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.