East York Mirror
A local principal has been named one of Canada’s best.
Crescent Town Elementary School’s principal Tammy Ross was awarded with Canada’s Outstanding Principal Award by The Learning Partnership, a national organization that champions excellence in education.
“There isn’t anything in particular that sets me apart from other principals,” Ross said. While her admission is humble, her peers and colleagues, who nominated her, believed otherwise.
Ross is at the helm of an inner-city school that boasts a large number of students who are new to Canada.
Ross joins 51 educators across Canada as one of this year’s winner.
“English is not the first language of 90 per cent of our students,” said Ross. “Many of our teachers have English as a Second Language (ESL) training, which is a tremendous benefit.”
The advantages of having ESL trained staff is evident with the school’s Education Quality and Accountability report, which shows that in 2012, 73 per cent of students in the school met the provincial reading standard and 84 per cent met provincial writing standards.
According to Ross, it is important that the students meet and exceed provincial standards, but as educators, Crescent Town Elementary School staff strive to respect and honour the traditions and cultures unique to each student and their families.
“It is important that we respect their culture by celebrating their traditions,” Ross said.
Each year, the school endeavors to celebrate the traditions and holidays the students bring with them from their cultural backgrounds.
“We just recently rang in the Chinese New Year with the entire school,” said Ross. “We try and celebrate many different traditions with the staff and students. It is an excellent learning experience for everyone involved.”
As the head of the school, Ross tries to maintain a strong sense of community.
“The students and their families are very important to staff at the school,” Ross said. “We are here to help them integrate into the community.”
During the past 14 years, Ross has worked as a principal, a role she came into after 20 years of teaching.
“I needed a change,” said Ross.
“I had taught various grades and subjects and wanted a new role in the school.”
Her role as principal has been met with accolades as she is set to join seven other Toronto principals this month for the award ceremony being held at the end of February.
The 51 principals honoured this year will participate in a five-day executive leadership program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
This is the ninth year the Learning Partnership has presented the award, with 260 principals having received the honour since its inception.
“This award is very special,” said Ross, noting that it belongs not just to her, but the entire school.