The trustees of OPSBA's Eastern Region welcomed trustees and Directors of Education to Ottawa for OPSBA's 28th AGM and Program. An opening greeting by First Nation Director Peter Garrow acknowledged that the meeting was being held on traditional territories which include the Mohawks of Akwesasne who represent the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy and the Algonquin Nation who share the resources of this territory. He also recognized the enduring presence of the First Peoples on this land. A traditional smudge was offered by First Nation Trustee Howard Archibald.
At this annual event, OPSBA members confirm priorities and directions for the coming year, elect officers and plan for the future. A comprehensive professional development program is also offered. The 2016 program featured dynamic and inspiring speakers and a range of workshops that focused on key issues in education in Ontario today.
View photos from the 2016 AGM on Flickr
The opening keynote speaker was the accomplished David Usher, solo artist and lead singer for the rock band Moist, who has won countless awards and sold out venues all over the world. He believes that creativity is a learnable skill that anyone can master and shared his fascinating formula to stimulating creativity through a mix of music, video and experimentation. David was joined by guitarist Jonathan Gallivan.
Saturday's keynote speaker was the engaging and energetic Sandra Herbst, the CEO of connect2learning and a former superintendent and Past President of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents. Her presentation, System Alignment for Deep Learning, engaged attendees in thinking about the power of also using assessment as a leadership tool for adult, school and system learning.
Back by popular demand, and bumped up to 10 minutes from the previous five, the following 14 sessions allowed participants to see "in a nutshell" presentations by OPSBA member boards on a diverse range of topics.
Offering in-depth and interactive workshops, expert speakers addressed issues such as school closures, code of conduct, municipal elections and in-camera meetings, special education, school board communications, municipal partnerships, programs for children and youth in care, audit committees and mental health.
Recipients of OPSBA's Awards were announced at Saturday's Past Presidents' Lunch. We congratulate the following winners for their hard work and dedication to our students!
This Award is given to an active or retired public school trustee for outstanding service as a public school trustee.
This year's recipient is Roy Wilfong, former trustee, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB (KPRDSB). From SS #5 in Smith Township when trustees assisted with loading wood into the school for the winter to blended learning classrooms, Wilfong served as a school trustee for 60 years (1956-2016).
Since the KPRDSB's inception in 1998, his principled character helped shape the creation of more than 100 policies that define the provision of education in the board. In 2002, he was a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, given to Canadian citizens who have made a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, community and country.
The recipient of this student award is selected on the basis of a sound academic record throughout their career, accompanied by outstanding community service and leadership.
This year's Award of Merit was presented to Zachary Misener, Stratford Secondary School, Avon Maitland DSB. Zach is finishing up his Grade 12 year at Stratford Central Secondary School (SCSS). He has been active on SCSS school council for four years, a member of the Minister's Student Advisory Council, a PC Leader for Student Provincial Parliament and Regional Council member of the Ontario Student Trustees' Association. He is in his second year as a student trustee and has been a valuable contributor and leader to the board's Student Advisory Committee.
This Award is presented by the local board to volunteers for outstanding, exemplary and/or unique contributions to the overall well-being of the school or community through in-school, board-wide, extra-curricular and/or volunteer activity.
This year's Award of Excellence was presented to Felicia Waboose, Elder, Lakehead DSB. The Achievement Award was presented to Laura Shannon, Lyndy Stajkowski and Felicia Waboose of Lakehead DSB.
Waboose is a co-founder of the non-profit group Equay-Wuk (Women's Group). Since her move from Sioux Lookout to Thunder Bay in the mid-2000s, Waboose has spent much time visiting elementary and secondary schools. She acts as Elder on many board initiatives and has given invaluable guidance and support for the Board's FNMI Collaborative Inquiry project, in addition to her involvement as a Provincial Elder for the Ministry of Education.
Shannon, the breakfast club supervisor at Algonquin Avenue PS, goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure students are provided with a nutritionally balanced meal each and every day. Shannon's love of children and her caring nature are evident to kids and adults alike in the school, and it's said that almost nothing can keep her from providing breakfast to more than 25% of the school's students, even a brutal Thunder Bay blizzard.
Stajkowski, Chair of the School Community Association at Valley Central School, has been a strong contributing force towards fundraising efforts and was an integral part of a team instrumental in acquiring a lottery license to increase opportunities. An approachable, tireless and encouraging volunteer, she is described as being a pleasure to work with.
The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for member school boards to provide direction for the future work of the organization and to elect officers and members of the Association's Work Teams. At this meeting, the Membership reviewed the 2015-2016 OPSBA Annual Report and confirmed OPSBA's priorities for 2016-17, which continue to be part of a multi-year work plan.
The priorities were reaffirmed through a process which invited input from all trustee members, from boards, from regional councils and from First Nation trustees this past spring. With the addition of a new priority, Advancing Reconciliation: First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education, and new areas of emphasis, these were approved by Board of Directors at their April meeting and forwarded to the AGM for confirmation by OPSBA's membership.
The six priority areas are:
The Executive Council will hold a planning meeting in August and develop action plans for each priority area for the year ahead.
Congratulations to the following members of OPSBA's Executive Council and Work Groups for the 2016-17 school year.
- Laurie French, Limestone DSB
- Michael Barrett, Durham DSB
- Jerry Chadwick, Toronto DSB
- Cathy Abraham, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB
Central East Region Vice-President
- Donna Edwards, Durham DSB
Central West Region Vice-President
- Donna Danielli, Halton DSB
Eastern Region Vice-President
- Dave Shields, Renfrew County DSB
Northern Region Vice-President
- Gerald Kleist, Keewatin-Patricia DSB
Western Region Vice-President
- Doug Pratley, Avon Maitland DSB
- Shelley Laskin, Toronto DSB
- Rick Williams, Peel DSB
Peter Garrow, Upper Canada DSBKaren Sandy, Grand Erie DSB (Alternate)
Central East Region
- Patrice Barnes, Durham DSB- Loralea Carruthers, York Region DSB
Central West Region
- Marty Fairbairn, Upper Grand DSB- Kathi Smith, Waterloo Region DSB
- Marjorie Adam, Renfrew County DSB- Caroll Carkner, Upper Canada DSB
- Mary Lynch-Taylor, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB
Northern Sub-Region East Region
- Tom Henderson, DSB Ontario North East
Northern Sub-Region West Region
- Trudy Tuchenhagen, Lakehead DSB
- Judy Cairncross, Avon Maitland DSB- Jan Johnstone, Bluewater DSB
- Donna Edwards, Durham DSB- Shelley Laskin, Toronto DSB
- Jeanne Gray, Halton DSB- David Green, Peel DSB
- Mary Hall, Hastings and Prince Edward DSB- John McAllister, Upper Canada DSB
- Howard Archibald, DSB Ontario North East
- Sheryl Evans-Price, Algoma DSB
- George Saarinen, Lakehead DSB
- Arlene Morell, Thames Valley DSB- Cheryl Lovell, Greater Essex County DSB
Attendees are invited to complete our online evaluation form which will be e-mailed to you electronically through the online registration system. We hope you will take a few minutes to give us your feedback and advice. Your information provides us with valuable input as we plan for future conferences. The 2017 AGM and Program will be held in Blue Mountain. Please contact us at any time through firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas and suggestions for conference content or format. Send us your ideas - we can't do it without you!