It’s Time – I’m Hanging up my Hat

As I sit to write this so many thoughts run through my mind. Things I want to say, thoughts I hope to express, and emotions I search to articulate. It is in writing that I tend to find the most clarity and so on the eve of a visit that I will be making to my staff I sit in a quiet room and look to find the words that I need to express all that I hope to share.

After a number of months of consideration I have decided that it is time for me to hang up my administrator hat. I entered the world of school administration in 2006 as an Associate Principal and later served as Principal of two schools that I continue to cherish very much. The experiences over the past 10 years were life-changing. I learned so much! I excelled in some areas and struggled in others, but the one thing that remained steadfast was my passion for teaching and my eagerness to foster positive and supportive relationships, whether that be with students and families, or with the staff that I worked alongside.

And now here I am, literally days away from the end of my second maternity leave and making yet another change. My life and my priorities significantly shifted in 2012 when I was married, and our journey to complete our little family has taught me so much! My world has forever been altered and I couldn’t be more grateful. Having children later in life affords you much wisdom as well as challenges. Both my husband and I have careers that are well established and this has been a blessing. It has also created a unique situation. In my opinion I no longer believe that I can effectively be the leader that a school deserves and that I’ve always been, while also being the mom that I aspire to be. And with that, I couldn’t be more proud of the decision that I have made. We always say that we will put our family first, and I put my chin up as I announce that it is time for me to hang up my hat and return to the classroom.

It is at this point that I promised myself I would make sure to explain one very important thing. In no way, shape, or form do I want people to think that I am making this change because I think teaching is easier than school administration. It absolutely isn’t! It’s just different. For me, working as closely to kids as possible is where I get my passion and excitement. If I’m going to be leaving my own precious kids in someone else’s care while I work, I need to ensure I’m feeling that passion as immediate and as much as possible. Teaching also provides me with a bit more flexibility in terms of when I come and go from school at the start and the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong I have most certainly not forgotten how much work teachers haul back and forth on a nightly basis, but over the years I found that as an administrator so many uncertainties exist at the start and the end of the day and it is our job to stay until the job is done and everyone is taken care of. As a teacher there is a better chance to leave the building as needed upon the close of the school day, even if that means throwing a heavy packed bag of work over your shoulder to pull out hours later when you wish you were sleeping. Sometimes leaving promptly after the bell is the difference between taking your daughter to her dance class, or not. Here’s the other thing, as a school leader you truly take on what I describe as “the weight of the world.” Although I admit that is a bit dramatic, it is however true in many ways. As a bit of a perfectionist and heart on the sleeve kind of person, I was usually unable to switch my admin mind off once I walked through the doors of my home. I carried with me so many burdens and that made it difficult for me to be truly present at home. As teachers we do the same with regards to the kids in our class, but it is a bit more focused and contained. That seems more manageable while I crawl on the floor playing cars at night, zip around the basement pretending to be Spy Barbie or PJ Masks, and wrestle one girl that is crawling around and over me while I try to read a book with great expression to the other.

In a nutshell here’s what I want anyone reading this to know:

  • I love my job and I am passionate about my career in education. I have always worked hard and I am proud of all that I have done…but I love my husband and my kids more!
  • I have unending respect for educational assistants, support staff of all kinds in schools, and teachers. If you are a teacher that I have worked with at St. Catherine’s School or St. Martha’s, your passion and your skills are a big reason why teaching is so enticing to me once again. You have kept my pull to teach alive by showing me each day what great teaching looks like! You guys rock!
  • One element that I will miss most about school administration is my ability to put into action what I believe deep down in my gut to be the best decisions for kids first. I love that I was afforded the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is so to speak and lead the way that I always believed a principal should. My friends back at my old school in Picture Butte knew me as a teacher first…I truly hope I did all of you proud! I hope that my colleagues at both schools will look back on our years together and know how truly invested and sincere I was each step of the way.
  • I will sincerely miss the camaraderie and support system that exists amongst the Learning Leadership Team in our school district, as well as my positive working relationships with central office staff. I would hate for anyone to believe that I left administration because I was unhappy or not feeling supported. Holy Spirit School Division is a great district to work in and a pretty unique family of leaders has been built over the years. This is a group that I am sad to leave. With that said, when my girls are bigger I just might look for an empty chair around the table once again.

