The extraordinary commitment of CAIS leaders

So there I stood at St. Margaret’s School, on the pathway between the dining room and the junior school building. I was happy to chat with people as they walked past me. This was day three of our CAIS Summer LI and people seemed settled in and comfortable. I had toured all of the LI module classes that day, and the engagement was high. The entire campus was buzzing with discussions of faculty culture, governance, leadership, accreditation, and brain research. As I walked around, I got this feeling that everyone had known each other for years and were working toward a common purpose with energy.

On that pathway at that moment, I had this proud feeling that I had had a few other times since arriving in Victoria – isn’t it amazing that over 150 CAIS leaders are here during their summer holidays?

And that’s when it hit me – it was almost 7:00pm on a Saturday night.

There it is. There’s the difference between CAIS schools and other schools. At that moment, over 150 CAIS leaders were actually going to learn from 7:00 – 9:00pm. And yet no one complained. Not a one.

Our Leadership Institute is one of my favourite events every year. I actually feel overwhelmed when I think that all of the participants could be wrapping up their year at school or getting some of that organizational and reflective work done. Better yet, they could be doing what the thousands of teachers across Canada are doing in early July – vacationing!

So when I think about the many great memories from this year’s Summer LI, and I think about the outstanding programs, including The 2051 Project, I want to hold on to this one image of people walking to class on the Saturday night. I cannot remember who it was that I stopped, but I asked, “Is there any place you’d rather be – in the entire world – other than right here, right now?”

The response?

“Absolutely no where!”

Makes me proud to be associated with such incredible professionals who are committed, passionate, caring, learners who go hard at improving their capacity for our students, even on a Saturday night in July.

p.s. Thanks to Cathy Thornicroft and the St Margaret’s team for being such gracious hosts.

p.p.s. Check out for the slideshow, speech videos, and 2051 resources.

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