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Calgary principal helps pregnant and parenting teens realize their goals
Published Wednesday, February 15, 2017 12:36PM MST
She’s been bestowed with an Outstanding Principal Award from the Learning Partnership, but Rita Dickson says the award is shared by everyone she works with and helps.
Dickson is the principal of Louise Dean School, a specialized Grade 9 to 12 program designed to help pregnant and parenting teenagers obtain the education they believed was behind them.
She’s one of 40 administrators in the country getting the award and one of four in the City of Calgary.
She says that the award isn’t just for her though.
“This is a learning partnership award and they recognize how when you're leading a community, you partner with the students, you listen to them, you partner with their families, you partner with the community stakeholders and with my professional partners going through.”
The school works along with the Catholic Family Services and officials with that agency say that they are inspired by Dickson’s passion.
“She is very focused on serving these young women and understands that to do so the partnership is really critical with Catholic Family Services and Alberta Health Services,” says Patricia Jones, CEO of the Catholic Family Services. “She works in collaboration with all partners, but she also probably knows each of the young women's names.”
Jones says that that’s about 200 students every year.
Holly Charles, the operations manager of the Catholic Family Services, says she also recognizes how hard Dickson works.
“She came into this building wanting to understand the young women and what their educational goals were and what she could do with her group of teachers to support that goal.”
Dickson says that she knows she’s succeeded when the girls graduate.
“To see them work with us in a very personalized way towards graduation and to walk the stage at the end is absolutely magical.”
For all that Rita Dickson and her team do to help pregnant and parenting teens, she is our Inspiring Albertan this week.