chairman Patrick Halladay after the board’s search for its CEO arrived at high hopes for Yaw Obeng as the best man for the job. He is reported in the Vermont Free Press as having said that, “Obeng has more than 20 years of educational experience as a teacher, principal and school administrator. The community members seemed to really like Obeng when a community interview was held two weeks ago.

“I think universally, what people found was an incredibly thoughtful person, who brings a lot of the talents that this district is looking for right now,” Halladay said.

The Ghanaian community in Toronto where Yaw Obeng, over the years, has demonstrated his ability to lead and his commitment to professionalism and hard work, wish him well in his new appointment as the CEO of the Burlington District School Board in the US.

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