2024 CASS/ASBOA Summer Learning Conference

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PDF  Program at a Glance

The CASS/ASBOA Summer Learning Conference provides an opportunity for system education and school business leaders to elevate their professional learning. Seven CASS Continuing Education Program (CEP) courses and a course tailored for ASBOA members will be offered. The courses are designed to empower delegates with leadership knowledge and skills, and therefore open to both CASS and ASBOA members. The courses offer invaluable insights and practical strategies to navigate the evolving landscape of system education and school business leadership. CASS and ASBOA members are welcomed to attend any course of their choice.

Who Should Attend:

Superintendents, secretary treasurers and system education leaders interested in building their own capacity and, as a result, others’ capacity. Learning opportunities will be based on the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS), Leadership Quality Standard (LQS) and aspects of the ASBOA Areas of Practice.


August 14 – 16, 2024
Wednesday – Friday


J.W. Marriott, ICE District
10344 102 St NW, Edmonton
Treaty 6 Territory

For those planning to attend the conference, you can secure accommodations by July 14, 2024.


Early Bird Fee:
$850 + GST
(Register by June 30, 2024)
Regular Fee: $900 + GST
(After June 30, 2024)

View Cancellation Policy

To ensure high-quality learning in each course, enrollment will be limited to 50. Be sure to register early to secure your spot in your preferred course.



A stream of sessions will be available for ASBOA members.

Thursday, August 15, 2024 (Information coming soon…)

Friday, August 16, 2024 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

Effective Media Relations and Interviewing

You may remember Alberta’s most infamous media blunder, by Stephen “I’m Eating My Cookie” Ducket, former CEO of Alberta Health Services. He was a seasoned executive and yet made international news for his approach to media questioning.

Telling a compelling story or answering unexpected questions while the cameras roll can be a tall order for even the most experienced leaders.

Especially during a crisis, it is easy to lose your train of thought or become ineffective when you are answering questions from reporters. Media training can come in handy when your organization finds itself amid an unexpected crisis or has major news to share.

As a result of attending this course, participants will help hone their skills and build their interview abilities needed to get you through even the most difficult situations.

Even if you’ve had media training before, refreshing your on-demand media skills goes a long way to managing the unexpected and mitigating reputational risk for you and our organization.

Note: We are accepting 4 volunteers who will have the chance to do a mock video interview for group coaching and learning.

Don’t be shy – this is a great learning opportunity with and among friends!

This session will be facilitated by:

Shawna Randolph is most well known in Alberta as a popular television news journalist.  She most recently was co-host of CTV-2’s Alberta Primetime (2013-2019), a daily province-wide current events news magazine show.  She is also well known for her time with CTV Edmonton (1991-2001), most notably as the station’s prime news anchor.  Shawna also has an in-depth career history as an award winning communications professional. She has managed media relations (acting as spokesperson) and several other communications duties for the City of Edmonton’s Transportation Department and the Edmonton Humane Society. While operating her communications firm since 2008, Shawna has guided, inspired, and educated several CEO’s and members of senior management teams; communications specialists; front-line workers; City or Town Mayors/Councilors; high-profile municipal committee members; designated organization spokespeople; and everyday people simply looking for the right person to help them communicate a message that is important to them, to protect their reputation in the public.

The CASS CEP courses listed below are being piloted at this conference. Attendees will have the chance to provide feedback on these courses both during and after the event. Regulated CASS members who participate will earn one course, contributing to their five-year mandatory accreditation requirement of five courses in five years. Although the equivalent 10 credits will not be eligible for submission in the 2024-2025 learning year, this is an excellent opportunity to advance your professional learning related to the CEP.


In this course, participants will explore the characteristics of the Age of Disruption and consider their implications for public education. Participants will assess their general readiness to provide effective leadership in such fluid and unsettled times. Participants will also explore selected aspects of this period currently challenging education and begin to develop plans/initiatives to respond to them.

As a result of attending this course, participants will:

  • examine the characteristics of the Age of Disruption and explore their significance for public education.
  • assess their readiness to provide effective leadership in such uncertain times and develop plans to strengthen their ability.
  • examine selected topics facing public education (mental health, change, DEIB, Indigenous programming, public discourse and polarization, economic hardship, Artificial Intelligence).
  • theorize on the future of education and what will be required to make their school authority “future ready.”

This course will be facilitated by:

Brian Celli retired as the Superintendent of Wild Rose School Division in 2015. During his time in the education system, Brian is particularly proud of his accomplishments in developing innovative learning environments, supporting youth at risk, mental health and healthy schools initiatives, Indigenous programming, leadership development, and innovative technology applications. Currently, Brian is a sessional instructor for the City University MEd (Leadership) program delivering courses on Leading in Diverse Environments and Change Management. Brian has also delivered continuing education courses on Strategic Leadership and introductory coaching.

