What is SPSC?

The Saskatchewan Principals' Short Course (SPSC) is sponsored by Saskatchewan Ministry of Education; the Saskatchewan School Boards Association; the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation; Saskatchewan School-Based Leaders; and the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents.

The SPSC is open to teachers, teacher leaders, current or prospective Saskatchewan principals and vice-principals, others holding administrative responsibilities in schools (department heads, coordinators), and anyone else interested in developing their skills in instructional leadership. The sponsors of the Course are appreciative of the fact that many school boards in the Province nominate and financially assist at least one participant each year. However, because the Course is of interest to many Saskatchewan educators, individuals who wish to pay their own registration are invited to register, as well.

In 2021, within the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, SPSC will be held virtually, on-line, via the WebEx platform.

Graduate students in the departments of Educational Administration and Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan are advised that, given the prior approval of their advisor, this virtual conference may be included as part of their Master's or PhD program of study.

SPSC Program Director

Dr Vicki Squires

Welcome to the Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course 2021! Our experiences throughout the last year have confirmed the critical role that schools play in society, and most importantly, how strong leadership and informed decision-making are essential in facilitating learning in a safe environment. Dr. Squires has had extensive experience as a classroom teacher, special needs teacher and an in-school administrator, and understands the essential role that leadership plays in the daily lived experience of teachers and students. By investing your valuable time in this short course, we hope that you will gain deeper understandings of leadership, engage in recent leadership scholarship, and learn practical skills and knowledge to assist you in your leadership journey.

SPSC 2021 Facilitators

Celia Deschambeault is from Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, the oldest settlement in Western Canada and home of the 2nd largest inland delta in the world. She was raised by her late grandparents,  John and Carrie Fiddler of whom she witnessed the power of Indigenous knowledge and is what has allowed her to become successful with her educational journey. Celia lost her mother Charlotte to kidney disease while she was in her teenage years but has strong ties to her father Medrick Thomas.  She is the proud wife to Rustin Deschambeault and mother of 8 children, 6 boys (Aj, Tyson, Rustin Jr., Jaiden, JesseJames, Cache) and 2 girls (Sienna, Faith). Celia graduated from Charlebois School in Cumberland House in 1993. She obtained her Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts Degrees from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000. For the next 10 years she worked for Cumberland House as a Teacher, Vice-Principal, Principal and Director. After her time in Cumberland House she took the position of Cree Language and Culture Consultant with Battleford’s Agency Tribal Chiefs. She remained there for 3 years and eventually moved home for a short period of time. In 2015, Celia accepted a position with Meadow Lake Tribal Council as their First Nations Language Revitalization Consultant which led to her current position as Assistant Superintendent. During her employment with MLTC Education, Celia has obtained her Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy Degree with the University of Regina. Through this doctoral journey, she has created a conceptual model of which MLTC Education is currently using.

Tansi! My name is Jackie Durocher, I am a proud Lac La Ronge Indian Band member. I have been an educator for the past 27 years. Currently I am a Superintendent of Education for Northern Lights School Division #113.

My name is Chad Fingler. I grew up in SE Saskatchewan and have spent my educational career in the SE with Holy Family School Division as well. I was a middle years teacher for approximately 10 years in 3 different schools, a principal for about 7 years in two different schools, and my current role is as Superintendent of School Operations which I have been in for about 8 years now. I am married (to an educator) and have two daughters, 12, and 16. I enjoy all sports, with a bit of an extra passion for golf! One of my strongest educational philosophies is we need to teach people 'how to learn' not 'what to learn'!

Jennifer Hingley is a Métis woman that grew up in variety of communities in the province of Saskatchewan.  She is a proud graduate of the SUNTEP program (class of 1996) and completed a Master of Education in 2014.  Jennifer started her teaching career in Northern Saskatchewan and spent the bulk of her career with Saskatoon Public Schools where she served as a teacher, Consultant and Coordinator of First Nation and Métis Education and elementary school principal. Jennifer is currently a Superintendent of Schools with Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division. Jennifer is a tireless advocate for First Nation and Métis people. At the heart of her work is improving learning outcomes for First Nation, Inuit and Métis students.  She believes that this will happen with a focus on student, family and community engagement; the development of cross-cultural competency in all staff and students; and in the implementation of quality teaching that is premised on the beliefs and practices of First Nation and Métis people. She has had the honour of leading and facilitating professional learning to support student and community engagement, to encourage the development of cross-cultural competency in staff and to work side by side with teachers in their classrooms to support the implementation of holistic instructional strategies and First Nation and Métis worldview.

