Academy Schedule

Academy is scheduled to run from Thursday, November 28 (12:00 pm for pre-conference | 7:00 pm for keynote) through to November 30 (3:30 pm).

Please note dates, times and content are subject to change. Agenda details are updated as they become available.

THURSDAY, November 28

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12:00 pm – Regency Foyer

Registration Opens
  • New trustees will be welcomed by Professional Learning committee members and Board of Directors. 
  • Visit the Learning Guide and HUB info kiosk to learn more about Trustee Education resource.

1:00-2:00 pm – Regency A/B

Pre-conference Session 1 – Improving Media Relations to Reach Your Community: Using Communications to Connect With the Public
  • Therese Mickelson – ABC, Managing Partner, Mickelson Consulting.
  • Reaching your community through the media involves more than just doing interviews. You need to be able to develop messages that resonate with your audiences, and you need to know how to integrate those key messages into your responses. This session will focus on:
    • How to be more effective in your media interviews and conversations with parents by developing meaningful messages.
    • Tactics for applying standby responses with bridging phrases to deal with tough questions.
    • Tips for interviews – what to do and what to avoid – to help focus on your communication objectives and priorities.

2:15-3:15 pm – Regency A/B

Pre-conference Session 2 – What They Wish They Knew Before Posting Their Own Words, and Hosting or Hyperlinking the Words of Others
  • Karen R. Zimmer – Partner, Alexnander Holburn Law Firm.
  • This session will address how not to expose yourself to potential liability for defamation and breach of privacy when posting your own words, as well as when hosting or hyperlinking to the words of others.  In particular, this session will address: (i) in what circumstances you will be considered, at law, a publisher of the words of others and therefore potentially liable for those words; (ii) what you should consider before posting, hosting or hyperlinking so as to avoid defamation claims and actions; and, (iii) likewise, what you should consider before publishing so as to avoid privacy complaints and actions. Ms. Zimmer is retained to defend have found themselves on the wrong side of a legal action because of misgivings about liability in these technical areas of the law. Ms. Zimmer will address what some of her clients wish they knew before publishing, how to get your point across with minimal risk, and when you may wish to seek pre-publication advice. 

3:30-4:30 pm – Regency A/B

Pre-conference Session 3 – Robert’s Rules & Responsible Governance
  • Eli Mina – Board Effectiveness Consultant and Registered Parliamentarian.
  • Spanning more than 700 pages, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised can be a tedious and frustrating book to navigate. Moreover, this book does not always address specific decision-making challenges that occur on public bodies. In this session, led by Registered Parliamentarian Eli Mina, we’ll explore real-life meeting scenarios in light of two questions: Were any important rules of order breached? And, were principles of responsible governance ignored.

7:00-7:30 pm – Regency C/D

Trustee Academy Official Opening
  • O Canada sung by SD41 (Burnaby) student.
  • Indigenous welcome with Shane Pointe.
  • Remarks from BCSTA President Stephanie Higginson.

7:30-8:45 pm – Regency C/D

Keynote Presentation – Educating our Students for a Changing World

Severn Cullis-Suzuki – Environmental Activist.

8:45 pm – Regency Foyer

President’s Reception and Networking

FRIDAY, November 29

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7:15 am – Lobby Foyer

Registration Re-Opens

7:30 – 8:30 am

Full breakfast provided for delegates

9:30 – 10:30 am – Regency A/B/C/D

Plenary 1
  • Jill Birch – Leadership and Organizational Change Expert

10:30 – 11:00 am 


11:00 – 12:00 pm – Regency A/B/C/D

Plenary 2 – Leadership, Mental Health, Inclusivity
  • Anthony McLean – Youth Motivational Speaker 

