Cheryl Daniel is the Principal of Glen Cedar Public School in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
As a young girl, Cheryl always had a curiosity about people and what makes them do the things they do. With encouragement from family, Cheryl attended the University of New Brunswick where she studied psychology and then set about to find a way to channel her curiosity and use her training.
Cheryl spent the next few years working in a variety of fields – youth and recreation, office administration and construction to name a few – all the while learning and honing her skills. In the end, she found that teaching was her true passion and calling.
As a young mother and wife, Cheryl embarked on her elementary teaching career. She taught a variety of grades and shared her passion for learning and eagerness for new opportunities with her students.
A chance meeting with a colleague in 2008 had Cheryl embarking on a new and challenging adventure. A teaching associate had developed a connection with a school administrator in Uganda. The goal was for a group of Canadian teachers to travel to Uganda to share current pedagogy and resources with staff at a Kampala primary school. And so, the trip of a lifetime was planned.
Cheryl was one of the 13-member team who met in Kampala and shared their love of learning and passion for education with the eager and enthusiastic staff at the Kampala school.
In addition to traveling to Uganda, as part of the same trip, Cheryl also traveled to Egypt and Tanzania. The trip was life changing – seeing the world from a new and very different perspective. Cheryl had expected that the trip would have an impact on her life but never expected it to have such a profound impact.
Having always been a quietly adventurous person, Cheryl realized that travel was a new passion. The experience of exploring different places, meeting new people and learning about other cultures ensured the travel bug had taken root.
Cheryl acknowledges that she is privileged to be able to travel and explore. Having had the opportunity to visit less developed parts of the world, she has a deep desire to find a way to give back, to share her knowledge, skills and passion with others and to make a positive difference for others.
Getting involved with Mahali Salama Uganda (Safe Place Uganda) has provided Cheryl with just such an opportunity. “The chance to return to Uganda, a unique and beautiful country, to work alongside members of the community to revitalize and re-energize Mparo Health Centre is amazing,” Cheryl says. “This is a mammoth undertaking but one well worth doing.”
The summer of 2015 afforded Cheryl and five other members of Mahali Salama the chance to travel to Uganda to meet face to face with members of the community of Mparo. New friendships were formed and momentum for the project gained.
Cheryl, who is the Chairperson of the Board, is very thankful for having received the invitation to join Mahali Salama at the very beginning. We who have been privileged to work with her affirm that her leadership has enhanced what has been an incredible learning opportunity and inspirational journey, one that we hope will last for many years to come.