This Week in eNews | June 11, 2021

President's Message

President's Message

Click to expand

No Neutrality

I visited a school this week. It is a very new school that I had not previously visited. The school spaces are beautiful, still shiny and new. While waiting for my host, I took in the views, and a slight envy welled up in me for such a wonderful learning space. I love my home school, but I wouldn’t turn down an upgrade. Just as my host approached me with a warm hello, I had to ask for his patience as I was in the middle of thumb-typing into my phone. It would have looked like I was sending a text, but I was actually recording a sentiment that appeared on a poster, mounted high on the wall of this beautiful, open learning space. The poster read “Absurd times call for absurd amounts of love.” I wanted to remember this phrase because I wasn’t sure if I was inspired by its simplicity, or struck by its naivety, and I knew I would be coming back to these words before the week was done. When I did return to these words, I discovered that they belong to New York Times bestselling author and award-winning director Brad Montague.

I’m okay with keeping the focus simple. Some years ago, I attempted to communicate to my staff that we needed to keep our efforts focused on our one goal; as part of my slide presentation, I included a quick flash of the KFC logo. This puzzled many of our group, and rightfully so; I was trying to be clever, but came across as obtuse. I was trying to communicate that, unlike a restaurant menu which serves a diverse array of cuisine, KFC focuses only on chicken. There can be so many distractions in education; we can leap-frog from one initiative to another, chasing the flavour of the week, month, or year. Teams can feel pressure to expand school plans, creating a menu that serves something for every taste, but which in the end offers little of quality. A singular message isn’t a problem for me, but in this case maybe I was disappointed by the language.

While recent weeks have been unimaginable, I’m not sure we can simply call them absurd. Yes, they have been shocking, unbelievable, and unimaginable – all synonyms. But to call our recent times absurd fails to capture the depth of pain and the far-reaching impact of these events.

The phrase fails to capture our collective struggle to understand what moves a man (a boy really, barely out of school) to don a tactical vest and turn his vehicle into a weapon of terrorism, to understand how this much hate festered undetected in someone reported to be a ‘nice guy’. It is hard to comprehend how a life spanning a mere twenty years could harvest and condense enough hate to take lives and carve a wide swath of pain and devastation for a nation. And in this nation, children with mothers and sisters who wear the hijab now ask if they will be safe. How will leaders and educators answer their questions?

I have two inboxes, one belonging to my home district. This inbox is quiet, for the most part, but every once in a while it chimes with a delivery. On June 8th, it chimed with a notification for district staff which came from the North American Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response (NACTATR). My home district has been working with their Executive Director Kevin Cameron for many years. Principals and Vice-Principals in our district each received this notice as a resource, and a reminder of many more things, not the least of which is to reinforce that we are in an Extended Critical Period for increased threats.

The message reminded us that in the field of threat assessment, persons can “engage in a serious act of violence towards a target, or type of target, [they] feel justified in attacking”, meaning random acts of violence are not so random. A 1993 Boston study named extreme crusaders of hate crime as ‘mission offenders’, steeped in their justifications for violence against innocents. During the seclusion of the pandemic, those who hate have saturated themselves in the “justification for violence offered up by online searches and online communities of likeminded individuals.” This message highlighted that while the pandemic created a temporary and artificial pause by keeping those who hate at a distance from their potential targets, there is now the chance of greater proximity as the weather warms.

This NACTATR resource shares guidance at a time when it is difficult to know what to do, encouraging us to: 

Identify those in need and seek them out to offer support in areas where we can actually assist. Standing with a community is emotional support.

Reach out to other groups who have been targeted by hate in the past; current tragedy may rekindle trauma.

Stay the course and be there “when the cameras are gone”.

Strategically increase our connection with individual(s) of concern: “the more an individual can identify with the victims of violence and learn compassion it will lower their risk if they receive compassion also.”

