2018 Canada's Outstanding Principals Biographies

John Antle

John Antle | Download picture
Exploits Valley Intermediate
Newfoundland and Labrador English School District
Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador

John Antle has worked as a principal to prioritize both academic achievement and student wellbeing. Under John’s leadership, working with Positive Behavioural Intervention Strategies (PBIS), suspensions and anxiety declined, and learning outcomes improved. Department leaders work collaboratively, using effective strategies and tools, to carefully track student data to inform their practice. John cares for the health and wellbeing of his students, demonstrated through coaching, breakfast programs and adding additional co-curricular activities. Academic achievement is celebrated at school assemblies, and a new web-based behaviour management system was implemented with an emphasis on recognizing student contributions in creating a safe and caring school learning environment. Positive student behaviours are acknowledged every Friday with “Gotchas”, and through monthly celebrations, with rewards donated by local businesses. Under John’s leadership, academic achievement and student wellbeing has improved substantially.

Beryl Boyle

Beryl Boyle | Download picture
Gaspé Elementary and Belle Anse Elementary Schools
Eastern Shores School Board
Gaspé, Quebec

Beryl Boyle is the principal of two small community schools, where she has created a collaborative culture and a shared vision, in both schools and with community partners, where the needs of students come first. Beryl has a deep-rooted belief that investing in early literacy will be a foundation for student success in her community. Under Beryl’s leadership, a four-day, all day pre-kindergarten program was established and has shown positive results. Identifying an unmet need, Beryl liaised with colleagues and community partners to create a sensory room to address the social and emotional challenges that can, at times, become barriers to learning. With outdoor classroom initiatives, community gardens, and a well-established entrepreneurial spirit, students are engaged and have access to a vast natural environment that can stimulate and enrich the curriculum.

Michael Bradford

Michael Bradford | Download picture
Ecole College Park School
Saskatoon Public Schools
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Michael Bradford understands the importance of increasing learning outcomes in literacy for all students, but especially for First Nations and Métis students who form 13 per cent of École College Park’s population. Student engagement is tracked and staff work to ensure each student has a positive relationship with a trusted adult. Michael built partnerships, and invited Elders and experts to deliver in-school programs to help Indigenous students re-connect with their culture. These programs were offered to all students as part of an immersion experience called “Sharing Days”. Now, all students learn Pow Wow dancing, drumming, art, Métis fiddle and jigging, beadwork and singing. Staff participated in interactive workshops conducted by partnerships with provincial First Nations, Métis, and Inuit organizations. Michael’s work in this area has positively impacted the community, beyond the school.

Frank Bradica

Frank Bradica | Download picture
St. Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School
Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board
Courtice, Ontario

Frank Bradica provides St. Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School with focused vision for improved student achievement and strong collaborative leadership. Frank and his staff emphasize deep learning practices, driven by student inquiry. Teachers and support staff participate in targeted collaborative professional learning. Students engage parents and the community in their learning. Frank’s creative problem-solving strategies and unique way of viewing the world has opened possibilities and new opportunities at St. Mother Teresa School. Effective use of technology enables teachers to collaborate on pedagogy and refine their practices. Frank is visible, attentively listens to staff discussions, and shares important information in a timely manner. With Frank’s leadership, support and insights, staff discovered that all members can learn from one another. St. Mother Teresa School has evolved into a true learning community.

Kent Brewer

Kent Brewer | Download picture
Twin Rivers Education Centre
Kamloops/Thompson School District
Kamloops, British Columbia

Kent Brewer is an agent of hope at Twin Rivers Education Centre (TREC). Kent’s message to students is, “we are not going to give up on you.” At TREC, Kent and staff are responsible for Grade 8-12 education, as well as continuing education involving 13 programs located across nine sites. Trauma is a common occurrence given the realities experienced by TREC’s students. All staff receive naloxone training. Drug and alcohol counselling, and sexual assault counselling is available to students 3.5 days a week. For TREC students, visiting the principal’s office has not always been a positive experience; however, Kent has changed that paradigm. Kent says, “TREC is a safe place to learn for whomever needs us.”