So where does all of this leave me? I hope to exhale a bit after I talk with my staff tomorrow and allow myself to fully be rid of the feeling of guilt and sadness that I have for leaving such a great team. I think about the decision that has been made and the support that I have and I can’t help but be excited for what lies ahead. I look forward to filling a Division Principal role upon my return to work next week until the end of the school year and with much anticipation I am eager to take my next steps during the following school year. My husband has recently made a similar decision of his own at his job as well. He has found himself a new position that allows him to consistently remain closer to home, and he too will rid himself of some of the added pressures that came with his current management role.

I know in my heart that we are making the right decisions as a family. What is most important is that we are trying. We are trying to find the balance that we all seek. The pure energy and happiness that I felt while watching my oldest daughter in her Early Learning class earlier this year is what started this all. Clarity is gained when you take the time to see what is in front of you. In front of me I see two beautiful girls with big brown eyes filled with innocence, hope, and excitement. I see a husband who also loves our girls with all his might and who believes in me. We both believe to our core that we need to do all that we can for our life as a family every step of the way. We will not only be teaching our girls the importance of working hard in your careers and reaching your goals, but to always remember your priorities along the way and make decisions accordingly. With that my friends, my next chapter begins!

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When the Teaching Isn’t Pretty

Walking the halls of any school during the opening weeks of the year you are bound to find pristine bulletin boards with tidy trim, clean and organized classrooms, and polished displays throughout the building. There will be some head-turning boards that welcome the students in creative ways with catchy phrases. Without doubt many teachers will have created Pinterest-worthy displays. As a principal I could be in all my glory snapping pictures and tweeting about the many exciting visuals I find throughout the building. These indeed are exciting times and nothing should be taken away from the work that has gone into the above mentioned efforts because those very efforts play a role in generating the excitement that we look for from our students, especially during the opening days of school.

But what happens when the teaching isn’t so pretty?

Not every teacher was born with that creative gene that magically reproduces great ideas into reality within their own classroom. Not every teacher has the space to post biographies of each student or to create that brilliant motivational tool that will be used throughout the year. It may even be true that not every teacher has the time to maintain what they might in fact start in the fall because life and teaching sometimes get in the way of the pretty stuff.

Has social media created unrealistic expectations for our teachers?

                In my opinion, most definitely! Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Pinterest and love looking there for inspiration in many areas of my life. I am also a fan of posting pictures that show moments I am most proud of, whether that be on Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram. The very thing we have to remember however is that these photos and ideas that we find online are the exception. They are not the every day, or more accurately, they are not meant to be the living reality of every moment of every day. It is absolutely okay if the teaching isn’t pretty all of the time. Teaching isn’t about pretty. Teaching is about those ah-ha moments, instilling pride and confidence, lighting a fire, and connecting with students. If you manage to create a moment worth snapping a photo of, do it! Post it! Share it! Those of us looking for a new idea or a pick me up after a rough day will be the better for it. Just promise me that as teachers you won’t expect those pretty moments from yourself all of the time.

Teaching isn’t always pretty.

Catching my Heart up to my Head: The End of Maternity Leave

The inevitable day has now arrived. My little girl officially attends daycare. Although I’m not back to work full time yet, we chose to use the month of August as a time to gradually ease her into the transition. As it turns out, the time for transition seems to be as much for me as it is for her. While my head can logic and reason through the whole process of returning to work and placing my daughter in child care, my heart seems to be overwhelmingly behind in terms of accepting this transition.

Much like stay at home moms can justify and explain their choice to be at home with their children and the benefits that result, I can quite easily justify, support, and explain why being a working mom will also be beneficial to my child. Quite honestly, I could be happy in both roles so it isn’t that I can’t imagine myself home all day with my little one. I’ve enjoyed my year at home and could quite easily approach another year or two or three with enthusiasm. At the same time however, I’ve always known that if I was fortunate enough to become a mother that I’d also be a working mom. Not only do we enjoy and look forward to the lifestyle that we will be able to provide as parents with both of us working, I also absolutely love my job and am passionate about what I do. I look forward to modelling the passion, determination and drive with which I’ve always approached my career so that my little one can see this first hand while growing up. It is my hope that she too will someday find a job that she can sink her teeth into much like I have in the field of education. She will also learn that I am dedicated to quality family time and the importance of positive social interactions both within and outside our home. However, despite my feelings and belief that this lifestyle will be a good one, I find myself desperately wanting to hold on to my little girl and delay her arrival out into the world without mommy by her side.