Dr. Marleen Wong, who is a senior advisor at NACTATR, shares guidance in this resource for engaging in conversations with our children. She encourages us to be honest and listen without judgement. She appeals for us to share our belief that love is stronger than hate, and to help our children “move toward constructive actions that fight every kind of bigotry and prejudice.”  It seems that Dr. Wong may agree with Brad Montague, that the times call upon us to bring forth an abundance of love, such as that generated by the more than 10,000 people who gathered in support in London, Ontario. But Dr. Wong’s words, calling for action, also bring to mind words of author Ibram X. Kendi. In his book How to be an Anti-Racist, Kendi writes, “…there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist’. It is ‘anti-racist’.” He offers his readers a definition of an Anti-Racist: “One who is supporting an anti-racist policy through their actions or expressing an anti-racist idea.”

Each month has its important celebrations and observations. June is National Indigenous History Month and Pride Month in Canada. Several of the days on the calendar note special observances such as World Oceans Day, and June is also the season of grad. There is much to focus upon, and much to learn. However, the recent weeks have reinforced that beneath it all is job one, a singular focus: as educators — as people — we must act to build a society in which our children will never have to ask if the people they love will be at risk from violence because of the way they look.

BCPVPA staff are now working both remotely and in the office!
BCPVPA staff continue to respect the provincial health protocols, and will be incorporating office days to our remote working routines. We are here to support our members: please do not hesitate to contact us, or check our App for updates. 

This Week's Highlight

This Week's Highlight: June Principl(ed) Magazine

Click to expand

Principl(ed) Magazine - June 2021

Our members and friends are now receiving the Summer issue of Principl(ed) magazine!

Check out your copy to read Darren's perspective on the sacred traditions of June, find out more about the VSB's Indigenous Education Allies and Leads program, learn about inclusive school communities, and so much more. Read the full issue and articles online.

If you have an idea for an upcoming article or feature,  contact 

We have also posted a Survey for your feedback.

Indigenous History Month 

June marks Indigenous History Month! It's a time to celebrate, honour and learn more about
the incredible accomplishments, heritage and traditions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis
peoples. It's also a time to recognize the injustices and trauma of the past and present, and
to further our commitment to the 94 Calls to Action, allyship & solidarity. Go to Resources

We mourn for the 215 children who never made it home from the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and we hold space collectively for the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community, and Indigenous communities across Canada. For survivors, families and communities, support is available if you need to seek help, counselling or reach a 24/7 crisis line: click here. 

Pride Month

The month of June is also Pride Month! Pride Month is a time to celebrate the stories, diversity and accomplishments of LGBTQ2S+ communities and also to raise awareness of historical and ongoing injustices they face. We stand with the LGBTQ2S+ community and strive for equality, safety, justice and inclusion for all. School resources 

BCPVPA Updates

BCPVPA Updates

Click to expand

Event & Webinar Registrations

Click to expand

Register for Leading a Culture of Learning Levels 1 & 2  

Registration for LCL 1 & 2 is open for 2021-2022 Cohorts! This robust program offers practical learning, connection with other leaders, and opportunities to sharpen your leadership skills. View 2021 -2022 LCL Flyer 

Specific dates to be determined (health protocols considered)

LCL 1   

In-Person Northern Cohort (Prince George) and Virtual Cohort
Register Here
Program Details

LCL 2 

In-Person Metro Region
Register Here

Register for the 2021 Connecting Leaders Conference 

View CL 2021 Event Overview

The 2021 Connecting Leaders Conference: Leading for Equity, hosted by the BCPVPA’s Metro Region Chapters, will be happening October 21 – 22, 2021. Leading us in conversation will be Keynote Speakers: Nouman Ashraf, Anna Maria Tremonti, and Candy Palmater


BCPVPA Representative Application to the BCTC

The Minister of Education is seeking to appoint one BCPVPA member to the BC Teacher's Council for their first meeting in October 2021. Per the BC Teacher's Council Regulation, the BCPVPA may nominate up to three of its members for consideration and the Minister of Education will make the final decision regarding the BCPVPA member appointed to the BCTC.

Under the Teachers Act, the BC Teachers' Council (BCTC) is responsible for:

1. Setting standards for applicants and educators in BC, including education, competence and professional conduct requirements

2. Setting standards for post-secondary teacher education programs

3. Reviewing and approving post-secondary teacher education programs

BCPVPA Member Application

The application deadline is 5:00pm Friday July 2, 2021.


