Empowering E​thical Leadership

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Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything? Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first.—James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

There is so much wisdom in children’s books that reminds us about what is most important, and how we can live our best lives, achieve our goals, and be strong and effective leaders.  

A dream is a good place to start. It is hard to lead and make plans if we do not have an idea about where we want to be. While we are not building a city, we are building a future for our students. The Trustees’ Multi-Year Strategic Plan sets out the priorities we are working collectively to achieve.

To get there, particularly in an organization of this size, strong, effective and ethical leadership is paramount.

In fact, leadership and how we lead is so important, it has been identified as one of our four priorities: “Empower Ethical Leadership: we lead ethically by focusing on students and upholding our values.”

Leadership is not defined by the role that you occupy. We see amazing examples of staff, student and community leadership everyday that are helping us to achieve our goals as a system.

Last week, for example, we celebrated the launch of the Alliance of Educators for Muslim Students. Congratulations to all the staff members who led the establishment of this alliance and provided such a powerful platform for student voice. In addition, yesterday's Equity Symposium brought together staff members from across our system who are playing a leadership role in their schools and departments to move forward our equity work. Participants heard from Dr. Carl James and participated in some deep and meaningful learning opportunities around oppression, social identities, bias and more that they can take back to their schools and workplaces.

These are just two of the many ways our staff members are leading ethically, focusing on students and upholding our values as an organization. When we come together with a shared vision for our students, we can make our dreams into reality.

Mu​nicipal Elections

Leadership at the municipal level is also important to our students.  October 22 is election day, with many advance polls open.

I want to encourage everyone to take the time to do the research and to vote in the upcoming municipal election for their municipal and school board representatives.

Trustees play an important role in our school system. They serve as a voice for their community at the Board table and support families in navigating our school system. They make decisions about policy and budgets that affect the operations of our schools and board. And they are advocates for quality public education.

I encourage you to learn more about the candidates in your area and to make an informed decision about the people that you want to represent you municipally and around the Board table at York Region District School Board.


Louise Sirisko

Director of Education