Profile of Sara MacDonald, Head of School, Lynn-Rose Schools
Sara MacDonald, Head of School
Lynn-Rose Schools boasts a culture where students are supported to reach their personal potential. This is a school that’s values are reflected not only in its student body but in its administration too. We don’t have to look much further than Head of School Sara MacDonald to see a real life example of that. Lynn-Rose has supported MacDonald’s own personal growth from a teacher to now Head of School.
MacDonald began her career as a Social Service Worker, with a focus on child well-being. It was here where she discovered her passion for education and curriculum development in particular. MacDonald completed a Bachelor in Education from the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s in Education from Queen’s University, specializing in Innovative Classroom and Assessment Practices.
MacDonald started her teaching career at Lynn-Rose School as a Grade 7/8 teacher. She is a great example that not only does the school support student growth, but professional development of staff as well. “One of the things I enjoyed the most and why I have remained is there was really good support.” Teachers, and students at Lynn-Rose are encouraged to learn, grow and continue to learn and improve.
“I don’t ever want to stop learning. Education is always evolving and we need to stay current with best practices.” Transitioning from teaching to administration allowed MacDonald to have the freedom to explore different learning philosophies.
“I like to be a part of change. Being a classroom teacher you can do so much with your students but it’s nice being able to step back as a whole organization.” MacDonald enjoys working with teachers and bringing new ideas to the table. “I enjoy being able to facilitate change and make a difference hopefully on a larger scale.”
MacDonald’s passion for education shines through in her role as Head of School. “In the role that I’m in, I’m allowed to deal with all facets of education from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and each one of the different stages in a student’s educational experience brings different joys and different challenges. I enjoy having that broad spectrum to work in.”
Lynn-Rose Schools prides itself on getting to know each student as an individual. “We have students with many different needs and we work very closely with the family with the student to get to know them as an individual and make sure we’re working towards their personal goals”.
Ingrained in this holistic philosophy of education is the belief that every child wants to learn, belong to a community and do their best, no matter what behaviour may be seen on the outside. The school’s takes pride in understanding students as individuals and seeks to support students to reach their full personal potential socially, emotionally and intellectually. “We take the time to make sure we know what their goals are”. MacDonald highlights the importance for a child to see that a teacher is invested in their care. “Every child has a right to a good education and every child has a right for the teacher and the school to get to know them as an individual and see them succeed”.
During a recent accreditation with Cognia, one of the findings of the professional reviewers was that Lynn-Rose Schools’ mission statement was evident everywhere in the schools, with the students, teachers, and administration. “It really was very clear that we’re not just giving lip service. They came in not knowing much prior and that was one of their key findings was that our mission statement really was alive and you could see it in action in the classrooms, the hallways, in our community. I think that speaks volumes.”