BCPVPA Response to Times Colonist Editorial

On Friday May 28, 2021, the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria issued an editorial – “Principals’ push to unionize deserves detention”. We regret that the Times Colonist has elected not to print the BCPVPA's letter or OpEd in response to the editorial, and we released the OpEd response on our website and through our social media platforms on Thursday June 10.


Leading the Way: Women in Leadership

Save the date: the next Leading the Way virtual event will be on Monday September 20 at 7:00 pm. The theme will be Resilient Women Thriving in Leadership and we are delighted to announce that our feature interview will be with Robyne Hanley-Dafoe. Principal Paula Gosal from Chilliwack Middle School (SD33) will join us as a guest speaker, and additional event guests will be announced when registration begins in August.


BCPVPA Thriving in Education Survey - Winners of Calm Within the Storm

Congratulations to the winners, selected at random from all members who responded to the survey:

Heather Goodall (SD84, Vancouver Island West)

Shawn O'Brien (SD43, Coquitlam)

Patrick Thomas (SD35, Langley)

Click here to see the demographic and regional breakdown of those that completed the survey, and read the teaser summary.

We will be sharing a full report on the results in the early Fall with commentary on what recommendations we believe - going forward - will maintain those members who are currently doing well and what can be put in place to enable more members to thrive.


Fond Farewells

Our Communications Assistant Paige Jung has been with BCPVPA since March 2020, and she has had a tremendous impact on the success of our transition to the MemberTech communications platform and many other aspects of our work. Paige leaves us for a summer role as an illustrator for a children's book before returning to school in the Fall to pursue her love of branding and communications. We wish Paige all the best for a bright future!

If you have read the June 2021 issue of Principl(ed) magazine, you know that both Jessica Antosz, Director of Professional Learning and Development, and Don Boyd, Director of Member Support Services, are retiring from the BCPVPA at the end of July. They have each dedicated their careers to educational leadership, innovation and success for their students and teams. We will miss Jessica and Don greatly, and look forward to hearing about their future travel and leisure adventures.  Read the Principl(ed) article.


BCPVPA President: Fall 2021 Chapter Visits & Meetings

Darren Danyluk, BCPVPA President, would be delighted to connect with your Chapter through a virtual meeting or town hall this Fall and, should health protocols allow, Darren may be able to begin traveling to communities for visits. If you are interested in having Darren attend a virtual Chapter meeting in September or October, please contact Sharon North. 

Thank you for being part of Jean Up! 

This May, BCPVPA joined the month-long Jean Up movement in support of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation to make jeans a symbol of something way bigger—helping kids get out of their hospital gowns and back into their jeans.

A heartfelt thank you to BCPVPA members for joining us in taking a stand against childhood diseases. Because of your support, this year’s Jean Up raised an incredible $308,000 (and counting). Your support will allow experts at BC Children’s Hospital to advance innovative research, tailor care to the specialized needs of kids, and comfort families during their toughest days. Not only that, every dollar you raised will make double the impact thanks to Odlum Brown, Jean Up’s school match sponsor. 

We also want to thank the members who participated in the Jean Up contest sponsored by Mavi. Please join us in congratulating Kelda Logan (SD 64) and Rob Clark (SD 75), our Mavi gift card winners — we can’t wait to see your new denim outfits for next year’s Jean Up. Thank you to Jean Up’s denim partner Mavi for the great support. Don’t forget to mark your 2022 school calendar to join the Jean Up movement next year! 

Principl(ed) Magazine Survey 
We appreciate our readers, and want to hear how we can improve upon our magazine. Thanks for completing this short survey! Survey Link

The Principl(ed) Podcast

In Episode 12, host Chris Horton sits down with Jessica Antosz, BCPVPA Director, Professional Learning & Development. As Jessica approaches retirement this year, they look back on the pivotal moments in her journey, and the growth opportunities, highlights and successes from her many years of school leadership and supporting leaders across BC.  

Listen on  iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more! Access the podcast here.

The Principl(ed) Podcast is a made-in-Canada monthly series that connects with BC school Principals and Vice-Principals who are working everywhere in the province, from the smallest rural schools to the bustling urban centres. 

BCPVPA Student Scholarships | 2021 Applications Open