I tend to be a very logical, well thought out, and organized person. I am finding however that no amount of logic, thought, or organization have been able to put my tears at bay this week. I am confident in our gradual plan of transition and I have a tremendous amount of faith in the child care provider that we have chosen. Yet the night before her first day I couldn’t stop crying as I prepared all of the items that I had to drop off with her. After I handed her over with a smile, a kiss, and a wave I cried once out of sight. Those tears kept coming even though I knew everything was fine and would be fine.

Although I know with great certainty that I can’t keep my little girl in a bubble, nor would I want to, I just can’t seem to get past the disappointment in knowing that others will now be helping to shape and mold this little girl that we are so proud of and cherish. We will no longer be the key influence in her development, but instead that role will be shared. Logically I know that this will actually benefit her. It is a great opportunity to learn from others and an exciting opportunity to play alongside and learn with little ones her age. Unfortunately though, my heart is having a difficult time catching up to this logic.

As I prepare for the coming school year I have many things to look forward to. I will be filling the principal position at a school that has already been very welcoming to me. An opportunity to work with a new group of staff, students and parents will provide me with a healthy distraction and challenge while adjusting back to work. I am already realizing that “Principal Sheri” is alive and well, and when I am submerged in my work I find myself enjoying it. There is no doubt in my mind that before I know it I will be looking back at this transition and remembering how tough it was at one time, while celebrating how smoothly our family routine has become. For right now it is simply a matter of catching my heart up to my head and I make no apologies for the tears of mixed emotions that spontaneously flow in the meantime. I love my job, but I love my daughter even more. I can’t wait for the day when I will look at her playing with her daycare friends and smile with a tear of pride forming in my eyes rather than one of sadness and guilt. That day will come. My logical side assures me that it is right around the corner.

Maternity Leave – Is it really a ‘Year Off’?

                I haven’t been blogging very much over the past year. I’m quite happily pre-occupied with a little project called “being a mommy.” Oh what a project it is! The extent of my learning and own personal growth has been extensive. So does this time away from work really mean that I am taking a ‘year off’?  I guess it depends on what you’re referring to.

Monday -Friday Work Week

                Without any room for debate, I can safely confirm that I have been enjoying a year off from the routine of a Monday to Friday work week. I don’t have to report anywhere in particular very often. I’m held to the routine of baby check-ups and shots and when I do make commitments to meet friends and family I work hard to arrive on time. Other than that, I am enjoying an incredible freedom this year. Wow! I could get used to this freedom I think, but knowing myself the way that I do I would likely build in more and more structure as time went on. We are creatures of habit after all.

Paycheques

                Remember those? I sure do! They’re just about a distant memory now. I think when I return to work I will feel like I’ve hit the jackpot again, much like that first pay after 5 years of costly University tuition. So yes, I have taken a year off of being paid.

The World of Education

                Although I’m not as up to date as I perhaps should or could be, I will say that I think I’ve made a bit of an effort to remain current in my thinking and understanding. My most frequent source of information and connectedness is twitter. What would I do if I couldn’t scroll through relevant and informative 140 character updates on a daily basis? I’m also stockpiling monthly updates from the members of senior admin within my district. I foolishly thought I’d keep up with reading these each month. Now I’m more realistically looking at sitting down and reading a large chunk at a time. Perhaps at a later date I will settle for the idea of skimming over reading. Time will tell.My daily reading involves “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”, “Left Foot, Right Foot” and so on. Apparently my baby loves books – a mommy’s dream come true! So the educational literature and district relevant reading gets shelved in favor of a variety of illustrated favorites… and so they should I dare say.

Learning

                I sat down with our superintendent not that long ago and we talked baby as well as work. He was reassuring in terms of alleviating any fears I had of missing out on too much. I feared being able to get back in the saddle again after a year away. First of all I should mention that it was I that brought up work and not him. He was very good about reminding me that being focused on baby is exactly where I need to be this year and to make no apologies for that. Then he also mentioned something else. He reminded me that I’m a learner. I like to learn and that will get me through. He is absolutely right! In all of the other categories above it is clear that I have taken a “year off” or shifted my year in some way. However, when it comes to learning I have done no such thing. I have embraced ‘mommyhood’ much like I do my profession. Curious, excited, interested in trying new things, self-reflective, frequent problem-solving, and celebratory over milestones. I like to read about babies and their development. I read about baby food and what I can be making her. That’s right…I can puree food with the best of them now! I’ve sought out opportunities to expose her to different things from baby groups, to the library, to regular attendance at hockey games, and now Kindermusik.

