I would never have been
described as ‘worldly’ when I started my undergrad at seventeen. I did very
little travelling as a boy: Kamloops, Edmonton, Seattle… oh, and Disneyland! Living
the life of a student, and then a new teacher, exposed me only to BC soil until
a Fort St. James Principal encouraged me to take advantage of initiatives born
of Expo ’86. In the late 1980s, the government of BC devoted resources to
support study tours and short-term travel in Asia for students and teachers. Visiting
China had never occurred to me; however, it was just such a planned tour which
had one last seat available… at a discount I could not pass up.
This is how I found myself in
Beijing, at twenty-four, a few weeks before the Tiananmen Square protests and
the subsequent violent response by China’s military.
Our travel group, gathered
from several school districts in BC’s northwest, filled a charter bus with
sixteen students, a dozen educators, and a few school trustees. Our itinerary
covered ten days and hundreds of kilometres of road as we visited five cities,
the largest being Shanghai with over 9 million people and the smallest being modest
Suzhou with only 1 million residents. For the duration of our trip, a university
student served as our friend and guide. He travelled on the bus with us and
told us knock-knock jokes between his commentary on the sights and the history
of his country.
I have never learned the
fate of our young host, but he was my first thought when news of student
protests in Beijing filled the airwaves. I will never know what became of him. Like
his fellow students, did he long for democratic freedoms? Did he attend the
protests? Did he suffer for his participation? Did he survive? Naïvely, I used
to think this broiling unrest should have been evident to a traveller. But I
cannot recall even a slight indication of what lay ahead. Every person I met
and spoke to was gracious and welcoming and, once, tickled to point out we wore
the same brand of running shoes. And, of course, it was obvious to them I was a
visitor, and I likely saw their best faces.
To say this trip was a
learning experience is a gross understatement. It was neither an all-inclusive
nor a theme park, which made it a starting point for a worldly education and whetted
my appetite for what comes from being a stranger in a strange land. In the four
years which followed, I annually organized and chaperoned international travel
for students and educators to many countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, and
Singapore. In every location, we were met with their best faces, treated with
kindness and patience. I can think of only one occasion when this ‘face’
slipped, baring a truth that should not have surprised me.
I was shopping in a night
market late one evening in Chiang Mai. Lacoste and Rolex were the favoured
souvenirs for family at home. Among the many tables and kiosks was a display
with hundreds of popular cassette tapes, each selling at a discount only a
pirate could offer. I happily bought several tapes, including Chris Isaak and
Mariah Carey. The vendor was more than accommodating and helpful, very eager to
please his customers. I gathered my purchases from him and moved on into the
market. As I walked, I unpackaged Mariah and popped the tape into my Walkman. When
I pressed play, it was not Mariah’s voice I heard. For a moment, I felt
swindled; but I quickly let that go when I remembered the price tag.
As we made our way back to
the hotel, we passed the cassette tape display once more. I stopped to chat
again with the vendor. We had been friendly; I was sure he would remember me. His
eyes relayed no recognition, despite the smile he gave me; and when I made a
light-hearted comment (or so I thought), teasing about the defective tape he sold
me, the smile vanished and with some choice words in English he dismissed me…
completely. In a flash, I saw myself in the way he perhaps did: blessed with
advantage but indignant over two Canadian dollars. His truthful face revealed
I do not profess to know
the countries I have visited, nor their people. I have touched down on their
lands and glimpsed more of myself in this process than I have of them. It would
take more than a lifetime in any one place to achieve knowing. I have spent
nearly one lifetime in Canada and BC and continue to learn and unlearn each day,
catching sight of the face beneath.
At forty-one, in New Denver,
BC, I stood before a letter encased in plexiglass to preserve its integrity. The
letter is on government letterhead and addressed to a Japanese family man. Its
purpose is to inform the recipient that his car, which was held in storage
during his internment, has been sold. The proceeds will be used to pay for the
cost of its storage. The plexiglass held my reflection, too.
