October 3, 2019

Peel board celebrates Wendy Dowling’s lifetime of public service

​When speaking with her former colleagues and students, the following words come to mind: caring, passionate and leader.

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After 32 years with the Peel District School Board, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and associate director of school support services, Wendy Dowling, has retired.

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A Streetsville Secondary School graduate herself, Dowling's journey with the Peel board began early. "I am grateful for the academic and extra-curricular leadership opportunities that I enjoyed in my student life. My early experiences were instrumental in my passion to work hard and make a positive difference as a service leader," says Dowling. 

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"As a librarian, Mrs. Dowling taught me a love of reading but as an educator and person she taught me a love of teaching and learning. I was so fortunate to have her influence early on in my education," said Kate Hadfield, former student.

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In her time with the board, Dowling has held many positions. She was first hired as a casual teacher at Erin Mills Senior Public School in 1987. She has taught kindergarten students through to grade eight and was a program resource teacher, teacher-librarian, vice-principal, principal, superintendent and associate director of school support services. But, it hasn't always been an easy path for her.

"As a child, it was necessary for me to adapt to multiple changes, including seven residential relocations and nine school transitions. I experienced teachers who went out of their way to help me. I also witnessed teachers who had lost their way and did little to ignite the potential in their students," says Dowling. "All of these experiences were life lessons that I would not change. Life experiences create character and test our inner resolve. I am the product of these experiences and they shaped my values and my aspirations." 

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"Wendy has been an exemplary educator and leader throughout her 32 years with the Peel board. A tireless supporter of student success, Wendy's passion for learning and leadership has positively impacted thousands of students, families and staff members," says Peter Joshua, director of education. "She is a model of character, integrity and kindness, and has brought our mission "to inspire success, confidence and hope in each student" to life each and every day."

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Apart from her #PeelFam, Dowling's greatest daily motivation stems from her mother, whom she calls a "shero". Inspired by her mother's "selfless sacrifices and strong work ethic," Dowling seeks to reciprocate the love and care that she's received in her child and adult life.

"As I embark on a retirement pathway after 32 years of service in Peel, I have four wishes:

  1. I wish that my senior team colleagues will be supported to lead through adversity and advocacy.
  2. I wish that school administrators will be respected for their management decisions and their experience as expert educators.
  3. I wish that educators will be acknowledged and appreciated for the professional judgments they make regarding students.
  4. And lastly, I wish that all non-academic school and department staff, along with valued community stakeholders and leaders will see and feel gratitude for their contributions to the organization and public education."

"Thank you for a lifetime of good memories. I will be watching from afar and will continue to expect great things from Peel because our students and families are deserve our very best."

With affection,

Wendy

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