November 1 - 3, 2023 - Fall Conference

The CASS Fall Conference brings together System Education Leaders and provides a learning opportunity that focuses on deepening the understanding and applying the learning to support implementation of professional practice.

This conference, part of a Comprehensive Professional Learning plan, provides an opportunity for members and  invited colleagues, to share research and current stories of practices that are applicable for our context and are coherent with, and support the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS) or the Leadership Quality Standard (LQS).

Mental Health in Schools Pre-conference, November 1, 2023

Alberta Stories of Practice, November 2, 2023, 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

31 Human Resources Topics for System Education Leader Learning
Presented by Ray Hoppins – Chinook’s Edge School Division, Brett Cox – Elk Island Catholic
Session Presentation

Supporting Student Well-Being – More than a Motivational Speaker
Presented by Joanne Pitman, David Dyck, Danielle Boutette, Kate Love, Chris Fenlon-MacDonald – Calgary Board of Education

Collaboration: The Key to Solving Common Problems of Practice
Presented by Sharon Cronin – Rocky View Schools, Debbie McKibbin – Canadian Rockies, James Trodden – Buffalo Trail Public, Todd Robinson – ARPDC
Session Presentation

Classroom Complexity: Research and Stories of Practice
Presented by Leah Odynski – Wild Rose School Division, Daram Van Oers – Clearview Public Schools, Lori Meyer – Rocky View Schools, Danica Martin – CASS
Session Presentation

Empowering Leaders: Building Strong Instructional Leadership for Student Success
Presented by Terri Lynn Guimond – Evergreen Catholic
Session Presentation

Building Leadership & Connecting Students with Indigenous Cultures and Ideas
Presented by Teresa Di Ninno, Sara Fairbrother – CAPE, Maxine Hildebrandt – Mother Earth’s Children’s Charter
Session Presentation

Alberta Stories of Practice, November 2, 2023, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Supporting Effective Governance – Research into Action
Presented by Dr. Dwayne Zarichny – Medicine Hat Catholic Schools
Session Presentation

Navigating the Investigation Landscape: Proven Strategies for Educational Settings
Presented by Krimsen Sumners, Paul McLeod – St. Albert Public Schools, Ken Bander Clarium Fraud and Compliance Solutions Ltd.
Session Presentation

A Focus on Academic Excellence through High School Collaboration, Synergy, and Structure
Presented by Karyn Barber, Mike Garrow, Chris Adamson, Jana Kemmere, Michelle Baragar – Chinook’s Edge School Division
Session Presentation

Promoting Inclusion and Anti-Racism in a Diverse Environment
Presented by Sean Beaton, Michelle Veroba, Joseph Octavious, Dr. Rahat Zaidi – Grasslands Public Schools
Session Presentation

Implementing a System Approach to Instruction K-12
Presented by Corey Sadlemyer, Carla Carrier – Medicine Hat Public Schools
Session Presentation

Building to Being: Effective Relationships with Indigenous Communities
Presented by Richard Feller – Livingstone Range School Division, Tim De Ruyck – Wolf Creek Public Schools
Session Presentation

Alberta Stories of Practice, November 3, 2023, 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Governance – Continuing the Conversation
Presented by Michael Borgfjord – Pembina Hills School Division, Mike Wake – Wetaskiwin Public Schools
Session Presentation

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Performance Management
Presented by Colin Fetter – Brownlee Law
Session Presentation

Implementing Change through Collective Leadership
Presented by Ryan Sawula, Kathleen Finnigan – Red Deer Catholic Schools
Session Presentation

Racial Equity Project – Bishop Kidd School Calgary Catholic School District
Presented by Carrie Lodermeier, Holly Schile, Dr. Kirk Linton, Leanne Timko, Mark Engelhardt – Calgary Catholic School District
Session Presentation 

Reinventing Report Cards: Two Districts’ Path to Student-Centric Assessment
Presented by Tammy Davis – Northern Gateway Public Schools, Jackie Kark – Palliser School District, Michele Jones – Alberta Assessment Consortium
Session Presentation


November 1 – 3, 2023
Wednesday – Friday


Deerfoot Inn and Conference Centre,

1500 35 St SE #1000, Calgary, AB
Treaty 7 Territory


$550 Member Rate
$695 Member Rate
(with pre-conference)

$650 Non-member Rate


Please email for registration information.

Deerfoot Inn Conference Rates

Group Code 891584
Hotel Direct: 403-236-7529
Toll Free: 1-888-875-4667
Online: (enter dates on first page, will redirect to next page, click “add code”, click “group attendee”, enter group code 891584, click “complete reservation” and proceed with personal information) or ask for College of Alberta School Superintendents.

Alternate Hotels

Costs vary for these hotels.



Mental Health in Schools

Wednesday, November 1, 2023
10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


The education system plays an important role in contributing to enhanced positive mental health in children and youth. Promoting and supporting positive mental health and welcoming, caring, respectful, and safe learning environments is vital to ensuring children and youth are resilient, better able to learn, achieve success and build healthy relationships. This is the shared responsibility of parents, educators, community and government. Alberta Education website:

Currently, there are 80 school mental health pilots occurring in the province. This preconference is intended to gather system education leaders to learn from various school authorities to:

  • explore the research specific to system education leaders in creating the conditions to support mental health and,
  • school authority stories of practice related to provincial areas of focus and themes; building capacity, measuring impact, visionary leadership and student or parent voice.

There will be an opportunity to have conversations with colleagues as you learn about their pilot projects.

Mike McMann, Superintendent Fort Vermillion and CASS Board Director for Zone 1, will host the pre conference alongside CASS president Dr. Andrea Holowka, Superintendent of Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools who will also share learnings from her recent studies.

Dr. Andrea Holowka recently completed her Doctor of Education at Western University. Her dissertation, Transforming School-Based Mental Health to Heal the Collective Soul Wound, focuses on the application of transformative system leadership to impact student well-being through system-wide mental health interventions. Change implementation processes that shift the mindsets of those performing and supporting interventions are provoked by the use of student voice and other data to indicate gaps in efficacy and equity of practice compared to the vision toward improved student well-being.

The program will be updated as school authorities are confirmed.

Facilitated by:

Dr. Andrea Holowka is the Superintendent of Schools with Christ the Redeemer (CTR) Catholic Schools. Starting her teaching career at Calgary Catholic 28 years ago, Andrea brings leadership experience from her roles as a teacher, principal, system leader, and superintendent. Prior to becoming the Superintendent for CTR, Andrea has served as a superintendent for the last nine years in large metro school jurisdictions. Andrea is active in leadership and cross-sector collaborations throughout Alberta in areas focused on student learning and well-being. Andrea has a Doctorate of Education, with a dissertation on mental health intervention services across large school authorities. She is currently serving as our CASS president for the 2023-2024 school year.

Michael McMann has over 25 years in the Alberta education system and grew up in rural Alberta. He has a passion for research and moving the dial on every kid in their learning.  Mike is a Dare to Lead facilitator and has valued spending time with Brené Brown. Mike believes training with Brené Brown and the Dare to Lead learning has had the single biggest impact on him personally and professionally. The district has seen a major decline in requirement for student discipline and a more connected staff through this training.



7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 1, 2023 - Conference Opening, Acknowledgement of the Land and Elder Blessing

ROLE ALIKE SESSIONS - Wednesday, November 1, 2023 (7:15 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.)

Facilitator(s): Dr. Andrea Holowka

Superintendents will gather to discuss emerging opportunities.