                So does maternity leave really mean that I have taken a ‘year off’? Absolutely not! I am stretching my mind in all sorts of directions. I’m seeking new opportunities and constantly evaluating my days and shifting on demand. Sounds an awful lot like what an effective principal should be doing. I am treasuring my time at home…poopy diapers, slobbery wet smooches and all!

This isn’t a year off…this is simply a year filled with amazing new gifts brought to us from a tiny little blessing!

New to Twitter? – Tips for Educators

                More and more people are recognizing the endless supply of information, resources, and food for thought that is offered in the world of twitter. Whether an educational assistant, teacher, administrator, or office administration, anyone working in the world of education should take the time to explore what twitter has to offer.

            I wish that twitter was around when I was starting out as a teacher. Being able to connect with others in my profession and take advantage of all that they have to share is not only helpful now, but would have felt like hitting a gold mine way back when. For that reason I am encouraged when I see institutions like the University of Lethbridge (#uleth) encouraging its use. I follow @ULethbridgeEdu and have noticed an increasing amount of Faculty of Education students joining twitter as active participants. Check out the #uled hashtag to see what these up and coming teachers and their faculty mentors are tweeting about.  

                What about those of us already deep in the trenches who often feel like sufferers of ‘initiativitis.’ When there are already so many new and important things to learn and trends to become acquainted with, how does one find time to wrap their minds around twitter? We know that we are called to be participants rather than just voyeurs of this professional learning network (PLN), but how do we get started?

                Below you will find a few simple tips to help educators get started in the world of twitter so that the endless possibilities of learning and support can be discovered in short order. These suggestions are not exhaustive, but they provide some simple steps to get you started and from there you will discover the many next steps that you can take as you continue to explore.

Tips to Get you Started on Twitter

  1. Build your list of who you are following. Seek individuals with similar interests yet with varied backgrounds and daily experiences within their job assignment. Be open to connecting with educators from around the world.
  2. Look at those that others are following. Once you connect with individuals whose tweets are of interest to you, check out who they are following and discover if you have any similar interests. Similarly, if friends retweet something that catches your eye, take the time to check out the original source and explore their past tweets to determine if you’d like to follow them as well.
  3. Search particular hashtags when building your PLN. A hashtag helps you to focus on particular content and discussion areas. Check out what types of tweets have been happening under a particular hashtag and explore more individuals that you may want to follow.
  4. Watch and learn. Take the time to read many tweets and observe the various protocol that are in place when professionals are tweeting. When do they “RT” (retweet) or create a “MT” (modified tweet)? When do they mention another tweeter with the “@” symbol before their twitter name? What types of hashtags are people using when they tweet in particular content areas? If you see someone use something that you’re unclear about, don’t be afraid to send them a direct message to inquire.
  5. Carve out time each day. This will look differently for each individual. For me, I have always dedicated a bit of time most nights once I crawl into bed to scroll through tweets from the past day. While I try to have a more focused time to do more detailed reading, this quick nightly check-in keeps me connected even on the busiest of days.
  6. Try to maintain a professional focus when tweeting as much as possible. Those who follow you for professional reasons will appreciate this effort and won’t mind the occasional tweet that is more personal in nature.
  7. Post something – Don’t over think it. Get tweeting! Keep it simple at first and go back to simplistic tweets if you find you’ve been quiet in the twittersphere for a while. Here are some basic examples that aren’t difficult to do and will help you become a contributor and active participant on twitter:
  • What activity did your students or school take part in today?
  • What amazing things do you see happening in your school? Acknowledge your colleagues. Be sure to include the hashtag for your district as well as your school if they’ve established one.
  • Do you have a blog or class website? Be sure to tweet the link and let your PLN know when there’s something new.
  • Do you have a question that you’re seeking answers to? Try tweeting it out.
  • When you’re at a workshop or listening to a speaker be sure to tweet out a few little nuggets of wisdom. Don’t forget to give mention to the speaker and give credit where credit is due.

    8. Include hashtags when you post. Using particular hashtags when you post will help to ensure that more people gain access to your posts. This not only provides better contribution to your PLN, but it also helps to build your exposure to more people. The more people that you follow and the more people that are following you, the greater the opportunity for you to learn and benefit from your time on twitter.

