Canadian Association of Principals Conference 2017

Breakout Session Speakers and Topics – Thursday

Breakout Session Speakers and Topics for Thursday, May 25th:

Kathy Robson & Angie Balkwill:

(Location: Sheraton)

Saskatchewan Reads for Administrators- Overview (AM Session)

Leadership and alignment at the school and central office level are key factors in successful change.  The role of the school based administrator is extremely important in successful implementation of an initiative within a school.  This session will provide an overview of the research, the background and process used in the creation of the provincial document Saskatchewan Reads for Administrators.  A solid leadership framework will be presented in the context of reading which can be applied to any context.

Saskatchewan Reads for Administrators – Successful  examples of implementation (PM Session)

Key leadership qualities that are essential to leading change in any initiative will be presented with a focus on the implementation of reading strategies.  Practical ‘hands on’ modules are included within the document Saskatchewan Reads for Administrators.   These modules include everything a school based administrator needs to lead their staff in creating a compelling why, developing beliefs, cultivating a culture, building capacity, analyzing and responding to data and management.    This session will highlight examples and artifacts that have been implemented within Saskatchewan schools.  These modules have been designed with the busy school based administrator in mind.

Kathy Robson has been an educator within Saskatchewan for 28 years.  She has several years of experience teaching reading at the primary grades and has been a vice-principal and principal.  She is currently a curriculum coordinator with the Chinook School division where she is responsible for leading the literacy initiative and for providing Professional Development for school based administrators.  In 2015 and 2016, she was the expert advisor for the provincial team that created the documents Saskatchewan Reads and Saskatchewan Reads for Administrators.

Angie Balkwill is an elementary Principal with Regina Public Schools.  Over her 15 years as an educator she has taught Grades 3 to 8, been a First Steps literacy coach, First Steps Math facilitator, contributor for Pearson Math Makes Sense, curriculum pilot teacher, University of Regina guest presenter, and has been a Vice-Principal.  She chairs a non-profit board that provides summer camp opportunities for children with significant special needs. She is currently on the Literacy Priority Planning Team for her division which creates and deploys literacy professional learning for school based administrators and senior division personnel.  Angie has a passion for literacy leadership with a focus on building coherence amongst all school staff.

Kathy and Angie worked together with a provincial team of administrators, under the leadership of Liam Choo-Foo, to create Saskatchewan Reads for Administrators.  Liam is currently the Director of Education in Chinook School Division. The focus of Saskatchewan Reads for Administrators is providing leadership in implementing high impact instructional strategies.

Michelle Hillier – The Groove EDGEucation: Learning with the BODY, BRAIN and BEING!  (Location: Delta Bessborough)

Through our work we’ve come to realize that young people learn when they are active and interactive. When they participate. When content is engaging, sparks creativity, problem solving and encourages interactivity with their peers and teachers. Research also continuously suggests, especially with our rapidly changing world and use of technology, that young people require more opportunities to be physically active and develop healthy social/emotional skills. The Groove EDGEucation is a fantastic solution! Learn how to apply this student-centred and inclusive movement-based teaching approach, where students learn and explore various curricula through equal engagement of the physical, cognitive social and emotional self.

Michelle Hillier and Amy Tepperman are passionate education consultants and developers The Groove EDGEucation – a movement-based pedagogy being implemented across Canada where students learn through equal engagement of the “Body, Brain, and Being”. They support various school boards and teacher education programs in implementing the approach, design resource material for use in the classroom while also teaching in UOITs Faculty of Education program, York University’s continuing education program and (formerly) Centennial College. They are thrilled to share their work and passion with you at CAP 2017!

Kevin Harding and Rebecca Harding – Hidden Curriculum- Making your school a more welcoming place for First Nations Students:

(Location: Delta Bessborough)

We as teachers and leaders can unintentionally send negative messages to our First Nations students which creates an environment which is not welcoming or conducive to learning.  This presentation will discuss how to recognize the hidden curricular messages we may send and how to avoid them.

Kevin and Rebecca Harding have a combined 20 years as administrators most of which has been in a school with a 30% First Nations student population. They both have a MEd in educational leadership and have presented at provincial professional development on First Nations education and professional learning communities.

Darryl Isbister – Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Transform Practice to Support First Nation, Inuit, & Métis Students:

(Location: Sheraton)

The history of education for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students is filled with many examples of inequity and systemic racism. Research shows that First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students are more likely to fail or drop out of school than any other cultural group. Shifting this outcome requires divisions to look inward and work to enhance their cross cultural competencies. As school divisions lead this effort to shift paradigms about education for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students, focusing on teacher practice and building relationships are foundational for success. Participants will be taken on a journey through history that surfaces the current state of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis education and highlights how transforming pedagogy can enhance learning for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students.

Darryl Isbister is a Métis man whose family comes from the Kinistino area of this land we now call Saskatchewan.  Darryl has been working in education for 18 years and has spent time as a secondary social science teacher, learning leader, education consultant and most recently Coordinator for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Education with Saskatoon Public Schools.  Darryl has most recently shared his work at the Indspire Conference in November and was invited to present at the Learning Forward conference in Vancouver in December 2016.  Darryl received his Master of Education degree (2008) from the University of Saskatchewan in Curriculum Studies and is a Treaty Catalyst Teacher facilitator whose work has been recognized by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.

