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2019 CASS Annual Learning Conference

Conference Details

PDF  2019 Annual Learning Conference Highlights
PDF  Program at a Glance (Conference and Certification In-Service) PDF  Map of the Hotel

Leadership Quality Standard (LQS) Certification In-Service “B” and Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS) Certification In-Service (Wednesday, March 20 and Thursday March 21)

Leaders serving in leadership roles during the 2018/19 school year, and not  a current principal or superintendent, can obtain Leadership Certification through an in-service program connecting their current practices and experiences with the competencies in the Leadership Quality Standard.  This includes CASS members serving in system level leadership roles.  As requested by the membership, the LQS Certification In-Service “B” will be offered at the CASS conference and will focus on the role of the system leader.

The SLQS Certification In-Service will also be offered at the conference.  System Leaders, other than the superintendent, and who have taken the LQS Certification In-service are eligible to participate in the SLQS Certification In-Service.  (The SLQS Certification In-Service will also be offered at the CASS/ASBOA Summer Conference as well as other times to be determined.) Updates about the Certification In-Service Programs can be found at  https://cass.ab.ca/conferences-workshops/in-service-certification/ 

*System Leaders are the only ones eligible to take SLQS In-Service and it was determined by the Ministry that a system leader has to complete LQS before they take SLQS.

As a result of attending you will have the opportunity to:

  • Enhance your leadership capacity based on the LQS or SLQS certification In-service outcomes.
  • Receive “Leadership Certification” or “Superintendent Certification” from the Ministry for completion of the two-day In-service.

The conference program will accommodate In-service delegates with the opportunity to participate in all conference keynotes and the Role – Alike and World Café sessions on Friday.

Conference Keynotes  (see Keynote Descriptions Tab)

Wednesday, March 20 – Conference Opening & Organizational Wellness Keynote
Is Your Wellness Strategy Burning You Out? Transforming Culture Through Mindful Leadership Practices with Deborah Connors 

Thursday, March 21 
Unleashing Learning  with Dr.Santiago Rincón-Gallardo

Thursday, March 21 – CASS/Alberta Education Concurrent Sessions
(if not attending the LQS or SLQS Certification In-service)

Based on positive interest identified in the recent survey about offering the LQS and SLQS Certification In-service at the conference, concurrent sessions will include a focus on the needs of Chief Superintendents.

Friday, March 22
Role – Alike Sessions provide system leaders and opportunity  to connect with colleagues focused on similar areas of work.  (e.g., Chief Superintendent, Curriculum/Assessment, Technology, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education, Inclusive Education, Human Resources, Wellness and CASS Like Members.

A World Café will be offered to allow for learning and sharing from colleagues around problems of practice identified by members.

For further information, please contact Val Olekshy, Director of Leadership Learning volekshy@gmail.com

Keynote Descriptions and Biographies

Wednesday (evening), March 20, 2019

Is Your Wellness Strategy Burning You Out?
Transforming Culture Through Mindful Leadership Practices

For many, work is about surviving, not thriving. It doesn’t have to be that way. Drawing on the latest research in the areas of organizational health, positive organizational scholarship, psychological capital and compassionate leadership, Deborah will share with you why it is so important to be positively deviant at work. She will lead you through the principles of positive organizing and offer a new and different perspective to creating a flourishing culture where people can contribute their best. She shares stories of positive change from her book, “A Better Place To Work: Daily Practices That Transform Culture” which is based on in-depth interviews she conducted with experts from around the world. The research shows the strong connection between workplace culture and organizational success; the overwhelming evidence that we can increase positivity and resilience in individuals, teams and organizations through daily practices; and how evidence-based leadership practices build positive sustainable change. Deborah will leave you with five simple practices that you can implement immediately in your next meeting or conversation that, over time, can begin to shift the culture of your organization.

A captivating speaker, storyteller, author and workplace coach, Deborah Connors researches the latest breakthroughs in organizational health and culture around the globe. She has interviewed many of the leading thinkers, which forms the basis of her work: teaching leaders how to radically shift culture so that people can flourish.

She is a prominent figure in the story of how Canadian workplaces have become better places to work through her development of The Better Workplace Conference, which she successfully led for 17 years. This powerful initiative created a whole generation of workplace health professionals and a huge community of practice.

She speaks about how to shift practices in the workplace to create environments that allow for more creativity, innovation, engagement and fun.

