Thursday, November 8th

Dr. Bill Howatt

Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity at Conference Board of Canada

Bill Howatt, Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity for the Conference Board of Canada, former Chief Research and Development Officer for Workforce Productivity, Morneau Shepell and founder of Howatt HR Consulting with over 25 years’ experience in strategic HR, mental health and addictions, and leadership. He is the creator of Certified Management Essential (CME) an on –line program that offers 18 on-line courses that is a senate approved leaders program through the University of New Brunswick, as well at the same university he is the creator of the Pathway to Coping an on-line course that teaches coping skills. He is the creator of the Quality of Work life (QWL) that been converted into the Morneau Shepell Total Health Index™, as well the co-creator of The Globe and Mail and Morneau Shepell Employee Recommended Award. He is co-creator of The Globe and Mail Your Life at Work Initiative that touched more 14,000 Canadians. He has published numerous books and articles, such as: The Coping Crisis, Pathways to Coping, the Wiley Series on Addictions, Human Services Counselor’s Toolbox and The Addiction Counselor’s Desk Reference. He is regular contributor to The Globe and Mail 9 to 5 and Leadership Lab and the Chronicle Herald. Bill Howatt, is Ph.D., Ed.D., Post Doctorate Behavioral Science, University of California, Los Angeles, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, RTC, RSW, ICADC.

Ms. Jo-Anne Chrona

Curriculum Coordinator at First Nations Education Steering Committee

Jo Chrona is a member of the Kitsumkalum Band of the Ts'msynen Nation and her professional experience includes 20 years teaching in both the K-12 and post-secondary systems in British Columbia. She is currently a Curriculum Coordinator on the First Nations Education Steering Committee, and has worked as an Advisor to the BC Ministry of Education, a Policy Analyst with FNESC, and as a Faculty Associate in SFU’s Teacher Education Program. Over the past two decades, she has also been involved in the areas of curriculum development and resource writing, professional learning, literacy development, and Indigenous education.

Dr. Evan Adams

Chief Medical Officer at First Nations Health Authority

Evan Tlesla II Adams is a Coast Salish actor and physician from the Tla'amin First Nation near Powell River, BC. Evan has completed a Medical Doctorate from the University of Calgary in 2002 and a residency in the Aboriginal Family Practice program at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Adams has a Masters of Public Health (2009) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He was the first-ever Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor in the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, BC Ministry of Health (2007 - 2012). He was the Deputy Provincial Health Officer for the province of BC from 2012 to 2014. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority.

Friday, November 9th

Dr. Stanley Kutcher

Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health at Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre

Dr. Kutcher is an internationally renowned expert in adolescent mental health and a national and international leader in mental health research, advocacy, training, policy, and services innovation working at the IWK Health Center and Dalhousie University. He has received numerous awards and honors locally, nationally and internationally for his work, including the Order of Nova Scotia. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and former Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Mental Health Policy and Training. Internationally he has been involved in mental health work in over 20 countries. One of his recent projects was leading the development of a national child and youth mental health framework for Canada: Evergreen. Currently his focus is on knowledge translation, improving mental health literacy and mental health care in schools and primary care as well as an electronic youth mental health management tool for primary care. He continues his innovative youth mental health work across Canada, and globally – including the North America, Asia, South America, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Dr. Vanessa LaPointe

Registered Psychologist/Founder at The Wishing Star - Lapointe Developmental Clinic

Dr. Vanessa Lapointe is an author, parenting educator, and registered psychologist who has been supporting families and children for almost 20 years. Dr. Vanessa is a Best-Selling author of the book Discipline without Damage: How to get your kids to behave without messing them up; a regularly invited media guest and contributor; educator and international speaker; and, a consultant to research projects and various organizations promoting emotional health and development. She is known for bringing a sense of nurturing understanding and humanity to all of her work. Founder and director of a large private practice with a clinical team of a dozen mental health experts, she also has previous experience in a variety of settings in the public sector including The British Columbia Ministry for Child and Family Development and the school system. As a mother to 2 growing children, Dr. Vanessa strives not only professionally, but also personally, to view the world through the child’s eyes. She believes that if parents, teachers, care providers, and other big people can do the same – see the world through the child’s eyes – we are beautifully positioned to champion children to grow in the best possible way.

