Queen Mary's principal, Kathy O'Sullivan was selected by the National Selection Committee to be one of Canada's Outstanding Principals, a prestigious award from The Learning Partnership. The Learning Partnership is a national charitable organization that supports a strong public education system.
Principals are nominated by their peers, school staff and community members in every province and territory. The award is given annually to some thirty principals from across Canada.
"It has been an honor to be selected by the Learning Partnership to represent the Vancouver School Board as one of Canada's Outstanding Principal's," says O'Sullivan. "This was a complete surprise. I am overwhelmed and very grateful."
O'Sullivan has helped create, within Queen Mary Elementary, a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement by promoting professional learning communities for a better student learning environment. She has been passionate about working with school staff to create effective teaching systems for all students.
On a student level, two initiatives that O'Sullivan is actively involved in are Welcome to Kindergarten and Ready Set Learn. Both programs enable pre-school children to have a rich early learning experience that prepares them for a smooth transition to formal schooling.
Some of her other major accomplishments include the implementation of a literacy programs for middle and intermediate students and a focus in her school on diversity and providing children with special needs with a comfortable learning environment.
Amongst the staff at her school, O'Sullivan introduced the concept of "Power Hour", which consists of designing focused timed schedules, support, and coverage for all teachers to meet, reflect, discuss, and implement new teaching practices during the school year related to school goals.
"Kathy O'Sullivan is an outstanding principal who works collaboratively with staff and the community to create a safe and nurturing learning environment for students," says Queen Mary Elementary Vice-Principal Shannon Burton. "She embraces partnership with parents and community organizations."
O'Sullivan says that she would not have been able to accomplish everything alone. She believes that the staff and students have demonstrated excellent capabilities when dealing with complex challenges in today's schools.