Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
July 19, 2010
Superintendent honoured for leadership excellence
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
RED DEER - Under the leadership of superintendent Paulette Hanna, Red Deer Catholic Schools has received constant reports of excellence from Alberta Education.
As a result, Hanna is this year's winner of the prestigious EXL Award, which acknowledges excellence in educational administration.
Hanna has been with Red Deer Catholic since 2001 and serving as superintendent since 2007.
Award recipients show leadership in establishing a clear vision for their school jurisdiction by effectively working with teachers and staff.
The Canadian Association of School Administrators and Xerox Canada Ltd sponsor the EXL Award.
Hanna, superintendent in Red Deer since 2007, credits her senior administration team for her award.
"I know that behind me and helping me gain this award is my team of senior admin as well as my principals, who are very good instructional leaders," she said.
Improving instructional leadership for principals has been a high priority of Hanna.
"With Red Deer Catholic, we have put a strong focus for the past five years on instructional leadership," she said. "Research shows that when principals are strong instructional leaders, teachers improve their practices of teaching and, consequently, students improve their achievement."
Hanna is the recipient of many awards including Red Deer and District Community Foundation's Women of Excellence Award for her work in the areas of education and training. She also won the Alberta Catholic Education Leadership Award, the Premier's Award of Excellence and the Leadership of Council of School Administrators provincial award.
Because of provincial cutbacks to education, the school division must dip into reserves to maintain its current level of service. Hanna remains focused on improving students' learning in the face of these cuts.
"With cutbacks, we try to look at it as positively as possible, and see how we can still give students the best education that we can," said Hanna. Because of the school district's financial reserves, the cutbacks will have no impact on classrooms this year.
An avid sports enthusiast, Hanna has run more than 35 half-marathons over the past 10 years. She incorporates her enthusiasm for personal wellness into her work with Red Deer Catholic.
"Three years ago we hired a wellness coordinator for our district. The objective of that was to work with the staff and improve the wellness of all the people who work for Red Deer Catholic," said Hanna. "I don't believe there are too many other school districts that have a wellness coordinator."
Board chairperson, Christine Moore, said, "This prestigious award confirms what the board has known all along. Dr. Hanna exemplifies leadership qualities."
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