12/01/2014 09:23 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST

Shaun Chen named Toronto District School Board chair

Shaun Chen is the new chair of the Toronto District School Board after winning a secret ballot at the board’s Monday evening meeting.

Chen, the trustee for Ward 21 — Scarborough-Rouge River who easily won re-election in October’s municipal election, assumes the role at a tense time for the largest school board in Canada.

Last week, Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals appointed an outside expert to review how the board operates, citing a "culture of fear" among staff. Then, in a Nov. 27 meeting, the fireworks continued with trustees siding with or against education director Donna Quan.

Sheila Cary-Meagher (Ward 16 — Beaches-East York) was elected vice-chair.

Chen previously served as the TDSB's vice-chair.

Monday evening also served as the swearing-in for 11 new trustees.