In her book “A Better Place To Work: Daily Practices That Transform Culture” released in February, 2018, she has distilled the knowledge of hundreds of thought-leaders she brought together each year, combining it with her own leadership experience to provide practical advice for transformative workplace change. Deborah holds a BSC (Nutrition) and an MPE (Health Promotion). She is a certified CMHA Psychological Health & Safety Advisor and Mental Health Works Facilitator, and a proud member of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association.

Website: www.deborahconnors.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WellAdvisedConsulting

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/deborahconnors/

Twitter: @well_advised

Thursday (morning and afternoon), March 21, 2019

Unleashing Learning 

Superintendents and their teams play a crucial role in moving Alberta’s education system towards the future. While their roles are increasingly complex they also have the potential to unleash tremendous reservoirs of talent and expertise that reside in the natural inclination of young people and adults to learn deeply. Santiago will discuss how superintendents can liberate learning in their districts and across the provincial education system, with special attention to their essential role in leading from the middle, liberating and supporting those they lead, collaborating and connecting with their peers, and leveraging and influencing the larger education system.   Santiago’s research with Mexico, the state of California and the province of Ontario, brings “lessons learned” based on next practices leaders have taken to lead learning.

Santiago Rincón-Gallardo is an education consultant and Chief Research Officer with Michael Fullan’s team. He conducts research and advises system leaders and educators on advancing whole system reform for instructional improvement. Santiago worked for over a decade promoting grassroots pedagogical innovation in Mexican public schools serving historically marginalized communities. His academic work explores how effective pedagogies for deep learning can spread at scale. Santiago holds an Ed.D on Education Policy, Leadership and Instructional Practice and an Ed.M in International Education Policy from Harvard. He completed post-doctoral studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He lives in Toronto with his wife and their two sons.




An Edmonton based provider of education related software, professional customization services as well as business consulting.  Our flagship solution Dossier Systems enables schools to manage inclusive education needs, create data driven student profiles, as well as aggregate data from separate systems for analytic and benchmarking purposes. Intellimedia is a leading expert in customizing PowerSchool to tailor to the needs of individual districts.

FreshGrade is a portfolio and assessment platform that helps educators, parents, and students have deeper conversations about learning. Do it all with just one tool: capture evidence, give feedback, and track progression through standards and custom objectives. FreshGrade encourages students to own their learning while engaging parents at every turn.


EF Educational Tours help prepare students for the future by teaching them more about the world, themselves, and their place in the world.

Combining the power of experiential learning with the thrill of domestic and global travel, our tours help students:

  • Expand their knowledge of the world around them
  • Understand new people, places, and cultures
  • Discover more about themselves
  • Grow more confident and independent

When students grow in these ways, they become more curious, more open-minded, and more excited about the future.

For over 50 years we’ve been committed to the safety of our groups. With a team of more than 52,000 EF personnel around the globe, we have a presence in nearly every destination we travel to—ensuring that we’re there to support you wherever and whenever you need us. Schools are automatically insured under our $50 million USD General Liability Policy.

AVI-SPL supports the continual evolution of today’s K-12, higher education, and charter schools. Our clients include primary schools, colleges and universities, but can be applied in any learning environment. Our video communications, simulation and visualization systems, and distance learning AV solutions can improve connections among faculty, staff, students, and beyond. AV systems also help foster student learning and information retention by providing rich interactive experiences for their users. AVI-SPL can help educators create a powerful learning environment for their students, faculty, and community.


TW Insurance Brokers has been providing specialized home and auto insurance to the Alberta Education Community for over 10 years. Our highly trained brokers work closely with educators to ensure we provide the right coverage to fit their needs, at the best rates possible.

Pearson Canada’s innovative learning solutions are created in collaboration with Canadian educators, with an emphasis on pedagogy, efficacy and best-in-class content. Pearson Canada, a leading educational publisher, sees the diversity of Canada’s students as a strength and is committed to developing a full array of core curriculum, supplementary, assessment, professional and early learning resources to help students of all ages learn at their own pace, and in their own ways. Pearson Canada represents leading professional learning educators from Canada and around the world, including Heinemann, Pearson ERPI, Annick Press, Teacher Created Materials (TCM), Taanishi, Routledge Press and more.

Human Centric Optics Inc., an Alberta company, is believed to be Canada’s only Human Centric Lighting Company. Studies worldwide prove that this advance lighting system can stimulate both students and teachers to improved their health and performance.

