Hay River Principal awarded prestigious Polar Medal

Medal “recognizes persons who render extraordinary services in the polar regions”

FORT SMITH, NT – On August 25, Principal Carolyn Carroll will be presented with the Polar Medal, an official honour awarded by the Governor General’s office. Carroll is the fifth NWT resident to receive this award since its inception in 2005.

Carroll, principal of both Harry Camsell School (K-3) and Princess Alexandra School (Gr. 4-7) in Hay River, was selected to receive this award last year to recognize her 30 years spent as an NWT educator. Over her career she has led a culture change in her schools, shifting the way instruction is provided and how assessment is used to inform decision-making.

Even before data collection and analysis was ingrained in educational practice, Carroll instituted a system for collecting student data and placing it all in easy-to-read Classroom Assessment Records (CARs). This system—which has since been adopted for use in all South Slave schools—has been invaluable in helping teachers identify students’ strengths and stretches, and targeted instruction and interventions. This approach has led to higher numbers of students exceeding Canadian norms in math and literacy achievement tests.

Carroll is also celebrated for implementing new programs, like Intensive French, and for setting high expectations for both staff and students that have served to increase student engagement and achievement.

“Receiving the call that I had been selected as a Polar Medal recipient was an unexpected honour,” said Carroll. “But my success would not be possible without the many enthusiastic and dedicated students, parents, co-workers, and education leaders I have been privileged to work alongside over the past few decades.

“I am so very proud of Ms. Carroll. She is very deserving of this national honour to join a select group of individuals who have given so much to our territory,” said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Brown. “She is an exemplary leader and visionary: effective, responsive, courageous, and inspiring.”

In 2017, Ms. Carroll was chosen by The Learning Partnership as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals.

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