October 25, 2019 Message to Members

Connecting Leaders 2019

I’ve been fortunate to be out on the road again this week in SD 53, 51 and 67. It’s such a beautiful part of the province in the Fall, as the leaves change colour and that brisk chill is starting to creep into the edges of each day. I’ve been grateful for some clear sunny days, and for many rich conversations with the leaders in these districts. I’ll catch you up with more information in next week’s column, but I did want to give you a taste of how fortunate I am not only to meet our members on these trips, but also to connect with students. This friendly pair of Kindergarten student at Christina Lake Elementary School introduced me to one of their favourite classroom features and – as you can see – I have no choice but to agree!

I’m wrapping up my week with one of our favourite events of the year. BCPVPA’s Connecting Leaders Conference brings together more than 300 of our members from all over the province. The conference is held regionally each October, and this year we are fortunate to be at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Centre.

We are thrilled to have exceptional keynote speakers with us again this year. On Friday, Peter DeWitt will focus on how leaders can both foster growth in their teachers and put the focus on learning for students, and on Saturday, we will first have Gabrielle Scrimshaw’s look at how Indigenous demographics are changing Canada, and the role of education in the reconciliation process, and then Dr. John Chenoweth will examine Indigenous education today through weaving a traditional Syilx/Okanagan story, the Four Chiefs.

We feel very fortunate to have these respected speakers at the conference to inspire us and provoke both thought and dialogue. And we are just as fortunate to have our own members who have stepped forward to share their expertise and innovative learning through leading our Friday breakout sessions. Conference attendees will hear about a huge scope of topics, including how to create learning teams; Indigenous ways of leading; human-centered leadership development and so much more. Attendees can browse the conference app: the link is in last week’s conference confirmation.

I know from experience that it can feel daunting to propose and lead a session for your peers, but experience has also taught me that there are countless rewards for this courage, and new connections that will blossom. It’s often hard to draw attendees back from the breakout sessions, as meaningful conversations are being spun in each room. And, to me, that’s inspiration: the value of our members relating their lived experience, and the opportunity for leaders to share with others is often the most memorable and significant experience that conference attendees will take away with them. It’s definitely something that I’m looking forward to, and I hope that our members attending the conference will share with us and with others the new learning that they embrace at this year’s Connecting Leaders.

Take Care,