Dr. Katrina SamsonOn behalf of the Search Committee and the Board of Governors, it is with great pleasure I announce that Dr. Katrina Samson has accepted the role of Principal of Havergal College effective July 1, 2021.

This appointment is the result of a thoughtful and comprehensive process through which we were able to leverage community feedback, previous recruitment data and a commissioned talent scouting report. We also benefitted from the insights and depth of knowledge that The Bedford Group contributed to supporting the process. Our goal was to identify the strongest and best matched Canadian candidate for our school, and we were fortunate to receive interest from a number of qualified leaders. In very short order, it became clear that Katrina was an exceptional candidate with a wealth of educational and administrative expertise, and balance of personal qualities making her the right next leader for Havergal College going forward.

Katrina is a vibrant, passionate educator who is committed to a student-centred approach. She has been the Head of School at Appleby College since 2010 and will remain in her current role until the end of the academic year. Katrina previously held positions as Director of the Upper School and Assistant Head of School, Student Life while teaching English literature throughout her tenure. Her energy and enthusiasm underpin her solid professional credentials. She has an impressive educational background with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University and continues her involvement with the school as a member of the Queen’s University Council. Her post-graduate studies include a Master’s degree from the University of Ottawa, and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Toronto. Katrina’s dissertation and research focused on leadership and succession planning in Canadian independent schools.

A strong advocate for the advancement of women and children, Katrina has carried her passion to her volunteer role as a board member for Armagh (a transitional housing and support program for women who have suffered domestic abuse), and as a co-teacher of the “Women in Leadership” module for the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools Leadership Institute. Havergal will benefit tremendously from Katrina’s life experiences and as an established leader and educator with a focus on innovation, wellbeing, and experiential learning, combined with strong performance management. We are confident Katrina will invest the time to build an understanding of the Havergal community and adapt seamlessly into the role to deliver on our strategic plan. She recognizes the importance of continuity, stability and community outreach to effectively execute the College’s priorities within our values framework.

To provide a clear insight into Katrina’s energy, enthusiasm and how she will approach the role, I will share her own words: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Havergal community in the role of Principal, and to continue the work on driving the College’s bold strategic direction, designed to prepare young women to make a positive, lasting difference in our world. I am eager to immerse myself and my family in this outstanding community, and to build strong relationships with our girls, their families and our alumnae. Most of all, I’m looking forward to the work of championing Havergal’s values of integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage, and to solidifying Havergal’s position as a global leader in girls’ education.” 

On a personal note, Katrina, and her spouse, who is also an educator, have four children and they, along with their two dogs, are excited to establish roots in the Havergal community. As avid live music and sports fans, Katrina and her family are looking forward to embracing the cultural, artistic and sporting life that Toronto has to offer.

A key priority for Katrina is to take the time to understand the school and our culture through extensive listening opportunities with Faculty, Staff and the Havergal community.  Naturally, she will gain constructive insights from Catherine Misson, who through her Principal Emeritus role will be supporting Katrina’s transition and assisting to ensure seamless continuity of leadership.

Together with the Board, I want to extend our sincere thanks to members of the community for contributing to the search process by providing valuable input. Please join me in extending best wishes to Katrina in accepting the role of Principal. We look forward to Katrina leading the school alongside a strong Faculty, Staff and community committed to student achievement and excellence.

Sincerely,

Debbie Simpson
Chair of the Board of Governors