Principal's Message

Welcome to Hillcrest High School, Home of the Hawks! 






September 7, 2021 Welcome to Hillcrest High School, Home of the Hawks! Hi Hawks Welcome back to another exciting school year 2021-2022. My name is Geordie Walker, please call me Geordie. I am privileged to be entering my 6th year of service as the Principal at Hillcrest High School which is situated on the unceded and unsurrendered lands of the Algonquin Nation. Our administration team has changed slightly, we welcome Ms. Katie O’Brien as Vice Principal and Ms. Tricia Jones is entering her fourth year as Vice Principal at Hillcrest. I am very pleased to continue working alongside our awesome staff of Educators, Educational Assistants, Office Staff, and our Care staff who are all truly committed to student safety and academic and emotional success inside and outside the classroom. We continue to make safety our priority for all our students, staff and community members by following the Ottawa Public Health (OPH) guidelines and the OCDSB Policies and Procedures. Ms. Jones will continue to collaborate daily/weekly with OPH to make sure the arrival of our students, the duration of learning and exit from Hillcrest is safe. Our Educational staff are working to identify the learning needs of all our students as we do every year, in particular as a result of the impact of COVID. Regardless of circumstances, we truly believe that all students can be successful. We believe in working closely with our students, our Parents/Guardians and community partners, to ensure we have a safe, caring, and educationally stimulating environment which fosters learning and a sense of belonging to all who walk through our doors. We continue to support our students in their pursuit of their excellence in their educational pathways and with wellness in mind. We at Hillcrest believe strongly in implementing a Community Hub approach to education. We have engaged many community groups, services, and organizations such as the Wabano Health Center, the Ottawa Inuit Children's Center, and the Somali Family Reception Center. We have also worked with local Indigenous and non Indigenous community members to bring about change as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Actions. Anti Racism Stance At Hillcrest we continue to fight and address Racism, bias and prejudice in all forms. To this end, I continue my commitment as Principal to all Hillcrest students , Guardians /Parents and all our community members to build on developing SMART ( Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.) Anti Racism goals this year. Our administration team, Department heads and staff will each develop smart goals which will be posted publicly to ensure we can be held to account by our students, staff and community. Geordie Walker’s SMART GOALS Between Sept-Dec 2021 I will ; 1) meet with no less than 250 students to discuss and learn from the students on how racism operates in our school curriculum and in our organization. 2) build relationships in our schools and in the community, by hosting two HARC (Hillcrest Anti Racism Committee) meetings with Staff, parents and guardians. 3) continue to unlearn and learn by having 3 meetings with Dr Nicholas Ng-A-Fook (University Ottawa Professor). To discuss decolonization of educational practices. 4) continue to implement the Truth and Reconciliations (TRC) Calls to Action and the calls to Justice from the Murdered, Missing Indigenous Women and Girls ( MMIWG ) Report . a) September Orange shirt awareness 2 activities b) September 30th Orange shirt assembly virtually c) No less than 2 consultations with Albert Dumont, “South Wind,” poet, storyteller, speaker, and an Algonquin traditional teacher. My commitment to Action; ● I am committed to Lead with my Truth in all my interaction with you. ● I am committed to be held accountable by students, staff, Parents / Guardians and the community. ● I am committed to practice, not perfection, I expect to get it wrong. ● I look for the gift of correction from those in the Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ2 and communities whom I do not represent by the colour of my skin. ● I recognize I can be a barrier to deconstructing colonialism as a result of my own education, my bias conscious and unconscious. I acknowledge my privilege, which has blinded me in my ability to see and truly appreciate racism and its impact. I ask you hold me to account: If you feel I am not acting on what I have stated or you believe I am not hearing your concerns from your perspective, please let me know in person, virtually or in writing. If you are still not satisfied or would like to contact my Superintendent, Reg Lavergne (reg.lavergne@ocdsb.ca) or bring a community advocate to see me or my Superintendent please do so. My intention is to get it right and to be held accountable to make systemic changes where they need to be made.


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