      9. Join in on a weekly chat. You’ll notice various people that you are following participating in an online chat. If you see tweets starting with A2 or A4 as an example this means that the tweet that follows is the answer for question 2 (Q2) or question 4. When you see someone tweeting this in live time you may want to hop onto tweetdeck or something similar and type in the hashtag that they seem to be following. Here are a few that you may want to check out in the meantime:

  • #satchat is active on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. EST.
  • #satchatwc is active on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. MT
  • #ntchat (geared towards new teachers) on Wednesdays 8:00 p.m. EST
  • #21stedchat is Sunday at 6:00 p.m. MT
  • #caedchat is Sunday at 9:00 p.m. MT

              Remember, the key to gaining a true appreciation for the benefits of twitter is to establish a focus and to become an active participant in the process. Don’t believe the common misconception that no one will be interested in what you have to say. Follow the tips above and rest assured that the PLN that you establish will be pleased to see the tweets that you share.

The Journey Toward Maternity Leave – Letting Go & Hanging On

                It has been quite a while since my last blog post. Over two months in fact, but the last two months have been busy and eventful and my priorities were shifted. June 1st marked the beginning of my leave as I prepare, and still anxiously wait, for the arrival of our first child. With the continued awareness of that day coming, my last couple of months of school were an experience in and of themselves. How does one prepare for the day that they walk away and leave everything in someone else’s hands? Adding to that challenge was the announcement that upon my return from maternity leave I would be part of phase two of a fairly significant administrator shift in our district and I would be returning to a new school. So, not only was I leaving my home of 14 years in the hands of a new principal for a year, but I was turning over the keys in a much more definitive way.

                I am sure all women experience similar internal struggles as they prepare for a maternity leave, regardless of the job that they are leaving. What work and projects are essential for me to complete because they would be too difficult to explain and hand over to someone else? Which projects or tasks can wait, even though my preference of course would be to finish them myself? What types of things do I need to complete to make life easier for the colleagues that I work alongside? What type of information and files do I need to organize or put down on paper so that my replacement will have all that they need to continue on with the daily work of the school? What little jobs have I taken on as part of my daily routine that perhaps no one really knows that I do? There were so many loose ends to tie up and yet over and over again I told myself that the reality is that I could leave on a moment’s notice and life would go on just fine. Knowing that and accepting it are two different things though.

                With the support and encouragement of my front office staff (who were consistently reminding me that they could take on some of the tasks that I was trying to do myself), and the support of my amazing husband (who listened to me as I worried and kept me grounded in reality of what is truly important), and the amazing burst of energy that enabled me to do work in the evenings again which I hadn’t done since the fatigue of pregnancy had set in, I was able to finally get things to a point where I was able to walk away on my last day and let go of the things that I didn’t quite accomplish.

                I feel the need to pause here and confess that I just wrote a complete and total lie. I haven’t let go of those things that I’ve left behind for someone else to finish. They’re still on my mind often and part of me wishes I still had my hands in the pot so to speak so that I could do just one or two more things. Then one or two more. This wouldn’t end until the cries of a newborn blessed my home and so if I truly wanted to decrease my stress and shift my focus before baby I had to walk away and do my best to convince myself that I was able to let go and leave those things behind. So I write that lie and leave it as such because it is part of a continual process of saying it over and over again until it is true.

                My last day of school was a great day! Although emotions were all over the place between excitement of a baby coming and sadness that I was leaving the school and my dear friends/colleagues after such a long time working together each day, I had clearly voiced that I didn’t think sadness should be any part of the experience of my last day. It wouldn’t make sense or be good for the students in my opinion, and quite frankly, if I’m sad about leaving such an incredible place to work, why would I want my last official day there to be one filled with tears rather than the joy and positive experiences that the school had brought me throughout my career? Our staff and students truly went out of their way to make my last day memorable. My morning was filled with a tour that they had planned. Our Associate Principal had a schedule all worked out and I made my way from classroom to classroom and each grade had prepared something unique and special for me. I noticed a significant trend of chocolate from room to room (my love of chocolate has been well known for many years), and I received some great poems, cards, pieces of advice and pearls of wisdom. Each class had done such fun and creative things. I was so appreciative of all they had done and felt so blessed to have been principal of their school and to have maintained a relationship with each and every group. I remember someone telling me years ago that becoming principal doesn’t mean that you’re leaving your classroom behind…it just means that your classroom has gotten a whole lot bigger. How true and I thank the students of St. Catherine’s School for reminding me of this!

