Serve. Advocate. Lead.

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Serve. Advocate. Lead.

Deirdre Kinsella Biss

By Deirdre Kinsella Biss
Editor, Principal Connections

With the release of the latest issue of Principal Connections, Editor Deirdre Kinsella Biss provides a sneak preview of what you can expect in our magazine this month.


This edition of Principal Connections takes an in-depth look at the Support Services that the Catholic Principals’ Council | Ontario (CPCO) offers to its membership. The term “Support Services” is built around two key words. The “Support” part of the title highlights ways that we help our members grow and develop. The “Service” part of the title speaks to the set of services we have developed to assist our colleagues professionally. 

Advocating for the enhancement of Catholic education and the concerns of Members and Practising Associates is central to the work of the Support Services team. They represent Catholic Principals and Vice-Principals at the provincial table providing input on terms and conditions of employment, provincial bills and legislation. They also provide assistance for local labour relations support by providing access to contracts and negotiations training.

Support Services provides Practising Associates with up-to-date information, resources and guidance on a variety of professional and workplace issues. For instance, in this publication, Judge Marvin Zuker highlights new information about the recent changes made to child protection laws in the province. Ontario Human Rights Commissioner, Renu Mandhane provides us with information about our duty to accommodate. And Andrew Miki shares his thoughts on presenteeism in the workplace.

When Principals and Vice-Principals are faced with challenging situations in their schools and need legal support or guidance, help is only a phone call away. Wendy Lopez, CPCO’s General Counsel shares insights in her article on how principals can be proactive and prevent legal issues from arising in schools, or specifically against a principal or vice-principal.

Equity remains an ongoing point of discussion in our schools. Joseph Geiser and Michelle Coutinho look at the personal blind spots and unconscious biases we, as individuals, possess. In their article So You’ve Been Called a Racist … Now What? they share how school boards and CPCO work together to support individuals who have faced this situation. Articles on gender issues, workplace harassment and adult accommodations offer different perspectives on this topic. 

Safety and wellness issues affect our Members and Practising Associates day-to-day practice. Deborah Celemencki, from Johnson Insurance, shares a case study that illuminates the process involved in helping our Practising Associates go on Long Term Disability. Catholic leaders are tasked with creating a safe environment in which students can learn and staff can teach and work. Steve Hall’s article deals with school safety. He identifies some proactive steps to think about in order to avert escalating violent situations in classrooms.

Serve. Advocate. Lead. CPCO’s mission statement says it all. The importance of services that support the professional growth and needs of those we serve, the role of provincial representation and advocacy, and the continuous focus on our faith and Catholic school leadership is the mandate of our organization. CPCO’s Support Services are designed to uphold the mission statement and assist our Practising Associates and Members. By placing our Associates’ needs first, we look after each other, so that we can ensure that we can all do our best to serve our school communities.


The above article was featured in the Support Services and Human Resource Management issue of CPCO’s Principal Connections magazine.

If you would like to read the whole issue, you can purchase it here.

CPCO Practising Associates can read the issue for free by logging in here.