Dan Summers, son of the late Jack Summers and his wife, Christine (Blok) and stepson of the late Art Martell, has achieved a very significant honour. He has been named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals.
The announcement was made February 7, 2013, by the South Slave Divisional Education Council (SSDEC), where Summers is principal of Deninu School in the North West Territories.
He will travel to Toronto to receive the national award from The Learning Partnership at a formal ceremony.
A graduate of Timothy Christian Elementary School who also attended Seaway District High School in Iroquois, Summers completed high school, university and his teacher’s training in Alberta.
The SSDEC stated that “We believe that Principal Summers was selected for this award because of his excellent leadership in improving learning outcomes at Deninu School. Since his arrival in 2009, he has implemented a variety of research-based strategies for maximizing achievement…that have been a great success.”
The SSDEC also said that Summers has shown himself from the outset to be “up to the challenge,” an educational leader who “embraced high expectations with vigor. The improved Deninu School results have also contributed to the success of the region in its efforts to close the achievement gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal students.”
Notified of his award selection, Summers commented that he felt that his success was the result of the “strengths of each of my staff and the all hands on deck attitudes. I have never once felt we are eight separate schools, DEAs and a Central Office. Rather, it’s always seemed to be to be one big effort.”
As a further indication of his educational achievements as both teacher and principal, Dan Summers and his entire Deninu staff were also awarded the NWT 2012 Premier’s Award of Excellence.