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TDSB chooses deputy director to fill in for disgraced Spence

Donna Quan has been an educator for 30 years. She will be filling in as the Toronto District School Board chief on an interim basis.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

The Toronto District School Board has chosen Deputy Director Donna Quan to be acting director of education until a search committee can be established to find a permanent director.

Trustees debated late into the night - for the third meeting in a row - before reaching the decision. Ms. Quan has yet to receive the board's offer, and a search committee to find a full-time replacement for former education director Chris Spence isn't expected to be struck before April.

"It was necessary for us to take considerable time, but not too much," said TDSB Chair Chris Bolton. "Sometime in the future there will be a search... We'll get to other things in due time."

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Ms. Quan is currently the deputy director of the board. She has 30 years experience in education and began her career at the TDSB in 1983 teaching elementary students. She has worked on reserve schools and three grown daughters.

There was some confusion over the terms of Mr. Quan's offer as TDSB Chair Chris Bolton made the announcement late Wednesday. Sources said that trustees were committed to offering Ms. Quan the job early in the night, but that the meeting dragged on as they debated minor details of the offer.

"Whatever the hair-splitters on this board accomplish tonight, it will take the Wisdom of Solomon for the public to understand it," Mr. Sotiropoulos tweeted over an hour before the meeting ended.

Dr. Spence resigned nearly a week ago after allegations of plagiarism pertaining to everything from his personal blog, newspaper opinion pieces and his graduate school dissertation began piling up.

The board is badly in need of a leader as a it grapples with spending scandals, frozen funding for new buildings and an ongoing dispute between teachers and the Ontario government.

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About the Author
Education reporter

Kate Hammer started her journalism career in New York, chasing crime and breaking news for The New York Times. She came to the Globe and Mail in 2008 to do much of the same and ended up investigating allegations of animal cruelty and mismanagement at the Toronto Humane Society. More

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