Gregory Brucker

Gregory Brucker | Download picture
Barrie North Collegiate Institute
Simcoe County District School Board
Barrie, Ontario

Gregory Brucker brings together two schools, while overseeing ongoing construction and renovations to prepare for a renewed learning centre. As previous principal at Barrie Central Collegiate, Greg galvanized staff to address chronic issues of underachievement and absenteeism, and developed a multi-pronged approach to implementing a more effective academic network, while providing necessary mental health supports. With support from various community partners, Barrie Central gained extra multidisciplinary resources including social work, child and youth workers, counselors, and mental health and addiction resources. Through such efforts, student results increased. Greg has brought his dedication, leadership, and innovative focus to the reframing of Barrie North.

Krysten Cameron

Krysten Cameron | Download picture
German Mills Public School
York Region District School Board
Thornhill, Ontario

Krysten Cameron models a growth mindset and champions inclusion for students with special needs. With staff and the community, Krysten began to initiate deep change at German Mills, building an equitable, inclusive and respectful community culture. To boost morale, staff and students articulated a new school mission statement as a touchstone for the community. This new mission statement was expressed as a wall mural, created by a local artist, and a new mascot was selected. Recognizing the importance of an inviting learning environment, Krysten acquired flexible seating options, including standing tables, exercise balls, and wobble seats. Digital technologies have been integrated to leverage engagement and extend learning outside of the four walls of the classroom. As a result of her efforts, Krysten has established a community of motivated learners and aspiring leaders.

Norbert Costa

Norbert Costa | Download picture
Hillcrest Community School
Toronto District School Board
Toronto, Ontario

Norbert Costa is currently the centrally assigned principal of Continuing Education at the Toronto Distrcit School Board, but was previously principal of Hillcrest Community School. Norbert takes the time to get to know each and every student and parent, finding activities and programs to engage students based on their needs and strengths. Norbert expanded co-curricular activities available from sports, arts, music and KidLit, ensuring that Hillcrest is a thriving school community. Norbert made the love of reading a priority. He partnered with Ryerson University to bring in early childhood education students to support Grade 1 students for intensive reading support. Under his leadership, the school’s environment became a more inviting space with new furniture, spaces for quiet reflection, new sports equipment and refreshed technology. Norbert creates a culture of high expectations, increased student engagement and strong partnerships with staff.

Em Del Sordo

Em Del Sordo | Download picture
Dundas Valley Secondary School
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
Dundas, Ontario

Em Del Sordo is not only a talented administrator, he is actively involved in creating safe, secure, inclusive schools and fostering well-being. Through his leadership, Dundas Valley was recognized in 2017 with the Premier’s Award for Accepting Schools. When two community high schools were closed, Em was designated to lead the newly amalgamated Dundas Valley Secondary School. Em managed the change process as a visionary for future possibilities. Teachers from the two legacy schools grew together by working collaborativley and unifying both former school communities, ensuring students, staff and all stakeholders had a voice and shared vision. Targeted interventions are in place for students in Applied courses and students with special needs, who require additional resources and support. As a result of building a sense of community, which is grounded in improving students and staff learning, student outcomes have increased.

Terry Doyle

Terry Doyle | Download picture
Scarborough Village Public School
Toronto District School Board
Toronto, Ontario

Terry Doyle focuses on collaboration and includes all voices through an equity lense. Together with Scarborough Village’s Kindergarten to grade 8 program and seven Intensive Support Program classes, Terry is determined to increase students’ academic achievement and increase their life opportunities. There is a renewed emphasis on the Math Strategy and using data, including EQAO, for informed decision-making about changed programs and practices. Teachers collaborate on learning teams. Terry understands that students and the community require inviting learning spaces, and has obtained a generous refurbishment grant to create a Peace Garden and make the playground more inclusionary. Terry reaches out to the community and engages parents in their children’s learning. Terry hosts monthly parent dialogues aptly named ‘Tea with Terry’. Terry makes connections to community agencies and annually hosts a Partner Appreciation celebration. Terry knows how to eliminate barriers by understanding the needs of the school to ensure sucess for his students.

