A. Y. Jackson Secondary School (Ottawa)

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A. Y. Jackson Secondary School
A.Y. Jackson Secondary School (logo).jpg
150 Abbeyhill Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K2L 1H7
Coordinates 45°17′42″N 75°52′47″W / 45.29500°N 75.87972°W / 45.29500; -75.87972Coordinates: 45°17′42″N 75°52′47″W / 45.29500°N 75.87972°W / 45.29500; -75.87972
Founded 1976
School board Ottawa Carleton District School Board
Superintendent Brett Reynolds
Area trustee Christine Boothby (ZONE 2)
School number 890243
Administrator Dani White
Principal Sandra Blakely
Grades 9 to 12 (semestered)
Campus Suburban
Colour(s) Blue and White         
Mascot The Blue Jay- "Captain Feathers" (as of 2012)
Team name Jackson Jays
Feeder schools W.O. Mitchell Elementary School
Bridlewood Community Elementary School
Glen Cairn Public School
Katimavik Elementary School

A. Y. Jackson Secondary School is a community high school in the Glen Cairn neighbourhood of Kanata, a suburb in the west end of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is part of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and was first opened in 1976. The school was named after A. Y. Jackson, the famous Canadian painter, and one of the founders of the Group of Seven.

AYJ has approximately 800 students attending its program. The majority of students come from W.O. Mitchell Elementary School, Bridlewood Community Elementary School, Glen Cairn Public School, or Katimavik Elementary School, its four feeder schools.

Global citizenship[edit]

In 2006, AYJ became the first school internationally to be recognized as a Global Learning Centre by the International School Connection. This designation is a reflection of the international and global citizenship focus of the school, in both the in-class curriculum and extracurricular activities.

A.Y. Jackson Secondary School Flags
Flags of the World in the school atrium

The school runs two major international exchanges each year with partner schools in Zaragoza, Spain and Suzhou, China. As well, each year there are trips to destinations in the United States as well as other international trips such as a tour of the Canadian battlefields of Europe and concert band tours of Italy and Austria.

The school also hosts an annual Beyond Our Walls Conference where students from across Ottawa come to learn about opportunities to volunteer in their communities and around the world. As well, AYJ has formed a major partnership with the Lwak Girls' High School in the Rarieda area of Kenya, providing much needed fundraising for the Kenyan school as well as creating positive collaborations between the students in both countries. In 2009, AYJ hosted the first annual Run for Kenya fundraising run. Several elite Kenyan long distance runners visited AYJ to show their support.

AYJ Outers Club in Gatineau Park
AYJ Outers Club

Science and technology[edit]

AYJ has an in-house closed-circuit television station known as JTV, that produces a daily news and information program, replacing the traditional audio announcements via the Public Address system. It began being offered as a technology credit course in 2004 and the station earned several students the 2005 OCRI High School IT Entrepreneur of The Year Award.

AYJ was the first school in Ottawa to participate in the Engineers in Schools program providing direct links between local engineers and students.

Photo of the painter at work.
Alexander Young Jackson



On the evening of Oct. 20, 2009, AYJ drama teacher Illona Henkelman and the cast of A Few Good Men were honoured with awards at the Arts Advisory Committee Awards Ceremony. Mrs. Henkelman won the Secondary School Drama Teacher of the Year (2008–2009) award and the AYJ play A Few Good Men won an award for 'Outstanding Event of the Year'. In 2010, their production of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" won in the Critic's Favourite Musical category at the annual Cappies Gala and, in 2011, they won the Critic's Favourite Play category with the Canada's Capital Cappies for their production of Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite".

More recently the drama and music department came together to produce "The Addams Family Musical". This production was once again directed by drama teacher Illona Henkleman with the help of music teacher Jessica Sullivan assisting with the pit band. They won multiple awards at the Cappies in June including the most coveted prize, Best Musical.


AYJ has recently added the novel The Book of Negroes by Canadian author Lawrence Hill, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, to its grade 12 English curriculum. The author himself visited the school in October 2009 to meet with students and read from his bestselling novel.


In February 2015, the AYJ Senior Band competed in the Capital Region Music Festival, a regional qualifying competition for MusicFest Canada. For the first time in the school's history, the band was awarded the Gold Standard for their performance.[2]


AYJ offers a wide variety of sports at both the varsity, intramural and club levels. The school has achieved many successes in the past decade including two city NCSSAA championships for the junior boys rugby program. In 2008, the senior boys basketball team won the provincial OFSAA AA championship, the first Ottawa high school to win a provincial basketball championship in 59 years. In 2009, the varsity boys non-contact hockey team won the city championship. The Snowboard & Ski Club is the largest club at the school with regular excursions during the winter months. They also have a successful soccer Program including boys and girls varsity teams.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A.Y. Jackson Secondary School". 
  2. ^ "AYJ Senior Band Awarded Gold Standard". A.Y. Jackson Secondary School. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 

External links[edit]