BCSTA’s Winter Trustee Academy is set to inspire trustees as they assemble under the theme of “Education Evolution: Student-Centred Governance” this November. This year’s winter academy will serve to highlight the important role students play in the governance of our public education system along with the value their unique perspective brings to decision-making.

The keynote session features Maria LeRose, a well-known and highly regarded television, webcast and live-event Moderator. Maria LeRose will be working with a student panel, consisting of Secondary students from the Surrey School District, which will explore the topic of Authentic Student Voice in School Board Governance. These students have been working diligently with their teacher to study the role of school boards and governance and to consider how best to make student input into board decision-making meaningful.

The pre-conference plenary features Dr. Charlotte Waddell, Canada Research Chair in Children’s Health Policy at Simon Fraser University, who will present on Child and Youth Mental Health Policy and Practice. Other Plenaries include Dr. Evan Adams, Chief Medical Officer, First Nations Health Authority, Ivan Coyote, Author and Storyteller and Vaughn Palmer, Political Affairs Provincial Commentator.

Dr Evan Adams, a proud aboriginal physician, straddles many worlds. He is a public health doctor in BC who speaks French, a playwright with works produced across Canada and in the United States, a stage performer who has done Shakespeare and an award-winning actor in mainstream movies.

Ivan Coyote grapples with the complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity in their work, as well as topics such as family, class, social justice and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, a quick wit and the nuanced and finely-honed timing of a gifted raconteur.

Vaughn Palmer, having been the Vancouver Sun’s provincial affairs political columnist since 1984, will offer insights and provoke thoughtful conversation amongst trustees against the backdrop BC’s current political landscape.

Workshops for attendees will be led by a host of invigorating speakers, including Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Director Human Early Learning Partnership, University of BC, Laura Tait, Director of Instruction, Aboriginal Education, Jesse Miller, Social Media Specialist and Patrick Bocking, Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl’s workshop centres on the Middle Years Inventory and what is being learned from older students about their social and mental well-being while Laura Tait is set to engage attendees with the programs and strategies her district is implementing to support Aboriginal learners.

Social media is often at the forefront of conversations that affect our youth, and Jesse Miller will connect with trustees on the subject of providing students with safety in the environment of social media and other issues related to the theme. Patrick Bocking’s session will focus on the teamwork his district has undertaken in growing a culture of collaboration and mutual support, specifically as it relates to student-centred governance.

The BCSTA Professional Learning Committee is also pleased to be launching a new online Trustee Learning Guide at this year’s Winter Academy with an explanation and activity to get trustees acquainted with this exciting new resource. Mike Roberts, BCSTA CEO, Carolyn Broady, BCSTA Director and a member of the working group attached to the project will present the new online Trustee Learning Guide during the academy.

BCSTA staff look forward to hosting trustees at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond BC from November 23-25, 2017 for this informative and essential event.