The York Catholic District School Board is extremely proud of Rocchina Antunes, Principal of St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic High School, who was recently named one of Canada's Outstanding Principals by the Learning Partnership. She will be official honoured at the annual Canada's Outstanding Principals Gala on February 23, 2016, at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto.
Every year, only 40 principals from all of Canada are selected for this prestigious honour, and this year Rocchina Antunes is the only principal from all of York Region chosen. As part of this honour, Rocchina will join the National Academy of Canada's Outstanding Principals, which offers principals ongoing networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities so they can constantly enhance their leadership skills.
"It is a real honour to be recognized by the Learning Partnership and by my school community," said Rocchina. "I am deeply humbled by the nomination. I am extremely thankful to my awesome Vice-Principals, Mrs. Bartolini, Mr.Chiutsi and Mrs. Cammalleri, the students, staff and community of St. Jean de Brebeuf, my treasured colleagues, mentor and my superintendent for collaborating on my nomination."
To be selected as one of Canada's Outstanding Principals, candidates are first nominated by parents, colleagues, and community members, and then chosen by a national selection committee for demonstrating innovation, having an entrepreneurial spirit and for employing creativity in finding solutions and opportunities in their schools.
Rocchina was chosen for her ongoing commitment to creating positive change and community building. At her school, she emphasizes the development of trusting relationships and focused improvement. She is driven to provide opportunities for all students to succeed, creating a school environment that is respectful and welcoming, and a curriculum that is culturally responsive.
Rocchina has been a principal at St. Jean de Brebeuf CHS since 2013 and has had a tremendous impact on the school and local community. She introduced changes in the core special education area, developing community partnerships to support Pathways to Student Success, and enhancing digital technology and literacy. Rocchina and her faculty leverage student data to target learning and work collaboratively on refining teaching and learning practices. She also promotes professional learning emphasizing the impact of collective expertise on student learning. By skillfully using social media, she ensure the school's mission, 'Educate the Mind and Nurture the Soul', is realized. Rocchina is very visible, accessible, responsive, and her staff refer to her as their fearless leader.
"Being a high school principal is the best job in the world," said Rocchina. "Every day is filled with adventure and excitement and being around teenagers is invigorating! Their brilliance, energy, enthusiasm, creativity and resiliency are inspiring.
"I am privileged to work with an amazing group of administrators, teachers and staff members. We all work together to support students and to build a positive school culture that emphasizes innovation, collaboration, creativity and educational excellence, in a loving and caring Catholic school environment."