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Principal’s Message

A Reflection for Our Students

picture of Stephen Baker

Welcome to Our School

In a world where online learning has now become widespread and common practice, Virtual High School continues to stand apart with its student-centred approach to education. As Ontario’s oldest online high school, we designed the original asynchronous virtual experience to help students who needed more flexibility and support. If I had to select a quote to illuminate my philosophy of education, it would be that nothing worth having is easily obtained. The concept of an online school was not stumbled upon in a brilliant lightbulb moment. Consistent creativity and hard work were required to give it life outside of the traditional education system.

It was only after moving from my teaching position in a small fishing village in Newfoundland’s northeast coast to teaching in alternative classrooms in Ontario that my views on education began to change. A new way of delivering education was needed for students who couldn’t reach their full potential within the parameters of a bricks-and-mortar school. Luckily, there were members of local school boards and the Ontario Ministry of Education who were in agreement and willing to explore the possibility of a fully online school. Everything was in alignment as the internet was gaining popularity and I hung around with a couple of younger teachers who encouraged me to learn the new requirement—HyperText Markup Language (HTML). I was hooked. Solving problems kept me working long into the nights in the mid 1990s, one course at a time, as Virtual High School slowly emerged.

VHS has come a long way since those early days, expanding beyond anything I could have ever imagined when I created that first biology course for my Grade 11 classroom. With all the changes over the years, the original vision remains the same: to create a better world where every student has the opportunity to succeed and personalize their education. I consider it a privilege to be part of each student’s education and look forward to continuing to help the next generation of online learners.

With Kindest Regards,

An image of a handwritten signature.

Stephen J. Baker, B.Sc., B.Ed., OCT
Principal, Virtual High School