At fifty-seven, in Banff, I
listened to a traveller paint an image with his words. He is Chief Cadmus
Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation, and he spoke of two canoes travelling
alongside each other on a journey. One canoe is mine. Chief Delorme tells the
audience he is encouraged that land acknowledgements have become a common protocol
at assemblies and gatherings, but he shares that he listens for more. Chief
Delorme listens for action beyond the acknowledgment… how will we approach
and achieve truth and reconciliation in our world? It has been one year since 215 pairs of shoes were placed as silent tribute in
Vancouver and in Ottawa. More pairs have been uncovered since, hundreds more. Looking
from the canoe to my reflection, I am called upon to paddle deliberately, with
intent and humility.
I am no less a visitor to
Canada than I have been to other parts of the world. And in my modest travels on
this land, I have often been a tourist, seeing only its best face. There is a
truth beneath which calls us to reconsider the reflection in the mirror. Mark
Twain is credited for saying, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and
narrow-mindedness.” And like much of our
most important learning, the lessons begin at home.
Darren Danyluk would be delighted to connect with your Chapter through a virtual meeting or, respecting all local health protocols and schedules permitting, Darren could book travel to your community for a visit. To discuss a booking, please contact Sharon North.
May 17, 2022 - International Federation of Principals (ICP) podcast: Leading for the future in British Columbia, with BCPVPA Executive Director Kevin Reimer
May 19, 2022 - CBC Radio West interview: Vernon resident John Remple received award for making 10,000 birdhouses for school children in BC and Alberta
May 21, 2022 - CBC News Article: BC Association honours 85-year-old for decade-long service building free birdhouses for elementary students
May 25, 2022 - Burns Lake District News Article - Burns Lake residents dedication to B.C. students and school recognized
May 25, 2022 - My Bulkley Lakes Now Article - Award given to Burns Lake couple to recognize hard work done within the school district
Jesse Ruben, singer/songwriter and founder of The We Can Project, will be our Musician in Residence at the BCPVPA 2022 Connecting Leaders Conference in Victoria October 20-22.
Jesse is available to book sessions at your school before or after the October conference. Meet Jesse in a special Zoom session to learn about The We Can Project, and the positive and empowering experience that Jesse can bring to your students and schools.
Tuesday June 7, 2022 at 3:30 pm
Find out more
Becoming a new Vice-Principal?Transitioning from Vice-Principal to Principal?
In conjunction with the UBC Faculty of Education, we are excited to offer BCPVPA Foundations: The Next Generation of Short Course I.
Hosted in-person on the UBC campus in July 2022.*
The full-day sessions on July 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 will be framed around the BCPVPA Leadership Standards for Principals and Vice-Principals in BC, with the overarching theme of ‘Equity’.
Register*Respecting any health and safety protocols that may be in place at that time.
The BCPVPA Member App was a critical communications tool for us during the pandemic, providing a location for key documents and messaging in a very challenging environment.
The five successful Directors of the Board who will serve for a two year term 2022-2024 are:
Heidi Grant - SD91, Nechako Lakes
Sid Jawanda - SD57, Prince George
Paul Marsden - SD36, Surrey
Navshina Savory - SD38, Richmond
Tara Zielinski - SD45, West Vancouver
The successful incumbents are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
These five Directors will join the 2021-2023 Directors on the BCPVPA Board, beginning July 1, 2022:
Brian Leonard, SD43 (Coquitlam) – PresidentDarren Danyluk, SD6 (Rocky Mountain) – Past-PresidentJacqueline Borosa, SD92 (Nisga’a)David DeRosa, SD20 (Kootenay-Columbia)Sanj Johal, SD44 (North Vancouver)Read Jorgensen, SD61 (Victoria)Sally Zryd, SD 73 (Kamloops-Thompson)
The BC Student Voice newsletter highlights the impressive and diverse speakers from the virtual event held on April 21, 2022. It includes key takeaways and reflections from student participants and summarizes the subjects that were discussed. We hope that you find the topics and responses as inspiring as we do!
BC Student Voice 2022 Newsletter
BCPVPA’s Professional Learning & Development Directors are seeking member feedback on the programs, events, and offerings they have been curating for your professional learning. We value your ideas as to how we can continue to grow and develop in our support of members.
