All about Excellence: Mr. Ted Barks

Everyone and anyone who meets our Vice-Principal Mr. Ted Barks remembers him for three things: His passion for and commitment to academic excellence (and uniforms!), his sense of humor (and fashion) and the fact that he knows the names of almost all the students at CIS.

We sat down with Mr. Barks to learn a little more about his firm belief in each child’s potential, with an unrelenting focus on improving excellence – a conviction that he says he can’t do without the support of his team of CIS teachers and staff.


Academic Excellence is the way to go!

Q1 Mr. Barks, what are your goals as Vice Principal of Secondary at CIS?

Well, it is no secret that we focus on academic and holistic excellence here at CIS! Our CIS students and teachers have heard me say this time and time again, that for excellence to take place each and every day, we must shape our collective vision of success for all students based on high and consistent standards. That includes ensuring that we come to school every day in full school uniform, that we complete our classwork and homework within our deadlines, that we adhere to our electronic device policy, and so on. Research has consistently supported the notion that having high expectations for all, including clear standards, is key to raising the overall achievement of students. As Vice Principal of Secondary at CIS, my goal is to continue to spell out our high standards and rigorous learning goals. I’ve learned that as long as you support students with care and kindness, there is really nothing our students here at CIS can’t do!


Staff collaboration is key to student success.

Q2:How have you shaped a vision of academic success for all students?

In my first few weeks here at CIS, and the students themselves will tell you this, I spent a great deal of time having key conversations with students about lots of collaboration around excellent habits and practice. Excellence is built on a strong foundation of trust, not just test scores. It’s also building strong connections between staff and students. We’re truly on a roll here at CIS, and as my favorite actor Jim Carrey would say, “Somebody stop me!”


Who doesn't love Jim Carrey?

Q3:You are indeed on a roll, Mr. Barks! And our students think the world of you! What’s your favorite quote?

I love the words of John Wooden, the late basketball coach and an unshakable optimist with a humble approach to success. He says, “Do not let what you cannot do stop you from doing what you can do.” Wise words indeed. But none is perhaps wiser than my favorite sentence: Have you been excellent today?


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