For some students, their principal may seem scary. But Jim Stathopoulos makes an effort to be the kind of educator that students want to visit.
“I don’t want kids to be afraid of me,” says the Huron Street Junior Public School principal. “My door is rarely shut.”
Stathopoulos is a visible presence throughout the day, standing in front of the school as kids arrive and being outside at recess.
And thanks in part to his hands on style, Stathopoulos has been named a recipient of Canada’s Outstanding Principal award from the Learning Partnership.
“I’m really honoured to receive the award,” he says. “I’m just a small piece of the puzzle at a fantastic school.”
After six years as principal, Stathopoulos says his biggest challenge is achieving balance.
“I deal with teachers, parents and students, which involves a lot of listening,” he says. “Part of my job is to help everyone.”
For Stathopoulos, academics drive everything he and his staff do. He says one of his initiatives is integrating technology into the timetable, including using the computer lab, 40 wireless computers and 10 iPads to usher students into a new era of learning.
Stathopoulos also prioritises professional learning for his staff.
Once a term, four to six times a year, the teachers at Huron meet for half a day to talk about ways they can improve their teaching practises.
“People really value it,” says grade 3/4 teacher Christopher Snow. “We come together and we plan together.”
Stathopoulos says Huron is a great place to work, adding that his students and teachers are great.
“It’s vibrant,” he says. “You’ll walk into our school and get this warm feeling of the great things that are happening here.”
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