Principal's Message


Welcome to Berrigan!

I am very proud of the Berrigan learning community. Although we are a large site (over 900 students) we strive to create an innovative and positive learning environment by being responsive to individual student needs and interests.

As a principal, I firmly believe in the idea that if the kids have voice, if they see themselves as meaningful members of the school learning community, they will take care of and contribute to the community. With staff support, students at Berrigan are starting and leading clubs and activities, their ideas and work are on display inside the classroom and out.

We are fortunate to have dedicated and talented staff who are constantly learning alongside the students. Their care and commitment to creating a positive and productive learning environment for all students is inspiring.

Along with my experience at Berrigan, I have been a principal in the OCDSB since 2009 and I have worked in education since 1998. In that time, I have been fortunate to work in a number of environments and capacities including:

  • Teaching every grade from 4-8

  • Working in diverse and rich multicultural neighborhoods in downtown Ottawa and urban Toronto

  • Being on the opening staff of Jack Donohue Public School in Kanata

  • Working on board wide committees focused on improving access to technology, access to the arts, and advocacy for at-risk students

  • Currently representing all elementary principals in advocating for schools as the chair of the elementary operations committee

On a personal note, both of my children, Donovan and Violet, are currently in high school and my wife is a principal in the board. The perspective that I have on education, learning, and kids comes from a number of different contexts!

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me here at the school (613-825-0092) or via email (

Take care,

Brent Smith

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