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Hay River’s Carolyn Carroll wins national teaching award

Carolyn Carroll may be from Newfoundland, but she’s found a home teaching in Hay River for the past 20 years.

The principal of Harry Camsell Elementary School and Princess Alexandra Middle School was recently announced as one of the top 40 principals across the country.

READ: Carolyn Carroll’s biography

Every year, the Learning Partnership recognizes the contributions made by educators through its Outstanding Principals program.

Now in its 13th year, over 400 principals across the country have received the award since it was first handed out.

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Carroll was the lone recipient from the Northwest Territories this year.

“Overwhelmed, I think would be the word [to describe the honour],” she told Moose FM. “Being a teacher or principal, we do this for the love of the job and to help the kids.”

Carroll’s teaching career began in Newfoundland back in 1985. A job led her to the Northwest Territories two years later. Since being in the territory, she’s worked in schools in Wekweèti, Whati, Behchoko and Hay River.

She’s now spent the past 20 years in Hay River, where she’s worked at Diamond Jenness Secondary School, Harry Camsell Elementary School and Princess Alexandra Middle School.

Carroll says teaching can be an extremely rewarding profession.

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“When a child enters kindergarten, every child has the same opportunity to succeed and be whatever they want to be and teachers have a really important role to guide them,” she said.

“That’s why we go into this profession as teachers. It’s very rewarding to watch them grow and to see them make something of themselves.”

The Learning Partnership also recognized Carroll for her ability to reflect the culture of the community through programs she’s spearheaded.

Principals who receive the award are nominated by their colleagues, school staff and community members. Carroll says it’s humbling to be recognized, but that she couldn’t do what she does without her peers.

“It’s a two-way street,” she said. “They have my support as well, I work with some amazing colleagues.”

Carroll will be recognized for her accomplishments during a gala in Toronto on Feb. 28.

She’ll also participate in a five-day leadership program where she’ll learn management practices from business, government and education leaders.

Previous award winners from the NWT include:

2010 Janette Vlanich, Sir Alexander Mackenzie School, Inuvik
2011 Paul Bennett, Ecole JH Sissons School, Yellowknife
2012 Al Karasiuk, Paul W Kaeser School, Fort Smith
2013 Dan Summers, Deninu School, Fort Resolution & Lois Philipp, Deh Gah School, Fort Providence
2014 Simone Gessler, Weledeh Catholic School, Yellowknife
2015 Lea Lamoureux, Kaw Tay Whee School, Dettah
2016 Courteney Lizotte, Range Lake North School, Yellowknife

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