Courtenay principal recognized nationally for education, leadership skills

Kevin Reimer of École Puntledge Park Elementary in Courtenay is one of four people in B.C. among Canada’s Outstanding Principals.

Kevin Reimer of École Puntledge Park Elementary in Courtenay is one of four people in B.C. among this year’s Canada’s Outstanding Principals.

Kevin Reimer of École Puntledge Park Elementary in Courtenay is one of four people in B.C. among this year’s Canada’s Outstanding Principals announced Monday by The Learning Partnership.

The four B.C. principals will join the prestigious group of 51 educators at an awards presentation and gala in Toronto later this month.

Known for coaching and encouraging students to give their best, Reimer is also committed to building staff expertise, The Learning Partnership said in press release. He obtained a grant to provide hardware, software and, most importantly, meaningful professional development for teachers.

When he arrived at his previous school, Arden Public School, he found it ranked 896 out of 952 in the province. Kevin implemented an improvement plan focused on improving literacy, numeracy and social development skills, teachers and students negotiated learning contracts and staff began working in learning communities.  He secured one of seven UDL grants awarded provincially and encouraged staff to develop clubs and leadership opportunities that appealed to a wide range of learners.

As a result of the systemic changes he and his staff made — known as The Arden Way — there were dramatic improvements in the school’s provincial ranking. As one supporter wrote, “He is a transformational leader who has established high standards of achievement.”

“Behind every great school is a great principal who is not only an outstanding educator but an excellent manager and leader,” said Akela Peoples, president and CEO of The Learning Partnership.

“These school CEOs communicate compelling visions, engage their communities, mentor their staff and, most importantly, create safe and nurturing learning environments for students. We are thrilled to be recognizing these individuals as examples of excellence in public education.”

In the Canada’s Outstanding Principals program, principals are nominated by their peers, school staff and community members in every province and territory. Nominations are reviewed 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: characteristics of outstanding principals; evidence of partnerships with parents and community; a personal story illustrating successful change and innovation that resulted in improved student achievement; and letters of support.

The 51 exceptional educators represent every province and territory. They will receive their award at a gala dinner event and awards ceremony Feb. 26 in Toronto.

Between Feb. 24 and 28, Canada’s Outstanding Principals will also participate in an executive leadership training program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. There, they will discuss management issues with other leaders from the educational and business sectors.

The 2013 Canada’s Outstanding Principals join an assembly of 260 education leaders who have received this honour over the past nine years, becoming members of The Learning Partnership’s National Academy of Canada’s Outstanding Principals.

The National Academy offers principals ongoing networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities so that they can continually enhance their leadership skills.

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

The Learning Partnership is a national charitable organization dedicated to championing a strong public education system in Canada.

For more information, visit www.thelearningpartnership.ca.

— The Learning Partnership

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