HPEDSB welcomes Kristen Niemi, Superintendent of Education

HPEDSB welcomes Kristen Niemi, Superintendent of Education
Posted on 08/02/2022

Welcome and congratulations to Kristen Niemi, appointed as Superintendent of Education at Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, effective August 22, 2022.Kristen Niemi photo

Niemi comes to HPEDSB as an experienced superintendent, having been in a similar role at District School Board Ontario North East (DSBONE) for the past four years.  While there, she led the K-12 Learning and Teaching portfolio, which included Student Success, Innovation and Alternative Education.  Prior to that, she held administrator roles in several elementary and secondary schools over eight years and taught as a secondary teacher for 11 years, at DSBONE and Near North District School Board.

"We are fortunate to have an experienced superintendent join the senior leadership team.  With her diverse background leading equity and Student Success portfolios, along with a year leading Indigenous Studies courses, Kristen is ready to take on new challenges and learn alongside staff at HEPDSB," said Katherine MacIver, Director of Education.

Leading and learning through an equity lens are Niemi's strengths, as she views equity as foundational throughout education.  She led the DSBONE Equity Advisory Committee for two years and also supported equity work at a provincial level through the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers' Association.  Niemi has worked collaborative with First Nations and Friendship Centres to support Indigenous students, and learning as a principal and as a superintendent.

Niemi is known as a kind and thoughtful leader who has high expectations of herself and others.  Through her diverse experiences, she has learning to challenge thinking, advocate for, and influence change, to ensure students with Special Education needs and students who identify as Indigenous have a voice at the table.

"I'm looking forward to joining HPEDSB in a senior leadership role, supporting such a dynamic public education organization.  Some of my first steps will be to get settled in the community and meet staff, students and families," said Niemi.

HPEDSB launched a process to recruit a superintendent of education in July.  This role is funded through the Program Leadership Grant, which funds school boards to system level leadership.  It also aligns with a recommendation in the 2022 Operational Review completed by Optimus SBR and a review of senior leadership at school boards similar in size to HPEDSB.

Niemi will be responsible for the support and supervision of the Eastside and North Hastings school groups, and the portfolios of Equity, Innovation, Indigenous Education and Safe Schools.  She and her family will be relocating to the area in the coming weeks.

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) serves approximately 15,000 students each day at 39 in-person schools (32 elementary, 2 K-12; 4 7-12, and 1 secondary) and 1 K-8 virtual school.  Supporting student achievement is the goal of approximately 1,800 teaching and support staff who, in addition to the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners, share their passion for teaching and learning.

The district covers a geographic area of 7,220 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south and Quinte West to the west.