Facilitator(s): Corrine Thorsteinson, Red Deer Public Schools

Names, Networking and New Members

Has your start-up thrown you some curveballs? Been business as usual? Provided opportunities to dig deeper into an HR area?

Come join us for an opportunity to network with your new and seasoned HR provincial colleagues. The session will provide opportunities to network around participant-generated topics on our collective radar this year, culminating with an opportunity to develop a group of HR provincial contacts to support your ongoing work in topics on the horizon for you in 2023/24.

Corrine Thorsteinson is the Associate Superintendent-People Services with Red Deer Public Schools. She feels fortunate to work in Human Resources Leadership, for over nine years,  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.

Facilitator(s): Lori Pritchard and CBE Education Directors


This combined Role-Alike Session will gather using a Commūn-I-Tea protocol to foster collaboration and collective action. Commūn-I-Tea is a grassroots approach focused on creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe spaces that honour diverse leadership priorities, while holding space for all system leaders to contribute to “establishing and supporting the conditions under which the learning aspirations and the potential of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students will be realized” (SLQS, LQS, TQS). All are welcome.

Three essential components are at the heart of Commūn-I-Tea: to “commune” (a group coming together to converse about meaningful topics); putting the “I” in community (honouring the role that each individual plays in creating a healthy community); and, “Tea”—hosting the gathering with refreshments (tea and bannock) in keeping with the custom of offering sustenance to guests as acts of hospitality, generosity, and reciprocity. We will begin our gathering in a good way with a smudge, tea, and some fresh bannock and jam.

Lori Pritchard is a Métis educator and leader with ancestral roots across the Métis Nation Homeland including the Red River Settlement in Manitoba, and the Batoche/Fish Creek & Battleford areas in Saskatchewan. She is currently the Education Director for Indigenous Education with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and works alongside her Education Director colleagues and other Sr. leaders to realize the CBE’s commitments to Indigenous student achievement and well-being, and Indigenous Education for all students, staff and families. As a classroom teacher, school principal, and system leader, Lori has been a leader of Indigenous Education for more than twenty-five years. She is an active member of Calgary’s urban Indigenous community, serving as a Board member, sitting on numerous committees, and volunteering at events throughout the Treaty 7 area.

CBE Education Directors will also be involved facilitating conversation during this role alike.

Facilitator(s): Kathleen Kostuik and Leanne Timko, Calgary Catholic School District

Challenges of Inclusion from the Field

Join  us for networking and meaningful conversations about supporting diverse learning and inclusive practice with your provincial colleagues.   We welcome and encourage attendees to bring forward challenges/scenarios from their own districts and practice for discussion.

Calgary Catholic will be introducing conversation through the sharing of several scenarios we are currently navigating:

  • Both Ends of the Continuum: Parental Resistance to Greater Inclusion vs. Requests for Greater Inclusion.
  • “Activities of Daily Living”: Increased expectations on staff to provide “medical supports” for students, formerly managed by health services.

Kathleen Kostuik is currently serving Calgary Catholic in the role of Superintendent, Learning Services and Area Schools.  She oversees approximately 49 schools on Calgary’s west side, and Diverse Learning Supports for the district.  An educator for 31 years, Kathleen has previously served as a classroom teacher, school administrator, Supervisor, and Area Director.

Leanne Timko is Director of Learning Services and supports the Diverse Learning teams. These teams include Special Needs, Behavior, Mental Health and Wellness, Psychology, Therapies and Counselling. She has served the Calgary Catholic District for 29 years as a Director, Supervisor of Learning Services (Behavior, Mental Health, Counselling) Principal and Teacher. Leanne is the lead of the CSSD’s Wellness Framework implementation throughout the District with the goal of supporting student and staff positive mental health and helping teachers create learning environments where students are “safe enough to learn and brave enough to try.”

8:30 a.m. Thursday, November 2, 2023 - Welcome, Acknowledgement of the Land and Gold Sponsor Acknowledgement


Thursday, November 2, 2023 (10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)

Facilitator(s): Ray Hoppins, Brett Cox


This is a discussion-based session for system leaders in the area of human resources, personnel, staffing, people services and staff wellness. We will engage in scenarios and dilemmas on 31 human resource topics that system leaders face each and every day. Together, we will not only identify issues and challenges, but actual solutions that help us manage our most important resource, our people.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion and leave with a wide variety of processes, resources, research, literature links, key understandings, tips and tricks in the area of human resources at the division level. Key learning will be captured and shared through the CASS Pro-spective as part of the session.

Ray Hoppins has spent 32 years as a teacher, vice-principal, principal, and central office leader in Vegreville, Innisfail, Sundre, and Olds. Ray has a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Calgary and is currently the Associate Superintendent of People Services with Chinook’s Edge School Division. He has facilitated CASS professional development sessions for new and experienced leaders for the past fifteen years. His teaching and leadership experiences transcend all grade levels from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Ray, a devoted Flames fan, is active in his community and enjoys playing and coaching a variety of sports. He was raised on a family farm in Central Alberta and currently resides in Olds with his wife Sandi. They have four grown children who regularly reach out for help with laundry, finances, and auto repair.

Brett Cox began teaching in 1992 before taking a nine-year hiatus to coach Jr. hockey full-time. This experience took him and his wife Cindy to Spokane, Bonnyville, Fort Saskatchewan, and Olds…where he first met his co-facilitator! It was an interesting journey that provided many perspectives with the multitude of school divisions he interacted with. Brett has a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Alberta and is currently an Assistant Superintendent of Human Resource Services (Technology Services and Transportation) with Elk Island Catholic School Division. In the past, he has mentored HR leaders new to CASS and looks forward to facilitating CASS professional development sessions. Brett’s teaching has included Kindergarten to grade 12. Brett, a passionate Oilers fan, enjoys counting to 5 using the following ‘new math’ technique… 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990! Brett stays active coaching youth hockey in the community of Fort Saskatchewan, as well watching his grade 12 aged son play all school sports, encouraging his middle son to dwindle the RESP account, and the oldest son purchasing stocks in Tupperware for the Sunday meals he still enjoys.

Facilitator(s): Joanne Pitman, David Dyck, Danielle Boutette, Kate Love, Chris Fenlon-MacDonald

Simply stated, well-being is a precondition for learning – for students to excel, they need to be well.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the why, what and how in creating a student well-being framework (Health and Wellness in School).  The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) recently released the Student Well-Being Framework to serve as a strategic step in advancing a culture of well-being in CBE – a complex, yet achievable vision and one that takes visionary leadership. Built upon the Canadian Healthy School Standards and a Comprehensive School Health approach, the Student Well-Being Framework is regarded as a critical step to advance a Culture of Well-Being within CBE and is designed to be a strategic support for advancing well-being.

Join leaders within CBE as they share the calculated steps taken to create this Framework, the early impact it is having on the success of students in a large school system and the fundamental leadership actions needed for it to be successful.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to consider common language related to student well-being, review practical tools to assist in planning, and for system leaders to consider the foundational documents and professional learning utilized to ensure student wellbeing across each school.

Joanne Pitman is the Superintendent: School Improvement with the Calgary Board of Education. She has also held senior leadership roles in education systems in both southern and northwestern Alberta. Joanne is focused on creating the conditions for effective systemic approaches that support a culture of learning – ensuring foundations are strong and collective capacity to be responsive and resilient is possible. She is also active within the city focused on supports for mental health and well-being of youth as a member of the City of Calgary Leadership Group for Mental Health and Addiction as well as the Board Chair for Kickstand – an integrated youth service organization.

