Job Title: Principal, Westglen School
Why He’s Top 40: He demonstrates passion, dedication and a desire to help make differences in his students’ lives
When Cory MacTaggart completed his education degree at the University of Alberta in the spring of 2000, he aspired to be a principal one day. Just 14 years later, he was appointed principal of Westglen School.
MacTaggart’s goal is to accommodate all styles of learning in hopes of giving his students the best educational experiences. MacTaggart describes the sensory room as one of his proudest accomplishments at Westglen. The room is designed for kids with autism, but can be used by any student. “I created the room so students have the chance to go somewhere and regroup and go back into the regular classrooms,” he says. “They can’t learn a concept in class if their mind isn’t ready, so this gives them a place to go if they need some time to regroup.” In all classrooms, he has also added Hokki stools that move around, different fidget tools and bikes. MacTaggart has seen a change in his students’ abilities to learn the concepts being taught in classrooms when they have the opportunity to move around.
After seeing the positive effects of a full-day kindergarten program during his time at Montrose School, MacTaggart joined the Edmonton Public Schools’ Board of Governors. His wish – through fundraisers like An Evening with Tommy Banks – is to help support students who are of lower socio-economic status and at risk academically. “You can see the growth with kids that don’t have the same opportunity as others… they’re getting more time to learn English and prepare themselves for the rest of their education.”