GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Great principals make great schools and have a profound impact on students, teachers and the community.
One of these outstanding principals is Exploits Valley Intermediate’s (EVI) own John Antle, one of 40 educators from across the country being recognized as Canada’s Outstanding Principals of 2018.
When the Advertiser caught up with Antle, he said he was excited and pleased to receive the award.
“I think it’s an award which really depicts the hard work of the school and the staff,” he said.
Antle has worked in the education system for 20 years – 11 of those as an administrator and nine at EVI.
The school has seen a major cultural shift in the last six years, he explained.
When he first came on staff as a new principal with a new vice-principal, the school was dealing with a lot of behavioural issues; there were 147 suspensions that year.
Antle said the administrative team and school staff found themselves continually putting out fires – figuratively and sometimes literally as well.
But by the end of the 2016-17 school year, the school had a record low number of suspensions, with only three for the entire year.
Antle, together with the school’s vice-principal and staff, implemented a program he credits for really helping that shift. “Positive Behaviour and Support,” or PBS for short, is a program where students are rewarded on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis for their positive behaviours.
Vice-principal Darren Woolridge nominated Antle for the outstanding principal award.
“John, he leads by example. He’s a very hard worker, he’s got the best interest of the kids at heart, he sells that to the staff.
‘We’ve come a long way from when we came together the same time as an administration team nine years ago. (EVI) is not the same place it was then…it takes a leader, it takes someone with a vision like John,” said Woolridge.
On Feb. 27, Antle, along with the other 39 award recipients, will attend a gala in Toronto and take part in an exclusive five-day executive leadership training program at one of Canada’s top business schools, the University or Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
The award and training are provided by The Learning Partnership, a national charity dedicated to enhancing publicly funded education.
“Principals are vital leaders in Canada’s education system,” Ron Canuel, president and CEO of The Learning Partnership stated in a press release. “They ensure our schools are open and operating effectively. They work closely with teachers to inspire our students every day. They contribute to creating positive learning environments for children to thrive both in and outside of the classroom.
“They are the catalyst for connecting students, educators, families and the community together and we recognize their indispensable contributions to helping Canada continue as global leaders in education.”