12:00 – 1:00 pm


1:15 – 2:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions
C1. Kairos’ BC Blanket Exercise
  • Chas Desjarlais, District Principal of Indigenous Education
  • Davita Marsden, Lead Indigenous Education Teacher, Vancouver School Board
  • Kairos’ Blanket Exercise is a hands-on way to explore the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples, allowing people to think critically about reconciliation, empowering people in building bridges of understanding and respect. The Blanket Exercise is an excellent means of educating Canadians about the history of this land and heighten awareness of reconciliation through this very important and powerful activity.
C2. A Pathway to Hope, Understanding BC’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy
  • Joanna Angelidis, Director Inclusive Learning, SD37 (Delta)
  • Laura Dixon, Chair, BCSTA Working Group on Mental Health
  • Doug Sheppard, Superintendent, SD37 (Delta)
  • Come and hear what every Trustee must know to be a strong advocate for improving mental health, wellness and addiction for students.  The Provincial Government has released its vision for mental health and addiction care, A Pathway to Hope.  The report has significant implications for public education. As Boards of Education strive to improve student outcomes, trustees must understand these repercussions to ensure our strategic plans are aligned to support student wellness. The BCSTA Mental Health Working Group on will share our current understanding of this vision and its near-term priority actions. Superintendent Sheppard and Director Angelidis will join this session to facilitate discussions with trustees on how they might work in their districts to review their goals for improving student mental health and well-being.  Trustees will return to their own districts with an understanding of near-term priorities and the ability to ask key questions about the current state of student wellness.
C3. Facing the Challenges of an Interrupted Education
  •  Jen Mezei – English Language Learners Consortium, Chair
  • Val Windsor  – English Language Learners Consortium, Past Chair
  • Recent trends indicate an increased number of newcomers to Canada are settling outside of urban cities in favour of suburbs and more recently, rural towns. The Government of Canada’s 2019-2021 Immigration Levels Plan targets an increase to 350,000 Permanent Residents Admissions per year by 2021 including 51,700 Refugees – a 20% increase from the 2018 target. How prepared is your district to support the diverse needs of newcomers to Canada? Refugee families have complex needs which, from a perspective of students in a school system, include huge gaps in education. Students who have lived in refugee camps arrive to school having never sat in a classroom or held a pencil. Their academic needs are significant, as teachers work to help students acquire language, literacy and numeracy skills, as well as social skills required to work and play safely in a school environment. In this session, members of the English Language Learners (ELL) Consortium will share stories of ELL and newcomer students and their families and highlight different ways districts are meeting the settlement and educational needs within their own communities. ELL and Settlement specialists will facilitate discussion on the challenges facing districts supporting the complex and diverse needs of newcomers to Canada and opportunities for districts to collaborate on solutions for future. The English Language Learners (ELL) Consortium was established in the 1990’s and has evolved to a structured group of trustees and district staff who specialize in ELL and settlement support. The ELL Consortium taken on an advocacy role in creating an understanding of the needs of newcomers to Canada and the resources required by school districts to provide effective programs.

2:30 – 2:45 pm 


2:45 – 4:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions Repeat

7:30 – 10:00 pm – Britannia Ballroom

Movie Night Hosted by BCSTA’s Indigenous Education Committee

SATURDAY, November 30

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7:15 am – Lobby Foyer – Regency Foyer

Registration Re-Opens

7:30 – 8:45 am 

BCSTA Branch Breakfast Meetings
  • Fraser Valley – Balmoral
  • Metropolitan – Plaza B
  • Northern Interior – Plaza A
  • Thompson Okanagan – Georgia A
  • Vancouver Island – Georgia B
  • Kootenay Boundary – Plaza C
  • North West – Prince of Wales
  • South Coast – Oxford

9:00 – 10:30 am

Plenary 3 – Making Public Education – and Your Leadership – Matter in a Fake News World
  • Brian Woodlands – Owner of BrianInspires
  • In this provocative keynote you’ll discover how to be an education leader who makes a genuine, authentic impact in a world dominated by the false and insincere. From the power of the story, to the art of humility, you will learn how to become the “anti-Kardashian.” Reality TV clips will provide examples and you’ll learn about key strategies for breaking through the clutter and delivering key messages, both internally and externally. Gain an awareness of new vs. old techniques and tools, the power of truth in a social media world of the fake, and find out what will make an impact on a hard-to-reach public. You won’t garner huge TV ratings, but you will be able to deliver the message of public education – and have it heard and remembered!

10:30 – 11:00 am


11:00 – 12:00 pm 

Plenary 4 – Expect More: An Autism Adventure
  • Mike Lake – Member of Parliament
  • In his thirteen years as a Member of Parliament, Hon. Mike Lake has had many unique opportunities to share his life experiences, including as father to his son, Jaden, who has autism. He’s spoken to spouses of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City; traveled to London, Paris, Geneva and Washington to speak with fellow elected officials from across the political spectrum; and addressed global leaders at the World Health Organization and in the international research community.  Mike has spoken to a Global Citizen audience of 60,000 people in Central Park, alongside New York Senator Chuck Schumer, and he and Jaden have shared the stage in front of 15,000 enthusiastic students at WE Day. Prior to this year’s election, Mike served as the Conservative Shadow Minister for Youth, Sport and Accessibility. Mike’s presentation uses video clips from interviews and news stories centered around Jaden. In the end, his goal is to share Jaden’s personal story to help change the way we think about the people around us – their abilities, their challenges and the unique contributions each person can make to the great benefit of all of us.

12:00 – 1:00 pm 


1:15 – 2:15 pm – Regency A/B/C/D

Pilot School Districts Report – FEL Work to Date

2:15 – 3:15 pm – Regency A/B/C/D

Plenary 6
  • Simon Jackson – Movement Builder and Founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition

3:15 – 3:30 pm – Regency A/B/C/D

Closing by BCSTA Board of Directors