Canadian Association of Principals Conference 2017

Breakout Session Speakers and Topics – Wednesday

Breakout Session Speakers for Wednesday, May 24

Annie Battiste – Reconciliation within the School:

(Location: Delta Bessborough)

This presentation is aimed at engaging with reconciliation within the school setting and helping the audience to feel engaged and personally motivated to implement reconciliation within all aspects of their lives.

Annie Battiste is a young Mi’kmaw woman from Potlotek First Nations, a community situated in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She currently resides in Saskatoon as the Indigenous Relations Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatchewan. She holds a Masters in Educational Foundations and a Bachelors of Education from the University of Saskatchewan.  She is a proud to be a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.  Through her time at OTC, she has presented on many different topics including Diversity of Aboriginal people, Treaty Relationships, Decolonizing Education, Inclusion and Diversity, and Historical and Current Realities of Aboriginal people.

Ian Wilson – Our Journey to Becoming a More Culturally Responsive School: 

(Location: Sheraton)

School outcomes have not been positive for many Saskatchewan Indigenous youth and graduation rates have traditionally been between 25 and 35%. In this session we will chronicle some of the approaches we have tried, the successes we have seen and the challenges we continue to face in trying to improve outcomes for all of our students but particularly our First Nations, Inuit and Metis students.

Ian Wilson is Principal of Vincent Massey Community School. He has been an administrator with Saskatoon Public Schools for 16 years, 8 of those as principal. He has a passion for identifying and supporting both the strengths and challenges that his students face.    Cec Chambul is the Community Coordinator of Vincent Massey Community School. She has worked in Community Schools for 19 years. She is a tireless advocate for authentic engagement of students and families as well as creating a culturally responsive school environment.

Regina Catholic School Division – Improved and Enhanced Practices for a Successful Reading Program:

(Location: Delta Bessborough)

For years, the field of reading education has been engaged in thinking about best practices. Schools are urged to consider best practices, and how they may promote their uses, with high fidelity in classroom instruction. Drawing on current research and professional wisdom, we will highlight a set of enhanced practices in Regina Catholic used to improve children’s motivation for learning to read, proficiency in reading, and their likelihood to become lifelong readers and writers.

The presenters are all part of a literacy leadership team from Regina Catholic School Division. Their goal is to work with staff to develop quality literacy instruction and assessment that fosters a foundation for students’ success.

Ali Abukar – Making Difference for Newcomers to Canada in Education: Supporting Newcomer children in the Canadian School system: 

(Location: Delta Bessborough)

Saskatoon Open Door Society, the largest settlement and integration services to Immigrants and Refugees in Saskatchewan has a variety of programs in education for newcomers ranging from Language Instructions for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) to Settlement Support in schools to support newcomer families and their children integrate in their new schools and communities. This presentation will outline SODS’ educational programming and school-based support we provide to facilitate the integration of newcomers in our community. It will also shed the light on the importance of partnership between schools and community organizations in making difference for newcomers to Canada.

Ali Abukar is the Executive Director of Saskatoon Open Door Society, a young leader, social worker and educator with lived experience as a refugee and newcomer in both Canada and Egypt. He has a Masters Degree in Social Work and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. He believes our schools are where we grow our communities and our school administrators are an integral part to cultivating that growth and creating the change we want to see in our communities and societies.

Wendy Hyshka, B. Ed., CerTESL, Consultant of English as an Additional Language (EAL), has been an educator with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools for 30 years. She has a background in early childhood education, learning assistance and teaching English. As EAL Consultant, she coordinates the Newcomer Registration Centre and works with schools to support Newcomer students and families. The partnership with Saskatoon Open Door Society is important in facilitating the successful transition of immigrant and refugee youth in the schools.

Shauna Tilbury, B.A. French, B.Ed., CerTESL, M. Ed., Coordinator of English as an Additional Language with Saskatoon Public Schools, began working with immigrants and refugees as a volunteer in university. Although she started her teaching career as a French teacher, she eventually transitioned to teaching English to newcomers, both adults and teenagers. Her early experiences as a second language learner help to inform her work as she understands the challenges of functioning in an unfamiliar culture and language. Shauna’s current role entails overseeing processes that support newcomer students and families transitioning to the school division. She values the partnership with Saskatoon Open Door Society as they play an integral role in providing this support.

George Couros (AM session) – Google Tools for Administrators:

(Location: Sheraton)

There are many things that you can do with Google Apps for education that will make your life easier as an administrator, and lead to better learning opportunities for students and teachers.  In this hands on session, we will look at things that will make our work much more efficient, while helping lead our communities to innovative opportunities for students.

