Blog Posts

equity framework pillars
May 23, 2023

Equitable Endeavours through our District's Equity Framework

In previous posts, I have shared my perspectives on the spectre of systemic racism in education, particularly in relation to Indigenous Peoples. I highlighted two interrelated constructs related to this issue: epistemic racism (the idea that there is only one form of true knowledge) and the related “racism of low expectations” highlighted in the 2016 Auditor General’s Report.

equity framework pillars
Group of elementary students pose for photo in front of hallway board Equity - Newsletter image
April 28, 2023

Mirrors and Windows in the Class

More than ever, we must recognize that diversity is our strength. Abbotsford, our continuously growing "city in the country," has the third-largest diverse population in Canada, following Toronto and Vancouver. The Sikh community representing 14% of our local population has a rich history that enables Abbotsford to have the oldest existing Gurdwara in Canada, built in 1911. The intentional act of coming together to learn about and from one another is a catalyst for healthy communities, where we can begin to solve complex problems and reach for the joy in education.

Group of elementary students pose for photo in front of hallway board Equity - Newsletter image
Girl choosing healthy lifestyle, practicing yoga near sport equipment, vegetables stock illustration iStock-Healthy Lifestyle
March 8, 2023

More Play: Doctor’s Orders

Earlier this school year, leaders in our organization had the opportunity to learn from renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Shimi Kang on the subject of mental health and wellbeing.

Girl choosing healthy lifestyle, practicing yoga near sport equipment, vegetables stock illustration iStock-Healthy Lifestyle
February 2, 2023

We are Black History

Black Connections HS is a club that consists of Black mentors from the community and educators from the Abbotsford School District. Black Connections HS aims to build a safe, supportive and uplifting environment for our Black students as well as present opportunities for the Black youth in the Abbotsford School District.

February 2, 2023

Black History Month & Resistance

“Now let us begin. Now let us re-dedicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world.” -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 3, 2023

Three Wishes for 2023

It has been my practice for the last few Januarys to make predictions about possible changes in the K-12 sector. This practice goes back as far as 2015 when I highlighted the top ten issues facing our education system and some things to watch for as we sought to transform it.

December 13, 2022

Pausing for Gratitude

Many of you will know that I am a big football fan, (and an especially big Raider fan). The inspiration for my post this week does not come from Raider Nation, but from the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith. If you follow the Seahawks, you will know that their Super Bowl winning quarterback, Russel Wilson was traded away and that most pundits thought that with back-up quarterback Smith at the helm, the team would be lucky to win half of their games this year.

November 24, 2022

Celebrating Student Leadership

I had the pleasure this week of meeting with around fifty of Yale Secondary’s Leadership 12 students. They are an amazing and diverse group of go-getters who help to make their school and community better through service. In addition to the work they do, they are also curious about leadership and routinely invite leaders from various parts of the community to talk about their roles and perspectives on leadership. This week I was the invited guest. Among the things they wanted to learn more about were my background, how I became superintendent, as well as the joys and challenges of the job.

November 8, 2022

Introducing the Equity – Diversity – Inclusion – Anti-Racism (EDIA) Network

Abbotsford School District employees have come together to create the EDIA Network. The diversity of the group is its strength, bringing together multiple perspectives. The Network includes teachers, Indigenous support workers, youth care workers, speech and language pathologists, education assistants, administrators, and school counsellors. The purpose of the EDIA Network is to engage in equity, diversity, inclusion, and Anti-racism education and projects. 

November 8, 2022

In Remembrance

Many of you will know that I am a student of the World Wars, and that over the years I have written about the profound respect I have for our veterans who have put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom. As a teacher I carefully curated stories for my students about pivotal battles and Canadian heroes who helped to pave the way for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. It was always a treat to welcome veterans into my classroom, and students always came away with a greater appreciation for the courageous lives of our service men and women, as well as the horrors of war.