David Dyck is an Education Director in School Improvement with the Calgary Board of Education. In addition to supporting schools in Area 7, he leads the system portfolio of Well-Being. David values opportunities to work closely with principals and assistant principals both in the Area and system contexts centered on developing effective teams and partnerships to improve both practice and student achievement. The Well-Being portfolio includes providing system leadership to: student well-being; the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) team; and related curriculum areas.

Danielle Boutette is the System Assistant Principal for Well-Being in School Improvement with the Calgary Board of Education. Danielle is passionate about working directly with school-based staff and health promoting partners such as Alberta Health Services and Ever Active Schools to promote inclusive practices, active living and Well-Being in schools.

Kate Love is a Well-Being Specialist within the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). Her career intentions are to support and advance: system coordination, professional learning, curriculum implementation, resource development, collaborative partnerships and teaching and learning to elevate a Culture of Well-Being within the CBE.

Chris Fenlon-MacDonald is a Well-Being Specialist within the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). Chris found his passion for school-health promotion, and the broad impacts comprehensive school health has on student well-being early in his career as a health and physical education teacher, and later in a seconded role with Ever Active Schools.

Facilitator(s): Sharon Cronin, Debbie McKibbin, James Trodden, Todd Robinson


Every school authority is faced with a variety of challenges or problems of practice. This session will provide the opportunity for you to learn how system education leaders have addressed problems of practice such as how to use data to drive improvement in student outcomes, and developing system wide supports to improve components of literacy. The panel of system education leaders will share their journey, highlighting how their partnership with the ARPDC assisted them in addressing their problem of practice.

Canadian Rockies Public Schools (CRPS) is committed to using school division data to inform the development of school based goals and the professional learning required to activate response. CRPS uses data to determine the effectiveness of current professional learning by identifying success and challenges based on data. We will explore how our collaboration and partnership with CRC contributes to the professional knowledge and skills of our teachers, and how we leverage the CRC’s resources and knowledge to enhance our educational practices, ultimately working towards improving teaching and learning outcomes.

Rocky View Schools continues to work with teachers and administrators to use data to inform literacy and numeracy instruction. It became evident that writing data was missing from the equation as our focused data collection was on reading and numeracy. In order to move forward with data-informed practice, we knew that the development of an outcomes-based writing continuum and grade-level rubrics would allow us to set the stage around instructional practices for writing instruction. Learning specialists, administrators and teachers came together with CRC designers of professional learning to discuss, research, create, develop, and implement a tool to support our writing journey.

As a small rural school division, Buffalo Trail Public Schools had the need to access consultants to support our work on teaching and learning. This need led us to form a great partnership with the Learning Network. Seeing the release of the new curriculum in a different light allowed us to reframe the opportunity to focus on how we can go deeper into our work on literacy and numeracy in support of a new curriculum. The Learning Network had an outstanding consultant to support us with literacy. With a focus on aligning the experiences of school leaders, teachers, learning coaches and innovation coaches we were able to make gains in how we supported the experience of new curriculum implementation from a focus on teaching and learning.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to learn from and with system education leaders on common problems of practice while developing an awareness of the various ways the ARPDC can support school authorities in addressing these common challenges.

Sharon Cronin has worked with Rocky View Schools since 1991 as a teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal. Two years ago she stepped into the role of Director of Instructional Leadership where she works with a team of learning specialists to support teachers and administrators with K-12 curriculum, numeracy, literacy, assessment, French Immersion and English as an Additional language. Instructional design and leadership are woven throughout to support teaching and learning.

Debbie McKibbin has enjoyed 30 years of learning in the role of teacher, including French Immersion, principal and Director, and now as Deputy Superintendent for Canadian Rockies School Division. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Calgary, Bachelors of Science and Education from the University of Manitoba, and graduate certificates in Labour Relations and Human Resources.

James Trodden has worked with Buffalo Trail Public Schools for three years supporting teaching and learning. Currently an Assistant Superintendent with Buffalo Trail Public Schools, James has been an educator across rural Alberta for 28 years. He has taught for a number of years including on a First Nation, in Middle School and High School. James has been a school leader in four different schools and worked for Alberta Education in Teaching and Leadership Excellence.

Todd Robinson has enjoyed a 33 year career in education that has provided many amazing opportunities to serve students and staff in a variety of roles. Todd had the honor to serve as the Director of Education (CEO) for Lloydminster Public School Division for seven years. In early 2022, Todd became involved with the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortium (ARPDC) serving as the Director for Learning Network Educational Services (LNES) and in January of 2023 transitioned into his current role as the Executive Director for ARPDC.

Facilitator(s): Leah Odynski, Daram Van Oers, Candace Hodder, Lori Meyer, Danica Martin

This session will provide an overview of the themes and recommendations that emerged from the Classroom Complexity research project, which included a literature review and survey of superintendents. Several school authorities will share how these themes are coming to life in the work they are doing in their school authorities. Daram Van Oers (Deputy Superintendent) and Candace Hodder (Director of Inclusive Services) from Clearview Public Schools will share how they are leveraging collaboration to address classroom complexity. Lori Meyer, Associate Superintendent of Learning with Rocky View Schools, will share the work they are doing to meet the needs of all learners in an inclusive environment. Leah Odynski, Director of Student Support Services with Wild Rose School Division will share how they are building capacity and allocating resources to support classroom complexity in their authority. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with the content throughout the session and connect it to their own context, reflecting on their vision for addressing classroom complexity in their school authority.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to consider your vision and implementation plan for creating an inclusive education system that addresses classroom complexity within your school authority.

Leah Odynski has worked as an educator in various school districts for the past 25 years. She is currently the Director of Student Services for Wild Rose School Division. Prior to that, Leah served as the Student Services Coordinator, the Divisional Assistive Technology Facilitator, Student Support Facilitator. Prior to Wild Rose School Division, Leah was a classroom teacher for over ten years in various communities throughout Alberta, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. She was also the Student Services Coordinator for Sunchild First Nation school from 2006-2009. Leah received both her Masters of Education and Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. Leah is married and lives in Rocky Mountain House with her husband Gerald and their sixteen year old son, Liam who is currently in grade nine at West Central High School. Leah’s husband is also a teacher  and works as the vice principal at Sunchild First Nation School. Leah enjoys downhill skiing, walking her dog Oliver, and camping with her family.

Daram Van Oers: I began teaching as an upper elementary teacher in Alberta’s far north. After teaching in the Northland School Division for three years as a grade 6 teacher, I met and was fortunate to get married to another teacher in a nearby school. Carla and I moved to the Stettler area that same year, and I spent the next 24 years of my career as a teaching principal, first in a small grade 6-9 school and later in a larger K-12 school in our district, Clearview Public Schools. Carla has also been employed as a teacher in our district during these years, and is also largely responsible for raising three wonderful daughters. I had the opportunity to secure a central office position as deputy superintendent in Clearview in the summer of 2020, and I have greatly enjoyed my last 3+ years in this role, although I do miss regularly working and interacting directly with students.

Lori Meyer is the Associate Supt of Learning for Rocky View Schools a position she has held since Feb 2021. She joined RVS after a dozen years in a similar role in SK after having the privilege of being a classroom teacher, school administrator and registered psychologist. Lori has a keen interest supporting students learning through a lens of inclusive education.

Danica Martin, education consultant, recently left her role as Assistant Superintendent of Education Services with Wolf Creek and has since been doing some consulting work with CASS, including completing the Classroom Complexity research study.

