OPSBA’s 29th AGM and Program

2017 6/13 | Connects Page, OPSBA Awards, OPSBA Events, Trustee PD

Trustees and Directors of Education were welcomed to Blue Mountain for OPSBA’s 29th AGM and Program from June 8 to 10. An opening greeting by Algoma DSB Trustee Elaine Johnston, Chief of Serpent River First Nation, acknowledged that the meeting was being held on traditional Indigenous territories. 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 2017 program featured dynamic and inspiring speakers and a range of workshops that focused on key issues in education in Ontario today.

Photos from the 2017 AGM

Sandra Herbst
The opening 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, Assessment in the Service of Learning, shared ways in which school boards have aspired to and planned for deep alignment by linking policy, leadership and student achievement. Her session was a follow-up to her presentation at last year’s OPSBA AGM in Ottawa. Herbst also provided an additional breakout session for attendees to continue to examine the impact of aligning practice across classrooms.

Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé
The Office of the Ontario Ombudsman has had oversight of school boards for almost two years. Ombudsman Dubé reviewed his office’s role, the main topics of recent cases and gave an update on the first systemic investigation involving school boards.

Ramona Pringle – Surviving – and Thriving – in an Era of Disruption: Preparing the Next Generation for the Age of Automation
Pringle, an interactive producer and expert on Digital Media Culture and a faculty member at Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts School of Media, explored the skills required for the jobs of tomorrow, and the strategies needed to successfully manage the transition into the age of automation.

Joseph Boyden
Saturday morning’s keynote speaker was acclaimed Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden, who delved into his creative writing process.

Workshops and Discussion Groups
Offering in-depth and interactive workshops, expert speakers addressed issues such as the legalities of social media rights, internal audit processes and committees, equity and diversity, and labour relations.

A special thank you to all presenters and OPSBA member boards for sharing their expertise on behalf of students!

OPSBA Awards
Recipients of OPSBA’s Awards were announced at Saturday’s President’s Dinner. We congratulate the following winners for their hard work and dedication to our students!

The President’s Award
This award recognizes trustees who have given 25 or more years of service to public education. This year’s recipients were:

  • Gale Simko-Hatfield, Greater Essex County DSB, who has been with the board for 25 years
  • Judy Saunders, Trillium Lakelands DSB, who has been a trustee for more than 26 years

Award of Merit and Certificate of Recognition in Memory of Jack A. MacDonald
The recipient of this student award is selected on the basis of a sound academic record throughout their student career, accompanied by outstanding community service and leadership.

This year’s Award of Merit was given to Riley Beam, Chippewa Secondary School, Near North DSB. Riley serves as her school’s Student Senator at the board-wide Student Senate, is a member of student council and is involved in numerous initiatives at Chippewa SS, including the school’s dance team and Sears Drama Festival entries. She currently serves on the Near North DSB’s Accommodation Review Committee and participates in Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre programs. Riley has volunteered more than 800 hours to community programs on top of her commitment to her studies and school-based extra-curricular activities.

“Riley is an accomplished young woman and has worked very hard through her entire educational career,” writes Special Education and Dance teacher Andrea Lefebvre. “She is reliable, responsible and accountable…has a sound academic record and outstanding community service and leadership.”

A Certificate of Recognition was also awarded to Rachel Stripp, a Grade 8 student at Pineland Public School, Halton DSB. In addition to being an outstanding student and member of numerous school clubs, Rachel is the founder and president of the Burlington Junior Civitan Club, running twice-monthly meetings for the 22 members and representing her club at district and international events. She also delivers newspaper to 40 customers and volunteers at Parish Ridge Stables.

OPSBA Award of Excellence and Achievement Award
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 given to Eileen Haven, Executive Secretary, Lakehead DSB. Eileen worked with the board for 25 years, supporting the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for nine of them. While she retired on May 31, 2017, she was always an excellent resource to SEAC through careful and detailed preparation for meetings, events and preparations. Eileen always went above and beyond to ensure that everything was in place and had a professional presence.

