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Fort Resolution Leader Named One of Canada’s Outstanding Principals

Kate Powell to attend awards ceremony in Toronto

FORT SMITH, NT – Kate Powell, principal of Deninu School in Fort Resolution, has been chosen by The Learning Partnership as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals 2018.

Powell, who was nominated for her innovative practices and effective leadership, will travel to Toronto for the gala dinner and awards ceremony on February 27. The award includes a weeklong executive leadership training program at the U of T’s prestigious Rotman School of Management.

Powell, a long time NWT educator, has immersed herself into her Northern community and culture. She actively encourages staff to learn and use their local Chipewyan language with each other and with students. She promotes the Dene Laws and has established the Dene Peacekeepers, a group of students and community partners who are called on to encourage young people to take responsibility for their behaviour through justice circles and restitution. She facilitates the community Interagency Committee. She initiated the annual Dene Hand Games tournament that now draws teams of students from across the NWT. She has also encouraged and supported local staff to set up a club (Deninu Jiggers) and teach students traditional dances, and they now travel to and performed for other schools in the NWT and in Northern Alberta.

Ms. Powell also promotes the Heritage Fair and her school hosts the regional Science Fair. In each of the last two years, Deninu School students have gone on to win at the Territorial and then the National Science Fair, including a courageous student research project on the impact of alcohol in the community.

She has worked hard to build a strong and dedicated team focused on student success. Student achievement has improved significantly, and by way of example, in recognition of the small size and limited program offerings, Ms. Powell sought out and provided the more academically inclined students with high school academic courses and exemplary teachers-at-a-distance through video-conferencing.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Powell and the entire school staff were awarded the highest award of our government, the Premier's Award for Excellence in 2012. She also received the Ministerial Literacy Award for 2012, and then under her leadership, the students of her school were awarded the Ministerial Literacy Award 2014 for their commitment and efforts to assist with the revitalization of the Chipewyan language in the community.

“I am immensely proud of Ms. Powell, who is highly deserving of this national honour,” said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Brown. “She is an exemplary leader; an inspiring individual who has had a significant positive impact not only on those immediately around her and in her school, but also in the community and beyond.”

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