About Your Principal – Ms. V. Collis

Degrees/Training for Position:

Bachelor of Arts:  Wilfrid Laurier University (1989); Masters of Public Administration:  Queen’s University (1990); Bachelor of Education;  Brock University (2001); Principal’s Qualifications, Supervisory Officer Certificate, Educational Law Additional Qualification (Ontario Principal’s Council).

Number of Years with the WRDSB:

This is my 20th  year with the Waterloo Region District School Board.  After working 10 years in the fields of social services with high-risk youth,  I began my teaching career at Forest Heights Collegiate in the History Department before moving into Student Success.  Previous to being appointed Principal at SJAM in January 2020, I served as Principal at Southwood Secondary School for approx. 4 years.   I have also served as a Vice-Principal at three sites within WRDSB:  SJAM for 3 years; Eastwood for 4 years and 2 years at Southwood.

Anecdotal Comments/Thoughts:

I am very grateful to be able to return to SJAM  as its Principal to support students, their families and staff.   Student achievement and well-being is our shared goal and it is an honour to lend my experience to the attainment of those objectives.  I am committed to ensuring that our schools are welcoming, caring  and safe for all and I  believe that we demonstrate our intent with every word, action  and deed, each and every day.

How I see my role:  My Personal Philosophy of Educational Leadership

The role of the Principal is to guide, support, and champion success for all of its members, with students being the first and foremost priority.  With the overarching goal of securing student achievement, the school leader must know how to build capacity and foster a multiplier effect amongst its stakeholders (students and their families; staff and the community) in a manner that is positive, infectious, engaging and self-sustaining.

Inspired Learners:

  • Our school will be limitless.  We will understand the power that happiness, positivity and Growth Mindset has upon the individual and the collective.
  • Our school will be a welcoming, safe, and caring place.  People will see and know each other for what is in their minds, hearts and souls.
  • Our school will be honest:  All people will act and speak truthfully in a manner that respects one other.
  • Our school will be celebratory:  We will share in each other’s accomplishments and will support each other along the way.

Tomorrow’s Leaders:

  • Our school will be industrious.  Challenge will be seen as an opportunity and not something to be feared.
  • Our school will be resilient:  We will know that life is not without challenges and we will work collaboratively through them.
  • Our school will be brave:  We will address inequity, bias and prejudice and will challenge ourselves to make our world a better place and to make ourselves better people.
  • Our school will have integrity, empathy and will be kind:  People will respect themselves in spirit, mind and body and will do so for others.

A leader’s role is to model the vision of what is possible and to help people realize that they can move towards an outcome that they may not have believed was within their grasp.  This leader believes in and respects the role of the Principalship and knows her purpose is to foster the energy and optimism needed to fulfill the goals of public education.