Frank Durante

Frank Durante | Download picture
Notre Dame High School
Calgary Catholic School District
Calgary, Alberta

Frank Durante is dedicated to improving student learning outcomes through creative approaches. While principal at St. Mary’s High School, student demographics changed, requiring differing approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners. This included evidence-based strategies for students in the Program for At Risk Kids (PARK), the Transitions Program and English Language Learners (ELL). With the support of staff, Frank began Independent Learning Opportunities (ILO), allowing students to access teachers prior to the school day for academic support. Frank also worked to support students by creating community supports for health and wellness. These included a CALM ZONE in the Learning Commons for students experiencing anxiety and mental health issues. Frank is intentionally visible in classrooms, offering coaching, dedicated professional learning on Friday mornings and supporting his team. Frank believes that, “students’ success is the school’s success.”

Donna Ford

Donna Ford | Download picture
Roselawn Public School
York Region District School Board
Richmond Hill, Ontario

Under Donna Ford’s leadership, Roselawn Public School works to increase critical thinking, independent problem solving and resiliency with its students, and is committed to building a positive community. Donna and her team create a variety of leadership opportunities for student participation. With community agency supports, Roselawn Public School explores ways to acknowledge and reduce anxiety and mental health issues for students, such as developing a mental health protocol through the MASH team or Mentor and Advocate for Student Health and Wellbeing. Families are invited to attend a monthly character and spirit assembly that recognizes students for the positive gains made in their learning behaviours. As a result of these efforts, learning outcomes are improving and a positive school community is being established.

Andrea Green

Andrea Green | Download picture
St. Cecilia Catholic School
Ottawa Catholic School Board
Ottawa, Ontario

Andrea Green builds purposeful relationships with staff, students and the community to continuously improve learning. The school is designed to be a flexible learning environment, making learning more transparent and inviting. This has allowed for collaboration and innovation, resulting in richer and deeper conversations and mutual learning. Andrea demonstrates a constant willingness to learn, take risks and try new things. Each year, staff select one global competency as their primary focus. Students and staff co-construct success criteria indicators, and parents are engaged in the process of understanding the importance of the selected global competency, and possible roles they can play. Andrea and her team leverage digital technology to build digital literacies. Under Andrea’s leadership, St. Cecilia has experienced school-wide transformation.

Natalie Hagerty

Natalie Hagerty | Download picture
St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary
Halifax Regional School Board
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Natalie Hagerty’s expertise, developed across multiple schools as a teacher and as an administrator, has greatly benefitted St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary, a high priority school with a diverse population. To acculturate 20 new staff, Natalie arranged for a bus tour of the local community so teachers could see their students’ lived experiences, and what resources and community supports were available. Natalie recognizes that teachers must understand and be culturally responsive and respectful to their learners. She engages with community agencies, builds partnerships, and seeks out the community’s input and support. Natalie is a leader in school improvement. Natalie believes that professional collaboration is a high leverage tool to improving student achievement. Natalie works endlessly in supporting her staff to improve student achievement. St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary has become a place of possibilities and growth.

Rebecca Hainnu

Rebecca Hainnu | Download picture
Quluaq School
Qikiqtani School Operations
Clyde River, Nunavut

Rebecca Hainnu was first drawn to accounting and translating, before the lure of teaching beckoned in 2006. She moved from elementary teaching into administration to provide a more welcoming and caring place to learn for Quluaq School’s 343 students. Both as an educator and Inuk, Rebecca understands the challenges that parents/guardians face. Rebecca works with the community and Elders to establish collaborative relationships and responsive practices. Drawing on her skills as a translator, Rebecca works to provide materials in Inuktitut, through ‘Inhabit Media’, to make foundational literacy programs accessible to teachers and students. Rebecca models compassion and resilience for staff and students. Her door is open and she is visible in the community, sharing her vision for improved student achievement and welcoming input and support. Rebecca is now recognized in her own community, region, territory and beyond, as a phenomenal, outstanding educator.

