Annual General Meeting
Speaker Profiles

We are excited to bring you a fantastic assortment of speakers for this year’s annual general meeting, taking place in Richmond this April. Curated under the theme of “Working Together for Successful Student Transition” we trust that attendees will leave inspired.

Dr. Santa Ono

Keynote Speaker

Professor Santa J. Ono is the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia, a global centre for research and teaching with 64,000 students, 16,500 faculty/staff and a $2.5 billion operating budget.

Dr. Ono is also a professor of medicine and biology and Chief Advisor of the British Columbia Innovation Network.

Mike
Downie

Plenary

When Mike Downie first heard the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack—an Ojibway boy who died while running away from his residential school—it was like an arrow shot through his heart.

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Haunted, he shared the story with his brother, celebrated musician Gord Downie, and the two vowed to find a way to tell it to the world.

The result was their multi-media project Secret Path, consisting of a music album and a graphic novel and film (with artist Jeff Lemire), that has captured the hearts and minds of Canadians. Using Chanie’s story as a starting point, Mike helps audiences understand Canada’s troubling legacy of residential schools, to explore how to reconcile with the past and bring healing as individuals and as a nation.

A celebrated storyteller, Mike is writer, director, and producer of numerous documentaries, as well as a founder of Edgarland Films. He is the winner of a Canadian Screen Award for Best Science Documentary for his film, Invasion of the Brain Snatchers. He received a Gemini Award nomination for Best Direction, and a nomination for the Allan King Award for Documentary Excellence for his film, One Ocean. The documentary also won two prestigious Chris Awards at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

Mike is co-founder of the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, part of the movement to jumpstart reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.

Before his career in film and television, Mike worked as a deep shaft miner in Northern Ontario, a medical researcher at McGill University, a junior economist in Toronto, and as a windsurfing instructor in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Queen’s University, and an MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Eric
Termuende

Plenary

Eric Termuende is a thought-leader on optimizing workplace culture, the future of work, and engagement in the workplace. He believes that if he can help make people’s lives better at work; he can make people’s lives better.

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On stage, Eric’s engaging presentations bring forward timely data and insight with compelling visuals to motivate audiences towards future success. He is dynamitic, passionate, charismatic informative and very relevant to the current business environment.

Prior to NoW Innovations, Eric co-founded DRYVER Group, a consultancy focused on the attraction and retention of top talent. Here he co-developed a tool that quantifies workplace culture. Eric and his team helped pinpoint strengths and opportunities in an organization to optimize culture, improve attraction, and mitigate poor retention numbers. Believing that collaboration is a key to success, Eric has helped develop a partnership network in Canada to emphasize the importance of teamwork and the delivery of great work.

Eric has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Thrive Global, the Huffington Post and many others prominent media organizations. He has been recognized as one of only ‘100 emerging innovators under 35’ globally by American Express and an active ‘Global Shaper’ with the World Economic Forum.

Eric sat as Community Integration Chair for Global Shapers Calgary, a community that functions under the World Economic Forum. He is a former Canadian G20 YEA Delegate, representing Canada in Sydney in 2014.

Eric has spoken at events ranging from leadership and development to success and happiness, education and innovation, and the future or work and workplace culture.

