Ontario Conference’s Office of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Astley Thompson as the new principal of Crawford Adventist Academy High School. Thompson presently serves as vice principal of Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute, Toronto District School Board. His official starting date at Crawford is August 1. However, his onboarding will start immediately, and he will be active as principal as soon as the year ends at his present school.
With over 32 years as a teacher, guidance counsellor and administrator, Thompson is coming in with a wealth of experience. “He’ll bring experience, discipline and strong leadership. He also has a vision for building up the school. Those are the reasons we chose him,” asserts Donald McIntyre, Conference education director. He adds, “It’s a move that [Thompson] deems as spiritual. He has disregarded greater monetary remuneration [in the public school system] in favour of answering a call from God.”
The decision to accept the Crawford appointment was not easy. However, Thompson explains, “It became clear to me that God was calling me to this ministry opportunity. Even when I was on my way to the interview [at Crawford], I found myself singing the hymn, ‘I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord.’ So that has been a prayer.”
As the vice principal at Sir John A. MacDonald C.I., Thompson oversees 1200 students, with managing disciplinary issues as his major responsibility. With 11 years combined as a counsellor, assistant head and head of guidance, he understands that there’s a reason behind every behaviour; his focus is on getting students to reflect on their behaviour and make positive changes. Says Thompson, “The purpose of my interaction with students, even when I have to suspend them or take other disciplinary measures, is to ensure that they leave my office knowing I care deeply.”
Thompson will bring his genuine heart for others to Crawford. “Going in, my focus is on getting to know the staff, to understand the culture and the context. I look forward to being part of a dynamic team of educators who care deeply about students because, at the end of the day, it’s all about the students. United, we can make a real impact on the lives of the students God has blessed us with.”
Accompanying Thompson on this journey is his wife, Valeria Rose Thompson, nurse and manager of North York General Hospital’s orthopedic wing, as well as his son, James, 18, who is looking forward to going to university in September. Long-time members of Apple Creek Church, they will soon be worshipping at Willowdale, right beside Crawford.