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Jan
31

Denise Gotell is one of “Canada’s Outstanding Principals”

Denise Gotell, Principal of St. Thomas More School

St. Thomas More's Denise Gotell has been named one of Canada's Outstanding Principals for 2017. Denise is among 40 exceptional educators, from every province and territory in Canada, who is being celebrated by The Learning Partnership (TLP) for demonstrating innovation, having an entrepreneurial spirit, and for employing creativity in finding solutions and opportunities. Denise will now become a member of the National Academy of Canada's Outstanding principals, which offers principals ongoing networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities in order to continually enhance their leadership skills. 

A profile of an outstanding principal

Denise's advocacy for special education and equity, and the belief that all students can learn, thrive and achieve, has led her to champion assistive technology. Denise is an innovator, promotes student voice and choice, and explores avenues, including social media, for collaboration and engagement. Denise mentors and coaches other leaders, builds community, keeps current with research, and is a positive agent for change. Denise's style of leadership creates a culture of trust where staff feel empowered, further supporting the school-wide effort to change the world, to "Dream Large and Be Awesome." 

"Every person here wants to be their best self. There are no barriers if you develop trusting relationships with staff, students, and parents." - Denise Gotell, Principal of St. Thomas More School 

Denise has a unique ability to engage the minds and hearts of the school community as they embark on new initiatives. Denise once wrote the word "yet…" on the walls throughout the school to pique the interest of staff and students, as they searched for its meaning. The entire community became engaged in the notion that if you add the word "yet" to any phrase, the brain switches from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. In the Fall of 2015, the OCSB was selected from among 35 boards across Canada to be recognized by the Canadian Education Association (CEA) for its exemplary and visionary practices in transforming its classrooms into 21st century environment that meet the needs of all learners. Denise's school served as a leader in implementing this vision. 

"Denise Gotell's leadership has brought her school to the forefront when it comes to innovative learning and helping students build global competencies. Denise ensures students are engaged in inclusive and welcoming community and establishes a culture of high expectations for all members of her school community." Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education 

"We are delighted to be celebrating these exceptional principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. Their dedication to building and leading teams of great teachers plays a vital role in positively impacting student achievement and success and we are elated to recognize these dynamic leaders in the Canadian public education system." Rod Thompson, Director of Executive Leadership Programs of The Learning Partnership

Denise began her career in education as a teacher in Nova Scotia 20 years ago. She joined the Ottawa Catholic School Board 18 years ago and has held a variety of leadership roles. She has acted as Principal for the past seven years. The entire Ottawa Catholic School Board community is proud to support Denise and this prestigious accomplishment.

For more information, visit The Learning Partnership's website

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May
30

2016 OCSB EduGala winners

11 outstanding educators from the Ottawa Catholic School Board were recently named finalists for Capital Educator Awards. On May 20th, two of our OCSB finalists Claudio Micomonaco (left) and Jane O'Regan (right), were honoured as winners at the 15th annual EduGala held at Algonquin College. Hosted by the Ottawa Network for Education, the annual event honours educators from around the Ottawa region who demonstrate teaching excellence and instil a passion for learning in their students. Congratulations!


To see biographies and pictures of all nominees, please check out the Facebook album.


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Apr
06

St. Thomas More School wins national contest

The St. Thomas More grade 1 teaching team (Left to Right): Linda Bouzanis, Shannon Riley, Tammy Doyle, Natalie MacDonald, and Principal, Denise Gotell.

It is with great pleasure that I announce St. Thomas More School was named one of three winners from across Canada in the 8th annual Classroom of the Future Challenge. The contest, run by MindShare Learning, challenged Canadian teachers to capture innovative teaching and learning practices and upload a digital portfolio that demonstrates the role technology plays in engaging and motivating students in their classroom. We had a total of five of our schools participate in this contest this year, demonstrating the breadth and depth of innovation present here at the OCSB.

The grade 1 teaching team from St. Thomas More claimed one of three Makerspace prize packages for their school valued at over $10,000. I am very proud of the the many passionate educators here at the Ottawa Catholic School Board who use innovative teaching and learning practices to inspire others on a daily basis. With their cutting edge integration of technology and digital tools to enhance learning, they truly make 21st Century Learning fun! 

Denise Gotell and the St. Thomas More team have truly embraced deep learning and will definitely put the prize package to good use. View their full submission.

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Sep
25

"Innovation that Sticks" at the OCSB


The Canadian Education Association recently selected the Ottawa Catholic School Board as the winning district in their "Innovation that Sticks" case study program. Out of 35 school boards across Canada, the OCSB was selected to participate in their project. 

As we reflect on our Board's journey over the last five years, the transformation has been incredible. In 2010, the main form of technology in our classrooms was an overhead projector and we had minimal and limited interaction outside our schools.

-Denise Gotell, Principal at St. Thomas More School
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Recent Comments
Guest — KellyMcKibbinocsbca
So much great coverage of this honour. Read more about it!Ottawa Citizen: Catholic school board studied as a model digital ecosys... Read More
Thursday, 01 October 2015 4:04 PM
Guest — Kelly
More sharing! The Catholic Register: http://www.catholicregister.org/item/21098-students-guided-by-samaritan-s-hand
Monday, 19 October 2015 4:04 PM
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Sep
21

OCSB recognized for innovation in Canadian education

I am very pleased to share the great news that the OCSB has been chosen from districts across Canada to be the subject of the Canadian Education Association "Innovation that Sticks" Case Study. We are proud of what we have accomplished in innovation, and welcome the opportunity to share and learn through the research and connections presented by CEA. 

This acknowledgement is the result of collaboration across all of our system, with support from staff, parents, students, trustees, and community partners. The ceremony on September 24th at St. Thomas More School will have representatives from all of these contributors to this recognition.

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