BCSTA AGM 2013, part 3

BCSTA AGMs provide a great forum for us as trustees to connect, learn and develop not only as trustees, but also as citizens.

The theme of this AGM is Influence to Action: Trustees engaging Communities. We have learned about Dave Meslin and how he operates as a Community Catalyst (You have to see his TEDx talk http://www.tedxtoronto.com/speakers/dave-meslin/ )
Dave encourages us to use all means possible to engage and reach our constituents; market our community consultations in fun and innovative manners, and really listen.

There is some great debate and rich discussions happening on the floor, and throughout the halls. I have really appreciated the additional time and opportunity spent with my own board as we have discussed proposed resolutions and the workshops attended.


BCSTA AGM 2013, part 1

The business portion of the BCSTA has begun this morning. Elections for the position of director are currently underway. President-elect Teresa Rezansoff was acclaimed, filling the shoes of past president Michael McEvoy. Gordon Swan was just announced as Vice President, in a vote of 270 to 52 over opponent Valerie Adrian. Gordon then rushed to themike to nominate Valerie for director, and she was then added to the ballot. Very classy move by Gordon.

I look forward to the vote count; I am keeping my fingers crossed for my fellow SD46 board colleague Christine Younghusband ( @ChristineYH)

Good luck!

Provincial Council

I am so very excited to be attending BCSTA’s Provincial Council meeting in Vancouver this weekend. Deputy Minister of Education James Gorman presented an overview of the provincial budget, and how it relates to districts. He took questions from the provincial councillors and was, as always, very candid and informative.

Today is a day of governance and a special presentation by Bruce Preston, Commissioner of Teacher Regulation Branch.

Follow my tweets for updates! @LoriAnnPratt

Have a great day.

My Speech for BCSTA AGM

I threw my hat in the ring for the Board of Directors election at BCSTA 108th AGM.

I was not elected, but I would like to share my speech with you. Here it is:

I am deeply honoured to be a trustee with the Sunshine Coast School District and the South Coast Branch. I am truly grateful to be here as a candidate for your BCSTA Board of Directors.

The program for this AGM has been incredibly moving for me and being part of this program has inspired me to share a small glimpse of my story and what I can offer you as a director for your BCSTA Board.

One of the quotes I live by comes via Philo of Alexandria “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This quote reminds me to listen first and hear what is being communicated to me before I respond, so that I take in to consideration the the context in which the message is delivered. This quote helps me as a trustee in responding thoughtfully and with respect to my colleagues and partners.
In this tumultuous time of education issues, with battles of rhetoric playing throughout the media and within our staff rooms, it helps us to be kind first to our education partners as they find their way through.

I attended Dr. Lorna Williams’s session yesterday and there was a section that resonated with me. She was talking about Communities of Learning and how important usantsut is, to be watchful and supportive. We all have the responsibility of watching out for each other. This is a practice that I already embody, as a mother, and in past roles as a PAC chair and parent advocate in my children’s schools. In my current role as a trustee I have worked hard to encourage and support the parents in our district to have their voice heard, and help my fellow School Board members as we make the decisions that will lead our district’s future.

There will never be a lack of issues in Public Education in BC. What I can tell you is that when these issues arise, I will be calm and measured in my responses. I believe we need to listen and hear first respectfully before we act with policy and philosophical change. BCSTA is a truly unique organization – we are 60 boards from across our province, over 400 trustees strong; each of us elected from our different backgrounds- political, socioeconomic, geographic- to represent and advocate for one thing Public Education.

Yes, we are at a tumultuous time in education in BC, but I believe with respect and understanding we can rebuild and maintain our relationships with our partners to attain our common purpose of enabling all learners to develop their individual potential and become positive contributors to our ever changing world. Thank you.

BCSTA AGM – April 26 to 29, 2012

I am very excited to be attending BCSTA’s 108th Annual General Meeting this week in Vancouver.

The AGM gives trustees a chance to connect with one another and discuss possible policy and advocacy directions that our Organization will embark on over the forthcoming year.