The OPSBA Achievement Award was given to:

  • Martha McLelland, parent volunteer, Agnew H. Johnston Public School, Lakehead DSB
  • Sheila Marcinyshyn, volunteer and SEAC Member, Lakehead DSB
  • Kelly Matyasovszky, volunteer and SEAC Co-Chair, Valley Central Public School, Lakehead DSB
  • Eileen Haven, Executive Secretary, Lakehead DSB

Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award
This award is given to an active or retired member of the teaching profession for outstanding contribution to education in Ontario. This year’s recipients were Stacey Griffen, Sonya White, and Jennifer Jager, Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Upper Grand DSB. All three teachers were instrumental in the production of the recent OPSBA/OSTA-AECO bilingual accessibility-themed film By Any Measure, showcasing the success of accessibility in Ontario schools.

OPSBA’s 2017 Annual General Meeting
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 2016-2017 OPSBA Annual Report and confirmed OPSBA’s priorities for 2017-18, which continue to be part of a multi-year strategic work plan.

OPSBA Priorities for 2017-2018
The priorities were reaffirmed through a process which invited input from all trustee members, regional councils and Indigenous trustees this past spring. These were approved by the OPSBA Board of Directors at its April meeting and forwarded to the AGM for confirmation by OPSBA’s membership.

The six priority areas are:

  • The Whole Child and Student Well-Being
  • New Generation Education
  • Advocating for the Role of Trustees as Members of the Board and Building Leadership Capacity
  • Labour Relations
  • Education Funding
  • Advancing Reconciliation: First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education

The Executive Council will hold a planning meeting in August and develop action plans for each priority area for the year ahead.

OPSBA’s Executive Council and Work Groups
Congratulations to the following members of OPSBA’s Executive Council and Work Groups for the 2017-18 school year.

Executive Council
President – Laurie French, Limestone DSB
First Vice President – Jerry Chadwick, Toronto DSB
Second Vice President – Cathy Abraham, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB
Eastern Region Vice President – Dave Shields, Renfrew County DSB
Western Region Vice President – Robert Hunking, Avon Maitland DSB
Central East Vice President – Donna Edwards, Durham DSB
Central West Vice President – Donna Danielli, Halton DSB
Northern Region Vice President – Gerald Kleist, Keewatin-Patricia DSB
Enrolment Vice President – Parthi Kandavel, Toronto DSB
Enrolment Vice President – Rick Williams, Peel DSB

First Nation Director to OPSBA Board of Directors
Elaine Johnston, Avon Maitland DSB
Karen Sandy, Grand Erie DSB (Alternate)

Education Program Work Group Members

Northern Sub-region West George Saarinen, Lakehead
Northern Sub-region East Tom Henderson, DSB Ontario North East
Eastern Marjorie Adam, Renfrew County DSB
Caroll Carkner, Upper Canada DSB
Western Connie Buckler, Greater Essex County DSB
Jan Johnstone, Bluewater DSB
Central East Parthi Kandavel, Toronto DSB
Louise Clodd, York Region DSB
Central West Alex Johnstone, Upper Grand DSB
Kathi Smith, Waterloo Region DSB
First Nations Michele Locke, Simcoe County DSB

Policy Development Work Group Members

Northern Sub-region West Mark Mannisto, Superior Greenstone DSB
Northern Sub-region East Jennifer Sarlo, Algoma DSB
Eastern Keith Penny, Ottawa-Carleton DSB
John McAllister, Upper Canada DSB
Western Arlene Morell, Thames Valley DSB
Cheryl Lovell, Greater Essex County DSB
Central East Corrie McBain, York Region DSB
Shelley Laskin, Toronto DSB
Central West Jeanne Gray, Halton DSB
David Green, Peel DSB
First Nations Howard Archibald, DSB Ontario North East

Tell Us How We Did!
Attendees are invited to complete our online evaluation form which will be e-mailed to you electronically through the 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 2018 AGM and Program will be held in Niagara Falls. Please contact us at any time through webmaster@opsba.org with ideas and suggestions for conference content or format. Send us your ideas – we can’t do it without you!