Bonnie Hierlihy

Bonnie Hierlihy | Download picture
Fairvale Elementary School
Anglophone South School District
Rothesay, New Brunswick

Bonnie Hierlihy is a dedicated and experienced leader. Bonnie has nurtured and developed a collaborative, innovative core team of teacher and educational assistant leaders. The school team has initiated programs to nurture self-regulation, reduce anxiety, and promote wellness. Through fundraising, the school purchased several silent stationary bikes that help students with self-regulation, including those who are restless, tired, anxious or struggle with sustained attention. In-school team meetings, wellness and mental fitness are integrated into discussions on academic success. Each classroom is equipped with a “Falcon’s Fidget Kit’, which aid in keeping restless fingers busy, bodies calm and minds attentive. Parent information sessions have included topics on generalized anxiety, self-regulation, sleep and internet safety. Under Bonnie’s leadership, staff, families and the community have worked together to educate and support the whole child.

Michelle Lawrence

Michelle Lawrence | Download picture
École secondaire Oak Park High School
Pembina Trails School Division
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Michelle Lawrence is a leader who has been charged with strategically realigning schools to improve student learning. Michelle spearheaded a divisional initiative called Making the Move, which involved the restructuring of 15 schools. The aim was to create a more responsive and effective learning environment requiring restructuring and collaboration across the schools. Michelle was able to institutionalize these changes at École secondaire Oak Park High School by reaching out to the stakeholders across her own school community and re-crafting a new mission and vision. Michelle effectively utilizes, analyzes and acts upon data that is included in the school plan. Michelle brings innovation to her instructional leadership practice, effectively using technology, evidence-based practices, and exploring data in new ways.

Carol-Ann Leidloff

Carol-Ann Leidloff | Download picture
Trafalgar Middle School
Kootenay Lake School District
Nelson, British Columbia

Carol-Ann Leidloff is a transformational leader who has built an inviting, supportive and engaging learning environment in collaboration with staff, parents and the community. Teachers effectively use school/provincial data to address student learning needs, and e-Portfolios and letter grade free reporting has significantly shifted teaching and assessment practices. Innovative programming based on a new flexible, revised timetable help students to pursue inquiry based learning and connect with the community in positive ways. The Lifelong Explorations Program offers new engaging classes such as Photography, International Cuisine, Geocaching, MakerSpace & Robotics, Creativity with Clay, Capoeira and Outdoor Recreation. Classes are multi-aged, allowing students to mentor and build connections with new peers. Carol-Ann leads with passion, courage, and vision. She inspires others to push their boundaries, take risks with their own learning, build their capacity, and become better teachers and leaders.

Mary Paula MacEachern

Mary Paula MacEachern | Download picture
South Woodside Elementary
Halifax Regional School Board
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Mary Paula MacEachern has been successful in creating a significant transformation of the culture in her school that has led to improved student achievement. Mary Paula secured grants from community partners to offer nutrition programs, as well as enable students to access arts and cultural programs and events that they might not have been able to afford. She has also worked to expand technology-driven learning. This year, all students were provided with iPads, Notebooks or Chromebooks, as tools for learning. Targeting inappropriate and anti-social behaviours, she worked with the Safe School Consultant to establish a consistent school-wide approach. South Woodside Elementary has become a warm and caring learning environment.

Karen Madarasz

Karen Madarasz | Download picture
Weston Memorial Junior Public School
Toronto District School Board
Toronto, Ontario

Karen Madarasz is dedicated to ensuring that all students thrive at Weston Memorial. She has worked to improve math and literacy scores amongst a diverse group of students, with a particular focus on boys’ student achievement. Along with staff, Karen crafted an action plan to improve student achievement, which focused on gathering and analyzing student work data. Teachers applied effective instructional practices with resources that would appeal to boys, and Karen was instrumental in enabling common time for collective professional learning. Students now have access to a variety of texts and writing materials, informational text, iPads and interactive white boards. Karen also worked to create more inviting green spaces in the school, soliciting grants and engaging the community to support new gardens, bird feeders and outdoor seating. As a result, students improved both academically and behaviourly.