Davin Hildebrand is from Meadow Lake and is the Superintendent of Human Resources with the Northwest School Division.  He is married to Courtney, who is a principal in Meadow Lake, and has three children who will be busy playing ball this spring.  He completed his Ed.D. at the University of Calgary in 2013 and enjoys teaching graduate classes at both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan.

Kevin Kusch is the current Deputy Director of Learning with the Lloydminster Catholic School Division.  He has been with the school division for the past twenty-six years, so there is not a lot he hasn’t experienced during his time there (including a pandemic).  Currently, Kevin oversees curriculum and instruction as well as human resources in the school division.  He is passionate about what works best in learning and values working closely with teachers and administration to continuously evolve practice within the schools.  Most of all, he enjoys working with his colleagues to support them in reaching their personal and professional goals.  Outside of the office, Kevin is a baseball fanatic.  He enjoys working with players and coaches and watching the game at any level.

I am honored to join this year's facilitator group. My career in education has stretched from high school PAA to early years literacy to PreK-12 administration and now executive administration with the North East School Division. I have been fortunate throughout my career to have rich learning experiences supporting my professional growth, learning from and with my colleagues in classrooms and conferences throughout Saskatchewan. I am looking forward to learning with you in July!

Randolph J. MacLEAN is the Deputy Director of Education at Horizon School Division in Central Saskatchewan. Where he is responsible for leading Human Resource Services, Distance Education (online learning), Athletics, Driver’s Education, and Band. Randy is passionate about the need to improve schools, supports for improving leadership and teacher practices, assessment, and technology integration to enhance the learning experience for all students. He believes that we must create authentic school learning environments for all students, to ensure they will have the prerequisite skills enabling them to seamlessly transition into the ever-changing global community.

He knows that in order to achieve this goal we must transform the learning environment for both students and teachers so learning is relevant, engaging and challenging for all learners
For fifteen years He worked at The Eastern Townships School Board. In such capacities as principal of Alexander Galt Regional High School, Principal of the Enhanced Learning Strategy/Director of Transportation As well as Principal of Massey-Vanier High School, when the Eastern Townships School Board in 2003 became the first school board in Canada and the second in North America to implement a one-to-one laptop deployment from grades 3 - 11. Under Randy’s leadership Massey-Vanier High School was selected as of the top five most improved High Schools in Quebec for three straight years.

He is the co-author of ‘Getting it Right’ Aligning Technology Initiatives for Measurable Student Results.
Randy in married to Carolyn, who a Pre-kindergarten/teacher librarian, they have three daughters are they are busy running around supporting activities of their three daughters and is an advocate for healthy and active lifestyles.

Randy has had the opportunity to work and present throughout the Canada, United States, Australia, Mexico and South America on such topics as; one-to-one technology integration, school improvement through increased student learning, project-based learning, and 21st century skill development.

I am a proud educator who experienced a variety of roles during my years within the K-12 education system that include learning assistance teacher, middle years teacher, school based administrator, consultant, and superintendent. Since retiring, I have been fortunate to work as a consultant with the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit and those opportunities have continued to expand my learning.
I am pleased to network with this group of facilitators at this Saskatchewan Principals’ (Virtual) Short Course. It has always been a jam-packed few days of study and discussion and I appreciate the opportunity to reflect upon the interplay of instructional leadership components.

I get to be a Learning Superintendent with Prairie Spirit School Division.  In addition to supporting principals and vice principals across our school division through the Admin Planning Team and our Administrative Leadership Team, it is my great privilege to hold the portfolio for Indigenous Perspectives, Partnerships and Outcomes.  I have worked in education in three provinces, numerous schools and grade levels, and have 10 years of experience as a school principal.  I am very excited to be learning alongside so many great people at this year’s PSC.

