Chinook’s Edge is beginning another two-year opportunity for educators who wish to grow their leadership skills. The Aspiring Leaders Program began again this fall, 10 years after the program launched.

“This program has made a significant difference in the confidence and strength of our leaders over the last decade,” said Ray Hoppins, Associate Superintendent of People Services. “Chinook’s Edge specifically invests in Aspiring Leaders because participants become prepared to take on formal and informal leadership roles in our schools and departments. Strong leadership positively impacts the division, schools, classrooms and ultimately our students.”

The 14 participants in the new cohort applied for the opportunity this past spring. The group will learn together over the next two school years, with a completion date of spring 2025.

During that period, participants will meet 12 times to discuss topics such as fostering effective relationships, instructional leadership and inclusion, managing resources, and visionary leadership and Indigenous education. Also, several times each year, the group reaches out to other school divisions in Central Alberta to collaborate with other aspiring leaders and benefit from additional ideas about leadership.

Paige Greenwood, teacher, Innisfail Middle School, said, “I applied to participate in Aspiring Leaders because I am interested in leadership; I would like to be a Vice Principal and perhaps a Principal one day, and in the meantime I want to be a strong leader in my school.”

“What I hope to gain from this experience is learning more about the essential parts of leadership that go on behind the scenes, and how good leaders make a difference,” said Greenwood.

Greenwood said she enjoyed the first Aspiring Leaders session, and she especially appreciated “rich conversations with colleagues from other schools.”

“What stands out to me about this year’s participants is their enthusiasm for learning and their commitment to leadership. It’s energizing,” said Hoppins. “These individuals already play important roles in their schools and we are lucky to have them.

”Hoppins said, “Personally, it brings me great joy and pride to see our new teachers grow in their careers. For all 14 participants, I remember when they started out as new teachers in Chinook’s Edge. I’m so lucky to watch them accelerate from new teachers to master teachers to dedicated volunteers to trusted leaders in our school communities.”