Sam McKinney

Sam McKinney is the 19th principal of Upper Canada College. Under his leadership, the College has set a course for the next decade — leading to the College’s bicentennial — through its Strategic Directions: Towards 2029. He is passionate about the College’s renewed vision and mission, which hinge on the intention to provide transformational learning experiences and to inspire students to be their best selves.
Sam McKinney’s experience, as an educator and a father, has shown him that students thrive best in a school environment that meets the needs of the whole child, not just needs in the area of academics. He believes that the renowned IB Programmes and UCC’s unique approaches to wellbeing deliver such comprehensive care.

Prior to his arrival at UCC in July 2016, Sam was the Deputy Headmaster and Head of Senior School at St. Peter’s College in Adelaide, Australia. While at Saints, he was instrumental in the development of a Middle Years Programme and the physical construction of a new Middle School. His previous experience includes teaching and additional senior administrative positions at schools in Australia and Canada.

Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, Sam received his bachelor of arts from Carleton University, Ottawa. He furthered his education in Australia, receiving a graduate diploma in education from the University of Adelaide and a master of education from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. More recently, he studied at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Principals’ Centre.

Sam McKinney and his wife Rosey are the parents of three boys—Jack ’17, Connor ’19 and Charles ’20—who readily embraced life at UCC.

Looking to the future, he is proud of UCC’s dynamic agenda, which was launched in February 2018. “It bolsters our commitment to deliver innovative teaching practices and learning outcomes, reflects the promise and pluralism of our global society, and supports the wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff,” he says.
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