Facilitator(s): Terri Lynn Guimond

This session will explore stories of practice from current system leaders, delve into wicked problems facing our educational contexts, and collaborate on solutions for building confidence and competence in instructional leadership. Together we will develop strategies for applying these practices within your own context.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to connect with other educational leaders and share insights and experiences that will assist in building instructional leadership capacity within your current context.

Terri Lynn Guimond is an educator and leader with over 25 years of experience in K-12 education. Currently Terri Lynn serves as the Associate Superintendent for Evergreen Catholic Schools. She understands the importance of instructional leadership and is dedicated to providing teachers and administrators with the tools and resources they need to be successful in their roles. Grateful for all opportunities to learn alongside and collaborate with colleagues from around the province.

Facilitator(s): Teresa Di Ninno, Sara Fairbrother, Maxine Hildebrandt


In the charter school environment, as in all other systems, one of the roles of the system leader is to identify a need, engage in investigations to identify systemic practices and processes that are hindering effective leadership and ultimately meaningful learning, and devise strategies and approaches for leading the educational community in the desired direction.

Systemic practices and processes at CAPE Public Charter School hindered the staff’s acquisition of knowledge and deep understanding of indigenous history, culture and ways of learning and thus hinders the building of intercultural knowledge, understanding and relationships. The system leader’s focus has been over the past three years on developing a structure through which school leaders could build understanding, build bridges, and support the inclusion of indigenous culture, history, and perspectives into the daily life of the school community.  Ultimately, the goal is to seamlessly integrate the indigenous cultural perspectives into all aspects of the teaching and learning. This work began with the system leader, expanded to school leaders, and later moved to include classroom teachers. Even though this work focuses on the indigenous perspective and supports indigenous children and youth, the ultimate goal is to build a knowledgeable, informed, globally inclusive system in which every child can thrive and be valued.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of how CAPE Public Charter School and Mother Earth’s Children’s Charter School have and are actively working together to build capacity among school leaders, so that you in turn may:

  • facilitate the gaining of knowledge and understanding of, and respect for, the histories, cultures, languages, contributions, perspectives, experiences and contemporary contexts of indigenous people;
  • pursue opportunities and engage in practices to facilitate reconciliation within the school community;
  • support the inclusion of indigenous histories, cultures, languages, contributions, perspectives, and experiences into the fabric of both learning communities;
  • discover how cultural exchange partnerships afford teaching staff and students the opportunities to showcase strengths and gifts, while building positive relationships with peers across the province.

Teresa Di Ninno is a graduate of McGill University and the University of Toronto.  Teresa has been teaching since 1980 in rural setting focusing on junior high mathematics, science and health.  She is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award and has published several articles in the CASS and CASSA magazines. She is the founder, past principal and the current superintendent of CAPE public charter school in Medicine Hat, Alberta, one of the first four charter school in the province.

Sara Fairbrother, B.Ed., is an alumnus of Mount Royal University and was born and raised in southern Alberta. She spent several years living in various countries abroad prior to entering the teaching profession which ignited her passion for cultural studies and understanding. Sara is entering her fifth year teaching at CAPE Public Charter School.

Maxine Hildebrandt B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. is an Indigenous educator and an enrolled member of the Pelican Lake First Nation. She currently teaches a combined class of learners in Gr. 4 /5 /6 at Mother Earth’s Children’s Charter School. In 2018, Maxine was awarded the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching for her work based on cultural exchange partnerships. Maxine is an avid believer in the power of Cultural Exchange partnerships as a way to promote positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners and continues to carry this work forward as she partners with schools throughout Alberta.


Thursday, November 2, 2023 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)

Facilitator(s): Dr. Dwayne Zarichny

PLEASE NOTE: Only regulated members may participate at this session.

The contextual landscape for superintendents in Alberta is changing. With the implementation of the superintendent leadership quality standard, superintendents are now expected to demonstrate several competencies as part of their role. One major competency is supporting effective governance practices of the board they serve. As a result, there needs to be a focus on building superintendent and trustee efficacy in moving towards more effective governance practices. The intended outcome of developing effective governance practices is improved student success. This will require collaboration between the superintendent, senior administration, and the board of trustees in order for organizational change to occur and be sustained. This process will require that trust be fostered and maintained throughout. Cultural and political factors must be taken into consideration, as well as respecting the history of the board and the jurisdiction. This will help maintain trust by the board that this change is designed to help them improve, as this process will challenge trustees to engage in significant changes to how they operate as a board and how they work with each other and the superintendent. This process will take time but implementing a new approach to governance will provide benefits to students and staff for many years to come.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to learn about current research and dialogue with colleagues about governance practices.

Dr. Dwayne Zarichny is currently the Superintendent/CEO of the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education in Medicine Hat Alberta.  He has served in various senior administrative roles for the last 23 years. Dwayne obtained his Doctoral Degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2021.  His dissertation focused on building superintendent and trustee efficacy in moving towards more effective governance practices. The purpose of this work was to introduce a new approach to governing which would result in effective governance practices. He has presented at numerous conferences to new and experienced superintendents. He has also shared his experience with developing effective governance practices with school boards in Alberta. Dwayne lives in Medicine Hat with his wife Angelica and has been blessed with two sons, Joshua and Matthew.

Facilitator(s): Krimsen Sumners, Paul McLeod, Ken Brander

Enhancing the capacity of educational leaders within the system to effectively engage in essential investigative processes is a crucial undertaking. Effective communication, facilitation, problem-solving, and the establishment of processes for improving collaborative relationships and managing conflicts within the school community are all pivotal aspects of the Leadership Quality Standard’s (LQS) Building Effective Relationships competency. These competencies underscore the significant role system education leaders play in devising strategies and approaches for leading an educational community. As part of our commitment to the professional development of educational leaders, we accessed external expertise to offer sessions on the fundamentals of investigations, which has become a vital component of the responsibilities borne by educational leaders.

Ken Brander, partner with Clarium Fraud and Compliance Solutions Ltd, has collaborated with us to provide this valuable learning opportunity to our school based teams. During this session, Ken will not only share practical coaching and insights but will also contribute to building the professional capacities necessary for the successful conduct of workplace investigations, with a specific emphasis on conducting subject interviews.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of how St. Albert Public Schools (and other divisions across the province) are actively working to build capacity for creating safe and caring work environments. Explore recognized best practices in the context of investigating allegations involving teacher misconduct, ensuring that you are well-equipped to handle such sensitive situations effectively.

This session is designed to empower system education leaders with the knowledge, skills, and strategies required to foster safe, supportive, and respectful learning environments within the educational community.

Krimsen Sumners was appointed as St. Albert Public School’s Superintendent of Schools on August 1, 2018.  She has an exceptional record of school and division leadership throughout her 27 years as an educator in Alberta, during which she has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and division office administrator. With a solid background of research and practice in educational leadership, she holds a Bachelor of Education degree with a major in special education and a Master’s of Education degree with a specialization in curriculum and leadership.

Paul  McLeod has been Associate Superintendent of Human Resources with St. Albert Public Schools since 2018. Prior to that he worked with Alberta Education, where he served as the Registrar and the Executive Director of the Teaching and Leadership Excellence Sector.  In this role, he gained valuable experience in teacher certification, collective bargaining, contract management and recruitment. Before joining  Alberta Education, Paul held several positions with the Government of Alberta, and also served as a principal and assistant principal with other Alberta school divisions.

