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An Example of Open Leadership – Rhonda Jessen.com

An Example of Open Leadership

This morning my work group visited Monsignor Fee Otterson, a five-year old K-9 school in south Edmonton. I could tell that it was a welcoming place as soon as I walked in the door, it was a place I would be happy to work in. We were offered a great breakfast before we toured their kindergarden, grades 1 and 2 classes as well as Baby EMU – a brand-new early learning maker space/exploratory travelling lab space, and Mama EMU Edmonton Catholic School Board’s 21c early learning version of a bookmobile that travels around Edmonton. I also got to check out their CTF classroom.

The minute I met the principal, Marie Whelan, I could tell that she was an strong leader, her leadership was obvious when I talked to the students and the teachers who were well spoken and passionate about their students, about their classrooms, their focus on emergent curriculum based on student interests and different ways that they documented learning experiences. Her leadership was apparent in the way that the school was decorated and laid out and in the behaviour of the students.

Her open leadership was obvious when she spoke about the school, sharing her vision, the school’s mission statements and stories about the school, as well as ways that she shares what is happening in the school with visitors from around the world.
We also learned about Edmonton Catholic’s Curriculum Prototyping project and how Monsignor Fee Otterson was involved in the project. It was great to see their vision of potential K-3 curriculum in action in their classroom.

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