January 26, 2016
PHOTO CAPTION: Michelle Newlands, centre, pictured with students from King's Road Public School
FOR MICHELLE NEWLANDS, Principal of King’s Road Public School in Burlington, working in public education is an honour and privilege, and a role she cherishes.
That’s why being named today (January 26) a recipient of one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals by The Learning Partnership feels extra special.
“Service to students, leadership to staff and contributions to the wider community are three actions that are tremendously gratifying in my daily work as a principal. My primary goal has always been for students to come to school every day feeling happy and cared for,’ she said, stressing the importance of nurturing every student’s learning. "We feel students need a sense of belonging and validation. When students feel connected to a teacher, a custodian, a peer or the principal, they achieve at higher levels in school. We want our students to love school.”
This approach includes hosting important school community events and connecting with parents to share what is happening at King’s Road Public School. Communication is vital, she said.
“Communication is a key component of the work I do as a principal. It isn’t enough to have a great school, with healthy, happy students and a competent and committed staff. The public must know this as well,” she said. “For example, when we embraced the mantra, Leaders in Learning, we knew we had to do more than just say it. We had to live it. That is what we strive to do every day. We communicate the message of who we are through clear and consistent communication to parents, positive stories in our local media, and highlights on school and board webpages.”
The nomination package sent to The Learning Partnership stated Newlands’ drive to ensure all students have success, referencing to after-school tutoring and breakfast literacy programs she helped develop. It also noted her emphasis on establishing community partnerships to support learning opportunities.
“Michelle’s vision was to create a school that put students first and encouraged parents to be partners in education. She wanted parents to realize they are critical to their child’s success,” part of the package stated. “Parent engagement is a key feature. Michelle continuously strives to find ways to improve learning and growth for her students.”
Ultimately, a school requires a dedicated and supportive staff to be successful, and Newlands is thankful to have that at King’s Road.
“The great thing about the work that I do as a principal is you don’t work alone,” she explained. “You work with a core group of teachers and community stakeholders who support your work and really provide the platform that allows for outstanding results.”