As countless students, former students and teachers know, local school principal Rene Bibaud is one heck of a guy. In fact, he’s been recognized as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals for 2014. (FYI: That’s even better than a gold star.)
These days Bibaud is principal at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)’s Adult High School, but over the years he has headed other Ottawa school communities. And this is what OCDSB director of education Jennifer Adams has to say about him: “Rene is a man of great character and an inspiring instructional leader. He has tremendous impact as a principal and as a coach, mentor, and role model to staff and students.”
This year, the former principal of Earl of March Secondary School and Nepean High School is being honoured for his leadership and vision, and for his focus on making positive changes in the lives of students at his schools. According to the board, “He is an educational champion. His gift is in helping students believe in themselves and in the quiet orchestration to ensure that teachers have the tools and support to engage students in learning.”
An OCDSB release goes on to say he focuses, always, on the success of each student and on closing the gap for less advantaged students. And this isn’t the first time his efforts have been acknowledged. In 2007, Bibaud was honoured at National Child Day in Ottawa with the “Child-friendly Man of the Village” award.
Letters of support for his nomination came from current and former students, staff members, parents and community partners. In the words of Barbara Mitchell, past chair of Nepean High School Council, “What stands out for me the most is Rene’s innate ability to connect with people with a genuine interest in their story, with respect and with empathy. Rene has both an open mind and an open heart that make him such a wonderful individual and a great leader, not only in his school(s), but also in the community.” Another Nepean parent, Katherine Stauble, adds this: “Rene Bibaud is the finest principal I have known and the best role model I can imagine. When asked if he missed the classroom, Rene responded that, in fact, it was as a principal that he had more opportunities to teach—to impart values and build character.”