Profile of Sandy Palombo, Head of School, Delano Academy

“It’s not about leadership and being the boss. It’s about the community and working together.”

Delano Academy is described by staff and students as not just a school but a family. No one echoes this sentiment more than Head of School Sandy Palombo. “The school culture is something that we’re very proud of. We’re a small community. We are a school that really values the relationships we have with one another.” 



The school’s founding parents and educators came together collectively with experiences in both the private and public school system to create this community. “I know that sounds cliché, but it’s really about that inclusive safe environment for our students.” 

Delano Academy’s motto, “find your wings and soar,” is about allowing each student to discover their individuality and soar as they grow into their own being. “It’s definitely for an educator heart-warming and it’s an experience that you really want to wake up every day and be in an environment where everyone is valued.”  

Palombo may not have come from the traditional path to Head of School. She holds a bachelor’s of education from the University of Toronto, and a master’s of education and PhD in education from York University. Prior to coming to Delano in 2014, Palombo spent 23 years at The Children’s Treatment and Learning Centre. As the Chief Executive Clinical Director, she assessed and developed IEP treatment and curriculum plans for kids identified with giftedness, learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and other special needs

Palombo believes in being a leader who demonstrates the ability to collaborate and work with faculty and other stakeholders, including parents. “It’s not about leadership and being the boss. It’s about the community and working together.”

Palombo often heard private schools talk about their community, but when she arrived at Palombo she was surprised to find just how strong that sense of community was. “We really walk the talk of what is written and what is communicated. You don’t often find that transparency and that authenticity. That’s really intriguing about the school in not only saying this is what we believe in and what we do, but to walk it every day.”

Delano Academy sets high expectations and standards for students’ academic success, but perhaps most important is the emphasis on creating a sense of belonging and a knowing that every voice and opinion matters and is valued. “We are a school that is quite aware and cognizant that we play a significant role in our students’ lives and well-being, and it’s our responsibility to curate that positive school culture for them.”  

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