As the founder and principal consultant for Clarium Fraud and Compliance Solutions Ltd. Ken Brander  has leveraged his successful 25-year career as a criminal investigator with the Edmonton Police Service to create a world-class company unique amongst its peers. A retired detective with operational experience investigating sexual assault, human trafficking, vice-related crime, fraud, money laundering, and organized crime, Ken is recognized internationally as a subject matter expert in his field. Clarium Fraud and Compliance Solutions Ltd. is an Edmonton based consulting firm offering specialized services to government and non-government organizations, in Canada and abroad. The company’s principal services include professional corporate investigations of occupational fraud and abuse, regulatory investigations, workplace misconduct, capacity building (criminal investigations, anti-corruption programming, exhibit management, gap analysis, policy, and procedure), anti-money laundering compliance, litigation support, confidential disclosure (whistleblower) programming, and training.

Facilitator(s): Karyn Barber, Mike Garrow, Chris Adamson, Jana Kemmere, Michelle Baragar, Helen Hammel

Interested in improving diploma achievement and creating a culture of wellness and collaboration?  Whether urban or rural, a challenge exists to systemically support high school teachers as they prepare students for diploma exams, graduation and beyond. By creating a culture of sharing, and learning, high school teachers have come together to support one another in effective instructional delivery, assessment, and course content creation. As a result, teachers are able to spend time on their wellness rather than recreating resources, and focus on their students rather than materials. Whether a new teacher to the profession, or a master in a specialty subject, teachers are stronger when they are able to reflect, communicate, collaborate, and move forward together.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to see the power of collaboration at the high school level.

Karyn Barber has served Chinook’s Edge School Division for nine years in the role of Associate Superintendent, System Services. With a focus on planning and reporting, she has a passion around academic excellence and believes strongly in the power of bringing professionals together in support of all students.

Mike Garrow is in his first year as Division Principal with Chinook’s Edge following seven years as Principal at H.J. Cody High School in Sylvan Lake. Mike is a committed educator, with a gift for building culture and focus around instructional leadership.

Chris Adamson is currently serving as Principal of Innisfail High School. He has a strong background in the Collaborative Response process, and enjoys bringing staff members together with a focus on student success.

Jana Kemmere teaches English at Ecole Olds High School. She is a lead teacher in our high school collaboration, working with a team of approximately 35 English teachers across the division. She is passionate about building connection and a culture where teachers can share best practices, learn from one another, and find some time for laughter!

Michelle Baragar is the Educational Technology Coordinator for Chinook’s Edge. She is currently completing her doctorate and has found great energy in being a part of this project. Michelle’s technological skill and expertise has created a structure for teachers to share resources and materials across the division.

Helen Hammel is a mathematics teacher at Ecole Olds High School, and is a lead teacher for the mathematics cohort.  With twenty years of teaching experience, Helen has worked in a variety of schools and has first hand experience in the challenges of being a department to oneself!
Facilitator(s): Sean Beaton, Michelle Veroba, Joseph Octavious, Dr. Rahat Zaidi

In this presentation, we will share research findings and advocacy tools from a joint University of Calgary and Grasslands Public Schools research study, “Lessons from COVID-19: Empowering Vulnerable Newcomer Youth.”  We will explore how the findings from the research can shape educational practices, fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment for all students, thereby helping to establish positive school and community relationships, while at the same time helping to create a shared vision for student success.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to explore how, as leaders in education in Alberta, we can empower youth and teachers to create thriving, inclusive, and diverse learning communities.

Sean Beaton is the Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services with Grasslands Public Schools. Prior to his current role, spent over twenty years as a school-based administrator, division coordinator, and teacher in Brooks and Calgary, Alberta.

Michelle Veroba is an experienced educator with almost twenty years of experience as a teacher and Vice-Principal. Currently, Michelle is the English as an Additional Language Lead Teacher and Learning Support Teacher at Brooks Composite High School in Brooks, Alberta.

Joseph Octavious is currently a Cultural Liaison Worker with Grasslands Public Schools. Joseph holds a Masters Degree in International Relations and Conflict Resolution and has a passion for anti-racism education and policy development. In 2022, Joseph received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for his work supporting newcomers in the Brooks region.

Dr. Rahat Zaidi is a Department Head and Research Professor with the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Currently, Dr. Zaidi is the Department Head of Language and Literacy in the Werklund School of Education. Her research and teaching is focused on inclusive educational strategies targeting underrepresented and racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students and families.

Facilitator(s): Corey Sadlemyer, Carla Carrier

The Medicine Hat Public School Division team will share the approach we used to facilitate the implementation of Teacher Clarity within the context of both new and existing curriculum along with the structures we designed to support school based administrators in leading learning at their site.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to interact with our team to consider implementation strategies for your own system. The session will allow for interaction/collaboration in table groups with other systems as well.

Corey Sadlemyer is the current Associate Superintendent of Learning for MHPSD.

Carla Carrier is the current Director of Learning & Partnerships for MHPSD. Building on the work the system initiated by exploring optimal learning environments, our team has been able to work closely with instructional coaches, school based admin and teachers to successfully implement best practices K-12.

Facilitator(s): Richard Feller, Tim De Ruyck


Whereas principals and school jurisdiction leaders play a fundamental role in establishing and supporting the conditions under which the learning aspirations and the potential of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students will be realized.” Alberta Education Professional Practice Standards posted at CASS Alberta  Join system education leaders, and your colleagues, in dialogue about how we support building effective relationships, that lead to a culture of being. (Implementing a Continuum of Supports and Services – Visionary Leadership in Action  CASS Learning Guide) From building to being, Livingstone Range and Wolf Creek will share their journey and practice in how they have connected with Indigenous communities to nurture relationships that support optimum learning for all students.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Listen to and share your story of success, about “building” effective relationships with Indigenous peoples in your community and the impact this has had or will have on/for students
  • Listen to and share your story about how you are creating a culture of “being”,   as a system education leader, that nurtures respectful relationships with Indigenous communities

Tim De Ruyck is the Superintendent of Wolf Creek Public Schools.  Tim has been a Superintendent for 10 years, and previously served as an Assistant Superintendent for 10 years.  Over his career thus far Tim continues to have a passion for public education in rural settings, as well as strengthening achievement and pathways for all students. Tim’s current and former work has been heavily involved in working to see the success of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students, and the building of cooperation and understanding with Indigenous communities.

Richard Feller holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Bachelor of Education degree both from the University of Lethbridge, and a Master’s degree (Educational Leadership) from the University of Calgary. Richard has 20 years of professional experience as a teacher, FACES instructor, assistant principal, and principal. He has worked as Director of Learning (Support Services) with LRSD since 2017.

As Associate Superintendent of Human & Learning Services, Richard provides leadership in the following areas:

  • Early Learning
  • Learning Support Services
  • FNMI Success
  • Counseling Services

Annual General Meeting for CASS Regulated Members

Thursday, November 2, 2023 (3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Mentorship Mix and Mingle (For 2023-2024 Mentors and Mentees)

Thursday, November 2, 2023 (5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)

Mentorship within the CASS context, is an intentional practice, that supports emerging leaders in their professional learning and development. Effective mentorship helps school authorities achieve significant and important goals and targets. The meeting of mentors and mentees at the Fall Conference supports the current mentorship program. Participants will receive the latest information, based on the CASS Mentorship Program  Literature Review and program resources. CASS Mentorship Program Literature Review

This session will be facilitated by CASS Leadership Consultant Dr. Edgar Schmidt.