The survey will be open until June 15, and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete – thank you for your feedback!
Complete the survey
We are inviting BCPVPA members to participate in the Diversity Matters Survey to help us to better understand the composition of our membership, and to create programming to assist members in supporting racial equity in their schools or programs.
It should take less than 5 minutes to complete the survey, and the survey will remain open until May 31. Thank you for your participation.
The Canadian Human Rights Act stipulates that it is not a discriminatory practice to collect information if it is intended to be used in developing policy to support under-represented or marginalized people. Survey responses are anonymous.
Read this week’s featured articles from the March 2022 issue of Principl(ed):
Leadership MattersProfessional Learning and Development director Peter Johnston introduces members to the future plans for the department, including rebranded programs, new learning series, and partnerships that offer expanded resources.
Visit the BCPVPA Member Portal
To set up your password, follow the simple instructions sent in the August 31 Member Update, and log in anytime via the Sign In option on our website. You can easily update your account details under the 'My Profile' tile if you change roles, schools, or personal contacts.
What will you find in the Member Portal? Check out the overview, and we’ll bring you highlights each week in eNews as we continue to add content to the site.
Member Portal Highlight | Look for the May 2022 Chapter Council Summary in the Member Portal under the ‘Member News’ tile. Summaries of recent Chapter Council Meetings are all there for review.
Visit the Member Portal, and let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Principl(ed) Podcast with host Chris Horton 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.
The Principl(ed) Podcast is on hiatus until the 2022-2023 school year begins. We are excited to bring you the voices of education leaders across the province when we are back in September.
Listen to previous episodes on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more! Link to your favourite platform here.
We continue to work with the data that we obtained from the Thriving in Education survey. Read Part 1 of an overview in the November 2021 issue of Principl(ed), and read the March 2022 Principl(ed) for Part 2.
Join the Platform!
BCPVPA's BetterEducate platform is now BCPVPA Connects: powered by BetterEducate.
Visit bcpvpaconnects.com and sign up for your free membership with the promo code BCPVPA123.
The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a province wide professional support service provided by the BCPVPA at no cost to you and is completely voluntary and confidential.
The program supports BCPVPA Benefits Plan members experiencing health-related personal and/or professional challenges.
If you are an experienced school leader and interested in exploring Generative Leadership Theory, our Amplification series is now open for registration. We would love it if you joined us virtually for this four-session program.
Sessions will be held:
October 12, 2022 November 23, 2022February 15, 2023March 7, 2023
We are excited to announce that registration for Connecting Leaders Conference 2022 is now open. This year, we will be transitioning back to an in-person event, along with the option to participate virtually. The conference will be held Thursday October 20, Friday October 21, and Saturday October 22 at the Victoria Conference Centre, with this year's theme:
Reconnect | Rejuvenate | Rejoice
Conference-goers will be immersed in learning sessions led by Doug Keeley, Carolyn Roberts, and Kevin Lamoureux. There will be early-bird pricing so be sure to register sooner rather than later!
We look forward to seeing you at Coffee Connections, hosted by BCPVPA President Darren Danyluk and senior staff. Find the link to register for all spring sessions under Member News > Hot Notes in the Member Portal. Register for all sessions, and attend when you can!
Read this month’s article: Leader, Educator, Manager, Community Pastor
This series written by Read Jorgensen, SD61 Principal, appears in the BCPVPA eNews on the last Friday of each month.
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider says it is more than ironic
when candidates for school trustee campaign by “running against the board” on
which they hope to sit; it is harmful to public education.
Read the latest blogpost here
Charles Ungerleider is a Professor Emeritus of Education at The University of British Columbia and Managing Partner at Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in the OpED articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy, or position of the BCPVPA.
We are sharing book titles, articles, videos and podcasts to help support our members' continuing work of anti-racism and equity, and to help deepen our understanding of Canada’s diverse communities.
We would love to hear if you have found this column helpful, or if there are other ways that you would like to see BCPVPA share resources, please contact Erin Hughes.
