What An Impact: A Special Goodbye For Mrs. Chabot!

In September, Deb Chabot started as principal at our school. I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from Deb well before she came to Ancaster Meadow. In fact, I knew of Deb long before she knew me, as my mom, a retired Speech and Language Pathologist, used to work for the Board and worked closely with Deb. My mom always had such incredible things to say about Deb, and I was very excited when I finally met her many years ago when I was a Kindergarten teacher. I’ll never forget demonstrating the SMART Table to her and discussing with her how this tool could best be used in the classroom environment. Even then, Deb’s questions pushed my thinking, and they continue to do so now.

It is therefore with much sadness that I say, “goodbye,” to Deb after she announces her retirement. Even though she’s only been the principal at the school for eight months, her impact has been tremendous. Here’s what Deb has taught me:

1) Students always come first. I love that Deb really does make the school all about the children. She truly wants what’s best for them, and will do everything she can to support the staff and the parents, as we work together to help all children learn.

2) Always set high expectations. Set these same high expectations for yourself and for your students. Deb continues to show me that as educators, we really are the models for our students, and showing them how we can push ourselves to learn and grow has tremendous value.

3) There’s value in a smile. As long as Deb is at the school, she’s also outside every single day greeting students as they come in each morning and saying goodbye to them as they leave each night. She’s constantly smiling. Deb reminds all of us about the importance of making connections with students, staff members, and parents, and she never fails to take the opportunity to do so. It all starts with a smile!

4) Be genuine. I respect Deb so much because she is always genuine. She really does care about all students, staff members, and parents, and she shows this constantly in her interactions with them. You know that what she says, she means, and I appreciate her honesty and integrity.

5) Be open to change. Change can be hard, and as adults, it always seems to be even more so. Deb’s helped me see the value in trying new things, and believing that I can do them, even when I’m unsure. As someone that was a system principal for years before she came back to the school, Deb’s been through change. She approaches all new situations with a positive attitude though, and this approach can’t help but inspire others to change too.

Deb’s not just made an impact on the staff, but on the students as well. My class was thrilled to work with Gina Bucciacchio’s Grade 4/5 class to create this PowerPoint presentation for Deb. While Gina and I wrote the introduction and conclusion together, the rest of this presentation was written, filmed, and photographed by the students. They were thrilled to create something special for someone that they admire. We all hope you like it!

Please join me in saying a heartfelt, “congratulations on your retirement,” and a big, “goodbye,” to an amazing administrator and a dear friend! Thanks for everything, Deb!


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