8:30 a.m. Friday, November 3, 2023 - Welcome, Acknowledgement of the Land, Remarks from Minister of Education Honourable Demetrios Nicolaides


Friday, November 3, 2023 (10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)

Facilitator(s): Michael Borgfjord, Mike Wake

PLEASE NOTE: Only Superintendents and Deputy Superintendents may participate at this session.

Supporting Effective Governance –  Continuing the Conversation sessions last year ( see CASS Prospective Governance Project) resulted in chief superintendents support for the opportunity to dialogue with colleagues, as well as a compilation of practice on CASS Prospective.  Requests to continue the conversation, following the summer session emerged.

Accountability is about trust and ownership in the work and the upcoming session will focus on stories of practice and encourage participants to reflect and share their own processes to support and develop effective boards.  Participants will learn from each other as they navigate the delicate work of building a strong senior management/board team and developing a common vision for the future.  Governance is a contextual experience that requires strong leadership and the development of shared beliefs and understandings.

Join superintendents Borgfjord and Wake who will facilitate conversations specific to questions of practice such as:

  • Speaking with one voice is an essential element of effective governance, What are factors that need to be considered to develop a learning plan that supports the Board in this manner?
  • Effective Governance and creating the conditions for the value of school trustees is an integral component of strong learning organizations. What structures are most effective for providing assistance to a Board to prepare to tackle” divisive” community issues.

As a result of participating in this session you will have the opportunity to explore components of these “Supporting Effective Governance” competency indicators:

  • building the capacity of the board and staff to predict, communicate and respond to emergent circumstances, including emergency readiness and crisis management, and to political, social, economic, legal and cultural contexts and trends;
  • supporting the board in its engagement with the school community to develop a vision of a preferred future for student success; and
  • facilitating ongoing public communication about the board’s operations and the achievement of its goals and priorities

Michael Borgfjord is the superintendent of Pembina Hills School Division School Division. He has served in both rural and urban school divisions for the past sixteen years focusing on the development of innovative and transformational practices in education. The majority of Michael’s career has been in Manitoba where he was very active in provincial education serving as President of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents in 2016 and has held numerous positions on the Provincial Executive. He has written numerous articles on literacy, community engagement and system improvement and is passionate in developing the appropriate levers for change and improvement working with numerous trustees to develop a culture of learning.

Mike Wake is Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of the Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools.  He is responsible and accountable to the Board of Trustees for the total operation of the division. 

Facilitator(s): Colin Fetter

At the 2022 fall conference, we covered key tips and proactive strategies for successfully managing the entire employee life cycle from recruitment to conclusion of employment. This 2022 session covered the key points on almost all key employment issues but, given the broad scope, did not and did not intend to delve deeply into all of the important detailed aspects of each phase. ( 2022 Presentation slide deck )

For 2023, we will be rolling up our sleeves and focusing in on the Performance Management Phase of the employment relationship. A few highlights include:

  1. Overall primary HR focus on supportive monitoring, feedback, and coaching;
  2. When to shift to formal evaluation and or discipline measures and how that varies between teaching and non-teaching staff, and union and non-union; and
  3. Key tools for all Central Office HR administration to be aware of and how to most effectively determine which tool at which time is the best approach.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to improve your awareness of key HR Performance Management tools and how and when to use them; with the end goal always being to spend less time and money on your few poor employees, so that you have more time and money to support the majority of your valued staff.

Colin Fetter regularly advises and represents a wide variety of employers in all industries, ranging from large national companies through to small business and charitable community organizations. In particular, Colin has extensive experience and specialization in the representation of School Division and Municipal clients, and in these areas, his practice and experience also extends to a wide array of issues affecting these unique institutional clients such as governance, risk management, and other issues arising from legislation such as the Education Act and Municipal Government Act. Colin Fetter was drawn to the legal profession by his love of advocacy. Now as a Partner at Brownlee, and the Leader of the firm’s Employment and Labour Practice Group, Colin relishes and takes pride in tackling employers’ often complex and highly inflammatory employee problems, often providing solutions and practical advice during the first phone call. While Colin’s practical focus is on assisting clients with proactive employee management, he is also a fierce litigation advocate when needed.

Facilitator(s): Dr. Kathleen Finnigan, Ryan Sawula


This session aims to offer an overview of the prevailing themes and recommendations resulting from the application of the new curriculum, employing a collective leadership approach to support school leadership teams as they facilitate the integration of critical initiatives. Dr. Kathleen Finnigan, Superintendent, and  Ryan Sawula, the Associate Superintendent of Curriculum, from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, will present their efforts in supporting school leaders as they collectively develop implementation plans within their institutions. They will also share data illustrating the success achieved through these endeavors specifically examining how low socioeconomic schools are achieving high-performing results. Additionally, the session will delve into current research in areas such as collective leadership, leader and teacher efficacy, and the change implementation. Rather than solely focusing on strategies, the session will emphasize the outcomes and impact of these initiatives. Participants will be encouraged to actively engage with the content throughout the session and relate it to their own circumstances, encouraging them to contemplate their vision for guiding change implementation within their division.

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to better understand collective leadership as a means to empower leaders and teachers to lead learning in their schools.

For the past 37 years, Dr. Kathleen Finnigan has been in the vocation of Catholic education in a variety of roles including teacher, school counsellor, vice principal, principal, Associate Superintendent and now Superintendent in Red Deer Catholic Regional Division.  Kathleen thrives on change and work in team to vision, plan and implement change which positively influences teaching and learning.  Kathleen  received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and continued with a Master of Arts in Education from San Diego State University. After this, she completed a Doctor of Education from the University of Calgary. Her doctoral dissertation focused on principals’ enactment of high-leverage leadership practices that positively influence teachers’ instructional practice in Alberta. Based on Kathleen’s research, and working in collaboration with school leaders, Red Deer Catholic embarked on a journey to unpackage the massive concept of instructional leadership. The Four Pillars of Instructional Leadership were created to support the implementation of instructional leadership within schools which aligns with the Alberta Education Leadership Quality Standard.

Ryan Sawula has served in many different roles in his 24 years with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools including, Teacher, Vice-Principal, principal and currently he is the Associate Superintendent of Curriculum, serving over 10,000 students in 21 schools in Red Deer, Olds, Innisfail, Sylvan Lake, and Rocky Mountain House. Ryan thrives on change and working in team to vision, plan and implement change which positively influences teaching and learning. Ryan’s approach to leadership is rooted in a collective approach focused on engagement and empowerment of stakeholders.

Facilitator(s): Carrie Lodermeier, Holly Schile, Dr. Kirk Linton, Leanne Timko,Mark Engelhardt


This session will explore how system education leaders collaborated with school administration to support and transform one of the most diverse schools in the Calgary Catholic School District – Bishop Kidd Junior High. Calgary Catholic School District will share their story, and foundational Wellness Framework work rooted in Racial Justice, to create a targeted, intentional approach to school improvement. Participants in this session will hear about and discuss practical strategies employed by the district and school. The CCSD district team includes Carrie Lodermeier (Area Director), Holly Schile-Neilson (Director, Arts & Culture), Leanne Timko (Director, Teaching & Learning), Dr. Kirk Linton (Supervisor, Teaching & Learning), and Mark Engelhardt (Principal, Bishop Kidd School).

As a result of participating in this session, you will have the opportunity to learn about the multi-layered work and approach of the Bishop Kidd Equity Project that reflects CCSD’s Board Priorities and share and collaborate about work other districts are accomplishing in the areas of school improvement, wellness and racial justice.

