Despite his seemingly overnight rise in national popularity, Wadena Elementary School principal Nevin Halyk was taking it all in stride last Wednesday.
The Learning Partnership had recently named Halyk one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals™. Although he just happened to mention his recent interview with the Globe and Mail, he also made time to talk with the News.
“This award is a reflection of the quality of the excellent school system we have in Wadena,” said Halyk. “I walked into a community where the people have very high-functioning schools and a strong community with good support. I am just a piece of the whole picture.”
The Learning Partnership stated, “Great principals are the foundation of great public education – the cornerstone of Canada’s future,” when it announced the 40 candidates from across Canada. Only one other principal from Saskatchewan, James Wahl of St. Francis Community School in Regina, made the impressive list that now has more than 350 exclusive members.
Their peers, school staff and/or community members nominate Canada’s Outstanding Principals™. Winners are selected on a representation-by-population basis. The local principals’ association completes the first round of adjudication. Finalists are then forwarded to a national selection committee made up of distinguished Canadian education, community and private sector leaders.
“A great principal is the driving force behind a great school,” says Akela Peoples, president and CEO of the Learning Partnership.
“This team makes me look good,” said Halyk of his colleagues who were part of the extensive nomination process. “It is probably one of the strongest staff I have ever worked with, so I accept this on behalf of the team.”
Halyk’s reward for his efforts includes an exclusive five-day executive leadership training program at one of Canada’s top business schools, the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The program will introduce award-winners to leadership and management practices presented by business leaders and Rotman instructors.
“Being named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals is truly a well-deserved honour for Halyk and a feather in the hat of Wadena Elementary School and indeed Horizon School Division,” said Kevin Granger, the division’s director of education. “Nevin is an educational professional in every sense. The entire Horizon family offers a sincere congratulations to Principal Nevin Halyk for his accomplishments.”
Halyk will receive his award at a gala awards dinner at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto as part of the leadership conference.
“I am proud of our school,” said Halyk. “This award brings honour to both the school and the community.”
We are proud of you too, Nevin. Congratulations!
By Alison Squires