Principal of Sacred Heart Academy (SHA) Paulette Chotowetz has won the 2022-2023 Distinguished Leadership Award presented by the Council for School Leadership (CSL) of the Alberta Teachers' Association.  

The CSL creates a learning community of outstanding principals and assistant principals throughout Alberta who can share professionally and act as mentors to new colleagues. The Distinguished Leadership Award celebrates exceptional individuals who go above and beyond to make their schools better.

Receiving the award means a lot to Chotowetz especially because she was nominated by a fellow teacher at the school, Carly Miller, who teaches first grade at Sacred Heart. 

“We have been working together since 2001. In all honesty, we came to Strathmore together when the school opened, and Carly is a distinguished leader in our school as well." 

Chotowetz expressed that it is very humbling to win the award, especially since she was acknowledged by Miller.

“It's hard to put into words but it is somebody that I respect, and I acknowledge as being an incredible teacher and she is seeing the things that I do. I do it because it's part of my job and I love my job, so it's very authentically naturally what I do.”  

Starting out as co-principal in 2007 and then when the other principal had moved on to Canmore in 2009, Chotowetz became the full principal of Sacred Heart Academy.  

“I think just a recognition from our Alberta Teachers Association for identifying people who are working in the field of education is great and that they have this award that is something that we as leaders in our schools and teachers in our schools can receive is huge.”  

These individuals that receive the Distinguished Leadership Award, are considered role models in a vibrant network of educational leaders with the confidence and capabilities to lead innovative change for 21st century learning - the Council for School Leadership. 

“I think just what really impressed me was the reason behind it was identifying people who are looking to challenge, to improve learning and to lead, so I appreciate being acknowledged for those things which are very important to me as well as a leader.” 

There will be an award ceremony in Calgary on June 2 for Chotowetz to honour her accomplishment. 

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