Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 28, 2006
School board has confidence in Joan Carr
New superintendent expected to lead district forward
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"I really believe that our schools are recognized as holy places and spaces where we work and learn through wonder."
- Joan Carr
But not everything in her life is work. She enjoys reading, fitness and travelling. She and her husband Kevin just returned from a trip to the Baltic countries in Europe this summer.
"Joan has excellent leadership skills and she is an excellent planner," said Cavaliere. "One of the things I really like about her is that she really listens to people and hears what they have to say. She goes to the roots of problems and fixes them in a diplomatic way."
Carr's life has been one of service in Catholic education. "I've been in Catholic education for over 32 years in many, many different capacities beginning as a teacher, having various other roles in the district, from a consultant role in special education to working in human resources, to working in planning to working as a principal."
For the two years prior to becoming superintendent Carr served as assistant superintendent under Ripley, who was dismissed by the board.
"The board of trustees has given me a very sacred responsibility to care and to nurture our students and staff and to help live the mission and see that our mission is put into action," she said.
"What I value in Catholic education is, among other things, that all our activities are carried out within the context of a Christian community guided by a belief in our Lord Jesus Christ."
Carr, a member of St. Thomas More Parish, believes Catholic students are well served but the quality of education they enjoy today can only be maintained if educators never lose sight of the mission of Catholic education.
For the upcoming school year Carr chose the theme Take Off Your Shoes: You Are on Holy Ground because, in a way, we are like Moses.
"I really believe that our schools are recognized as holy places and spaces where we work and learn through wonder," she explained.
"We very much are like Moses in the sense that we have to move forward with caution, we don't have all the answers but any of the work that we are doing can be considered to be the work of God and that work is happening on holy ground."
Carr's goals and priorities for the upcoming year include celebrating the district's Catholicity, achieving high levels of student learning and celebrating community. One area she will profile is the celebration of the district's Catholic identity through social justice actions such as supporting Third World development and local Catholic charities.
Carr also plans to expand the district focus on literacy from Grades 1 to 6 to ensure that no student is left behind. "This means there will be additional resources to schools to ensure that students in those grades are able to read to their ability level," she explained.
Her dream is to have all students complete their high school but so far that's only a dream. Just over 73 per cent do so. Carr's goal is to increase that completion rate by three per cent.
Celebration of community is also on her list of priorities. "We've got to be sure that we are celebrating the gifts and contributions of our students and our staff and that there are many opportunities for celebrating our Catholic faith," she said.
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