Irene Donaldson is Director of Education Services, Diverse Learning Supports, with Wolf Creek Public Schools. Her career began with teaching in various unique settings, including a fly-in reserve in northern Alberta and private schools in Venezuela and Paraguay. After teaching junior high in Blackfalds, Alberta for 18 years, her passion for student success and increasing staff capacity shifted Irene to district-based positions focused on supporting inclusion across the division.


This course will provide opportunities for participants to reflect on their personal leadership values and beliefs and how these align with their role as a system education leader. Participants will conduct an environmental scan of potential leaders within their systems and develop plans to build leadership capacity and enhance stakeholder engagement throughout their school authority. Participants will be challenged to consider what their ripple effect as a system education leader will be.

As a result of attending this course, participants will:

  • assess and apply the skills and attitudes that demonstrate an openness to feedback and shared leadership.
  • interpret current, relevant theory and research on leadership, change and system coherence, shared leadership, and system thinking.
  • describe the various layers of the school authority where leadership capacity can be developed with differentiated strategies, structures, and processes to build leadership capacity.
  • plan purposeful and practical ways to engage stakeholders (including consideration for under-represented stakeholder groups).
  • exemplify reflective practice, transparency, and effective communication skills.

This course will be facilitated by:

Danica Martin has over 20+ years of experience in educational leadership roles at the school and system level. Most recently, Danica was an Assistant Superintendent of Education Services with a central Alberta school authority. She has led a variety of complex teams and worked strategically with them to build leadership capacity and cohesion. Danica holds a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership as well as a Bachelor of Education degree. Additionally, she is a certified Working Genius facilitator and a certified Professional and Business Coach. Danica believes strongly in the impact of leadership and the ripple effect that leaders can have throughout their organizations. Danica is the founder and principal coach of Danica Designs Coaching and Consulting.

Corrine Thorsteinson is the Associate Superintendent- People Services with Red Deer Public Schools. Corrine has close to 30 years in the field of education with over 20 of those in school and system leadership roles. She feels fortunate to work in Human Resources Leadership, where she has had opportunities to facilitate mentorship, empower others to navigate tricky personnel issues and oversee the implementation of vital HR processes and employment conditions. Corrine is a certified Working Genius Facilitator. Corrine holds a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership, as well as two undergraduate degrees – a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. She believes in empowering others to lead from where they are at.


This course will take participants on a journey that focuses on the competency of Leading Learning within the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS). Participants will examine how a superintendent establishes and sustains a learning culture in the school community that promotes ongoing critical reflection on practice, shared responsibility for student success, and continuous improvement.

As a result of attending this course, participants will:

  • understand that system and school-based leaders have the capacity to provide instructional leadership through support, professional learning, supervision and evaluation practices.
  • understand the qualities of high-quality teaching and optimal learning.
  • know how to use data to inform actions, measure, and report successes.
  • know how to model lifelong learning and reflective practice.

PLEASE NOTE: This course requires participants to purchase the following book and read Chapter 4 prior to the course commencement. Lanoue, P. D., & Zepeda, S. J. (2018). The emerging work of today’s superintendent: Leading schools and communities to educate all children. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

This course will be facilitated by:

Shan Jorgenson-Adam has been an educator for over 30 years working in a variety of educational roles (teacher, school administrator, division principal, director, assistant and deputy superintendent) in both British Columbia and Alberta. Shan has co-authored numerous articles on leadership. As a key lead in a leadership development research project, Shan has presented at several conferences, such as uLead, CASS, and Learning Forward, on school leadership. Shan has led literacy, numeracy, inclusion, school culture, community engagement, strategic planning and leadership development in several school divisions.

Dr. Rita Marler has worked in K – 12 public education for over 30 years in central Alberta. Rita’s passion is instructional leadership and her doctoral work focused on the instructional leadership role of the assistant principal. As a superintendent for 9 years, Rita’s visionary leadership and relational approach paved the way for a collaborative culture that created connections amongst administrators and schools across her school division. She has co-written articles and presented at the University of Alberta, uLead, CASS, and Learning Forward on school leadership.

Shan and Rita are currently supporting school authorities through their joint venture, JAM Educational Consulting.


This course is designed to lead participants through readings, discussion, and reflection on their roles and responsibilities to support effective governance. Supporting effective governance is a critical competency for superintendents and those who aspire to take on that role. Concrete and applied actions will be developed using scenarios and practical activities.

As a result of attending this course, participants will:

  • concretely state their role in effective governance within the school jurisdiction and identify actions in effective governance within the school jurisdiction.
  • take away tactics for developing trustee understanding of governance.
  • take away communication skills needed to help them achieve the learning outcomes.
  • create their own “roadmap” of working productively with a Board.

