Today I had the privilege to accompany two students that have made a tremendous impact at our school in the last year, along with inspiring others. Marley and Emily (if you have not read their stories, you need to) both spoke today at Parkland School Division office about how they have been welcomed and cared for at our schools. It was powerful to see the two students impress everyone in our central office and I was extremely proud.  Emily has such an amazing presence with everyone and brings an amazing smile to everyone.  Marley took the microphone and gave such an eloquent and lovely speech, right after her mom told us all about Marley’s struggle with anxiety.  You would not have been able to tell.  While she touched everyone’s heart, she also left them speechless.

The best moment of the day, was when I introduced the two girls to one another.  Marley has moved onto another school this year, and Emily has just joined us.  This was the first time that they had met.  No matter what I write here, I will not be able to capture the moment between the two.  It was as if they immediately understood each other and had a special bond that no one would understand other than those two.  Emily had nothing but a gigantic smile and Marley was so caring of her younger counterpart.  I was so proud of both of them.

From that moment, I thought how beneficial it is to connect other students in our school.  I could only imagine if these two had connected last year, how powerful their relationship would have been.

I often talk about how as educators, we need to build strong relationships with our students.  I am now more determined to help facilitate those mentoring opportunities between students.  The power of these kids working together, learning from one another, will be so powerful for all kids involved.  I hope that I will help facilitate more of these connections in our school.



  1. Wow George! What an incredible story, and what an awesome opportunity for two amazing students to connect. It's funny because I was talking to the principal at my school today about this very same thing. As I shared with her about a very positive relationship that I saw forming today (between a student that has autism and a student with behavioural difficulties), we both realized the importance of "connections."

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely story with all of us!


    • Thanks for your comment Aviva! It is great that you are empowering your students to be leaders and work with each other! I love hearing stories like this :)

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. What George doesnt talk about, but is so very welcome and important, as that he, as a leader and educator, has a vision to welcome us both and create a platform for us, as families and children affected by extraordinary needs, to reach out, be heard and continue to affect global change – the kind that will be felt and heard not just in the schools and classrooms, but in the community at large. It is both rewarding and important for families to be heard. Thank you for including our stories in your vision to achieve depth, understanding and meaning towards effective learning and positive change.

    • Thanks Alison! I appreciate how open you are about your journey as it is great learning for everyone involved. We all learn from these stories, and hopefully we listen to them, and ensure that we are doing our best to create a fantastic environment for all of our students!

      Great job today :)

  3. When kids click and find camaraderie it is such a beautiful thing to witness. Connections between students and staff are what make a school special. Great story and wonderful connection, I feel lucky to be a part of it virtually!

    • Definitely a fantastic sight to see today Kelly! Thanks for your comment :)

  4. Thanks Mr. Couros – BUT, please make sure all your other students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who have been around for awhile in your school, are also taken care of.

    I'm glad you have taken on this with such vigour, we will be expecting a lot from you in the future!

    • Thanks for your comment. To be honest with you, I do my best to look out for ALL of the students in the school, whether they have Autism or not. I only write about students from school on my blog though if I have parent permission to share their story.

      I am glad that you expect a lot from me as I do from myself. It is extremely important as a principal that I do my best to look out for all kids!

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