Tłı̨chǫ educator is Canada’s superintendent of the year

Shannon Barnett-Aikman is Canada’s top superintendent for 2019, a nationwide association proclaimed, following her nomination for the honour earlier this year.

Barnett-Aikman, who is now chief executive of the Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency, was nominated for her six years of work as Tłı̨chǫ education director.

She received the Northwest Territories’ distinguished service award for superintendents in May.


The Canadian Association of School System Administrators, known as Cassa, subsequently named Barnett-Aikman the country’s leading superintendent for the year and recipient of its EXL award for “members who have exhibited exemplary leadership ability and who have enhanced school administration.”

The award was presented to Barnett-Aikman at Cassa’s annual conference in October. The news only reached Cabin Radio on Wednesday, when the South Slave Divisional Education Council distributed a news release to reporters.

The South Slave’s Brent Kaulback and Curtis Brown were the past two NWT recipients of the same award, in 2014 and 2009 respectively.

“Shannon is respected … not only because she oversees the delivery and integration of health, social services, and education for her region, but because she maintains a healthy lifestyle while raising three young children, and does all of this with selfless dedication, endless positivity, and consistent effectiveness,” said Brown in May.

After teaching in London, England, Barnett-Aikman taught at Norman Wells’ Mackenzie Mountain School from 2002 to 2011 – as principal for the last six years.


She became Director of Education for the Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency in 2012, then its chief executive last year.