The OPSOA Distinguished Leadership Award is presented annually to a Member who has demonstrated outstanding ability and leadership in public education at both the provincial and local school system levels. The candidate is a leader in a number of OPSOA initiatives and is valued by colleague Members and by the education community for that leadership.
Recipient: Lila Read, Coordinating Superintendent, Waterloo Region District School Board
Lila, an OPSOA member for eight years, is an outstanding leader both within the Waterloo Region District School Board in her role as Coordinating Superintendent and within community at large. Lila has shared her leadership expertise and experiences with many. As a mentor, she has nurtured the leadership capacity of future Supervisory Officers in the OPSOA/OPC SOQP program as well as newly-appointed Superintendents within the OPSOA mentoring program. She has been approached by Ministry staff to develop a series of podcasts to share the WRDSB leadership story with a focus on their journey, vision, and adoption of productive working relationships as a foundation for system improvement. Lila was also scheduled to present a workshop at the 2019 International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement. Lila has worked to develop a partnership with Google Waterloo regarding innovative digital practices that is benefiting not only to students in our system but also opportunities for students beyond our system. Embracing the belief that Global Competencies are essential for all students, Lila has fostered a number of projects through this partnership. With oversight for the implementation and monitoring of the Waterloo Region District School Board's strategic plan Lila has assumed a collaborative approach working with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure that feedback on implementation of the strategic plan has come from students, staff and a number of community groups. Lila facilitated these conversations herself and made a commitment to all to engage in subsequent conversations with each group to provide an update on work that has been done as a result of their feedback. Lila has also worked to bridge the gap between the public and private sector introducing the HERO Generation in Waterloo Region District School communities, a positive education framework that supports both staff and student well-being. Built upon Plasticity Lab's socio-emotional of HERO Traits (Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, Optimism), HERO Generation provides educators with tools to build a positive school culture where students can flourish. Lila ensured that the impact of the HERO Generation was evaluated working with researchers from Plasticity Labs and Sir Wilfrid Laurier University. Lila also serves as a member of the Smart Waterloo Region Advisory Committee. As an active member of the Advisory Committee, Lila is representing the Waterloo Region District School Board and advocating for supports for both students and staff. As well, Lila is a member of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier University Senate, a leader in Rotary fundraising endeavours and long-standing board member with the local chapter of Nutrition for Learning. To the Supervisory Officers who brought forward Lila's name – thank you for recognizing her as a Distinguished Leader.