Darran has spent 30 years in education working in both the Yorkton and Moose Jaw areas. He started his administrative career as vice-principal at Dr. Brass Community School in Yorkton, followed by an assignment as principal of Columbia School in Yorkton. He served three years as Superintendent of Education for Good Spirit School Division before moving to Prairie South School Division where he has served as a Superintendent of School Operations for the last four years. He was the University of Saskatchewan’s 2020 Wall of Honour recipient in the category of Education. Darran has participated in numerous past Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Courses as both a presenter and facilitator.

Nicola Bishop-Yong has lived in Treaty 6 territory & the homeland of the Metis for 30 years with her husband and three children. She maintains an abiding connection to her rural roots in eastern Saskatchewan. She holds degrees from the University of Saskatchewan including a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Master of Education. In her 20-year tenure with Saskatoon Public Schools, Nicola has served as an elementary teacher, administrator, division principal and currently as superintendent of education.

SPSC 2021 Assistants to the Director

Kathryn Bloski is originally from Saskatoon. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree and she completed her Education degree in December 2020. Since graduating, Kathryn has been hired by the GSCS division and is currently working as a grade one teacher in Biggar, SK. Kathryn is excited to return to the SPSC as Assistant to the Director for the third consecutive year. She loves to be a part of the SPSC because it provides a space for teachers, principals, vice-principals, and administrators to come together to share, learn, and grow. By being a part of this atmosphere, she is able to connect to this invaluable community and advance her own learning and development. This experience has encouraged her to cultivate her own ideas of instructional leadership and support her as a grade one teacher and future administrator.

Zanna McCrea is a recent graduate of the College of Education, with a specialization in elementary/middle years teaching. She is eager to embark on the next stage of her experience as an educator, and is thrilled to once again join the SPSC team as an Assistant to the Director. Zanna looks forward to the many enriching opportunities that SPSC provides, including communicating with educational leaders from across the province. Outside of her classes and student teaching opportunities, Zanna enjoys music, reading, and providing English tutoring to students over Zoom. She also has an interest in special education and educational psychology, and aspires to grow in her knowledge of these fields.

My name is Kal Ledoux, I was born and raised here in the city of Saskatoon. Traditionally I am from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and I have family ties to Red Pheasant Cree Nation. I am the first within my immediate family to attend University and the first in my family to take on the career as a teacher. As I take a look back on my experiences in school, I found that it was difficult for me to find my identity and this has led me to my goal as a teacher candidate which is to allow my future students the opportunity to discover that identity and be proud of their Indigenous roots. I am currently enrolled in the Indian Teacher Education Program within the College of Education as a second-year student with no actual experience on campus in class. Learning in a remote environment was challenging, but overcoming these challenges allowed me to grow as an individual. It is with great honour to have been selected as an assistant to the director for the SPSC and as a future leader and role model of my community, my involvement is beneficial to not only my professional development, but my overall approach to inspire change! Outside of my career pursuit, I enjoy living a very active outdoor lifestyle and often partake in bike riding and camping.

SPSC Program Information

Program Objectives

The major goal of the Short Course is to provide an intensive opportunity for participants from provincial and First Nations schools to deepen their knowledge of theory, practice, and reflection, contributing to their skills as teachers and school leaders.  The activities of the Course will enable participants to:

  1. Examine the role of the principal through the lens of instructional leadership;
  2. Extend knowledge regarding the practices of establishing a vision, influencing school culture, and stimulating the learning environment, while at the same time managing, modeling, and monitoring activities within the school;
  3. Learn about new developments and initiatives in education;
  4. Share experiences, insights and concerns with other practitioners; and,
  5. Develop a support network of diverse peers across the entire province.

Gather Town

New to SPSC 2021 this year is an online platform called Gather Town that will be used to
encourage networking and social interactions. You will visit this space through Google Chrome
so please ensure you have access to this browser. Additional information regarding
Gather Town is below and will be provided in an email to all attendees. You are welcome to explore the Gather Spaces in preparation for the SPSC. Please use Google Chrome to visit the URLs that we
provide.

Short Course Design

The format for the Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course is shaped by the Instructional, Distributed, Ethical, and Transformational Leadership frameworks.  Session leaders and presenters represent views and perspectives from Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews.  As such, this course builds understanding of the role of the principal, as well as issues and challenges for provincial and First Nations leadership. 

