40 Exceptional Leaders Recognized as Canada’s Outstanding Principals

The Learning Partnership honours principals from every province and territory for exemplary leadership


Toronto, ON – Great principals make great schools. The Learning Partnership is pleased to announce 40 exceptional educators from across the country as Canada’s Outstanding Principals of 2017.

Now celebrating its 13th year, The Learning Partnership’s Canada’s Outstanding Principals program recognizes the unique and vital contribution of principals in publicly funded schools. The 40 principals, nominated by parents, colleagues, and community members, and chosen by a national selection committee, are being celebrated for demonstrating innovation, leadership and for employing creativity in finding solutions and opportunities within their school communities. They will be awarded for their accomplishments at the annual Canada’s Outstanding Principals gala on February 28th, 2017, at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

The winners also benefit from an exclusive five-day executive leadership training program at one of Canada’s top business schools, the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The program will introduce them to leadership and management practices presented by business, government and education leaders as well as Rotman faculty. Principals also participate in The World of Work: Wellbeing and Resilience, a professional learning day hosted by CIBC, where they have the opportunity to learn about today’s workforce from leaders in business, health and education.

The 2017 winners will join the prestigious ranks of the National Academy of Canada’s Outstanding Principals, which now boasts over 400 members. The National Academy offers principals ongoing networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities so they can enhance their leadership skills.

“We are delighted to be celebrating these exceptional principals for their contributions to their schools and communities,” says Rod Thompson, Director of Executive Leadership Programs at The Learning Partnership. “Their dedication to building and leading teams of great teachers plays a vital role in positively impacting student achievement and success and we are elated to recognize these dynamic leaders in the Canadian public education system.”

In the Canada’s Outstanding Principals program, principals are nominated by their colleagues, school staff and community members. Nominations are evaluated and final winners selected on a representation-by-population basis by a national selection committee made up of a distinguished group of Canadian education, community and private sector leaders. Candidates are chosen using the following criteria: leadership and student achievement; leadership and innovation; instructional leadership; professional learning teams; partnerships with families and communities; personal growth initiatives; and corresponding letters of support. The program is offered across Canada in English.

Canada’s Outstanding Principals is made possible through the generous support of CIBC and Deloitte.

Consult the full list of Canada’s Outstanding Principals 2017, their biographies and photographs.

About The Learning Partnership
The Learning Partnership is a national charity dedicated to building stakeholder partnerships to support, promote and advance publicly funded education in Canada. We do this through five key deliverables – innovative student programs, executive leadership for educators, knowledge mobilization and policy, tribute celebrations of excellence and ongoing collaborations across Canada. Since 1993, more than 6.5 million students have participated in The Learning Partnership’s programs. For more information about The Learning Partnership, visit www.thelearningpartnership.ca.

Quick Facts
  • The Learning Partnership celebrates the 13th year of Canada’s Outstanding Principals.
  • Canada’s Outstanding Principals program is both a nationally recognized award and an executive leadership training program.
  • Through Canada’s Outstanding Principals program, The Learning Partnership recognizes principals who demonstrate innovation, have an entrepreneurial spirit and are creative in finding solutions and opportunities in their respective schools and communities.
  • This year, 40 principals, representing every province and territory, have been chosen by a national selection committee on the basis of their exceptional contributions that positively impact student achievement and success.
  • The program’s national selection committee, composed of leaders from government, business and education takes into account 16 different criteria that fall into four categories, using quantitative and qualitative evidence of how the leadership of the principal has improved student achievement.
  • The Canada’s Outstanding Principals executive leadership program provides principals with training in proven management skills and leadership techniques that foster excellence in schools.
  • The 2017 winners will join the ranks of the National Academy of Canada’s Outstanding Principals, which now boasts over 400 members.
  • More than 400 guests from schools, school boards, business and government attend the annual Canada’s Outstanding Principals gala every year to celebrate principals who are making a difference in their schools and communities.
  • The Canada’s Outstanding Principals awards gala is on February 28th, 2017 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

Complete list of winners – By province


Rita Dickson Louise Dean School Calgary
Christine Gannon St. Philip School Calgary
Alison Hancox Palliser Beyond Borders Lethbridge
Lynn Leslie St. Martha School Calgary
Cheryl McInnes St. Joan of Arc School Calgary


Michael Franklin GROW Alternate Education Centre Williams Lake
Angelo Morelli École K. B. Woodward Elementary School Surrey
Alida Privett Mar Jok Elementary School Kelowna
Jacqueline Taylor Ellison Elementary School Vernon


Tony Carvey Institut collegial Vincent Massey Collegiate Winnipeg
Gail McDonald George Fitton School Brandon


Wayne Annis Keswick Valley Memorial School Burtts Corner
Matthew Bedard Seawood Elementary School Saint John
Nancy Matthews Riverview Middle School Riverview


David Locke Holy Spirit High School Conception Bay South


Carolyn Carroll Harry Camsell School and
Princess Alexandra School
Hay River


Carol-Anne Larade John MacNeil Elementary School Dartmouth
Craig Myra École Chebucto Heights Elementary School Halifax


Aubrey Bolt Tuugaalik High School Naujaat


Flora Cifelli Dante Alighieri Academy Toronto
Susan Forbes St. James the Greater Catholic School Smiths Falls
Monday Gala C. W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute Toronto
Denise Gotell St. Thomas More School Ottawa
Craig Howe John English Junior Middle School Toronto
Anne Laflamme École secondaire publique Le Sommet Hawkesbury
Karan Leal St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School Peterborough
Darren Lentz Kingsway Park/Hyde Park Public Schools Thunder Bay
Lucille Plante École élémentaire catholique Bernard-Grandmaître Ottawa
Sylvain Plourde Learning Support Services, Special Education Ottawa
Loui Silvestri Sunningdale Public School Oakville
Belal Taha Trillium Woods Public School Richmond Hill
Andrea Taylor M. M. Robinson High School Burlington
Helmut Tinnes Doon Public School Kitchener
Geordie Walker Hillcrest High School Ottawa


Erin Johnston Prince Street Elementary School Charlottetown


Mary Lazaris Twin Oaks Elementary School Laval
Anna Sanalitro Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School Montreal


Bev Bjornson-Kowalchuk Emerald Ridge Elementary School White City
Cheri Haberstock Westview School Estevan


Lorrie Peterson Jack Hulland Elementary School Whitehorse