Wil Bakwhl
K’ubatk’ihlgum Nisga’a

Traditional Dance Presentation

Open Bio

The Wil Bakwhl K’ubatk’ihlgum Nisg̱a’a are from the Nass Valley in British Columbia, home of the mighty Lisims (Nass River) and the Nisg̱a’a Nation. The Nation is comprised of four clans: Gisk’aast (Killerwhale), G̱anada (Raven), Lax̱ Sgiik (Eagle) and Lax̱ Gibuu from the four Nisg̱a’a communities of Gitlax̱taamiks, Gitwinksihlkw, Lax̱ G̱alts’ap and Ging̱olx. Their valley is rich in an abundance of resources that begins with the celebration of the Nisg̱a’a New Year – Hoobiyee – marked by the crescent moon in Buxwlaḵs (mid-February).
Students attend four elementary schools in School District #92 (Nisg̱a’a). This group represents the 260 elementary and 120 secondary students in the district.
Laney Munroe (Ksim Lax̱ Gibuu), Lennox Mercer (Lax̱ Sgiik), Ethan Clayton (Lax̱ Gibuu), Kithana Mercer (Gisk’aast), Navaeh Clayton (Ksim G̱anada), Nishaya Mercer (Ksim Lax̱ Sgiik), Brooke Munroe (Ksim G̱anada), Lily Azak (Ksim Lax̱ Gibuu), Katie Nyce (Ksim Lax̱ Sgiik), Kyla Moore (Ksim Lax̱ Sgiik), Cherish Nyce (Ksim G̱anada), Owen Azak (Lax̱ G̱ibuu), Liam Stevens (Lax̱ Sgiik), Markus Wilson (Lax̱ Sgiik), Trinitee Willie (Ksim Lax̱ Gibuu), Erin Moore (Ksim Lax̱ Sgiik), Brock Watts (Gisk’aast), Aiden Stewart (Lax̱ Gibuu), Quinn Angus (Ksim Lax̱ Sgiik) and Kary Lincoln (Ksim G̱anada).
The group is proud to represent their families, communities, schools, school district and the Nisg̱a’a Nation as they honour their ancestors, history and heritage with the Nisg̱a’a songs and dances they have practiced to share with the BC’s school trustees at the 2018 BCSTA Annual General Meeting.

Audrey
Ackah

Concurrent Session

Open Bio

Audrey Ackah is Legal Counsel at the BC School Trustees Association. In this role, Audrey provides advice and information to school trustees and school district staff regarding a wide range of legal and policy matters. Audrey assists election officials with school trustee elections by responding to inquiries, preparing and distributing election newsletters, preparing template election bylaws and establishing an election hotline which officials may call on the general voting day. In addition to working with districts, Audrey serves as in-house counsel to BCSTA. Audrey also represents BCSTA on various external committees including the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act Technical Advisory Committee.

Mali
Bain

Concurrent & Pre-conference Workshop

Open Bio

A former secondary school teacher, Mali Bain understands firsthand the challenges and opportunities schools face in advancing integrated approaches to wellbeing in schools. Mali draws on her experiences working with youth in East Vancouver, teachers in Kenya, faculty at UBC and school district leaders across the province. Mali’s role is to work alongside provincial associations and organizations to lead the implementation and operations of WellAhead in BC.

Mali grew up in Port McNeill, a town of 3,000 people on northern Vancouver Island. She has an interest in global solidarity and for approaches to understanding settler-colonial family histories in North America. When not at work, you can find Mali riding her bicycle, kayaking or making music in East Vancouver.

Karen
Loughran

Concurrent Session

Open Bio

Karen Loughran is a Senior Legislative Analyst with the Ministry of Education. Karen has over 17 years of experience in public service, including seven years with the Legislation, Policy and Governance Branch of the ministry, where she has developed a broad knowledge of the legislation governing the public education system. Among other responsibilities, Karen works as part of a team to prepare resources for prospective school trustee candidates and election officials during general school elections. Karen also serves as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee Working Group established under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act.

Judy
Maranda

Concurrent Session

Open Bio

Judy Maranda has an extensive professional background in the public education sector, having previously held a variety of leadership positions in School District No. 36 (Surrey) including Director of Instruction of Leadership Development, Building Professional Capacity and Continuous Learning and District Principal – Human Resources where she was involved in labour relations, strategic human resources initiatives and the recruitment, selection and retention of teachers. As the current Director of the Sustainable Workforce Project with the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association, Judy’s work focuses on identifying and implementing strategies to enable BC school districts to recruit a qualified workforce at all levels of the organization.

