A Strong Foundation
I was fortunate to embark on my career in central office under the leadership of Eric Johnson, the Superintendent at that time in Horizon School Division. Eric was highly regarded throughout Zone 6, and when he shared his perspective on a topic everyone stopped to listen carefully. He modeled what I grew to understand as critical foundations for leadership in a system. Clear in moral purpose, everyone in the system knew that he would ask the question, "Is that what is best for kids?" Decision-making was never clouded with politics or the desire to fulfill personal agendas. He was a master at relationship building and modeled what "people-first" leadership means in practice. Acknowledgement of others, their work and their contribution, was part of his daily practice. He taught me what genuine listening looks like and the importance of valuing different perspectives. He could muster commitment and influenced sound practice in classrooms, schools, the division, and the province. When Eric passed away a number of years ago, there were many system leaders across Zone 6 and the province who fondly recalled is ability to articulate ideas, influence positive decisions, laugh and have fun.