October 7, 2022 Message to Members

Greetings colleagues,

Like many of you, as the page turned on the calendar, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What happened to September?”

However, the calendar might say October, but the summer-like weather is still with most of us throughout the province. I am fortunate to have enjoyed this beautiful fall weather in my Chapter tour of Boundary and the Kootenays. However, with publication deadlines, I won’t regale you with tales from the field until next week’s column! 

Next Friday, October 14, educational leaders from around the province will descend on Victoria. No, I am not referring to Connecting Leaders – that is the following week! I am referring to the Finalists for the 2022 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education. Launched in 2018, the Awards honour public, independent, and First Nations school teachers, Principals, Vice-Principals, school and district leaders, and support staff who go above and beyond to make life better for K-12 students in BC.

This year, 113 nominations were submitted for ten awards. Of the 113 nominations, nine are for members – or recently retired members – of the BCPVPA. Hailing from eight districts (Surrey has two nominees in two different categories), BCPVPA members are represented in every category of eligibility.

Congratulations go out to the following leaders:
  • Community Engagement:
    • Sandra Richardson – Vice-Principal, Penticton Secondary, SD 67 (Okanagan-Skaha) 
  • District Leadership:
    • Ivano Cecchini – Executive Director of Facilities Planning, SD43 (Coquitlam)
  • Indigenous Education: 
    • Birdy Markert – District Principal of Indigenous Education, SD 54 (Bulkley Valley)
    • Gordon Powell - District Principal of Aboriginal Learning, SD36 (Surrey)
  • Outstanding Team Collaboration:
    • Josh Vance – Vice Principal, Kalamalka Secondary, SD22 (Vernon)
  • School Leadership:
    • Rick Chan – Principal, Eastview Elementary, SD44 (North Vancouver)
    • Lisa Jamieson – Principal, Janice Churchill Elementary SD36 (Surrey)
    • Ian Levings – Principal, Eugene Reimer Middle SD34 (Abbotsford)
  • Social Equity and Diversity:
    • Beth Applewhite – Acting District Principal of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion SD41 (Burnaby)

Each of these individuals have been recognized by their peers as exemplifying through their work some of the best examples of school leadership in BC. I am honoured to be invited and present when the ‘winners’ are announced. We should all be proud to have these colleagues within our ranks.

Victoria will be poised for the second invasion of educational leaders on Thursday, October 20, as the Connecting Leaders Conference kicks off. It is not too late to register and attend either in person, virtually, or as part of a local hub:

Finally, it is not often that you get a chance to choose your boss: next week, you will get that opportunity! On October 15, elections for civic leaders – including Trustees – take place throughout British Columbia. As a former Social Studies teacher, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage every eligible member of our Association to exercise their right to vote. Civic elections usually get the lowest turnout of any election, and School Board elections typically garner an even lower voter-turnout! However, local government has the most direct impact on your everyday life, compared to the other levels of government. The key responsibilities of a Trustee are threefold:

  1. Hire a Superintendent (who determines Principal/Vice-Principal assignments)
  2. Establish the strategic goals and direction for the district (where the money is going to be spent, which can mean resources for your school, or program)
  3. Adopt the district’s budget (which inherently involves the salaries of Excluded Staff, which includes Principals and Vice-Principals)

Since Principals and Vice-Principals are employees of the Board, on Saturday, October 15, you have the opportunity to choose your ultimate boss.

I know I have been saying it a lot so far this year, but once again…

Enjoy the long weekend…



The BC Principals' & Vice-Principals' Association is a voluntary professional association representing school leaders employed as Principals and Vice-Principals in BC's public education system. We provide our members with the professional services and supports they need to provide exemplary leadership in public education.

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