Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools board of trustees chairperson Guy Pelletier shakes hands with Distinguished Leadership Award recipient and principal of Ecole Mother Teresa School Jodi Smith at Tuesday’s board meeting. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Ecole Mother Teresa School principal received Distinguished Leadership Award

Ecole Mother Teresa School’s principal Jodi Smith is a great leader; she even has an award to prove it.

Smith received the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s Distinguished Leadership Award in May and Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools honoured her for the accomplishment at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

“I was definitely really touched by the honour of it,” said Smith. “It’s humbling because you don’t look at yourself that way when you’re trying to move a school forward. I felt very blessed to have been chosen for that honour.”

The former vice-principal at the Sylvan Lake school, Ken Meraw, was the one who nominated Smith for the award. The award is something Smith, who has been principal of Ecole Mother Teresa School for three years, wants to share with the entire staff of the school, she said.

“We never talk about ‘me and you,’ we only talk about ‘we.’ We are one team working together … The learning partners all working together is the best thing to have it it creates the best success for students,” said Smith.

Smith and all other recipients across the province received the award on May 19 at a gala and dinner in Edmonton.

“I had a wonderful time there. They had a great meal and it was a lovely celebration of all these great leaders across Alberta,” she said.

The dinner also gave her the chance to network with other leaders across the province and to hear what ideas have been successful at other schools.

During Tuesday’s board meeting, Smith was presented with a card of appreciation.

“We’re grateful to have you as part of our division and supporting all the students at Mother Teresa.

“This is an opportunity for us as a board and a division to acknowledge her contribution, not only to the school, but to the whole division,” said board of trustees chairperson Guy Pelletier.

The Distinguished Leadership Award is given to school administration that share professionally, interacts collegially and act as mentors to new colleagues. Recipients are selected based on challenging the status quo, improving learning in their contexts and being equipped for higher levels of leadership.

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