Delivered on March 1, 2017
Mr. Speaker, as I’ve said in this Assembly, education is one of the cornerstones of development and success. There are always people behind a student’s experience in education, and they are usually teachers or principals.
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Ms. Carolyn Carroll, Principal of both Harry Camsell School and Princess Alexandra School in Hay River on being recognized as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals for 2017. Principals who receive the award are nominated by their colleagues, school staff, and community members. She is the ninth principal in the NWT to receive this honour.
Originally from Newfoundland, she came to the Northwest Territories in the late 1980s and taught throughout the Tłįchǫ region. For the past 20 years, she has taught at all of the schools in Hay River, and as principal of Harry Camsell and Princess Alexandra since 2013.
Ms. Carroll has created inclusive learning environments at the schools with all staff members committed to a philosophy of child-centred learning and collaboration.
She recognizes the importance of the school reflecting the culture of the community, and has spearheaded a number of culturally responsive programs for the school populations.
Ms. Carroll is a strong believer in inquiry and play-based learning in students. In 2013, self-regulation was introduced in three classrooms in Harry Camsell School. Self-regulation helps students manage their energy levels. When teachers create classroom environments that minimize stressors as well as help students to recognize, respond and manage their energy levels through self-regulation, students are better able to approach learning in a calm and focused manner.
At Harry Camsell, these classrooms include ways for students to help manage their energy, like stationary bicycles to help burn off extra energy, and options for children to learn and participate without sitting at desks.
In addition to her focus on student identity, culture and learning, she is a strong believer in professional development for teachers and collaborative learning environments. As a team, they collectively set goals, share and analyze student data, plan targeted interventions and share their successes.
Mr. Speaker, Ms. Carroll is described as an ‘agent of change’, with very positive support from her community, and from the parents of the students in the schools. Her teaching principles reflect exactly what we’re trying to embody at the Department, Mr. Speaker. Education Renewal is a strategy of transformative change in the NWT school system, with a focus on increasing student wellness and outcomes, and improving teacher wellness. We recognize we must do things differently to ensure the needs of our students and teachers are being met, and Ms. Carroll is a leader in this regard.
Ms. Carroll is currently attending a five-day Executive Leadership Training Program delivered by the internationally renowned Rotman School of Management. Once complete, she will join some 400 exceptional educators that comprise the National Academy of Canada’s Outstanding Principals, which offers its members ongoing networking, mentorship and professional development opportunities.
Please join me in congratulating Ms. Carolyn Carroll and her continued dedication to her students, community, and excellence in education.
Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.