Carrie Lodermeier is an Area Director for Calgary Catholic School District, serving NE schools for 5 years. During her 27 years with Calgary Catholic, Carrie has been a teacher and a school-based administrator for 17 years, with 8 of those years serving as principal of three varied schools before becoming an Area Director. She oversees 24 schools of all levels, working closely with leadership teams to ensure all operations of the schools, and quality education, are primary. In addition to her work with schools, her portfolio includes leading Joint Principal’s Council for over 120 K-12 principals’ collaboration and professional growth, the School Nutrition program, the Integrated School Support Program (ISSP), and co-leading the CCSD Leadership Academy. Carrie leads with a passion for serving marginalized students and families at the heart of the work she accomplishes.

Holly Schile is the Director of Arts & Culture in the Calgary Catholic School District located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is a passionate advocate for racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in education. Holly is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and culturally responsive environment. With a background in the fine and performing arts, Holly understands the transformative power of artistic expression and incorporates that into shaping the climate and culture of the district. Committed to promoting dialogue, a culturally responsive environment and empowering students and employees to speak their truth, Holly’s hope is that every individual feels seen, valued and heard and a more equitable future can be created for all.

Dr. Kirk Linton is a Supervisor of Learning Services for the Calgary Catholic School District where he supervises Educational Technology, Instructional Media, Physical Education, Athletics, and Wellness, and core curricular subject areas from grades 7 to 12. Previously, he supervised diverse learning supports for area schools for two years and was a school-based administrator for ten. He has been recognized provincially and nationally for leadership. He graduated with his EdD in the Learning Sciences from the University of Calgary in 2019 and received an Award of Recognition for his research from the Canadian Association of Teacher Education. He has published articles and presented nationally and internationally and is a course developer and sessional instructor at the University of Calgary and St. Mary’s University.

Leanne Timko is Director of Learning Services and supports the Diverse Learning teams. These teams include Special Needs, Behavior, Mental Health and Wellness, Psychology, Therapies and Counselling. She has served the Calgary Catholic District for 29 years as a Director, Supervisor of Learning Services (Behavior, Mental Health, Counselling) Principal and Teacher. Leanne is the lead of the CSSD’s Wellness Framework implementation throughout the District with the goal of supporting student and staff positive mental health and helping teachers create learning environments where students are “safe enough to learn and brave enough to try.”

Mark Engelhardt is currently the principal of Bishop Kidd School, a discreet junior high with a population of 350 very diverse students in the heart of Forest Lawn SE area of Calgary. Mark’s exemplary work as a master teacher and administrator in Calgary Catholic, married with his passion for marginalized students and equity, is very evident from the data gleaned from the culture & climate and academic shifts that he has lead, along with Learning Services, for the last 3 years at Bishop Kidd.

Facilitator(s): Tammy Davis, Jackie Kark, Michele Jones

Two school districts will share their distinct paths toward transforming grading, reporting and communicating student achievement results. The first district is amidst a challenging transition, moving their elementary schools towards adopting outcome-based report cards. Discover the strategies and obstacles they’ve encountered as they steer towards a more holistic approach to evaluating student progress. Learn how they strongly encourage their high schools to implement outcome-based grade books, even while retaining traditional report cards, and explore the benefits and complexities of this dual approach.
The second district’s narrative includes the design of a new report card format that emerged in response to the release of a new K-6 curriculum. With a small, dedicated task force, they initiated the project with a straightforward process that produced an impressive outcome on schedule. Explore the steps taken to create the format and content of the new report card, gain insights into the vision shared with teachers and parents, and align assessment with the curriculum’s goals.
Both districts are committed to transparency in the design process. They will share the research that informed their decisions and the range of resources, encompassing those offered by the Alberta Assessment Consortium and others, including human and educational resources, that were effectively harnessed and utilized.

As a result of participating in this session you will have the opportunity to learn  the knowledge, strategies, and inspiration needed to lead successful assessment transformations within their districts or schools, ultimately contributing to improved student outcomes and enhanced educational experiences.

Tammy Davis, with over 27 years of experience as an educator and leader at Northern Gateway Public Schools, has made significant contributions to the field. Since assuming the position of Learning Services Coordinator for Literacy and Numeracy in August 2018, Tammy’s unwavering commitment and extensive knowledge have been a source of inspiration for fellow educators.

Jackie Kark embarked on her journey with the Palliser School Division in 2022, driven by her unwavering dedication to student-centered learning, inclusivity, collaboration, and advancing academic success for every student. Her extensive leadership experience underscores her well-rounded expertise. Drawing from her background as a seasoned principal, Jackie also brings a strategic emphasis on capacity building.

Michele Jones is an experienced educator with a background in teaching and leading professional development in a range of topics. In her role at AAC, Michele passionately advocates for sound assessment practices, promotes assessment literacy, develops curriculum-aligned assessment materials, and provides professional learning opportunities to enhance assessment capacity in Alberta’s educational community.

Facilitator(s): Lori Pritchard


This session will provide more indepth information, ( based on the introduction in the role alike session),  for  participants to the Commūn-I-Tea protocol as an approach to fostering systemic collaboration and collective action, in a good way. Commūn-I-Tea is a grassroots approach focused on creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe spaces that honour diverse leadership priorities, while holding space for all system leaders to contribute to “establishing and supporting the conditions under which the learning aspirations and the potential of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students will be realized” (SLQS, LQS, TQS). Three essential components are at the heart of Commūn-I-Tea: to “commune” (a group coming together to converse about meaningful topics); putting the “I” in community (honouring the role that each individual plays in creating a healthy community); and, “Tea”—hosting the gathering with refreshments (tea and bannock) in keeping with the custom of offering sustenance to guests as acts of hospitality, generosity, and reciprocity.

As a result of participating in this session you will have the opportunity to: Learn about an innovative collaborative leadership protocol focused on supporting continuous system improvement – Consider how to hold space across diverse leadership priorities to contribute to “establishing and supporting the conditions under which the learning aspirations and the potential of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students will be realized” (‘Whereas’ statement at beginning of SLQS, LQS, TQS).

Lori Pritchard is a Métis educator and leader with ancestral roots across the Métis Nation Homeland including the Red River Settlement in Manitoba, and the Batoche/Fish Creek & Battleford areas in Saskatchewan. She is currently the Education Director for Indigenous Education with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and works alongside her Education Director colleagues and other Sr. leaders to realize the CBE’s commitments to Indigenous student achievement and well-being, and Indigenous Education for all students, staff and families. As a classroom teacher, school principal, and system leader, Lori has been a leader of Indigenous Education for more than twenty-five years. She is an active member of Calgary’s urban Indigenous community, serving as a Board member, sitting on numerous committees, and volunteering at events throughout the Treaty 7 area.

Lunch and Prizes

Friday, November 2, 2023 (12:00 p.m.)


CASS Resource Library – Alberta Stories of Practice Learning Guides

The CASS Resource Library  includes “made in Alberta” resources designed for system leaders that will support “pre learning” prior to the annual conference.  One example is the CASS learning guides, which are intended to apply research, deepen understanding and enhance professional practice within the Alberta context. Learning guides have summarized  CASS “Alberta Stories of Practice” webinars.

CASS Conference Archives

Missed a recent CASS Learning Opportunity?

The CASS Conference Archives include a list of conference concurrent session recordings and resources, alongside the program. You can find past learning opportunities and resources in the archives. (Thanks to all facilitators for your willingness to share the learning beyond the conference.)




