Visiting Chapters and meeting with members is the most gratifying part of my role as president. Your work as Principals and Vice-Principals is nothing short of heroic, and is regularly acknowledged by Minister Singh, ministry staff, and our sector partners. Through school and Chapter visits, and almost daily conversations with members, I am informed of the challenges and successes of school leadership in BC. In turn, I share those real-life stories with our partners, the Ministry, and – as I did during our visit to the Legislature a few weeks ago – directly with MLAs in Victoria. I am eager to hear the stories of more of our members, and I hope you will reach out to Sharon North to schedule a Chapter visit; I still have dates available before the end of the school year, and I can set up visits for the fall.
As I think about the work that you do in your schools, and the work of the teams that you lead and support, I wanted to remind you of the opportunity to nominate a colleague for the 2023 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education. I had the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony last year, and it was moving and memorable to see so many educators and team members being recognized for the exceptional work they do in schools and districts. The nomination deadline is approaching: you’ll find more details under Sector News, or can visit.
Brian in Prince George
Earlier this month, Interim Executive Director Mike Roberts and I visited SD 57 (Prince George) , where Chapter President, Kelly Johansen, welcomed us to their Chapter meeting. While Mike had to return to Vancouver later that day, I had the good fortune to spend the following day in PG and visit some schools.
Brian with Chapter President Kelly Johansen
I started my day at Kelly’s school, École College Heights, where I met newly-minted Vice-Principal Sherrie Douglas. A former Kindergarten teacher, Sherrie started as VP right after spring break: welcome Sherrie! On the wall outside Sherrie’s office, as part of her nameplate, I noticed a QR-code beside her title and was intrigued. When I pointed my phone’s camera at the QR code, just like Alexa, a voice orally translated her nameplate in the local Indigenous language. That led me to venture down the hall to point, listen, and learn another language, as the district maintenance worker was installing the new and innovative Indigenous name plates throughout the school - brilliant!
Brian with Principal Steve Dalla Lana
I then visited Southridge Elementary School, and reconnected with colleague and former BCPVPA Board Director Principal Steve Dalla Lana, as students were completing their laps around the school. It was warm and sunny outside, and our conversation carried on as we moved inside and came upon an engaging and informative presentation by an Indigenous worker from Métis Nation BC.
Brian at the SD57 Board Office
Kelly and I met up at the SD 57 board office, where we were welcomed by members of the District Leadership Team. Acting Superintendent, Pam Spooner, and Assistant Superintendents, Lee Karpenko (another former BCPVPA Board Director) and Kap Manhas, appreciated hearing about the work of the BCPVPA in support of Principals and Vice-Principals.
I then headed north to the Hart Area of PG and Heather Park Elementary School, where I connected with Principal Sarah Petrisor, met her Vice-Principal Breanne Reinheimer, and heard how enrollment is surging in parts of PG.
Brian with Principal Sarah Petrisor and VP Breanne Reinheimer
My final stop of the day was Shas Ti Kelly Road Secondary School. I arrived just as buses were loading and students departing for the day, and was warmly welcomed by Principal Chris Molcak. After a brief tour and meeting several teachers, we returned to the office where Vice-Principal Kim Forrest was busy working on the school’s timetable and second Vice-Principal Todd Kuc joined us for a chat about local issues. I appreciated the hospitality of my PG hosts during this visit!
You never know where you might meet up with BCPVPA colleagues. In last week’s column, I mentioned attending uLead 2023 from April 15-18 in Banff, Alberta, as part of my own professional development. And, although it is a large international leadership conference with more than 1,100 participants, I was pleasantly surprised to meet and connect with many BCPVPA members from the Kootenays (SD 5 and SD 8), and the Okanagan (SD 83). It is great to meet members wherever they may be, and to learn and share experiences together.
Earlier this week, I visited SD 48 (Sea-to-Sky), and look forward to sharing that experience with you soon!
Have a great weekend!