A Catholic school board principal who encourages all staff to “become leaders in their own way, initiated by what is good for students” is one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals.
Diane Sharp, Principal of St. Brendan Catholic Elementary School in Stouffville, will received the honour from The Learning Partnership. The title, awarded to just 30 principals from across the country each year, celebrates innovation and leadership and the ability to find creative solutions and opportunities to better their school community.
“It is an honour and privilege to work with Principal Sharp, who is a dedicated and passionate administrator,” says Laura Sawicky, York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) Superintendent of Education. “With her creative and enthusiastic leadership style, she successfully engages and inspires all staff, students and the community in the partnered creation of an ever-dynamic and inclusive learning environment.”
Recipients were nominated by their school community and chosen by a national selection committee using criteria that incudes leadership and student achievement, leadership and innovations, and partnerships with families and communities. They will be formally recognized at an awards gala reception on Feb. 26 in Toronto.
Through her leadership, integrated technology has become a priority at St. Brendan, The Learning Partnership reports. Students can engage with a variety of tools, such as promethean boards, Chromebooks, iPads, robotics, coding and a school recording studio to develop and enhance their critical thinking, communication and creativity skills.
Sharp began her career with the YCDSB in 1981 as an educational assistant at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Aurora. She became a teacher at St. Francis Xavier in Markham 1988 and has also worked at St. Anthony in Thornhill, St. Mary in Nobleton, St. Clare in Woodbridge, St. Joseph in Aurora and St. Mark in Stouffville. She became the first principal of St. Brendan when it opened its doors in 2012.