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Seven OISE alumni among 40 named Canada’s Outstanding Principals

February 24, 2015

OISE Staff

Teachers, parents and students know that where there's a great school, you'll find a great principal. They are the cornerstone of our future. Their entrepreneurial spirit, ideas, and creativity are what make them stand out. As Canada’s premier institute of education with a world-wide reputation for educational leadership, OISE is well known for producing stellar school leaders.

So it comes as no surprise that seven OISE alumni are among 40 exemplary education leaders from every province and territory named Canada’s Outstanding Principals of 2015 by The Learning Partnership: Lara Chebaro (BSc Uof T ’97;  OISE MA ’99); Tamara Grealis (BEd ’90); Kim Maybury (BEd '96) Emma Nichols (MEd ’05); Flora Nordoff (BEd ’76); Randy Palermo (BEd '91); and Alka Sahai (BEd '94).

“A great principal is the driving force behind a great school,” says Akela Peoples, herself an alumna of OISE (B.Ed ’89), and President and CEO of The Learning Partnership. “We recognize that being a principal is an extremely demanding job. Principals shoulder the responsibility of leading and managing everything that happens in their school. From effective teaching and learning to operational oversight of facilities and establishing community partnerships, their ultimate goal is to enhance student achievement and prepare them for the future.”

Canada’s Oustanding Principals will receive their awards at The Learning Partnership's 11th annual Canada’s Outstanding Principals gala on February 24, 2015, in Toronto. They will also take part in a five-day executive leadership coaching program at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

“This year’s recipients have demonstrated a deep commitment to excellence and have made outstanding contributions to education in Canada, their schools and communities. These inspiring educators have been a major influence on their teachers' and students’ learning and development, and I am delighted they are receiving this honour,” said OISE Dean Julia O’Sullivan.

Laura ChebaroLara Chebaro (BSc U of T ‘97; MA OISE ’99) is Principal of James Robinson Public School in the York Region District School Board. Lara is an accomplished educator and administrator, serving at the district level to improve student achievement and is passionate about equity, special education and literacy.




Tamara GrealisTamara Grealis (BEd ’90) is Principal of Georges Vanier Secondary School in the Toronto District School Board. Tamara is a hands-on principal, committed to quality programs and instruction, as well as effective student and parent engagement.


Kim MayburyKim Maybury (BEd '96) is Principal of Walter Scott Public School in the York Region District School Board. Kim uses her expertise as an administrator and instructional coach to improve learning. Kim supports co-learning in various staff learning communities especially in mathematics and literacy. 


Emma NicholsEmma Nichols (MA ’05) is principal of Queen Alexandra Middle School in the Toronto District School Board. Emma has extensive experience with inner-city schools and is the perfect fit for leading students in a community recognized as a priority neighborhood, needing support for issues related to poverty, mental health and violence. 


Flora NordoffFlora Nordoff (BEd ’76) is Principal of St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. Flora has taught at every grade level in diverse subjects and she encourages gathering and analyzing student data to influence teaching and learning.


Randy PalermoRandy Palermo (BEd '91) is Principal of Thistletown Collegiate in the Toronto District School Board. Randy is an inspiring leader focused on seeking new opportunities to increase graduation rates and create post-secondary success, not only for his school but across the province. 


Alka SahaiAlka Sahai (BEd '94) is Principal of Captain R. Wilson Public School in the Halton District School Board. Alka is an exceptional leader and administrator, involving her school community in creating inviting and safe environments for students to learn.


Learn more about OISE’s outstanding alumni education leaders and their colleagues from across Canada honoured by The Learning Partnership as Canada’s Outstanding Principals.