Tanya
Miller

Concurrent & Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

Tanya Miller is the Provincial Coordinator for Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses, a province-wide Community of Practice with the common goal of promoting campus mental health and healthier relationships with substances, co-led by the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (CMHA BC) in partnership with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR). She holds a Master’s degree from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Tanya is passionate about health promotion, building capacity, collective impact, innovative solutions and social justice/change.

Louise
Sawdon

Concurrent Session

Open Bio

Louise Sawdon is the Manager, Local Elections Campaign Financing with Elections BC. Since 1996, Louise has provided professional and expert electoral finance assistance and guidance to political entities through multiple provincial events. In 2014, Louise, as Manager of Local Elections Campaign Financing, started applying her knowledge and expertise to Elections BC‘s new responsibility for ensuring compliance to the campaign financing and advertising provisions in the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. Louise and her team have provided outstanding service to local election authorities, candidates, elector organizations and advertising sponsors through 71 by-elections and 37 non-election assent voting events.

Janet
Stewart

Concurrent Session

Open Bio

Janet Stewart has held a progression of roles in the K-12 public education sector as a teacher, school administrator, school district human resources/labour relations manager, Director of Make a Future – Careers in Education and Associate Superintendent, Employee Services in School District No. 39 (Vancouver), leading the employee services department at the province’s second-largest school district. In her role as Chief Operating Officer with the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association, Janet brings a solid human resources and labour relations background, strategic leadership and operational management skills and in-depth understanding of education issues.

Jacquelyn
Wong

Concurrent Session

Open Bio

In her 25 years of teaching, Jacquelyn Wong has learnt as much as she has taught. She has a passion for the visual arts, particularly photography. Jacquelyn started her career teaching in a predominantly First Nations community and thrives on expanding her knowledge, awareness, and relationships with indigenous people, their culture and histories.

Gulf Islands
School District

Concurrent Session

Open Bio

During the fall of 2017, the Tsawout First Nation and the community of Pender Island BC, with the guidance of Gulf Islands School District (School District 64), began a historic partnership known as the Youth Leadership Project/Reconciliation Initiative. Six students from Tsawout First Nation Learning House and six students from Pender Islands Elementary Secondary School met together one full day per week over the course of a few months to participate in leadership building skills that focused on understanding shared lands, distinct languages and cultures, who we are and where we are from, as well as enjoying their time together.

This presentation will cover the lessons learned and emotional stories from this powerful experience, as well as a discussion of the important role school districts and communities have in creating positive connections with First Nations communities. The presentation hopes to inspire other school districts in BC to consider their relationships with local First Nations and find ways that youth can help the healing process between communities throughout British Columbia.

Residential school survivor and Tsawout Elder, Willard Pelkey, teachers Emily Raichura and Romaine Underwood, with mentor and music educator Ben McConchie and students who took part in the project will give this presentation discussing their experiences and hopes going forward for the Youth Leadership/Reconciliation Initiative.

Ted
Cadwallader

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

From the Kwagiulth village of Tsaxis (Fort Rupert) on the north end of Vancouver Island, Ted Cadwallader is the Provincial Director of Aboriginal Education.

Ted has spent the last 35 years in education as an elementary teacher, administrator, provincial lead for Enhancement Agreements and, for the past five years, as Provincial Director for Aboriginal Education at the Ministry of Education.

He has a B.Ed from University of Victoria and an MA in Leadership from Royal Roads University. In 2013 Ted, and the Aboriginal Education team, received the Premier’s Award of Excellence for their work to improve results for Aboriginal students. He is a student of system change, husband of a primary school teacher and dad to two amazing children.

Deborah
Koehn

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

As a classroom teacher, principal, consultant and currently as an instructor with UNBC’s School of Education, Deborah Koehn has inspired colleagues to explore innovative practices in the classroom. Deborah is a regional leader for the Network of Inquiry and Innovation and currently works with school districts to develop new and exciting ways to learn through inquiry. Her experiences in rural districts, along with research, has deepened her enthusiasm and commitment to creating equity and equality for all learners, and particularly Aboriginal students.