We can change the lighting dynamics to allow the teacher to control the mood of the students by pressing the ENERGY setting to increase their energy and alertness in the morning prior to starting class. Then, the teacher can press the LEARN setting to increase their cognitive, concentration and imagination for improved academic results. By pressing the EXAM setting, students can retrieve details when writing a test or quiz. There is also has a CALM setting to settle down children returning from the gym or suffering from Attention Deficiency Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), autism and anxiety. For more information, visit www.hcolab.com or email info@hcolab.com.

Greenfield Learning has over 20 years experience implementing technology-delivered curriculum. We specialize in bringing technology-based reading and math curriculum to your labs and classrooms, to your teachers, administrators and to your students and their families. Our list of products include:

  • Lexia Core5 Reading® supports educators in providing differentiated literacy instruction for students of all abilities in grades pre-K–5.
  • Lexia PowerUp Literacy™ is designed to help students in grades 6 and above become proficient readers and confident learners.
  • Lexia RAPID Assessment™ screens and monitors reading and language skills for students in grades K–12.
  • Reading Plus simultaneously develops all three domains of reading–physical, cognitive, and emotional–by integrating them in one personalized online reading program. Rooted in eight decades of research, Reading Plus is proven to increase achievement in students from elementary grades through college.
  • Symphony Math® is a web-enabled program with a visual and highly intuitive interface. The program helps students understand at a conceptual level. Instead of being overwhelmed by numbers, students move at their own speed and learn how math works. Symphony Math provides math intervention and screening for grades K through 8.


Nelson is Canada’s leading educational publisher providing innovative products and solutions for learners of all ages. Nelson values and respects the lifelong learning continuum and dedicates its business efforts to the diverse learning needs of students and educators alike.

Nelson is active in Canada’s K-12, Higher Education, Professional Learning, Business, Industry, and Government markets. Our success now and in the future is based on our strong partnerships and ongoing relationships with educators across the country. Together, we are making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians by producing the highest quality educational products and services.


Printer World offers complete printing solutions, specializing in Print Equipment Sales, Service, Printer supplies and Print Production. Since 1985, Printer World has provided print solutions to a variety of industries and companies in the on-going effort to satisfy the print needs of our clients. We work to offer exceptional service through our on-going promise to deliver value and service to our clients.


Evolution AV has been providing professional audio visual services to clients across Canada for the past 45 years. With offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, we take pride in understanding the unique needs of our clients and addressing them with customized solutions. Our vast portfolio encompasses everything from large-scale permanent installations to one-time conferences and events.

Conference is FULL

To register for the Retirement Banquet, click here.

Congratulations to the following CASS members whose retirement will be celebrated on Thursday, March 21

  • *Dr. Bonnie Annicchiarico
  • *Joe Colistro
  • *Evan Dearden
  • *Cathy Fielden
  • *Richard Fox
  • *Daryl Hoey
  • Kathryn Kirby
  • *Lorelie Lenaour
  • *Brian Macauley
  • *Sheila Macleod
  • *Dr. Ronna Mosher
  • *Dr. Nolen Olsen
  • *Dr. Lori Pamplin
  • *Brant Parker
  • *Dr. Dennis Parsons
  • *Laurie Pelkie
  • *Kevin Pittman
  • Pam Rannelli
  • *Danny Roberts
  • *Greg Roberts
  • *Mike Ross
  • *Ken Sommerfeldt
  • Dr. Cindi Vaselenak
  • *Pat Wortington
  • *Kevin Wttewaal
  • *Dr. Norman Yanitski

*unable to attend


CASS Professional Learning Goal – 2019-20

Deepening the understanding and applying the learning to support implementation of professional practice.


March 20 (evening) - 22, 2019


Conference occurs at the Chateau Lacombe, Edmonton

10111 Bellamy Hill Rd NW

Parking will be provided at no charge to all delegates who attend the CASS/Alberta Education Annual Learning Conference and/or Pre-Conference. Guests of the Chateau Lacombe will register their vehicles when checking in. Delegates who are not staying at the Chateau Lacombe will be asked to register their vehicles on a sheet that will be located adjacent to the registration table.


Guest may also call the hotel direct and book under the College of AB School Superintendents (CASS) Guestroom Block

CASS hotel rate of $135.00 night, which includes parking
Block Code : 20190312COL
Direct Tel: (780) 428-6611
Toll Free: 1-(800) 661-8801

Please note:  Guestrooms must be booked by February 22, 2019 (extended)