David Magnusson

David Magnusson | Download picture
Sacred Heart Community School
Regina Catholic Schools
Regina, Saskatchewan

David Magnusson is committed to improving student achievement and uses data to inform decision making at Sacred Heart Community School. Dave and his team unpacked the student achievement data, often noting that their academic results had plateaued. Dave sought advice from staff and school leaders to build consensus and lever structural change. The timetable was altered, providing uninterrupted learning blocks for K-4 students. New literacy programs were adopted and math resources and approaches were updated. Dave worked to improve student attendance through building trusting relationships with parents and the greater school community. Dave clearly explains to parents why regular attendance matters. Monthly literacy evenings are held to build parental engagement. Attendance at Sacred Heart is at an unprecedented high of 95 percent. Dave possesses an innate desire to learn and a drive for continual growth and improvement.

Patricia Makowski

Patricia Makowski | Download picture
Christ the King Catholic School
Calgary Catholic School District
Calgary, Alberta

Patricia Makowski is committed to increasing student academic success, embodying the school motto, “learning for all, whatever it takes.” Patty and staff have created a safe, caring, inviting learning space for the school’s diverse student population. Learning is personalized and students have individualized learning profiles. Each student has identified one or two trusted adults who are their Student Champion. Students are supported through the weekly meetings of the school team, which includes a full-time school counsellor, the Student Champion and parents. There are a variety of clubs and teams to support social interaction. Patty is innovative in finding supports to advance her students’ learning, specifically using data to inform approaches and strategies. Patty is committed to supporting her students and has created a school culture that reflects this commitment.

Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall | Download picture
Boyne Public School
Halton District School Board
Milton, Ontario

Peter Marshall opened Boyne Public School in 2015 with the motto, “work hard, be nice and make a difference.” It has become a shared vision and culture throughout the school. Peter worked to ensure that his school’s diverse community felt welcome, and engaged parents for feedback to inform the school’s improvement plan. He sought partnerships with community agencies to bring additional supports into the school for students and their families. Peter and staff worked together on finding strategies and approaches that would be more effective in increasing student engagement and achievement. A survey of students at Boyne Public School found that they are significantly more motivated to learn and feel a high sense of belonging. Through his leadership, Peter has earned the trust of students, staff and parents.

Norman Martin

Norman Martin | Download picture
Bishop Grandin High School
Calgary Catholic School District
Calgary, Alberta

Norman Martin is an experienced administrator who is focused on the promotion of high school redesign, a student/teacher champion program, and academic excellence at Bishop Grandin High School, a school consisting of 1,675 students along with three specialized programs. His dedication, collaboration with staff and focus has increased Bishop Grandin’s retention rates and student outcomes. Norm and staff have created a safe, respectful environment, where students feel secure and able to learn. He fosters a sense of community and faith. Norm emphasizes the need for increasing student voice and culturally responsive programming. The school supports students at risk through credit recovery, teacher advisors, counselling and remediation. Bishop Grandin also recognizes excellence, seeking out scholarship opportunities for students to post-secondary institutions. Leading through others, Norm has provided the vision and encouraged voice from all stakeholders.

Marion Massaloup

Marion Massaloup | Download picture
Holy Family School
Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board
Hanover, Ontario

Marion Massaloup is a motivated, passionate, lifelong learner, who first worked as a social worker before becoming a teacher and now principal. As the previous principal at Sacred Heart, Marion’s efforts towards improving student outcomes were recognized by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) as the leader of a “School on the Move”. Marion models through example, is constantly visible and accessible, developing capacity by working closely with her teacher leaders. Teams of teachers are organized to specifically address a range of student needs such as culture of care, special education, mental health, assessment and trauma. The teams collaborate and work extensively with community agencies to provide additional services and programs to support students’ challenges and strengths. With extensive, targeted interventions and personalized and precise teaching, student achievement has steadily increased.