Twitter handle: @NelsonClassroom
Instagram Handle: @nelsonclassroom
Nelson is Canada’s leading K–12 educational publisher and we have remained dedicated to our legacy of looking forward for over a century. Our commitment to the individualized needs of students, teachers, and administrators continues to fuel our innovation as an educational partner. In 2017, these efforts manifested in Edwin, Nelson’s revolutionary digital platform that provides a common experience for deep, trusted content and boundless learning pathways. Nelson’s visionary digital transformation embodies our promise of equitable, inclusive, and engaging experiences for all teachers and students.

Intellimedia LP offers services and solutions that maximize the value of systems and data to power and achieve organizational success. Equipped with extensive knowledge and experience in business process, data management, and integration, Intellimedia helps organizations expand capabilities of existing systems, as well as complements them with customized solutions.  

An Edmonton-based Software Company, Intellimedia offers licensed software solutions, technical professional services as well as IT and management consulting to K-12 Schools and School Districts. With a well-established Client base in Alberta and numerous others throughout Canada and all around the world, Intellimedia has become a trusted partner to many School Districts, both large and small scale. 

Among our flagship education solutions are Dossier Education Management System, SchoolEngage, and InteliLink all of which help maximize the value of data as well as increase organizational capacity to ease administrative burden.

ExploreLearning is a Math and Science e-learning company, built by educators for educators. ExploreLearning programs encourage students to embrace their inner scientist and mathematician and develop deeper learning of foundational STEM concepts and 21st Century skills.

You can find Gizmos on New, for grades K-6.

Gizmos are fully aligned to Alberta Science & Math curricula for all grades and include French teaching and learning materials.

Our award-winning online programs — Gizmos®Reflex®, Frax™ and Science4Us®— bring engaging, research proven, and highly effective instructional strategies to K-12 classrooms in over 80 countries.

Gizmos® form the world’s largest library of interactive online simulations for Math and Science. Over 500 Gizmos help students develop a deep understanding of challenging concepts through inquiry-based exploration and real-world learning opportunities.

Reflex® is a powerful individualized, adaptive and data driven, game-based program designed to help all students develop automaticity in basic facts. Reflex combines brain science research with proven pedagogical methods and innovative technology to provide the most effective math fact fluency solution available today.

Science4Us® is a blended online program aimed at early elementary students. Science4Us allows educators to expose their youngest learners to critical Science content, while reinforcing Math and Literacy concepts.

Frax™  is an adaptive and game-based blended program that uses these latest research-based instructional methods to help all students understand fractions.

With ExploreLearning, all students can have success in math and science — and become lifelong learners!

IBM Canada K12 Education division has a team of over 30 dedicated professionals dedicated to the K-12 sector in Canada. For over 30 years, our IBM Canada K-12 team has supported school divisions across Canada on a wide range of initiatives including the co-creation and monitoring of strategic plans, co-creation of Learning Plans Leveraging Digital, student and staff access models, procurement strategies for devices, effective implementation strategies for both academic and IT initiatives, infrastructure optimization, cyber security, and many other infrastructure and technology initiatives.

We are also proud to be value added resellers for many vendors that supply technology solutions to schools across Canada including such as Lenovo, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Aruba, and Proofpoint.



Matific is an award-winning and pedagogically rigorous mathematics learning platform used by millions of learners world wide every day. Designed by pedagogical experts and developed with a goal of providing a deep conceptual understanding of the foundational building blocks in K-6 mathematics. Matific’s vision is to provide every child in every country with a mathematical experience of the highest possible quality. To achieve this, we place our pedagogical principles at the heart of everything we do.

Matific has Alberta’s new curriculum in the platform and can be used in over 48 languages.

Hāpara is a research-based instructional management suite that follows John Hattie’s principles to enable educators to create visible, differentiated and focused learning experiences. For a decade, visionary school divisions in Alberta have partnered with Hāpara on behalf of Alberta teachers and learners. Today, the Alberta Collaboration for Learning (ACL) is an open membership group of school divisions from across the province. The ACL shares their collective professional practice, resources and learning units/lessons that cover the entire K-12 Alberta curriculum, as well as the new 4-6 curriculum.

The results speak for themselves — especially in areas of inter-district collaboration, learner equity and student performance.

Driving equity in Alberta, Canada through the spirit of collaboration
How the Alberta Collaboration for Learning worked together to create more equitable learning environments for all Alberta learners.

New Curriculum
Understanding the new Alberta curriculum
Buffalo Trail Public School Innovation Coach, Katrin Heim, shares how to prepare and empower teachers for the new K-3 curriculum.

Creating success for all learners at Wolf Creek Public Schools with Hāpara
A full case study that tracks student achievement data over the course of eight years using Hāpara.

The Edsby® social learning environment has been putting the connections between people, not just documents, at the center of K-12 education worldwide for more than 10 years. Edsby enables in-class, hybrid, and online learning, fostering rich communication between students, teachers, and families to drive K-12 student success. School districts, states, provinces, and countries adopt Edsby for community engagement, learning management, assessment & reporting, analytics, and student well-being. Edsby has received more than 70 industry awards and distinctions for its unusually wide set of capabilities in a single platform tailored to the needs of the full range of K-12 learners.

Boxlight is a leading provider of technology solutions for education environments. Our aim is to improve engagement and communication in education environments by offering a full suite of technology and software solutions. The Boxlight education suite includes interactive displays, classroom audio systems, technology to support STEM education and school-wide communication solutions. Our award-winning brands include FrontRow, Mimio, EOS Education, and Clevertouch. We strive to create innovative, user-friendly solutions that can fully integrate into any learning environment.



Apptegy builds products and provides services that empower you to run better schools.  Our products make it easy for administrators and educators to reach and interact with your parents, students, staff, and your community at large.  Our services support district marketing teams better manage and execute marketing.  In combination, Apptegy simplifies and improves schools’ communications and helps you change how the public thinks and feels about your schools.

Evolution AV  are leaders in the audio visual landscape: designing, building, installing, producing, and supporting technology solutions for the world’s most recognized brands – everyone from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

We have been providing professional audio visual equipment and services to clients across Canada for half a century, and we’ve worked with over 2500 schools, colleges and universities to easy-to-use audiovisual systems that enhance the learning experience.

Pearson is Canada’s leading educational publisher, developing resources for all core curriculum subjects K-12; Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and French as a Second Language. We see the diversity of Canadas students as a strength and are 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.

Visit our website to learn about our latest resources! Tweet us @PearsonK12 to connect with us!

CAREERS is a not-for-profit foundation, bringing together industry, schools, government, and communities to guide youth into successful career paths. Each year we connect thousands of students with internship opportunities, providing youth a chance to try a career out while developing workplace skills. Together with our school partners we are motivating students by making the workplace an extension of the classroom, preparing young people for a future where they are in-demand.

SafeGen shares our vision of empowering youth entering the workforce, also partnering with educators, industry, and government to build a community focused on safety and wellness. SafeGen offers comprehensive resources to enhance safety awareness and preparedness for your students, including three online work placement preparation courses (HCS 3000, HCS 3010, and AGR 3000) as well as a comprehensive Mental Health in the Workplace course to enhance students’ skills and wellbeing.

In 2023, SafeGen joined the CAREERS family, driven by a shared commitment to empowering youth in their journey toward safe and fulfilling careers. With SafeGen now on board, CAREERS gains the capacity to provide both work-integrated learning opportunities as well as the necessary accreditation to promote safety, thereby streamlining processes for educators and youth as they engage in career exploration.