George Couros (PM session) – Your Digital Footprint:

(Location: Sheraton)

We all have a digital footprint, as do our schools and organizations.    “Googling” ourselves makes this apparent whether we have had any say in it or not.  As individuals and as organizations, what can we do to actually shape this footprint?  With open sharing of our learning, a digital footprint can easily be developed for either an individual, school or organization.  This is not about branding as much as it is about modelling for our students that we are learners along with them.

Dave Derpak, Principal, Prince of Wales Secondary – CLIMATE CONTROL  “Transforming School Culture Through Caring” :

(Location: Delta Bessborough)

 It’s not too late to make it GREAT!  A unique workshop on Building a Positive School Culture    CLIMATE CONTROL” Transforming School Culture Through Caring”.    Presented by:  Dave Derpak, real ideas for real people in real schools (that really work) A climate will exist in your school.  Why not influence it!    Here is a high energy, multimedia workshop that is filled with” How-to ’s” and real life examples and stories of success.  Learn how to create a warm environment that naturally promotes positive actions and repels negative behavior such as bullying.  Participants will leave with a great idea and a bundle of “plug and play” ideas that can be quickly implemented to  make their school a better place. The presentation includes ideas and discussion around at risk learners as well as ways to increase Aboriginal Graduation rates.

David is in his 17th year as Principal and 34th as an educator. He recently served the VSB as a District Principal in International education and formerly at Killarney Secondary School. Killarney is the largest high school in Vancouver with over 2100 students and 167 staff. David has a firm belief based on experience and detailed research that “school climate” and “caring” will impact the learning environment in any school. By combining innovative and creative ideas and actions, supporting staff and improving social responsibility within the student population your school can be transformed.

Publications include articles in “Principal Leadership”, ” Educational Leadership”. Admifo (B.C. Publication) “Middle Ground” and “MYABC” (B.C. Middle School Publication). David has been invited by the People’s Republic of China to tour schools i and make presentations on current educational practices as well as learn about Chinese education systems. David has presented at numerous schools in both Canada and the United States including Inner City Seattle as well as presentation in Denver, Chicago, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Vegas and Atlanta including numerous keynotes and workshops. Innovative school work has been published in Canadian Living and recently the front page of the Globe and Mail. (In 2009 David was awarded the Principal of Music Award, in 2010 named as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals. In addition, David was awarded an Eagle Feather for his work with Aboriginal students in Inner City Vancouver.  Dave is currently the Principal of Prince of Wales Secondary.

Anthony Muhammad – Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap: Liberating Mindsets to Effect Change

(Location: Sheraton)

This workshop will explore the connection between personal and institutional mindsets and academic achievement gaps.  The issue of inequality in student learning outcomes has been studied and debated for many years, but this workshop will seek to establish that the primary culprit in the fight to overcome the achievement gap is our thinking.



CAP Research (AM Session) – Everything is urgent – Everything is Important

(Location: Sheraton)

Presenters: J-C Couture, Alberta Teachers Association; Jeff Johnson, Alberta Teachers’ Association; Tom Midbo, Council for School Leadership, Alberta Teachers’ Association

This past year the Canadian Association of Principals in collaboration with the Alberta Teachers’ Association undertook two ground-breaking research studies.  The first study, focussed on the impacts of changing technology (i.e. email, social media) on the work life of school leaders. As the lead researchers from Carleton University found, while digital communications tools were introduced with the promise that they would enhance efficiency, productivity and work-life balance, such benefits have not, however, materialized. Instead this research study shows that e-mail has increased role overload and stress, particularly when implemented in organizations who expect employees to respond to such messages 24/7. This session will present the results from a study of approximately 1200 school leaders across Canada on the use of e-mail and the impact such use has on employee mental health. The presenters will also identify ways in which organizations can mitigate some of the less desirable impacts of e-mail use on employee well-being.

CAP Research (PM Session) – The Work Life of Canadian School Leaders

(Location: Sheraton)

Presenters: J-C Couture, Alberta Teachers’ Association; Jean Stiles, University of Alberta.

Discussants: Jeff Johnson, Alberta Teachers’ Association; Tom Midbo, Council for School Leadership, Alberta Teachers’ Association

This past year the Canadian Association of Principals in collaboration with the Alberta Teachers’ Association undertook two ground-breaking research studies.  The second study, examined the experiences of over 900 school leaders as these relate to sustaining schools as inclusive communities; access to professional development; the growing influence of commercial interests on public education; and the impact of the saturation of digital technologies on the social milieu for young people across Canada. This study involved researchers from Canadian and Australian universities and offer unique insights into the current conditions of practice and aspirations of Canadian school leaders within a broader international context.