Our Education and Aboriginal Committees have also been working hard to develop the program for this AGM, which is entitled :

Honouring Traditional Learning in the 21st Century: A Journey of Discovery

The full program can be seen here : http://www.bcsta.org:8080/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-69673/2012_AGM_Program.pdf

We also have the excitement of electing  our Board of Directors.  I have put my name forward for the position of director; you can see the full slate of candidates at http://read.uberflip.com/i/61744

The weekend promises to be full of opportunities for professional development for trustees, and lively debate on a variety of motions.

Candidate Speech for Provincial Council

I’d like to share the speech I made for the February 25th, 2012 Provincial Council. I was not ultimately elected in the by-election, but I do plan on running again for the BCSTA board of directors at our AGM in April.

Here it is:

I am honored to be our board’s Provincial Councillor and represent the Sunshine Coast, as well as the South Coast Branch of BCSTA.
It is very exciting to be one of the candidates for the vacancy on the board of directors. The support and advocacy that BCSTA provides on behalf of all Boards across the province is very important to public education. This support from BCSTA gives our districts the training for our new trustees while working with returning trustees in their continuing professional development. I believe I can be an integral part of our BCSTA Board by bringing our South Coast Branch voice to the table, and continuing the connections I have built with other trustees in the province through mentorship with items such as policy review, parent engagement and trustee development.
Harold R. McAlindon said “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”. His words certainly emulate where we are in education in BC right now. Our districts across the province have been blazing trails for years as they have developed programs to fit our students, to keep them engaged in their education and to help them realize their potential as citizens in our global community.
With the introduction of the BCEd Plan last year we were able to give our provincial trail a name and a map to move forward. This new map centered on students and how we can best support them through personalized learning, quality teaching and learning, flexibility and choice, high standards and learning empowered by technology. Our districts are supporting and engaging students and with the BCSTA connecting us all, we can find out what is happening across the province, using those ideas and “marked trails” to help us to develop strategic plans and priorities within our own districts.
While Peace River North’s Energetic learning Campus, also known as the “school in a hockey rink” may
not be transferrable to the Gulf Islands, I bet they can share their thought and lessons learned on community consultation.
Haida Gwaii’s book “B is for Basketball” is a great resource for all districts when looking at their Aboriginal Education programs.
And how can I nor share my own district’s Early Learning Programs such as SPARK! and our newest additions ‘Tiny Town’ and our mobile Strong Start Centre, Wonder Wheels.

The ideas and programs we share make us stronger as Boards and as an organization.
As a candidate for your BCSTA Board, I hope to continue the great work that is already being accomplished an build on the relationships with the Ministry, our sister organization BCPSEA, our parents through BCCPAC, our teachers and our support staff.
I look forward to help continue to build our already excellent reputation as a world educational leader and nurture our relationships with our partners as we work together to support our youngest learners and citizens.
After all, kids matter – we all care.

Thank you.

Academy February 2012

I am attending the BCSTA and BCPSEA academy in Richmond this weekend. The academy is geared for new trustees, but it’s a great refresher for returning trustees as well.

The opening plenary last night was led by Davis Campbell of University of California, and he continued his plenary this morning on the importance of governance. You can read the highlights on my Twitter feed.

Our Education Minister, the Honourable George Abbott, spoke to us this morning on the importance of the stakeholder groups around you, as well as the funding context and pressures facing trustees and districts.

Minister Abbott is a very engaging speaker and clearly cares about kids. He opened up the floor after his presentation for questions from the floor. The questions and comments ranged from philosophical points regarding supporting students in their accountability to funding to policy direction on class size limits.

The remaining program promises to be just as engaging with workshops from BC Public School Employers Association and time tomorrow for new trustees to meet with their trustee mentors.

Thank you to the combined staffs and boards of BCSTA and BCPSEA for the terrific program.

BCSTA By-election

I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I have officially entered the by-election for the vacant position on the BCSTA Board Of Directors.  This position was left vacant when our Past President, Connie Denesiuk, did not run in the November 2011 municipal election.  

In accordance with BCSTA bylaws, the vote will be held at the Provincial Council meeting February 24 & 25, 2012. 

For more information on BCSTA, you can check out their website at www.bcsta.org

 Full candidate profiles will be available soon.  Sounds like it’s going to be a good group!

Wish me luck!