Sister MacNamara School
Winnipeg School Division
The MLSA School Administrator Award for Distinguished service is given to an administrator who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution toward the school library program.
“Kim Midford, Principal of Sister MacNamara School is an excellent leader, role model and champion of reading and literacy for all children and adults in the schools she has worked in.” Janet Ledger
Kim has been a principal for over 10 years, starting at William Whyte School before moving to Sister MacNamara School in 2009. Sister MacNamara School is a multi-cultural, elementary school located in the inner city of Winnipeg with approximately 500 students from nursery to grade 6.
Building on her experience as a classroom teacher, Kim introduced and supported the implementation of guided reading as part of a balanced literacy program in all classrooms while at William Whyte School. The school received an Indigo Love of Reading Grant to support literacy for $150,000.00. Kim also provided support for the integration of Aboriginal education, including; a cultural support position, materials, community elders and community connections, student initiatives and staff training.
As an educational leader, Kim has worked to ensure that all students have engaging, up to date, quality learning resources. At both William Whyte and Sister MacNamara schools, Kim has secured love of reading and community based grants that have allowed both schools to purchase materials and develop programs that would not otherwise be possible. Under Kim’s guidance, a literacy committee was developed, which successfully applied for an Indigo Love of Reading Grant, totaling $105,000 over three years. A teacher librarian was hired to develop inquiry and theme based programs, to purchase materials and to initiate the transition of a dated library to a learning commons for 21st century learning. The learning commons uses current curriculum based content, high interest fiction and graphic novels as well as award winning picture books to engage all readers. The library space was transformed to include modern, student designed learning spaces where students planned, designed, budgeted, purchased and constructed their own reading and meeting spaces. Acquisitions include current technology such as e readers, iPods and iPads for 21st century digital citizenship, expression and communication.
Kim is the type of administrator that sees the learning potential behind different things and works hard at making it happen for each classroom. She encourages teachers to pursue new goals around literacy. In particular, she has supported me in my journey using video games (minecraft) as a platform to teach language arts. The students are engaged in the opportunity to learn in a different way and I am uplifted to see the success growing in my students’ learning. My students often write letters to her asking for various books that they need and Kim will always support them in getting it the next day. Joanna Langtry
Kim looks for opportunities for students to have literary role models. She has always found the funds to support visits from Canadian authors. In the past few years, the students have met and listened to award winning Canadian authors and illustrators such as: Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and Christy Jordan-Fenton, Mary-Louise Gay, Wallace Edwards, Pat Harrison, Richard Van Camp, Chris McMahen and Helaine Becker. These opportunities allow students to realize that everyone has a story and has expanded their literary knowledge.
Kim herself is a lover of books and is a voracious reader. There is quality reading material throughout Sister MacNamara School. Besides classrooms and the library, the students can find reading material in the front office, in her office, in the art room, the guidance office, the music room, the literacy lab for leveled reading materials and in the family room. Currently the family room under Kim’s direction is developing a lending library for parents that would like to read with their children at home. The EAL program has many dual language books in several different languages as does the library, classrooms and the family room for children to hear stories in their first language and to maintain literacy in their first language.
Kim’s commitment to the school learning commons is unwavering. Her partnership with the teacher librarian supports learning through; teacher collaboration, student inquiry, cultural based programs and engaging, meaningful genuine learning. Kim is a true leader because she provides opportunities for students and teachers alike to engage in learning and literacy.
“Kim has been the backbone of the Library and Literacy at Sister MacNamara School.” Janet Ledger
Running and Reading is an after school program that runs once a week from October to June. The program promotes the idea of a healthy lifestyle; with the focus on getting the body moving, feeding the body properly and keeping the mind active. Every Thursday the students run for a gradually increasing amount of time, eat a nutritious snack and then read in small groups. This reading time allows students to read by themselves, read with a friend or listen to an adult group leader read; all of which are a part of a balanced literacy program. … The extra mile that Kim goes by actually participating shows our kids that what they are doing is important as well as shows us adults that she believes in the program. Maggie MacDonald
“Kim Midford is an excellent example of an administrator that practices what she preaches. Her support in providing opportunities for a wide range of learning has resulted in a school that flourishes because of literacy. Equity is a focus of hers and it translates to the way she supports her staff and students.” Joanna Langtry
Kim supports our school library and individual classroom libraries but she also takes reading outside of the classroom and school hours. Kim does this by promoting reading through extra-curricular activities such as Running and Reading and the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards (M.Y.R.C.A). Both of these programs offer our students a chance to extend their love of reading outside of the classroom. … Kim Midford has been nominated for this award not only for what she does inside the library and classroom but also for all that she does to promote reading and literacy outside of them.