Grand Erie Bids Farewell to Long-Serving Educator, Superintendent

Headshot of Dave Abbey

Grand Erie District School Board is saying goodbye to Dave Abbey, Superintendent of Education, as he prepares for his next exciting chapter: retirement.

“Over his long career in education, Dave has truly demonstrated that he works in service of the students and families of Grand Erie,” said Brenda Blancher, Director of Education, who provided a public thank-you to Abbey during his final Board meeting on June 24.

“Dave’s been dedicated to his schools and administrators, and also incredibly supportive of the senior administration team,” said Blancher. “I will miss his professionalism, his attention to detail, his sense of humour and general knowledge and experience of all things Grand Erie.”

Abbey has had an illustrious career in education, stepping into his first teaching job in 1988 at Simcoe Composite School, then part of the Norfolk Board of Education. Eight years later, he was promoted to Department Head of Science at Delhi District Secondary School. He had stints in program-support roles for Grand Erie before returning to Simcoe Composite in 2006, this time as the school’s Vice-Principal.

In 2008, he became Principal at Valley Heights Secondary School. He was promoted to Assistant Superintendent for the Board in 2013, and moved in to his current role as Superintendent of Education, Brant/Brantford Secondary Family of Schools, in 2015.

A man dances in front of a green screen

Caption: Dave Abbey strikes a pose during the opening of Waterford District High School’s tech-forward Learning Commons in October 2018

“Dave was my Principal when I was a first-time Vice-Principal at Simcoe Composite School, and over the years our relationship evolved from Dave being my mentor to becoming a very good friend,” said Sue Noort, Principal at Tollgate Technological Skills Centre. “His support and incredible sense of humour has meant a lot to me.”

In his role as Superintendent, Abbey was responsible for a number of portfolios including Information Technology Services and the New Teacher Induction Program, supporting the professional learning and mentorship needs of Grand Erie’s newest educators.

Dave and Lynn Abbey at a football game

Caption: Look out, world - the Abbeys are retiring

“Dave was always motivated to make improvements, and this was evident immediately and much appreciated by schools,” said Michael DeGroote, Principal at Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School. “I appreciated his easy-going manner, his insight and direction when dealing with school situations; not to mention his ability to put things into perspective.”

Abbey will be in good company in retirement: his wife, Lynn Abbey, also a long-serving educator and administrator in Grand Erie, is due to retire tomorrow (June 28). In addition to retirement, the two are adjusting to a new reality as empty-nesters as daughter Grace continues her studies at Conestoga College. In retirement, the Abbey’s will be sharing their love of local and international travel on social media. Live vicariously through their adventures by following @RetiredReinspired on Instagram.

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