Rick Mesich

Rick Mesich | Download picture
Seaquam Secondary School
Delta School District
Delta, British Columbia

Rick Mesich is an open and caring educator who consistently goes above and beyond for his students. Rick sees possibilities, not obstacles, providing the supports needed. While principal at Windermere Secondary School, Rick enabled a student, a recent Syrian refugee girl who uses a wheelchair, to join her classmates on a canoeing trip. This proved to be a more than worthwhile endeavour for all students, as they learned important lessons about inclusion. Rick worked to engage students and continuously gathered input for school improvement through a student working group. The group created a video that captured the student voice and shared it with the school community. Rick models the same commitment in developing the school as a learning team. Rick built a community that fostered mutual respect, acceptance, cooperation, inclusion and encourages empowerment. Rick Mesich now leads at Seaquam Secondary School.

Julie Michaud

Julie Michaud | Download picture
Saint Mary's Academy
Anglophone West School District
Edmundston, New Brunswick

Julie Michaud is an educator who wholeheartedly believes that each child can learn and every voice matters. Julie and her staff gather, triangulate and monitor student data to make sure the supports and interventions are in place for success. Julie searches out multiple grants to supplement the school’s budget, providing additional resources, including nutrition programs and additional technology and books to engage students. Staff are encouraged to have an active voice in matters related to school improvement. Teachers collaborate on cross-curricular projects that reflect students’ interests. Julie solicited grants to purchase new laptops and green screens to further integrate technology-facilitated learning into the culture of Saint Mary's Academy. Julie listens to staff and student concerns and strategically acts on advice. Julie keeps teachers, students and the community of Saint Mary's Academy, motivated, engaged and focused on improvement.

Christopher Oldford

Christopher Oldford | Download picture
St. Patrick Catholic School
Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario
Rockland, Ontario

Christopher Oldford is a caring and dynamic leader, working to make St. Patrick a safe, inviting and purposeful, learning space that is focused on student success. Chris works with staff as a team and together they set goals based on data to improve student learning. Under his leadership, the staff united around a Moving on Math initiative. Teachers concentrated on problem-solving and improving instructional strategies for teaching math through teacher collaboration and student-led learning. St. Patrick is truly a community school, with a focus on building resiliency and well-being. Chris and his team have created a culture that is collaborative and accepting. As a result of these efforts, student survey responses on resiliency and wellbeing are positive.

Shanna Perry

Shanna Perry | Download picture
Alberton Elementary School
Prince Edward Island Public Schools Branch
Alberton, Prince Edward Island

Shanna Perry is a principal committed to building relationships and trust, involving staff in collective goal settings to improve literacy and academic achievement at Alberton Elementary School. Shanna is intentionally visible, walking in classrooms and inviting the community into the school. With outreach, parents/guardians now understand the school’s goals and have a better sense of their child’s progress and what is required to improve the quality of their work. Shanna spearheaded fundraising for additional supports. A new playground was installed and library resources increased. As literacy improved in the school, Shanna challenged the staff to improve math scores. Collectively, staff adopted a guided approach to math instruction, tracked data and used appropriate interventions. Shanna is a vibrant, innovative and compassionate educator who continues to make a difference.

Kate Powell

Kate Powell | Download picture
Deninu School
South Slave Divisional Education Council
Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories

Kate Powell is a committed educator who seeks to bring new experiences to her small isolated school. The Deninu School was facing issues of attendance, alienation, anti-social behaviours, and high staff turnover. Kate’s instructional and relational leadership, as well as her focused collaborative approach, changed expectations, practice and the school’s culture. Approximately 99 per cent of the students are Indigenous and Kate has worked to include traditions, art, sports, language and activities in the school. Dene Elders are honoured and welcomed in the school, and a new Our Language curriculum is being implemented. There are expanded elective student courses including welding, exchange visits from other parts of the country, and advanced courses available via video conferencing. Kate is unrelentingly positive in making substantial differences to transform learning and success at the Deninu School and for her Fort Resolution community.