Cheryl Lenz-Fabian and  Mathew Bakken – The Inclusive School

Discussion on the benefits of inclusion within the school environment; what are the perceptions and beliefs around inclusion, and the perceived and real challenges; the principal’s role in supporting the transition and viability of an inclusionary school program.

Cheryl Lenz-Fabian has worked in the area of Special Education, with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, since 2005; supporting students, paraprofessionals, classroom teachers, and administrators in the area of inclusion.  As a parent of a child with an exceptional need, she knows the value of inclusion from a parent and student’s perspective. Cheryl is currently on the Educational Advisory Board at Saskatchewan Polytechnic; and, held a position on the Autism Services Board of Directors and the Cosmopolitan Industries advisory panel. She is currently completing her Masters in Educational Psychology and Special Education through the University of Saskatchewan.

Mathew Bakken is a Special Education teacher currently working with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.  Mathew is very passionate about creating inclusion based programming for students with exceptional needs.  His primary focus emphasizes inclusion as a means for community and vocational enrichment.  He is currently completing his Masters Degree in Educational Psychology and Special Education through the University of Saskatchewan.

George Couros (AM Session) – Blogging as Professional and Student Portfolio:

(Location: Sheraton)

Blogging has become a tool that is used often in the classroom, but has also become a valuable tool for educators to use in their own professional learning.  Aligning with Teaching Standards , this session will show you how to create a professional portfolio that will be invaluable for sharing, connecting, and reflecting on teaching practice.


Susan Ciminelli and Margaret Boersma  – Secret Sauce for Student Success: Building Relationships with At-Risk Students:

(Location: Delta Bessborough)

Self-efficacy and higher socio-emotional skills are traits of academically successful students. How can principals help at-risk students who typically lack these qualities?  This interactive presentation provides leaders the how and why social interaction methods are powerful tools for success.  A toolbelt of role-play simulations, storytelling and case studies can make a school leader an empowered change agent capable of spearheading success for struggling learners and their teachers.

Susan Ciminelli’s expertise is a rare combination of instructional design experience, data-driven inquiry, and research savvy. Susan’s been an educator since 1977, working as a public school teacher, teacher trainer, technology coordinator, Apple Education Grant author and award recipient, school principal, data manager/analyst, and now consultant for Title 1 schools. Susan has received extensive training in brain-based instruction and educating children who live in poverty. Susan brings depth, practicality, and a human touch to her work that makes the connections required to achieve lasting positive change in classroom instruction.  Margaret Boersma (OCT) is a creative educational consultant, who is passionate about effecting a transformation in the education system by her innovative ‘first person learning’ approach to teaching. With over 30 years experience teaching kindergarten to 8th grade, Margaret is a life-long enthusiast of brain compatible strategies to engage students into a process of learning that incorporates ‘powerful personal expression’. Her engaging teaching methods are fun and build community. Other skills developed through this work are empathy, critical thinking, creativity, culture, collaboration and connectivity. Margaret travels internationally to provide workshops, residencies, coaching programs and curriculum writing.

Bill Wright – A Balanced Life is A Matter of Choice:

(Location: Delta Bessborough)

This interactive presentation addresses how educational professionals can achieve life balance for greater joy and productivity and reduce lost time due to absenteeism.  These are critical skills at a time when 13% of teachers report being stressed “all the time” in comparison to 7% of the general public.

Bill Wright is an Ottawa based speaker/trainer/coach. He is the successful survivor of job burnout, a condition that is destroying the careers and families of many people across the country. Bill draws on his own experiences from this personal brush with disaster, and from his 30 years on the front lines in post-secondary education, to help others avoid this tragedy. He examines what led to burning out and how he bounced back stronger than ever becoming the go to person for friends and colleagues. He went from barely surviving to thriving and can show you how to as well. He draws on these experiences to help you identify the signs and to control your outcome, so that you may still be productive while enjoying your life according to your terms.

Bruce Gordon – 

(Location: Sheraton)

Responding to the anxiety epidemic: Strategies for schools (AM Session): Anxiety is the number one mental health problem for Canadian students. This presentation will provide you with a better understanding of what anxiety looks like in children and how to support students who are challenged by it.

School-based collaborative interventions for students with anxiety disorders (PM Session): This presentation will discuss innovative approaches for schools to support students with anxiety challenges.

Practical strategies for effective partnership between teachers and mental health professionals will be provided.

Bruce is a registered doctoral psychologist with the Randall Kinship Centre in Regina. He is also part of a school-based mental health team with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.

Diana Sproat – Focused Intervention in Mathematics:

(Location: Sheraton)

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools have been providing targeted math support for students who struggle in the area of mathematics.  In this session you will learn about an identification and intervention process developed to provide powerful, daily small-group focused instruction and intervention, with lessons that are systematically designed and engaging. This intervention process uses research based assessment and improvement strategies that support students in progressing toward and achieving grade level outcomes.

Diana Sproat has been employed by Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools for the past 23 years as a teacher, Teacher on Assignment, and most currently as the Mathematics Consultant. She completed her Masters of Education at the University of Saskatchewan with a focus in the area of mathematics and as a member of the Math Cohort. Diana was honored to receive the Saskatchewan Math Teachers Society Service Award in 2014. She has been married to Dean for 33 years and enjoys travel, running and spending time with her grandchildren.