Leaside has welcomed another new principal. He is Donato Di Paolo of St. Anselm Catholic School, who came from Canadian Martyrs Catholic School in East York, where he was principal for three years.
Mr. Di Paolo studied history at York University before earning his teaching degree in Perth, Australia. He also has specialist qualifications in Religious Studies and Special Education, and a Master’s degree in Critical Literacy from Mount St. Vincent University.
Mr. Di Paolo’s teaching career began at two Toronto Catholic District schools in the west end, and served for three years as vice-principal at St. Jane Frances School in the Jane-Sheppard area. This high needs school, for a time, was the largest elementary school in the Catholic board. Over the years, he has served on a number of committees, including those dealing with Twenty-First Century Learning, Special Education, and the Effective Use of Technology.
Since he grew up in nearby Riverdale, Mr. Di Paolo is very familiar with Leaside, which he describes as a “great community.” Even before the school year started, he had met many of the members of the parent council and staff, and was impressed by their warm welcome and caring attitude. He is looking forward to the Curriculum Night and Barbecue in late September as an opportunity to make more connections.
During the year, Mr. Di Paolo plans to continue with the school’s regular programs, such as the Agnes Macphail speech contest as well as the sports of hockey and swimming. In fact, the school is organizing and hosting a swim meet for the entire TCDSB this year, a project that was given to them largely because of the dedicated community of parents who are “doing all of the work,” he told me.
As an administrator, Mr. Di Paolo especially enjoys the managerial tasks involved in consulting with various stakeholders, such as staff, students and the parish, in order to identify the needs of the school, and to develop an action plan to address those needs and implement improvements. In addition, he is keen to build relationships with community partners and maintain ties and traditions with the merchants on Bayview, local institutions and politicians.
“I feel blessed to be joining the Leaside community,” he said.
Welcome to Leaside, Mr. Di Paolo.