Getting to Know Grand Erie is a new weekly feature that puts the spotlight on one of the many Grand Erie staff members working towards the goal of Success for Every Student. The Q&A series brings the staff member into focus by sharing – in their own words – the lessons they’ve learned in leadership, teamwork, and perseverance. Do you know someone who should be featured? Let us know!
Vice-Principal, Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School
What’s the best part of your job?
The connections with other staff and students for sure! I also love the fact that each day is a mystery - you never know what you’re going to get!
What was your first job, and what did it teach you?
My first job was during high school, working in Guest Services at the CN Tower. It taught me how to deal with busy environments and how to work with all sorts of different people. This has been helpful throughout my career in education and helps me stay calm even when there are a thousand things going on.
What motivates you?
Seeing how hard everyone in the board is working to provide education to our students during this pandemic has been inspiring. At every level and role, we have been challenged and have continued to push through and adapt to ever-changing protocols and realities. This is amazing, and it motivates me to do my best every day.
What’s your favourite thing about working in Grand Erie?
Oh my! So many things! I work with a fantastic team of administrators, teachers and staff at Pauline Johnson – I love the opportunities to collaborate and problem-solve together. I love all the learning that has come with my new role, and with joining a new board – I worked at the Toronto District School Board for 16 years before this. I also love that I am challenged every day to stretch my thinking and understanding.
How does your role contribute to Success for Every Student?
I find so much meaning in my work. I see how taking the time to help a student figure out an appropriate pathway, listen to their struggles, or even make sure that a student is registered by the start of a quad, can be impactful in their success.
What’s a skill or talent you possess that might surprise people?
I am a superb parallel parker!
Best advice you received?
The best advice I have received recently is to practice gratitude. Remembering all the things that I am thankful for really helps me keep any challenges I face in perspective.
Best advice you have given?
Learn from the small mistakes so that you don’t make the big mistakes.
What’s been your most important lesson learned during the pandemic?
I have learned that I truly love my home, and that I don’t need to travel or be somewhere else to really relax and unwind.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love spending time with my husband and two sons. We love being active and spending time in the outdoors. During the pandemic, I have also started doing puzzles, which I have found to be very mindful – there is no way to rush a puzzle, you just have to take your time!