Education director Tony Pontes will be leaving the Peel District School Board this year, a move that seemingly blindsided some of his colleagues.
The announcement was made public during the Tuesday, Jan. 24 regular board meeting where trustees expressed their admiration for Pontes as well as their sadness toward the news of his retirement on Aug. 31.
“Tony, you have served this board, in various (capacities), with an impeccable distinction,” said trustee Rick Williams. “Student success is always at the centre of what you do, day in and day out.”
Pontes, who is leaving to spend more time with family, became misty-eyed during some of the heartfelt remarks.
Trustee Sue Lawton remembered first meeting Pontes when she was a partner/volunteer and he was superintendent of education.
“You treated me with the same respect and kindness that you do now as director, as you do every student and every staff member,” said Lawton. “You are a gentleman and have led us all with your heart as well as your head.”
Trustee Robert Crocker noted that Pontes never stopped being a teacher.
Pontes began his career teaching math and woodworking at J.A. Turner Fenton Secondary School in 1978.