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

, ,
K2L 1H7

Coordinates45°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
School boardOttawa Carleton District School Board
SuperintendentBrett Reynolds
Area trusteeChristine Boothby (ZONE 2)
School number890243
AdministratorDani White
PrincipalPeter Osudar
Grades9 to 12 (semestered)
Colour(s)Blue and White         
MascotThe Blue Jay- "Captain Feathers" (as of 2012)
Team nameJackson Jays
Feeder schoolsW.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 1200 students attending its program. The majority of students come from W.O. Mitchell Elementary School, Bridlewood Community Elementary School, Glen Cairn Public School, and Katimavik Elementary School, its four feeder schools.

International Programme[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 emphasis placed on international learning and global citizenship.

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, a trip to Thailand and concert band tours of Italy and Austria.

The school has hosted a Beyond Our Walls Conference where students from across Ottawa came to learn about opportunities to volunteer in their communities and around the world. This conference has since been stopped. AYJ formed a major partnership with the Lwak Girls' High School in the Rarieda area of Kenya, to provide fundraising for the Kenyan school as well as creating collaborations between the students in both countries. In 2009, AYJ hosted a 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 had 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. As of 2015, this has been replaced via a YouTube channel[1]. 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 allowing students to talk with local engineers.

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 received 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".

The Drama and Music Department co-produced "The Addams Family Musical". This production was directed by drama teacher Illona Henkleman with music teacher Jessica Sullivan conducting the pit band. They won multiple awards at the Cappies in June, including the award for Best Musical.


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 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.


The school has achieved two city National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association 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 multi-day excursions during the winter months to Le Massif and Mont-Sainte-Anne, as well single day trips to Mont-Tremblant


In late 2011 a student at A. Y. Jackson, Jamie Hubley (son of Allan Hubley) committed suicide due to bullying. The student was the only openly gay student at the school, and was bullied as a result.[3] Hubley described in his final blog post being called "fag" in the hallways. His father spoke of how his posters promoting a "anti-discrimination Rainbow Club"[4] at school were torn down and how he was viciously bullied in the hallways. [5] Calls for stronger programs led to the establishment of an anti-bullying initiative, announced at A. Y. Jackson, and launched by the Canadian Red Cross in the wake of his suicide.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jackson, A. Y. "JTV News". YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  2. ^ "AYJ Senior Band Awarded Gold Standard". A.Y. Jackson Secondary School. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  3. ^ Burke, Ashley (18 October 2011). "Gay Ottawa teen who killed himself was bullied". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ Mikula, Chris. "Ottawa to launch national anti-bullying program in wake of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley's suicide". National Post. Postmedia News. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  5. ^ Mauro, Ellen. "Ottawa teen details final suicidal thoughts on blog". CTV News. Retrieved 10 April 2018.

External links[edit]