Sarah Rogers

Sarah Rogers | Download picture
Hastings Public School
Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
Hastings, Ontario

As the previous principal of Hastings Public School, Sarah Rogers arrived at the school ready for deep cultural change. Her first priority was ensuring students and staff felt welcomed, appreciated and safe. Sarah established a breakfast program for the students and then worked with her teachers to establish clubs to create opportunities for student leadership. She also worked to further involve the community by piloting a “Week at a Glance” communication tool to keep parents informed more frequently about current school and community events. Sarah reached out to municipal and community agencies for additional supports needed by students and their families. The school team also worked to improve academics with a focus on mathematics. Teachers worked collaboratively, learning new approaches for improving math, such as moderated marking. Sarah supported the creation of a respectful, welcoming, and inclusionary culture at Hastings. Sarah now leads at Westmount Public School.

Heidi Ryder

Heidi Ryder | Download picture
James M. Hill Memorial High School
Anglophone North School District
Miramichi, New Brunswick

Heidi Ryder began her teaching career at James M. Hill Memorial High School in 1999 and became an administrator in 2011. Her priorities are school climate, academic achievement and ensuring all students succeed. Progress is celebrated and Heidi is committed to providing for all students, whether for remediation or enrichment, the services they need and deserve. To improve student achievement, timetables became more flexible. Updated curricula in history and the humanities were written using Heidi’s expertise. Heidi has worked to ensure all students’ needs are met, including starting a free Breakfast Café and a program called Open Door, which provides students with a room stocked with school supplies, various food items, clothing and personal hygiene items. Under her leadership, James M. Hill Memorial High School is thriving with strong teachers and spirited students.

Troy Scott

Troy Scott | Download picture
Acadia Junior High School
Pembina Trails School Division
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Troy Scott is the principal of a diverse school, where 56 per cent of students are newcomers and over 50 languages are spoken. Troy’s core value is building relationships. In partnership with the local high school, he and his colleagues have introduced an after-school “Peaceful Village” program to connect newcomer students to their school community. This program aspires to teach literacy strategies, extend the school day, assess participants’ literacy skills, build academic vocabularies through tutoring, develop friendships, and embed music, arts and sports programming. It also helps students to set objectives, build leadership skills, and link respectfully and responsively to participant’s families. Troy ensures that there is a myriad of academic programming and extra-curricular opportunities offered to meet the diverse range of learners’ needs. Troy has transformed Acadia into a responsive, caring, supportive community.

Alan Simoneau

Alan Simoneau | Download picture
Lake of Two Mountains High School
Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board
Deux-Montagnes, Quebec

Alan Simoneau is recognized for his skills, results-based approach, and student-first perspective to change the culture at Lake of Two Mountains High School (LTMHS). Alan sought out grants, community partnerships, and foundations to make changes. Alan used technology as the transformational lever, and teachers embraced a one-to-one approach with technology. Working with Chromebooks, game-based learning and promoting digital literacy became part of LTMHS culture. Additionally, Alan and staff used innovative approaches such as mobilizing guidance, academic advising, diagnostic testing for at-risk students and increasing targeted student support efforts. Student engagement grew, attendance and positive discipline improved, and as a result, incidents reported to the school office decreased by more than 90 per cent. Alan invested in deep cultural change and LTMHS became an inviting space for student learning.

Shane Thomas

Shane Thomas | Download picture
Fredericton High School
Anglophone West School District
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Shane Thomas is an innovative educator who has incorporated the use of data to focus the school-wide Positive Work and Learning Environment Plan. Shane has built a culture of wellness for the entire school community. Shane and staff ensure the supports are in place to enable inclusion and success. Shane’s out-of-the-box approach to working with newcomer and international students has contributed to student success and brighter futures. Under his leadership, teachers are refining students’ personal learning plans, consolidating strengths and supporting areas of need. Parents are kept informed with Shane’s “Talk Mail” every week. He works with teacher leaders, ensuring staff collaborate on goal-setting and shared accountability. Shane leads by empowering those around him to make decisions, enact their vision, and take risks for the benefit of students.

