“Those brave commissioners who looked beyond position, power, and influence to serve our community; they understood that our school board should be an organization where backroom politics, favouritism, manipulation, and toeing the party line have no place. The work we do for our students is far too important for that.”
After thirty-eight years of dedicated and loyal service, I am leaving an organization that I have loved and served with heart, mind, body, and soul. It has been a painful process and a most difficult decision. I had never given much thought to a life beyond my educational career. Sometimes though, unexpected circumstances force you to consider a different path to a new beginning. Opportunities await and I now look forward to being the sole author of the chapters to come and sharing them with my loved ones.
Before I go, I want to look back at what has made my life so fulfilling. So many wonderful people have touched me throughout my career, and I’m so blessed and very grateful. I wish to celebrate their gifts to me in this final message.
My eternal gratitude is extended to:
The young child who showed me tenderness and its power to change lives;
The troubled child who taught me humility, selflessness, and compassion;
The patient and caring teachers who reminded me that the child is at the center of all we do;
The students, parents and educators who challenged my practices and opened my eyes to look beyond the ordinary and find creative alternatives;
The parents who trusted unconditionally by sharing their compelling stories and made me a better listener;
The secretaries and support staff whose dedication and commitment to our students moved me to do more; you helped me to appreciate the day-to-day happenings that are so integral to the overall success of an organization;
The professionals and management staff whose work ethic and creativity inspired me to reach for the stars;
The principals and vice-principals whose loyalty, devotion, and commitment created magical moments as we journeyed together; you reinforced my life-long belief that respect, responsibility, trust, and relationships are the pillars of leadership and cornerstones of the human spirit;
Those exceptional hors cadres, directors, and assistant directors whose authenticity, honesty, and integrity permitted me to resolve issues in an open and safe environment, and trusted me with the freedom to lead; together we made the impossible possible;
Those brave commissioners who looked beyond position, power, and influence to serve our community; they understood that our school board should be an organization where backroom politics, favouritism, manipulation, and toeing the party line have no place. The work we do for our students is far too important for that.
The members of the associations and the larger educational community across the province for their innovation, collaboration, and inspiration;
Those extraordinary individuals who went beyond the professional sphere and became my dear friends;
These gifts have left an imprint on my spirit and made me who I am today. I will always hold them dear to my heart.
As I leave, I wish this organization continued growth and hope that the leaders will ensure that everyone has a place and a purpose; where the right to question is encouraged; where the truth is not twisted; where young and old, new and experienced, will be cherished, valued, trusted, and respected.
To you, my colleagues, my very best wishes for health and success; I urge you to continue to serve with courage, integrity, compassion, humility, and passion. Remember you are the voice of the children you serve.
ACDSA editors note: The EMSB Council of commissioners is made up of Team Angela Mancini commissioners and independent commissioners, A. Cannavino, J. Feldman and J. Lalla.