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Ottawa Catholic School Board, Director of Education, Denise Andre, is the OCSOA 2020 EXL Award winner. The prestigious national award sponsored by XEROX CANADA LTD. and the Canadian Association of School System Administrators (CASSA) recognizes excellence among members of the superintendency. This coveted honour distinguishes Canada’s most exceptional educational leaders. As OCSOA’s winner, Denise will be recognized at the OCSOA AGM in April and will receive her award at the annual CASSA conference, this July in New Brunswick.

Director Andre was acknowledged for system leadership, innovation, Deep Learning, equity and inclusive education.

System Leadership: As the Director of Education, Denise guided the development of the Board’s new strategic commitments. “Be Community” – “Be Well” – “Be Innovative.” Our school communities live these commitments in large part due to Denise’s focus on wellness for students and staff. “Be Community” – “Be Well” – “Be Innovative” is a true reflection of Denise’s leadership. 

Innovation and Deep Learning: Denise’s leadership philosophy creates conditions for staff to be as creative as they want their students to be. She provides an open invitation to all staff to take risks while working together. Under her leadership, the Board focused on Deep Learning in the classroom, in the schoolyard and the community.

Equity and Inclusive Education: As Director of Education, Denise introduced the Board’s new Equity framework and dedicated resources to successfully implementing the Board’s adoption of The International Decade for People of African Descent. She ensured the declaration became part of the fabric of our schools. As Director, Denise supported the enhancement of the Board’s Family Welcome Centre. The Centre experienced a 300% growth over the five years she has been Director of Education. Last year over 1000 newcomers were welcomed into OCSB schools. Denise’s leadership philosophy of leading from the heart helped create a Board focused on the dignity of the human being, which is at the heart of all that we do in Catholic education.

International, National and Local Leaders Praise the Work of OCSB Director of Education, Denise Andre.

“Morale is great, innovation happens, students do well, It is actually very difficult to innovate and have a sense of calm, but somehow the OCSB does this year after year.” Dr. Michael Fullan (Global Lead – NPDL)

“Denise is driven by a moral purpose to make Catholic education, and indeed all education, more equitable and inclusive for all students. Denise brings honour to the OCSOA EXL Award.” Bill Hogarth (President, Education Research Development & Innovation – ERDI)

“Her tireless commitment to equity and innovation has inspired our network of leaders to think critically about how they solve the most complex challenges facing their school communities in order to provide exceptional learning experiences for future-ready students. Max Cooke (CEO EdCan Network)

“Denise Andre brought wisdom, thoughtful solutions and quiet leadership to our community agency, guiding us through challenging times.  Nancy B. MacNider (Retired Executive Director, St. Mary’s Home)