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Care deeply, challenge directly: reflections from an Outstanding Principal

It was a great honour to be part of Canada’s Outstanding Principals! The entire experience in Toronto was excellent from the exceptional professional learning at Rotman’s School of Business to the invaluable networking with colleagues from across the country. The professional learning was some of the best of my career with sessions on student and staff engagement, models of leaderships, unconscious bias training, cultural responsible education and innovating in an age of exponential change.


Because of the Canada’s Outstanding Principals program, I am a more reflective leader with capacity building with both adults and children remaining my primary focus! I manage by walking around (MBWA) so that I can catch my stars shining! The importance of investing in relationships (“care deeply, challenge directly”) and doing what matters everyday were solidified during my time at the Canada’s Outstanding Principals program.

Since returning home to New Brunswick, I have been working with and supporting my staff in building innovation into the learning environment. By incorporating experiential, hands on learning, we are helping our children develop the global competencies needed to be the next generation of creators, innovators and risk takers.

Thank you to The Learning Partnership for sponsoring Canada’s Outstanding Principals’ program and for providing this world-class professional learning opportunity to educational leaders across the country!

16_Hierlihy_Bonnie_.jpgBonnie Hierlihy is a principal at Fairvale Elementary in Rothesay, New Brunswick.  Bonnie was a 2018 Canada’s Outstanding Principals award recipient.  Nominations are now open for the 2019 Canada's Outstanding Principals program.  This post is being shared as part of a series in celebration of National Principals' Month.