Breakout Session Speakers

Pius Ryan

Assistant Superintendent at SD44 - North Vancouver

Jeremy Church

Distrit Principal of SEL and Mental Health at North Vancouver School District

Chanin Smyth

Principal at SD44 - North Vancouver

Vivian Collyer

Currently on secondment with the Education Programs Division at Ministry of Education

Vivian is currently on secondment with the Ministry of Education, supporting implementation of the new Career Education 10-12 curriculum. As District Principal for Curriculum and Programs in School District 62 (Sooke), her portfolio includes implementation of the new curriculum K-12, facilitating staff development and professional inquiry initiatives, and supporting innovation projects. Vivian’s background includes teaching and leadership at the elementary, secondary, district, and post-secondary levels. She recently completed her doctoral research in instructional leadership and effective facilitation of professional learning communities.

Allen Beckingham

District Principal at SD67 - Okanagan - Skaha

Current portfolio includes Early Learning, K-5 Curriculum, French Immersion, Alternate Programs, Distributed Learning, and Indigenous Education.

Heather Hart

Assistant Superintendent at SD41 - Burnaby

Elizabeth Gardner

District Principal at SD41 - Burnaby

Sue Dorey

Managing Director of Safe and Caring Schools at Burnaby School District - SD41

Katherine McIntosh

Superintendent at SD82 - Coast Mountains

Julia Nieckarz

Director of Instruction, Learner Support at SD82 - Coast Mountains

Margaret Paxron

Principal at Kathleen McNeely Elementary

Sarah Loat

Principal, Cook Elementary at SD38 - Richmond

Ben Eaton

Director of Instruction - Innovative Learning at SD08 - Kootenay Lake

Chanelle Tye

BC SOGI District Lead at SOGI 1 2 3 (ARC Foundation)

Chanelle has been an inclusive educator for eight years, most recently as BC's Provincial SOGI Lead with ARC Foundation partnering with the Ministry of Education. Chanelle works closely with SOGI District Leads BC's public and independent schools as well as with provincial education partners to provide coaching and support around SOGI-inclusive education. Before her life in Provincial SOGI education, Chanelle worked as the SOGI District Teacher for Le Conseil Scolaire Francophone, SD 93.

Kimberly Schonert-Reichl

Human Early Learning Partnership, at University of British Columbia

Maureen Dockendorf

WE Director, Educational Partnerships and Educational Consultant at WE Charity and BC Ministry of Education

Maureen has spent her career in education working as a teacher, university faculty associate, principal and assistant superintendent for the Coquitlam School District. As the Superintendent of Reading/Literacy and Early Learning at the BC Ministry of Education, Maureen was a team member supporting the redesign of British Columbia’s K-12 curriculum and competency development. Maureen is frequently called upon to provide advice on policy, process and practice in the realms of professional learning, collaborative practice, educational leadership, curriculum implementation and assessment. She holds a Master’s of Education from Simon Fraser University.

Maria LeRose


Catherine McCauley

Director Curriculum and Professional Learning, WE Schools at WE

Jon Rever

Assistant Superintendent at SD23 - Central Okanagan

Randy McGraw

Retired Principal, Consultant at SD23 - Central Okanagan

Deb Whitten

Interim Superintendent at SD61 - Greater Victoria

Sean McCartney

District Principal at SD61 - Greater Victoria

Trish Smillie

Director - Student Support Services at SD 73 - Kamloops-Thompson

Sherry Stade

Health Promoting Schools Coordinator at SD73 - Kamloops-Thompson

April Wessel

Mental Health Clinician at SD73 - Kamloops-Thompson