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News: Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

David de Wit of Rick Hansen Secondary named Canada’s Outstanding Principals™ Award Winner 2016

The Learning Partnership honours Abbotsford School District principal for exemplary leadership

January 26, 2016 - [Abbotsford] – The Learning Partnership is pleased to recognize David de Wit as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals™ of 2016.

Principal de Wit is among 40 exceptional educators, from every province and territory in Canada, who are being celebrated for demonstrating innovation, having an entrepreneurial spirit and for employing creativity in finding solutions and opportunities. They will be awarded for their accomplishments at the 12th annual Canada’s Outstanding Principals™ gala in late February in Toronto.

The winners also benefit from an exclusive five-day executive leadership training program at one of Canada’s top business schools, the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The program will introduce them to leadership and management practices presented by business leaders and Rotman instructors. They also benefit from a “Changing World of Work” day where they learn about today’s workforce from business leaders.

David de Wit has been a principal at Rick Hansen Secondary School of Science and Business since April, 2014. Previously he was Principal at Bakerview Centre for Learning 

“I have been fortunate to work with great educators along the way, who are willing to look at innovative practices to improve student achievement,” says Principal de Wit, in reflecting on his accomplishments. “Whether it be the transformation of ACE to the Bakerview Centre of Learning or the creation of the Rick Hansen School of Science and Business, together we have been able to move schools forward in creative ways that haven’t been done before.” Wit will join the prestigious ranks of the National Academy of Canada’s Outstanding Principals™, which now boasts almost 400 members. This includes one previous winner (in 2011) from Abbotsford School District: Rob Comeau, now Principal at Abbotsford Senior. The National Academy offers principals ongoing networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities so they can constantly enhance their leadership skills.

“The strength of our world-renowned public education system is built on great principals, who are educators, managers and leaders in their schools and communities,” says Akela Peoples, President and CEO of The Learning Partnership. “These dedicated principals contribute tremendously to creating nurturing learning environments to enable all students to succeed. We are delighted to celebrate their achievement and contribution, and recognize them as important leaders in Canadian society.”

In the Canada’s Outstanding Principals™ program, principals are nominated by their peers, school staff and community members in every province and territory. Nominations are reviewed and final winners selected on a representation-by-population basis by a National Selection Committee made up of a distinguished group of Canadian education, community and private sector leaders. Candidates are chosen using the following criteria: leadership and student achievement; leadership and innovation; instructional leadership; professional learning teams; partnerships with families and communities; personal growth initiatives; and corresponding letters of support.

Canada’s Outstanding Principals™ is made possible through the generous support of CIBC and Deloitte.

For a biography and photograph of David de Wit and to see a full list of Canada’s Outstanding Principals™ 2016, their biographies and photographs, please visit the LP website.

About The Learning Partnership
The Learning Partnership is a national charity dedicated to supporting, promoting and advancing publicly funded education in Canada. We do this through five key deliverables - innovative student programs, executive leadership for educators, knowledge mobilization and policy, tribute celebrations of excellence and ongoing collaborations across Canada. Since 1993, more than 6.1 million students have participated in The Learning Partnership's programs. For more information about The Learning Partnership, visit


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On behalf of The Learning Partnership

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The Learning Partnership
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