Aboriginal Inquiry: Lifting All Learners

An Impact Assessment of the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (AESN)

5.8.3 Leadership

There is no doubt that leadership has been a key component of the work done in the Prince Rupert School District. The work of key personnel—including the School Superintendent and District Principal of Aboriginal Education have been key components of how change has been initiated and sustained in Prince Rupert. There is evidence that funding has been targeted to the Network and related inquiry initiatives; yet it is not funding alone that provides the means through which to sustain positive change. It is the persistent voices of these leaders, exemplifying a passion for and shared commitment to the work of enhancing student success that seems to be critical. These voices have created a space in which other teacher leaders can embrace and be supported in their efforts towards change. It is a case of “walking the talk”, listening carefully and deeply to the concerns and issues raised by the community and/or its teachers, as well as inclusive practices of building a collaborative culture. As contemporary educational leadership literature has demonstrated, leadership practices that support learning are foundational to effecting local and systemic change. In this district, there is strong evidence that these conditions exist. The sheer number of teachers and leaders involved in the AES Network suggest a tipping point has been reached and that the changes initiated are likely to persist. Therefore another deep impact of the Network has been to create opportunities for purposefully centered educational leadership to emerge.