We recognize and celebrate brave female leaders. The women featured in our Brave Women Leaders blog demonstrate resiliency, bravery, and the ability to radiate their light brightly. They have gifts, experience, and strengths to share with the world and they do so bravely.
Kimberly Dixon was born and raised in Vancouver and moved east to attend McGill University and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Now an education leader and district executive in Toronto, she began her career with the Toronto Catholic District School Board as a research assistant while in university. She currently serves as Superintendent of Education for 23 downtown Toronto elementary and secondary schools and is the recipient of the Toronto Principal of Excellence Award 2018 by OAPCE.
Kimberly is also a mother of two and a person I have admired for decades. Her drive, focus, perseverance, and bravery in pursuit of her purpose and deeper possibilities has been a constant source of inspiration to me.
What does bravery mean to you?
Bravery means being true to myself, being true to who I want to be, and doing both what I want, and what I am needed to do.
What is one of the bravest things you have ever done?
I left home to study in a civil engineer program that my all-girl’s high school encouraged me to pursue – and in my second year, I was brave enough to acknowledge it was not for me. Instead, I transferred into a Bachelor of Arts program, graduated, obtained a Master of Arts degree, and became a teacher. Since then, I have spent two decades serving elementary school communities in Toronto first as teacher, then Vice Principal, then Principal.
I did this while married to my husband of 17 years and raising our two children. I show up and partner with amazing educators to build safe and caring communities where children can learn and grow.
For me, being brave all started with a choice to be true to my passion to work with children, and it was the best decision I ever made.
What benefits have come from leaning into bravery?
The personal benefit of leaning into bravery has been the gift of finding joy in my career. Role modeling this outcome to my children: that when we choose to be true to ourselves, we find joy, is personally gratifying.
On a broader scale, I have also witnessed that representation matters. As only the second black woman in the history of the Toronto Catholic School District to achieve the role of Superintendent of Education, I see that representation matters for children, their families, and for staff. The outpouring of support from families and colleagues past and present was evidence of hope for women and people of colour who have historically been underrepresented, and under-promoted.
I lean into bravery so that others may have the opportunity to lean into their own bravery too.