                And now here I sit at home. This time has been incredibly valuable and I thank all of the very wise people who suggested that this time before baby was important to take. It did in fact take me a while to let go of my daily routine at school. Although I’m trying to think of this as early summer holidays, I am all too aware that life continues as usual at my school. Although I continue to look at the online calendar to see what they’re up to, and I have been in touch with many colleagues through email, phone, and texting, I have slowly and successfully decreased my need to check in as often as I initially was. As they prepare for their year-end assembly that will be starting momentarily I can’t help but think about what I might have planned for this year. I also wonder who will be taking pictures and hoping that they remember to post some for parents to see. As I look on the school facebook page and twitter feed I can’t help but think about what I would post (and I confess that I have still been posting items from home). These are tough habits to break when you’re so invested in your job. Actually, let me correct that statement…it wasn’t just the job that I was invested in. It was the people! The people are what make a career in education such an amazingly rich way to spend one’s day. The people (young and old) are what I miss most.

                This experience of preparing for maternity leave, accepting that I am moving on to a new school upon my return, and now adjusting to life at home while school continues as it does each year, has been an interesting experience. I’ve learned to let go while also still hanging on just a little bit. I’m sure there are more opportunities for learning to come over the next 12 months in terms of watching the world of education from a bit of a distance and I look forward to the unique perspective that it will give me. Let’s be honest though. What I am looking forward to most is seeing a little one in that empty car seat that I have sitting by the doorway. I look forward to the squawks and gurgles that will soon be filling our home. Family is more important than anything I could ever write about, but perhaps that awareness of family and connectedness is precisely what feeds my daily work and contributes to my role in catholic education.

Principal Message (April) – God is Good!

        I find this time of year to be the most exciting and most rejuvenating. In conjunction with the celebrations that come with Easter within our church, Mother Nature also blesses us with incredibly fresh mornings, and afternoons that are warmed with the sun and the promise of spring and summer days ahead. You can’t help but feel this rejuvenation both in your faith life, as well as your personal life as well. For students this is a time where the excitement of increased outdoor sports and activities are on the rise, and they are also reaching a unique stage in their learning. This is a time where the accomplishments of the year begin to really come to the surface. Suddenly the child who has had difficulty with printing is suddenly forming their letters with great precision. The reluctant reader is not only showing great strides at school, but is also starting to pick up a book at home to read without being prompted or asked. Those students who typically struggle with being motivated to study for tests throughout the year are starting to really buckle down with the understanding that Jr. High exams are right around the corner. This is a time to stop amongst the many things that pull you in every direction and just look. Look around you and soak it up. Take the time to truly absorb the amazing growth that is happening everywhere around you.

 ~ God is Good! ~ All the Time! ~ & ~ All the Time! ~ God is Good!

Special thanks to my good friend and mentor, the late Mr. Terry Wilson, who taught us this phrase during his time at St. Catherine’s and reminded us regularly to stop and appreciate what God has given us.

GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING

Healthy Lifestyles at St. Catherine’s School

As we planned for the current school year at this time last year we dedicated ourselves to thinking outside the box and challenging ourselves to further increase the promotion of Healthy Lifestyles at St. Catherine’s School. The growth and progress have been tremendous.

Here are just a few highlights from our year:

  • Our daily schedule shifted to include 2 refreshment breaks balanced throughout the day to provide necessary nutrition and activity at better times throughout the day
  • Promotion of the importance of drinking water throughout the day, and the gift of a water bottle was given to each student
  • Our Saints Station canteen has furthered its dedication to providing healthy foods by eliminating many of the processed and less healthy options. With parent support we made great strides.
  • We partnered with the U of L Nursing program to have several student nurses promote healthy lifestyle choices through presentations in our gathering space, as well as specifically targeted lessons within each classroom.

 

Student Leadership & Student Council

The leadership of our older students within our school continues to grow. We are incredibly impressed by our students in Jr. High this year, especially when we consider the following:

  • Our student council has really stepped up their leadership within our school with increased projects to serve others. We also thank them for their leadership and running of some school assemblies.
  • We have a group of French students and Leadership students (those that are members of student council) who will be attending an international WeDay conference in Ottawa this spring. The impact should be far-reaching and we look forward to the innovative ideas that they will bring back to our school.
  • Our older students (whether part of Jr. High options, or simply partnered with another grade as older buddies) continue to demonstrate incredible leadership and compassion when working with our younger students.
  • In general, we are quite simply impressed by the behaviours that we see in the hallways, and during our refreshment breaks this year. Respectful interactions and sights and sounds of happiness are the norm at St. Catherine’s.