Nfld. & Labrador

Best in class: 2 N.L. principals on national Top 40 list

The honours definitely deserve an apple.

John Antle of Exploits Valley Intermediate and Michael Tobin of Paradise Elementary have made the cut

Putting chromebooks into the hands of students at Paradise Elementary is one of the achievements that netted honours for the principal there. (Twitter: @paradiseelem)

One is in Grand Falls-Windsor, the other is in Paradise, but both are on the list of Canada's Outstanding Principals.

"It is quite an honour. This is my job, it is something I love," said John Antle, principal of Exploits Valley Intermediate.

It's the 14th year of the honours announced by The Learning Partnership, a national charity that chooses the recipients via a selection committee after educators are nominated by parents, colleagues and community members.

The committee considers applicants "on the on the basis of their exceptional contributions that positively impact student achievement and success," according to a media release from the organization. 

'Gotcha' is a good thing

John Antle, principal of Exploits Valley Intermediate, is earning high praise for a program that rewards good behaviour. (The Learning Partnership)

Antle is praised for spearheading the Positive Behavioural Intervention Strategies (PBIS) program.

"It is really about rewarding positive behaviour in the school. [Years ago] we were facing a large number of behavioural infractions at the school," he told CBC's Central Morning Show.

 "What we do is hand out to students little pieces of paper called a 'gotcha' for anything positive that they would do in the school. For example, holding the door open for somebody."

Antle credits the program's success to having everyone part of it — staff, parents, students and even local businesses in Grand Falls-Windsor who donate prizes for rewards in the PBIS program.

The initiative caught the attention of the national selection committee, along with some other attributes.

"John cares for the health and wellbeing of his students, demonstrated through coaching, breakfast programs and adding additional co-curricular activities," according to a media release from the Learning Partnership.

On the leading edge in Paradise

Michael Tobin, principal of Paradise Elementary, has encouraged more technology-facilitated learning. (The Learning Principle)

Paradise Elementary principal Michael Tobin, who said he was "excited and humbled" by the honour, said collaboration and technology make for a winning combination.

"The biggest credit we need to give to here is my wonderful staff, great students and an outstanding community," he told CBC News Wednesday.

The Learning Partnership singled out his focus on innovation and "technology-facilitated learning."

"For example, we have many of our teachers using Google classroom and we have Chromebooks available to our students so they can be using them as a tool," Tobin said.

"When you have students that are motivated, engaged and having fun, obviously you certainly get improvements in student achievements."

Parsons and Antle and the other nominees will be honoured at a gala in Toronto Feb. 27. 

The recognition is certainly welcomed, said Antle, but he insists it's all in a day's work.

"I go in there everyday with the attitude that we try to make this place better," he said. 

With files from Central Morning Show