Sacred Heart Academy Principal wins Distinguished Leadership Award

·2 min read

Paulette Chotowetz, principal of Sacred Heart Academy (SHA) has been awarded the 2022-23 Distinguished Leadership Award, presented by the Council for School Leadership (CSL) of the Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA).

She said her receipt of the award was extremely sentimental, as she was nominated by a colleague at the school, Carly Miller, who instructs first graders at SHA.

“We have been working together since 2001,” said Chotowetz. “In all honesty, we came to Strathmore together when the school opened, and Carly is a distinguished leader in our school as well.”

The CSL, as per their website, describe themselves as a community of school administrators throughout the province. The idea is to establish collaboration and mentorship as colleagues.

The Distinguished Leadership Award is meant to recognize and celebrate exceptional individuals within the CSL community who go above and beyond to improve their schools.

Individuals who are recognized with the award are noted to be role models within the ATA network of educational leaders with the drive, initiative and capability to lead innovative modern learning.

“I think just a recognition from our Alberta Teachers Association for identifying people who are working in the field of education is great, and that they have this award that is something that we as leaders in our schools and teachers in our schools can receive, is huge,” said Chotowetz. “I think just what really impressed me was the reason behind it was identifying people who are looking to challenge, to improve learning and to lead, so I appreciate being acknowledged for those things which are very important to me as well, as a leader.”

She added she started out as co-principal in 2007, before elevating to full principal in 2009 when her former colleague moved on to an employment opportunity in Canmore.

Chotowetz added she was particularly humbled upon receipt of the award, in part due to being acknowledged and nominated by Miller.

“It’s hard to put into words but it is somebody that I respect, and I acknowledge as being an incredible teacher and she is seeing the things that I do,” she said. “I do it because it’s part of my job and I love my job, so it’s very authentically naturally what I do.”

An award ceremony will be hosted in Calgary, June 2, for Chotowetz to honour her for the accomplishment, as well as to present her with the award.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times