Get to Know Our Staff: Erin Porter

Kate Ravens, Communications Manager
After starting her career at Trinity College School, Erin joined the Greenwood community 14 years ago as a math, geography and Careers teacher. She has become increasingly involved in school life over the years, acting as Coordinator, School Life before moving into her Director role. She has organized Spirit Days, coordinated school dances, run Student Council elections, made club schedules and everything in between. (Erin and her husband, fellow Greenwood teacher Doug Brown, are also renowned throughout the school for their epic and unfailingly coordinated Halloween costumes.)   

“Helping to manage school culture and spirit and creating community is at the heart of what I do,” Erin says. She works with staff who advise leadership committees as well as with student leaders themselves on event planning, amplifying student voices, and setting the tone for the community. “I help them to ensure that the content they are designing can be woven meaningfully into the classroom and the curriculum,” she says. 

This year, she also worked with Rachael Brownell-Swain, Director, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Outreach, and Bethany Glick, Coordinator, Inclusion & Belonging, to create themes for the school year related to Greenwood’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging work. These three themes - Identities, Belonging, and Community - act as a lens to focus initiatives, but importantly, they also enable us to continue important conversations throughout the year. “We want to revisit topics and look for intersectionality,” she says. “For example, September was Indigenous Identities Month, but there are threads from that month that we want to weave throughout the whole year.”

Erin also oversees the Social Affairs Committee and the Grad Council, which is made up of all of our Grade 12 committee executives. In her meetings with the Grad Council, Erin works to model the best practices of Greenwood staff for students. “Our staff are always sharing, brainstorming, and looking for opportunities to collaborate and support each other,” she says. “I encourage the Grad Council members to say ‘Hey, my committee is working on this initiative - how can we get other committees involved?’”

Erin transitioned into the Guidance department four years ago, where she is an Adviser and Postsecondary Counsellor. She is also the Coordinator, Grade 11-12 Social Emotional Support & Adviser Program. “My Guidance work fits in really well with my Student Life role,” she says. “I do a lot of transition work with our Grade 11s to prepare them for being leaders, and I also work with Grade 12 students to help them focus on the legacy they will leave to the school.” 

Erin finds a lot of joy in the relationships she can foster through Guidance and student leadership. “Those relationships are deeper than the ones I could create in the math classroom,” she says. “I love seeing students have an idea, execute that idea, and feel that they have been supported and successful in giving back to their school.” Erin also loves that students know that they are able to take action to make change. “Greenwood wants students to feel that their voices matter and their opinions have value,” she says. “It really contributes to the positive culture here.” In the coming months, Erin hopes to build a formal Leadership Continuum, which would focus on leadership skill development from Grades 7-12 and be woven into several areas of school programming.

Outside of school, she also finds joy in her and Doug’s two daughters (ages 8 and 5) and in exploring the outdoors. “I’m an avid camper and outdoor enthusiast,” she says. “We’re at that young family stage where extracurriculars control lots of our free time, but we love going to see family on the weekends and being in nature as much as possible.”

As a Guidance Counsellor, Erin values the level of trust and care that she builds with the students with whom she works. “There’s lots of reciprocity,” she says. “We talk about the future and working through challenges, which is part and parcel of the personalized experience. They know that I have their back, and when they feel that way, they give back.”
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Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811