This course will be facilitated by:

Dr. Edgar Schmidt is an independent leadership consultant with CASS. He has a long career history in public education in Alberta. He has been a teacher, principal, supervisor, and superintendent. He is a retired associate professor, researcher, and dean of the Faculty of Education at Concordia University of Edmonton. Most recently he is interested in supporting educational leadership development, mentorship, governance, and applied educational research.


With Guest Speakers:
Dr. Dwayne Zarichny – Superintendent/CEO of the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education in Medicine Hat, Alberta
Shawna Warren – Superintendent/CEO of Sturgeon Public School Division in Morinville, Alberta


Modeling a commitment to professional learning is more a “way of being” than a “subject to study”. So what will participants learn if they choose to explore this course?  We will learn from one another as we share how we model our professional learning personally, but participants will also be exposed to resources, processes, and information they can begin using in their divisions the next day. The benefit is that the learning will help participants model their commitment to professional learning while also helping them improve their school authority.

As a result of attending this course, participants will:

  • understand how educational leaders model their commitment to professional learning.
  • evaluate the extent to which professional learning structures in their school authority align with the research regarding effective professional learning.
  • comprehend, analyze, and evaluate components of effective communities of professional practice with leaders from similar and different contexts.
  • comprehend and evaluate research to evaluate contemporary trends in education.
  • analyze and evaluate their leadership style, philosophy of education, and/or approach to educational leadership based on their professional context.

This course will be facilitated by:

Dr. Scott Morrison is the former Superintendent of Christ the Redeemer (CTR) Catholic Schools and a former CASS President. Prior to becoming a superintendent, Scott served as a teacher and principal at both the elementary and secondary levels. Scott retired from the superintendency in 2023 and now keeps himself busy as the Executive Director of the CCSSA and teaching leadership courses at St. Mary’s University and the University of Calgary. Scott’s master’s research focus was distributed practice, and his doctoral research focus was organizational storytelling. Scott is an experienced facilitator of professional learning and has presented on various topics as far south as Lethbridge and as far north as Grande Prairie. He’s also presented at CASS’s Start Right and Leading for Learning for over a decade. Another professional interest is consulting with St. Mary’s University as they seek to establish a Master of Education in Catholic Leadership program.

Jacealyn Hempel is the Director of Learning – Elementary at Christ the Redeemer School Division and has been an administrator and teacher in Christ the Redeemer School Division for 18 years. Her educational background consists of a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Master of Teaching Degree, and a Masters in Leadership and Administration. Her biggest impact is working with teachers through modelling teaching and leadership actions and learning alongside them, team teaching with teachers, inspiring students through building a school of passionate teachers, and learning from other mentors and colleagues.


Participants will learn from place alongside an Elder/s, the course facilitators, and one another as they examine a perceived challenge/problem of practice within their own context related to eliminating systemic barriers and creating inclusive and culturally safe work and learning environments. They will learn from local Indigenous wisdom and knowledge as they explore findings in related research and policy, leading to renewed commitment to action in relation to Competency 5 in the SLQS and LQS.

Please note that the location of this course will be offsite at the kihcihkaw askî, 14141 A Fox Drive, NW in Edmonton. CASS will provide bus transportation to the location from the hotel for participants staying there, and return.

As a result of attending this course, participants will:

  • develop and embody (spirit, heart, body, mind) resolve to eliminate systemic barriers and create inclusive and culturally safe work and learning environments related to the perceived challenge/problem of practice.
  • relate their context to a new story/way forward for their own/their school authority’s learning/unlearning in relation to the perceived challenge/problem of practice.
  • show/represent a changing view of the perceived challenge/problem of practice and commitment to action.
  • recognize and respect the diversity and strength of Indigenous ways of knowing and being and historical contexts.

This course will be facilitated by:

Dr. Dianne Roulson is a white settler of Icelandic and French roots and a grandmother to three wonderful girls. She was born in Treaty 7 near the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers. She had the privilege of working in public education for 34 years with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) holding various portfolios in her role as Education Director including Indigenous education, curriculum & assessment, languages, and SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity). She has worked closely with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers over time who opened their arms and hearts to her and shared many teachings. Because of their love and guidance, she continues to work in public education in her current role as a Leadership Consultant with the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) to support success for Indigenous students and Indigenous education for the benefit of all students.

