Press Releases


MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 13, 2001– Dr. John Simms has been elected as the new chairman of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB). He succeeds George Vathilakis, who stepped down recently in order to put forward his candidature for the Montreal megacity election in November.

Dr. Simms will serve as chair until the next school board elections, tentatively scheduled to take place in November, 2002. He was first elected as a commissioner for the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal (PSBGM) in 1969, representing the Town of Montreal West where he has served as mayor for the last 12 years.

Dr. Simms served one four-year term as chairman of the PSBGM from 1973-77, at a time when the Board had 64,000 students. He was also the president of the Quebec Association of School Boards (QASB), a member of the Protestant Committee of the Superior Council of Education for Quebec and a director of the Canadian School Trustees Association and the Canadian Education Association. Professionally, Dr. Simms was the director general of the Montreal Association of the Blind (MAB) from 1977 to 1995. Upon his retirement, a newly constructed Pavilion John A. Simms was dedicated. He still fulfills a consulting role for the organizations.

Over the years Dr. Simms has been honored with the Confederation of Canada Commemorative Medal and distinguished service awards from the QASBA and the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In August 2000 he was presented with the Paul Harris Fellow Award by Rotary International. A native of Nova Scotia, Dr. Simms attended Dalhousie University in Halifax. He took his theological studies at the Presbyterian College of McGill University and Union Seminary at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Simms is an ordained minister, having served in Montreal at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul and the Montreal West Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Simms is married to Lillian Wood. The couple have three children and two grandchildren.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213