Are you getting your school ready for Pride Month? Here are articles, blogs, and podcasts to give you inspiration and learning for the month ahead.
PodcastsGender. Sexuality. School. This podcast series features researchers, teachers, and artists speaking about the emerging work in the areas of gender and sexuality within the context of school.
TranslashTranslash is a podcast that tells trans stories and experiences to advance trans narratives, histories, and human rights.
Articles & BlogsCBC | 17 books for kids and teens to read during Pride MonthBryan Gidinski | The Performance of Pink
ResourcesUBC SOGI | ToolkitsQMUNITY | Printable Resources
ReFresh is a BCPVPA health resource with simple exercises and information that you can explore. ReFresh appears as a Member Update every Wednesday. All ReFresh posts are archived here.
Read the latest ReFresh: Does your Work/Life Blend Need a Tune Up?
Each month, your BCPVPA PLD Directors will upload
pertinent articles, blog post, or podcast on BCPVPA Connects and in the BCPVPA Member Portal under Resources/ Readers’ Corner for your quick learning opportunity.
Read the latest article, and find Discussion Tips and Prompt Questions: "The top 4 advantages of being a principal / vice principal — plus tips to leverage them for wellness"
Networks of local leaders are being developed to support
outdoor and environmental learning.
See what's happening provincially, and in
your own school district: Spring 2022 EEPSA
The spring series from Take Me Outside, and our Canadian Outdoor Learning Partners, brings a list of new workshops and resources. Check out the 'top ten tools for spring' here and their upcoming workshops:
Indigenous Resources for Educators and LearnersThursday, June 9 at 4pm for 1 hour With Indigenous Advisor, Jenna Jasek
In this workshop, Jenna Jasek, Indigenous Advisor to The Outdoor Learning Store, will share her perspectives on some of her favourite Indigenous learning resources. Jenna is also the District Vice Principal of Indigenous Learning and Equity for Rocky Mountain School District No. 6. As an Indigenous person she is learning about her culture and loves learning about traditional teachings and knowledge of nature. She strives to provide students opportunities to explore, learn and immerse themselves in the outdoors and outdoor education.
Students with Refugee
Experience Guide: The updated Students with Refugee Experience Guide for Teachers and Schools is now available.
The guide provides context, strategies, and links to resources in support of
students with refugee experience.
For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
Public updates on 2022 Teacher Collective Bargaining are available from the BCPSEA website.
The Provincial Collective Agreement between BCPSEA and the BCTF expires on June 30, 2022.
Applications are now open for the 8th cohort of Transformative Educational Leadership Program at UBC. Become a part of a professional network focused on building leadership capacity and contributing to system change within the K-12 system. Application deadline is June 15 with the program set to start in October 2022. For more information please go to telp.educ.ubc.ca.
Are you or a colleague thinking of retirement soon? Please check the BC Retired Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association for benefits offered to retired members, such as affinity, health & travel insurance, prestige coverage, pensions & other topics of interest, and you will also find a mail-in application form on the site. The BCRPVPA looks forward to hearing from you if retirement is in your near future! Contact the BCRPVPA
Visit Make a Future for an up-to-date job board with all of the latest opportunities in the BC Education sector. Career opportunities are also available in the Member Portal.
NEWVice-PrincipalTsuma-as Elementary, SD 70 (Pacific Rim)Find out moreClosing date: June 1, 2022
NEWPrincipalship Opportunities: PoolSD 40 (New Westminster)Find out moreClosing date: May 30, 2022
NEWVice-Principalship Opportunities: PoolSD 40 (New Westminster)Find out moreClosing date: May 30, 2022
Secondary PrincipalSD 38 (Richmond)Find out moreClosing date: May 30, 2022
Elementary Vice-PrincipalSD 38 (Richmond)Find out moreClosing date: May 30, 2022
Assistant SuperintendentSD 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith)Find out moreClosing date: May 30, 2022
Vice Principal of Aboriginal EducationSD 42 (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows)Find out moreClosing date: May 31, 2022
SD 8 (Kootenay Lake)Principal PoolVice-Principal Poolopen until filled