Public Education in a Changing World:
Panelists will discuss the benefits of youth inclusion in policy conversations, as well as practical examples of projects where students were able to exercise autonomy and leadership.
Simon Harris is a Grade 12 student at Northern Collegiate Institute and Vocational School in Sarnia, Ontario, a student trustee with the Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB), and the Policy Coordinator for the Ontario Student Trustees Association / l’Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l’Ontario (OSTA-AECO) — a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that represents approximately 2 million students within the province. From the beginning, Simon has been involved in policy conversations: first at his school, then at his board, and then at a province-wide level. Simon is dedicated to expanding student representation and advocacy within Ontario through all avenues that are accessible to designed to be reflective of every student in the province, to ensure that no student is truly left behind.
PhD student/ Edmonton Public School Board Trustee, University of Alberta/Edmonton Public School Board
Bridget Stirling is a PhD student in the University of Alberta’s Department of Educational Policy Studies, where she is interested in children’s rights and the politics of childhood. She also serves as the Edmonton Public School Board trustee for Ward G. Outside of her work on the board, she’s an advocate and organizer involved in issues of social and economic justice, gender, children’s rights, and human rights. Bridget is one of the co-founders of Hate Free Yeg, and a founding member of the Child-Friendly Housing Coalition of Alberta. She has worked as a research analyst, consultant, educator, writer and editor.
Kate Gatto is the National Program Director at the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Canada, a public foundation that grows compassionate, connected communities through youth-led participatory grant making in schools across Canada. Kate has spent the past ten years in the non-profit sector leading education programs locally, nationally, and globally. In December, Kate will be joining People for Education’s Board of Directors.
Louis Paolillo is an Assistant Curriculum Leader at Kipling Collegiate Institute. With 25 years teaching history and civics, Louis connects history to current events through critical and historical thinking concepts, technology, global competencies, diversity and active citizenship.
Vice Principal, Waterloo Region District School
Sandy Millar is Vice principal at Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in Waterloo, ON. Sandy is passionate about re imagining and redesigning classrooms and schools to best prepare youth for a quickly changing world. He is the creator and director of the Highlander Innovation Lab, a new and innovative program where students progress through a traditional start-up incubator program culminating in pitches to community partners and investors. Sandy is committed to developing global competencies in our students through new and innovative educational programs.
Sandy led a whole school blended learning pilot project where he developed and led a year long PD strategy to prepare staff to offer online/blended learning lessons for three full days. He is focused on creating high impact learning organizations that encourage teachers to experiment and grow their practice.
Andrew Bieronski is the Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching contact (TELT) for the Waterloo Region District School Board in Ontario. He is passionate about reimagining and redesigning classrooms and schools to best prepare youth for a quickly changing world. Andrew looks to leverage technology to modernize pedagogy and assessment practices to improve student learning and achievement, and is a frequent conference presenter on these topics.
He has been awarded grants from the Ontario Ministry of Education for both the Teacher Leadership and Learning Program (TLLP) and the Provincial Knowledge Exchange (PKE) to conduct innovative action research in education and coaches other educators to develop their teaching practice. Andrew serves as an Educational Technology Mentor to startup companies that have been a part of the University of Waterloo’s Velocity program and is the founder and director of TEDxKitchenerED, a TEDx event focused on the future of education.