2018: Michelle Coutinho

2018 Mary A. Samuel Harmony Leadership in Education Award

Michelle Coutinho

Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

By Bruce Campbell and Max Vecchiarino

Michelle is all about compassion, respect and dignity. But she does not shy away from necessary, courageous conversations in her drive to help us all better understand and embrace the empathy.

Michelle is gentle yet unrelenting and elegantly forceful — keenly aware of what it means to a leader in the beautifully diverse society to which we all belong. As a member of the Policy, Strategy and Global Learning Department, Michelle expands the significance and impact of the equity education, working tirelessly and collaboratively with all stakeholders as a catalyst for positive change.

Every day, Michelle challenges us to reject the status quo and to display courage in our decision making. She implores us to dig deeper in order to fully understand the root causes of inequity so that we can grow as staff and as a system.

Michelle’s relentless positive energy, infectious enthusiasm, and her strategic approach to breaking down societal and institutional barriers to inclusion make our board a more welcoming and inclusive place to learn and to work.

Bruce Campbell is General Manager of Communications & Community Relations and Max Vecchiarino is Superintendent of Police, Strategy & Global Learning at Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.