Our Community: Principal gets top marks with national award

Leslie Lee wants the students in her care to learn to care, and care to learn. She must be doing a good job turning out better citizens because she has been recognized as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals by the Learning Partnership, an organization that promotes, supports and advances publicly funded education in Canada.

Lee, while appreciating the honour, is modest about it. “I am fortunate to work with parents, teachers, community members and students who give 150 per cent of themselves and have come with me on our journey,” said Lee, principal of George Jay Elementary School. “I am constantly amazed at their support.”

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She says the cliché that it takes a village to raise a child does apply in this circumstance.

But wining the Outstanding Principal award isn’t easy. To excel, principals from across Canada had to demonstrate outstanding leadership in their schools and community. The judges in the competition come from business, government and education sectors.

As part of the winning prize, Lee attends a five-day executive leadership training program at the Rotman School of Management and become part of a National Academy of Principals, a Canadian learning community of 300 alumni.

Lee will receive her award in Toronto Feb. 25. For more information, go to the website thelearningpartnership.ca.


Real-estate offices aid shelter foundation

Brokers, staff, volunteers and real-estate agents from the four Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty offices recently presented the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation with a cheque for more than $42,000 to go toward the needs of four women’s shelters in Greater Victoria. The money was raised through fundraising efforts, such as an annual golf tournament and from deductions from sales commissions.

The shelter foundation was founded in 1998 and has disbursed more than $316,000 in funds locally. In Victoria, the foundation benefits the Margaret Lawrence House, the Cridge Transition House for Women, Sooke Women’s Shelter and Victoria Women’s Shelter.

Nationally, the foundation has raised more than $16 million and support 200 women’s shelters and partners, helping more than 30,000 women and children. For more information, go to shelterfoundation.ca.


Gift-card campaign benefits local charities

The results are in for a gift-card campaign in December with more than $6,500 raised for three local charities, including the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

The Uptown shopping centre donated 10 per cent of all gift-card sales during the month of December to one of three charities, as chosen by customers. This was the second year of the fundraiser.

“We are humbled by the support of Uptown shoppers this holiday season,” said Linda Hughes, president and CEO of the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

The campaign also raised funds for Shaw Lights of Hope in support of the Canadian Cancer Society and Victoria Hospitals Foundation for their Building Care Together campaign.


Young Heroes sought for international award

Do you know of a young person (eight to 18 years old) who has made a significant difference to people and/or the environment? Nominate him or her for the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. The award celebrates inspiring, public-spirited, highly diverse young people from across North America.

Each year the Barron Prize honours 25 outstanding young leaders ages eight to 18 who have made a significant difference to people and the planet.

Examples include Jaclyn, who survived brain cancer and then worked to help other terminally ill children; Ryan, who helped provide clean drinking water to more than 70 African villages; Michaella, who organized a rodeo for disabled kids, and Shawn, who organized his neighbourhood to build a community garden in the inner city.

The top 10 winners each receive a $5,000 cash award to support their service.

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