Charles Tinman

Charles Tinman | Download picture
Niakwa Place School
Louis Riel School Division
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Charles Tinman is an advocate for the arts and an explorer of the unknown, constantly pushing students towards deeper learning. Students have enriched opportunities to participate in the Arts including live productions and performing before live audiences. In Language Arts, teachers participate in moderated assessment, providing additional supports based on students individual needs. Charles encourages diverse learning opportunities, involving a learning commons, a community garden with heirloom plants, and a robotic program. Charles has also transformed the school into a community hub. Newcomer parents, who may be educated and skilled in their homeland, are invited to the school at lunch hour to volunteer, share skills, and enhance their English-language fluency. Charles encourages critical thinking, collaboration and sharing within a supportive community that now extends beyond the walls and halls of Niakwa Place School.

Michael Tobin

Michael Tobin | Download picture
Paradise Elementary School
Newfoundland and Labrador English School District
Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador

Michael Tobin is an experienced administrator who establishes personal trusting relationships with all members of Paradise Elementary School’s community. Michael emphasizes the possibilities and successes in each of his students. He is visible in classrooms, around the school, and in the community, soliciting input from teachers, students and community members. Through this collaboration, teachers have felt empowered and technology facilitated learning has increased. Michael and his team provide programs and tools for students requiring additional types of assistance. The school is inclusionary, ensuring students have a safe and supportive learning environment. Literacy is another focus for the school and Michael actively networks with colleagues, ensuring professional learning is current and effective. Michael’s actions demonstrate his commitment to his personal slogan of “being the best you can be.”

John Tyler

John Tyler | Download picture
New Westminster Secondary School
New Westminster School District
New Westminster, British Columbia

John Tyler is an experienced educator who endeavours to make learning more accessible for his students. John restructured New Westminster Secondary School’s (NWSS’s) Learning Support Services to better support inclusionary practice throughout the school, providing opportunities for all students to learn and improve on individual pathways to success. John champions digital learning as part of 21st Century competencies. NWSS now boasts a Learning Commons, makerspaces, 3D printers, and several hundred laptops in order to better support the effective implementation of the revised Provincial curriculum. John leads by example, integrating technology into practice as a model for enhancing the learning environment. Through John’s commitment to meeting the needs of the modern world and workplace, he supports a range of pedagogies that combine to move student learning forward.

Marie-Claude Veilleux

Marie-Claude Veilleux | Download picture
Collège catholique Mer Bleue
Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est
Ottawa, Ontario

Marie-Claude Veilleux wanted students and families to feel welcome at their newly-built school, and sought to create a culture of caring. The school community is diverse with students from nearly 30 different countries. Incorporating caring into all aspects of school-life, she led in creating the best possible learning conditions to help her students succeed academically and flourish socially. Once a week, for 60 minutes, Marie-Claude timetabled students into small support groups that stay together until they graduate from Grade 12. Each is led by a mentor–teacher. Topics for discussion included stress, anxiety, bullying and healthy relationships. With the support of staff, Marie-Claude understood that stability enables students to build trust and openness, enhancing their sense of belonging and caring. Marie-Claude encourages both staff and students to thrive at Collège catholique Mer Bleue.

Joseph Vitantonio

Joseph Vitantonio | Download picture
Lester B. Pearson High School
English Montreal School Board
Montreal, Quebec

Joseph Vitantonio is a dedicated professional who goes the extra mile to help ensure that all students have the best chance of both social and academic success. When Joseph arrived at Lester B. Pearson High School, he began renovating and upgrading facilities to create an inviting, environmentally-friendly learning space. This included planting trees and the addition of bee hives for Lester B. Pearson’s Bee Project. Teachers and consultants collaborate to increase and optimize technology for learning. Joseph works to ensure his large school community is able to collaborate for student success. In consultation with Lester B. Pearson’s first Gay-Straight Alliance, a gender-neutral washroom and safe space were created. All voices count, as the community, parents, students and staff have come together, under Joseph’s leadership, to make Lester B. Pearson an inviting, supportive place to learn and grow.