Michael
Lee

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

Michael Lee is a Senior Instructor with the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia.

An Occupational Therapist by profession, he strongly believes that everyone has their right to participate in and enjoy their occupation of choice, which includes learning in a higher education context.

With over 30 years of hands-on experience working with people living with mental illness, he values equal access and inclusivity, and believes that by empowering the individual and/or modifying the environment, the individual will thrive. He has been supporting students from his campus to advocate for mental health awareness for almost a decade, and his recent research focuses on what teaching practices best support student well-being.

Charlie
Naylor

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

Charlie Naylor was the Senior Researcher in the BCTF until his retirement. He has taught and worked in the UK, Australia and Canada. His PhD research explored teacher inquiry as professional development, and his ongoing work and research focused on teacher inquiry, professional development, teacher leadership, teacher/student mental health and inclusion. Charlie was an active member of the BC School Centred Mental Health Coalition and was a coach with the School Connectedness Capacity-building initiative. Currently, he works in collaboration with other SFU Affiliated Scholars and continues his research, writing and consultancy.

Siobhan
O’Kelly

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

Siobhan O’Kelly has had the pleasure of working within the Student Services division at BCIT for the past three years and recently accepted her new role as Student Entry and Transition Coordinator.

Through her work within Student Services, she has developed a passion for supporting the wellbeing and success of all student populations at BCIT. Siobhan is a BCIT graduate (Marketing Management Communications) and is currently completing a bachelor’s degree at Simon Fraser University.

Lauren
Oleksewich

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

Studying Psychology at UBC Okanagan, Lauren Oleksewich discovered her passion for public health during her work-studies with the university’s Campus Health Team. She then developed a strong understanding for the social and systemic determinants of health, with a research focus on post-secondary mental health.

Lauren has exhibited this through her collaborations on numerous research projects, policy implementations within UBC Okanagan’s Senate, and development of proactive and reactive interventions. She is now working to bring this experience and knowledge to the BCIT community in her role as Health and Wellness Coordinator with the BCIT Student Association.

Lauren is working to implement both preventative and responsive systems of support to the diverse community of students, while adopting the eight dimensions of wellbeing.

Gloria
Raphael

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

Gloria Raphael is from the Nlaka’pamux Nation. Gloria has worked as District Principal for Aboriginal Education with the Surrey School District. Prior to Surrey, she was a Principal with the Vancouver and Victoria School Districts, and she held positions with the Ministry of Education. As an educator and a school leader, Gloria has facilitated and supported learning environments focused on social and emotional development resulting in improved academic success. Gloria believes that by working from strengths, educators can create learning environments that respond to the needs of all learners.

Byron
Robbie

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

Byron Robbie worked for most of his career as a teacher and counsellor in secondary schools in Mission and Williams Lake. He retired as the Superintendent of Schools in Nicola-Similkameen School District and taught at Royal Roads, UNBC and SFU. He valued being involved in the development of counselling programs, such as Peer-Counselling, Appreciative Inquiry, Transition Programs, alternate settings for learning and trades and early learning programs. He volunteers with Special Olympics in Merritt. Byron is interested in contributing to what today’s schools and districts do to encourage well-being so that students thrive in their learning.

Jan
Unwin

Pre-Conference Workshop

Open Bio

Jan Unwin is currently appointed by both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training as the Superintendent of Graduation and Student Transitions.

Prior to this new appointment (January 2014) Jan had been the Superintendent of Schools for School District No. 42, Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows, for 5 years.
Jan has a passion for student learning and has been part of several innovations to assist in providing students their best life chances.

Jan believes that we must provide learners relevant, experiential, engaging opportunities so that they can experience success as they make their way into their next phase of life, whatever that may be.

The world is changing exponentially and it is imperative that we continue to ensure that we give all of our learners the right kinds of skills to achieve to their highest potential in a rapidly changing environment.