W. R. (Rusty) Hick (1999)
- Peterborough, Ontario
- Master of Science in Education, Administration and Supervision
- Director of Education, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (Ontario)
A lifelong and passionate educator, Rusty believes strongly in the power of the public education system to transform young lives and build a strong, democratic society. He joined the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board in 1999 as a secondary school principal following an extensive and successful career with the York Region District School Board.
Growing up the youngest of seven children in Toronto, Rusty knows firsthand the power of public education to change lives for the better. He received his formal university education in both Ontario and New York state, with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and history from the University of Toronto, a bachelor of education degree from Queen’s University, as well as a master of science in education degree from Niagara University.
"The Niagara program and the cohort of professional colleagues I had the good fortune to be involved with, many of whom became personal friends, was and is a highlight of my educational experiences. We were provided with a theoretical foundation with a very solid grounding in reality and given the opportunity to explore and reflect on what it really means to be an effective leader in education."
Rusty held a number of key superintendent positions in his five years as a supervisory officer before his appointment as director of education for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPR) in 2009. As director of education, Rusty believes strongly that student and organizational success is the direct result of collaborative relationships with our partners in the education of our young people: parents, staff and community. These relationships are the foundation for student achievement and shared accomplishment.
In the first three years of Rusty’s administration, Kawartha Pine Ridge has been among the top districts in the province in improved standardized test scores. As director of education, an even greater commitment for Rusty has been leading the school district to focus on achievement and success measured in broad terms – accomplishment that encompasses all dimensions of personal development: intellectual, social, physical, emotional and spiritual.
Also a graduate of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Rusty has been a keynote panelist at an International Conference on Restorative Practice, has written on system leadership and has presented at conferences across Canada on educational issues. He continues to advocate on behalf of public education as a cornerstone of democracy, a driver of social justice and equality and, in particular, as a savior for disadvantaged youth. He takes pride in being part of an educational system that is a global leader in educational practice.