Alumni Feature: Meet Daniel To

October 12, 2021

SFU Degree(s): Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, 2017

I graduated with a Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Leadership in April of 2017.

I am the District Principal Education Services, Speciality Programs in the Surrey School District. In this role, I am the district representative for Mental Health and Wellness Programming and serve on Interagency/Intergovernmental Committees for programs dealing with students with mental health issues. I also oversee programs for youth at risk, vulnerable youth, students with mental health issues, and Summer Learning. Additionally, I am an Instructor in the Master of Arts in Leadership Program as part of the TWU Global Department at Trinity Western University.

I believe that children deserve to have a well-rounded educational experience that allows them to grow and flourish into young adults, culminating in their ability to positively contribute to our community. Regardless of background, personal struggles, or socioeconomic status, every child must be given every opportunity to learn, and grow; it is incumbent upon us in public education to provide such opportunities. In the work that my staff and I do, we have the unique ability to reach those who seem unreachable, and to build relationship with those who feel like they have been discarded by society. We strive to be the adults that build strong relationships with these students and their families—showing them a high level of care and giving them a positive, meaningful, and life changing educational experience.

What drew you to your area of study?

I was (and still am) interested in how we can, as educators, help students build a sense of positive self-efficacy and increase their chances of academic success.

What is your favourite memory of your time at SFU?

The connections and relationships I built (and have maintained) with those in my cohort.

What is your personal takeaway from your time at SFU?

My personal takeaway from my time at SFU is that we are always learning. While I may have completed a degree, I still have so much more to learn in field of education as well as leadership. We are always growing, and we can never lose sight of that, especially in the field of education.

What advice do you have for SFU students going through their degree?

Stay connected to those in your cohort and/or your fellow students and collaborate with them often. You will learn so much more as a collective whole rather than as separate individuals.

Connect with Daniel on LinkedIn.

Our alumni go on to engage their community in a variety of ways. Read more alumni stories here.