MSLA school administrator award for distinguished service

For the past fif­teen years, stu­dents and teach­ers have observed Mr. Crook’s unfail­ing com­mit­ment to teach­ing and learn­ing. His vision of the school includes a school library that is cen­tral to the aca­d­e­mic and voca­tional pur­suits of stu­dents and staff, a library that plays an inte­gral role in student’s school life. “We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excel­lence, but rather because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeat­edly do. Excel­lence then is not an act but a habit.” (Aris­to­tle, 332 BC)

Gor­don Crook exem­pli­fies such excel­lence, for he inspires, encour­ages and mod­els the best of teach­ing and learn­ing with all stu­dents and staff alike. Under his lead­er­ship, Tec-Voc has devel­oped into a school where all learn­ers are cel­e­brated and oppor­tu­ni­ties for suc­cess abound, where staff and stu­dents flour­ish in a cul­ture that is inclu­sive and rooted in best prac­tice, and where all who enter are accepted as learn­ers and val­ued voices in all things edu­ca­tional. As Tec-Voc has flour­ished, so too has the Mar­garet Craw­ford Memo­r­ial Library. Mr. Crook’s pas­sion for lit­er­acy and his shared vision for a Learn­ing Com­mons Cen­tre of Excel­lence has cre­ated a library that stu­dents and staff use, value and appreciate.

Mr. Crook has con­sis­tently sup­ported the school library’s role as a place for learn­ing and teach­ing. His pas­sion for lit­er­acy and com­mit­ment to stu­dent learn­ing has helped cre­ate a library that con­tin­ues to pros­per and grow; he sees the value of a well-funded and well-staffed library. In both aca­d­e­mic and voca­tional stud­ies, the library works to sup­port and improve stu­dent suc­cess and reten­tion with inno­v­a­tive stu­dent pro­gram­ming, cen­tral­ized media and tech­nol­ogy dis­tri­b­u­tion and staff pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment. The library has become the cen­tre for learn­ing in a large multi-dimensional, multi-ethnic campus.

Gordon’s pas­sion for lit­er­acy and his under­stand­ing of the demands of stu­dents mov­ing to uni­ver­sity, col­lege, and straight to work are evi­dent. He has sup­ported the devel­op­ment of whole school ini­tia­tives such as dig­i­tal sig­nage, improved tech­nol­ogy access with mobile net­book carts and teacher pre­sen­ta­tion devices. He had an incred­i­ble abil­ity to find extra fund­ing and to use fund­ing with one maxim, “How will this improve stu­dent learn­ing?” He sees the library as the nat­ural cen­tre of these advance­ments to be managed.

Besides his inter­est in tech­nol­ogy, Mr. Crook is an avid reader and often donates books and mate­ri­als to the gen­eral col­lec­tion and teacher resource sec­tion. His sup­port of lit­er­acy ini­tia­tives and resources acqui­si­tion has resulted in the library becom­ing a major part of the school cul­ture. Mr. Crook is truly a prin­ci­pal who believes in and sup­ports school libraries and is deserv­ing of this recog­ni­tion. He was pre­vi­ously rec­og­nized in 2006, by the Learn­ing Part­ner­ship, as one of Canada’s Out­stand­ing Prin­ci­pals and is an active mem­ber of the Acad­emy of Canada’s Out­stand­ing Prin­ci­pals. The Man­i­toba School Library Asso­ci­a­tion is proud to announce that Gor­don Crook is this year’s recip­i­ent of the Admin­is­tra­tion Award for Dis­tin­guished Service.