Edmonton Public Schools’ Superintendent Darrel Robertson named Canadian Superintendent of the Year

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Edmonton Public Schools’ Superintendent Darrel Robertson has been named the Canadian Superintendent of the Year for 2020 at the Canadian Association of School System Administrators annual conference.

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The award acknowledges leadership at the school system level, with recipients enhancing the profession of the school system administration through their career.

According to a news release from the Canadian Association of School System Administrators (CASSA) on Wednesday, the award recognizes Robertson’s legacy as a role model for others in his push for the success and well-being of students.

Some of Robertson’s accomplishments include the establishment of an equity fund enabling schools to respond to the unique needs and challenges faced by some students as well as Career Pathways, a “division-wide Kindergarten to Grade 12 initiative that helps students develop self-awareness and motivates them to explore possibilities for life beyond school.”

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Edmonton Public Schools Board Chair Trisha Estabrooks said in the release that the mark of a good leader is one that is able to navigate change well.

“The mark of an excellent leader is the ability to navigate change, while also inspiring others around them to embrace that change,” she said. “Despite all of the change that has happened, Darrel has never wavered in keeping students at the forefront of every decision we make as a division.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to move online, Robertson prioritized the establishment of online resources for staff and students within five days of the suspension of in-person classes, the release noted.

Dr. Renee Closs, superintendent of the Sahtú Divisional Education Council in the Northwest Territories joined Robertson as a co-recipient of the award. In addition to this award, Robertson will be acknowledged as the Canadian Superintendent of the Year for 2020 by the American Superintendents Association at its annual conference in February 2022 in Nashville, TN.

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