Bonjour Sunshine Hills!

Bonjour staff, students and families of École Élémentaire Sunshine Hills Elementary,

What a pleasure it is to be joining this wonderful education community in the fall of 2019.  I am honoured to be coming on board as your new principal and look forward to the adventures ahead of us.  For almost 20 years I have been in the education world, nine of which have been in Administration, and this next chapter is going to be an exciting one.

I thought I would share a little bit about myself.  Aside from being a passionate educator and leader, first, and foremost, I am a father and a husband – family is so important to me and I bring this lens to my leadership style when working with, and learning from, students, staff, and families and the wider community. I have a degree from Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Sociology and Anthropology with an extended minor in History, and I have my professional teaching certificate from the SFU Professional Development Program.  In 2011, I completed a Masters of Education from the University of British Columbia, with a focus on Administration and Transformative Leadership.  As a teacher and educational leader, I am passionate about literacy and numeracy, inquiry, the fine arts, growth mindset, universal design for ALL learners (regardless of ability), formative assessment, and innovative learning environments.  I have a strong background in early learning and believe in documenting the educational journey of learners.  In addition, I look forward to supporting the refreshed BC curriculum, with a focus on the Core Competencies – which has been shown to be some of the most important skills to focus on for improving student academic trajectories.

Students, staff, and families are at the center of my leadership, and I am a believer that ALL students are learners and teachers – the adults in an education community learn so much from students, as children come with their own experiences and backgrounds that help enhance all our learning.  I believe in embedding indigenous knowledge and understanding in my teaching and leadership and in creating strong relationships with our local indigenous nations.

Français has also been part of my own personal history.  Both my parents were born in Montreal and French was always something in my household growing up.  Although I may be a bit rusty, I look forward to re-awakening my French roots when I come to École Sunshine Hills.  I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as I walk alongside all of you to learn the in’s and out’s of the school.

Aside from saying I like long walks on the beach, which I actually do, I feel that the best way to get to know me is to come and chat with me.  Building those personal educational relationships with staff, students, families and the wider community happens with those face-to-face interactions.  Please know that my door is always open and I love to lend an ear and a helping hand, when possible.

Finally, I want to thank Elaine Greenhalgh, Sharon Hoffinger, the PAC, and all the staff and students I had the recent pleasure of meeting. Madame Greenhalgh explained that the Sunshine Hills community is supportive, caring and fun, and I have to say that my first interaction with the school was on Crazy Hair Day, and the spirit and joy warmed my heart.  The friendly and caring welcome is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to continuing to build educational relationships and foster strong academic opportunities and learning experiences for students, staff, and families.  Have a safe and fun summer and I cannot wait to hear about everyone’s adventures in the fall!

J’espère que vous passerez un bel été

Sincerely,

Mr. Jody Billingsley