Jimmi Lou Irvine is a proud Metis woman with an ongoing quest to further enhance and develop the cultural knowledge that she does not currently carry. Jimmi Lou is the Associate Superintendent of Student Services and Indigenous Relations at Northern Lights School Division in northeastern Alberta in the heart of Lakeland region. She started as a teacher at Bonnyville Centralized High School in 2000, earning a nomination for the Alberta School Boards’ Association’s Edwin Parr Award. She became an administrator in 2004, serving as Assistant Principal and then Principal at Glendon School and Iron River School. She co-chaired a team that developed an Inclusive Education model, served as a Student Support Coordinator, Learning Coach, and on the Division’s Site-Based Management Committee. In 2016, she became Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, handling FNMI Services, Literacy and Numeracy, and Assessment and Instruction. In 2020, her title changed to her current role, focusing on Student Services, Indigenous Relations, mental health, inclusive education, preschool care, and HR. Jimmi Lou’s personal life entails following her chuckwagon driving husband on his professional circuit and paying for tuition, ‘winning bids’ on various auction sites or pet expenses for her 3 children.

Elder (information to follow)


This course is designed to provide information and support to school superintendents and the system education leadership team to effectively implement a continuum of support and services model within their school authority. The participants will be involved in several interactive activities to understand their beliefs about education and educational practices. Participants will learn about the necessary attributes in the design of a continuum of supports and services, the essential elements, and the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and actions they will need to lead this work.

As a result of attending this course, participants will:

  • learn how to engage with community in implementing a vision for optimal learning for all students that is supported by a continuum of supports and services.
  • challenge potential bias and reflect on their own beliefs and practices to be able to implement a continuum of supports and services.
  • familiarize themselves with the seven elements in the design of a continuum of supports and services and demonstrate how these elements are reflective in showing progress of the continuum of supports and services within the system.
  • identify the evidence to collect that provides assurance their continuum of supports and services is responsive to their learners.

This course will be facilitated by:

Monica Mankowski is a dedicated education leader with 22 years of school division expertise in district, school and government leadership with a passion for inclusive education, collaboration and community partnerships. Monica has 38 years of experience working in Northern Alberta as classroom teacher in elementary and high school, a resource specialist, Director of Inclusive Learning, Assistant Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Education (retired 2021). After the 2016 Horse River Wildfire and 2020 Flood, Monica led the mental health recovery plan for the division coordinating with local and provincial organizations to increase supports and services including Alberta Education, Canadian Red Cross, Alberta Health Services and the other support organizations. Monica completed a Master degree in educational psychology – special education from the University of Alberta. She has recently supported CASS/ Alberta Education with resource documents for PUF, CASS: Time – Out, Seclusion and Physical Restraint, and Heart of Recovery: Creating supportive school environments following a natural disaster.

Dr. Dianne McConnell began her career as a teacher with the Parkland School Division. She completed her PhD in Special Education and became a registered psychologist. Dianne has worked as a Vision Consultant (Teacher for the Visually Impaired), Director of Student Services at multiple school divisions, led the Alberta Provincial initiative for inclusion (Setting the Direction), and eight years as Associate Superintendent with Parkland School Division (retired June 2021). She is also the mother of three children, two of whom had complex health conditions, including vision loss. She has been involved in advocacy in the field of Blindness and Visual Impairment at both the provincial and national levels for over 30 years. She has been a dedicated advocate throughout her career and is passionate about making a difference for children and their families.

With Guest Speakers:
Cathy Giesbrecht
– Assistant Superintendent of Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools
Loriann Stienwand – Mental Health in Schools Specialist, Alberta Education
Rhae-Ann Holoien – Superintendent, Battle River School Division


Join colleagues for a social gathering on Thursday evening, August 15, 2024 from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Delegates and family members are welcome to join this event. Admission to a private tour of the zoo is included. The Curbside Food Truck will be onsite to provide the meals.

Transportation for the delegates to the zoo will be provided by Red Arrow.

Find other recreational activities for your families from the Explore Edmonton website.



DOCEO / ‘DO.KE.O: / AI focuses on making sense of data using AI.

DOCEO is a Latin word that means inform, enlighten, teach, demonstrate, and make bright. It takes data analytic to the next level by using AI to predict student challenges and provide suggested strategies to improve student learning.


Jay Kay Systems Consulting Inc. is an Edmonton, AB based IT company with services being provided to businesses, municipalities and school districts all across Alberta and western Canada since 1998.  We specialize in designing, implementing and supporting IT infrastructure by helping our clients create a customized solution to address the needs of their specific business. Our focus is always to recommend industry-leading product lines with proven reliability and vendor warranty support. At Jay Kay Systems Consulting Inc., we pride ourselves in bringing your business into the future.

The Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan is a not-for-profit employee life and health trust supporting Alberta’s public education sector. We work closely with employers to support the health and wellness of our members with benefit plans that cover general health, dental, employee and family assistance, loss of life, and disability.


Orbit Insurance Services offers exclusive home and auto insurance rates and coverage to the Alberta Education Community.

With over 85 years of experience and access to a variety of specialty insurance carriers, we will find the right coverage to fit your needs at the best value possible. We also offer our members 24/7 claims service with our exclusive Curo Claims team.