Norma Rose Point School principal, Rosa Fazio, is a recipient of the Learning Partnership's Canada's Outstanding Principals award this year. The only BC administrator in the group of 30 recipients from across Canada, Rosa is noted as presenter on effective and engaging learning approaches.
This awards program is nationally recognized and is an executive leadership training program that honours the unique and vital contribution of principals in publicly-funded schools.
Read a Q&A with Rosa following the exciting news and stay-tuned for details about her journey.
VSB: How does it feel to be recognized for your contributions?
Rosa: When I found out that a group of colleagues jointly worked on a nomination in my name for The Learning Partnership's Canada's Outstanding Principal, I was shocked. When I read the full package in support of the nomination, I didn't feel like I needed to be officially chosen as one of the recipients, as the package submission was already a gift. I feel privileged to have been nominated and honoured to have been chosen. However, accomplishments do not happen in isolation. It feels odd that I am being recognized in isolation of my colleagues, as I believe that our collective efforts make the difference.
VSB: What led you to a career in education?
Rosa: I came to Canada when I was six and had a very difficult time adjusting as an immigrant. Yet my teachers extended themselves above and beyond to accommodate me and encourage my social-emotional well-being and my academic success. I remain friends with my grade 5/6/7 teachers and realize the importance of relationships as a means to accomplishing everything. As a low income family, we did not have toys. Instead, I played "teacher". I have always known that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children, just as my teachers made a difference to me.
VSB: Why did you decide to become a school administrator?
Rosa: Becoming a school administrator wasn't necessarily something I was striving for but rather something I was encouraged to do. When I was 30, my then current principal encouraged me to apply since I was comfortably taking on many leadership roles. I was told that it would likely take a few years to be hired so to "throw in that resume". I was so busy having fun teaching and coaching that I forgot to even tell the admin team that I got the interview and was hired. I have never looked back! It has been the most gratifying experience!
VSB: Do you have a saying, mantra or motto that captures your approach to school administration?
Rosa: There are four sayings that have made the greatest impact on my ability to lead as a school administrator:
1.Relationships first. Everything else second. ~ Top Dog Teaching
2.Believe you can and you are half way there. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
3.No one is allowed to say WDITW (We do it this way).
4.Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much. ~ Helen Keller
More about Rosa
Rosa is committed to evidence-based practices that enable the school to champion 21st Century learning to build global competencies. Recognized for building trusting relationships with staff, parents and the broader community, she seeks their input when moving forward with a shared vision and ownership for learning at NRP. Under Rosa's leadership, the school has grown to almost 900 students, and practices and pedagogy have been transformed. Given this growth, she ensures that all newly hired teachers are mentored and introduced to the school's philosophy and approaches.
About the Canada's Outstanding Principals Award
Canada's Outstanding Principals award program is developed by The Learning Partnership, the program celebrates principals across Canada for their outstanding commitments within their schools and communities. Recipients are awarded for their accomplishments and celebrated at an annual awards gala, and receive an exclusive four-day executive leadership training program at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
Each year, the winners of Canada's Outstanding Principals become members of the National Academy of Principals. Throughout the year, these outstanding principals will continue to act as champions of the program. They also participate in ongoing discussions about leadership issues through an online forum and are involved in mentoring colleagues in their home schools. They actively collaborate in developing and communicating about issues important to publicly funded education with research support from The Learning Partnership.
Principals are nominated by their colleagues, educators and members of the community. The nomination process opens in late August and ends at the end of October. During that time, anyone can nominate a principal.