The course is designed so that participants will be able to frame their learning within the three successful components of school leadership: Establishing a Vision and Culture Conducive to Learning; Stimulating the Learning Environment; and Managing, Modeling, and Monitoring.

Within the theme of Establishing a Vision and Culture Conducive to Learning, we have planned larger plenary sessions so that participants can come to understand the necessary roles of a shared vision and a culture of learning in their professional communities.

Within the theme of Enhancing the Learning Environment, we have planned smaller sessions which will enable participants to focus on topics of special interest to their schools.  These sessions will make up a significant component of the conference in that each will generate discussion within the broader context of school leadership.  This session format consists of multiple small group presentations, with audience sizes of 15-25 participants in the hope that participants engage in meaningful, related discussion.

Within the theme of Managing, Modeling, and Monitoring, we have placed sessions (large sessions again), which are designed to help participants understand the management role inherent in school leadership.

Throughout the week, participants will frequently meet as a small group with their facilitator, where they will have the opportunity to engage in Professional Reflection and Deeper Inquiry, discuss what they have learned, ask questions of group members and leaders, and share experiences, thoughts, and concerns in dialogue with one another.

While the week’s activities include a number of topics of special interest to beginning vice-principals and principals, many of the issues will be relevant to those in other leadership positions, including teacher leaders.

Sessions span the learning necessary for leadership, teaching, and learning across all treaties, enabling participants to not only add to their developing philosophy and repertoire of leadership strategies, but to also understand what others are facing as well.

Webex Training Video

In 2021, within the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, SPSC will be held virtually, online, via the Webex platform.

A Webex training video has been provided below for those new to Webex or looking for a refresher on the platform.

Webex Training Video

Registration

Please complete one of the two form options available below, save the content of the form to a file on your hard drive for your own records, and then return the completed and saved form by email to the SELU email address provided.  

The registration deadline is June 24, 2021 - Registration Closed

Past Participant Comments

2020

The following comments were selected as representative of participant response to a request as part of SPSC 2020 Evaluation to provide a closing Additional Comment about the program:

  • “Amazing option for the northern and rural remote folks.”
  • “I really liked having the option to attend virtually. I have a 2 year old daughter and would not have been able to attend otherwise. I think it is also beneficial for those who do not live in Saskatoon: saved travel time and hotel/meal costs. I also would not have attended the SPSC this year in person with all of the COVID concerns (as leaders in our buildings, we all need to model social distancing for our staffs and students)."
  • “The virtual option is the reason I took it this year. So thankful it was offered this way.”
  • “Easy and accessible. Very cost effective, both in time and wallet.”
  • “I think the online platform opens up the SPSC to people who live in the North and other remote areas. T also helps keep the cost down for various divisions/educ authorities/tribal councils as they do not have to pay for mileage/accommodations/meals/incidentals for 4 days. This is an incredible cost-savings that allowed more people to participate.”
  • “I felt I was more engaged in the sessions when they were delivered online.”
  • “Originally I was skeptical about the course being delivered online. I was disappointed to be missing the face to face connections and the relationships that would have been developed, but the sessions were so fantastic it didn’t even matter. Everyone is so open and willing to share contact information, learn from one another and bend over backwards to help you find answers to your questions.”
  • “I really enjoyed the online delivery format. It was very well done. Everything was smooth and I was impressed with how much I could connect with others in the online format!”
  • “I was skeptical, especially after spending the final months of the school year online. I was worried about links and connectivity issues (unreliable internet connection-farm), and engagement. Everything was so simple and well organized to use. The presentations were fantastic. I was engaged and learned so much pertinent information in each session. Honestly, at the end of the week, I appreciate the fact that it was online.”
  • “I really feel the program’s strength was variety. Regardless of where you are in your leadership journey, there was something for you to take away.”
  • “The diverse offering of the sessions left me feeling like I received a well-rounded amount of information related to the administrative role.”
  • “The management pieces…As a new admin, these are the pieces that I need to learn.”
  • “The quality of choices for sessions was amazing. Sometimes too amazing as it was a challenge to limit myself to only two per day!”
  • “A wide range of expert presentations exploring different, but relevant, topics related to school leadership and administration.”

Advisory Committee

2021 Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course Advisory Committee
Ms Geraldine Knudsen Saskatchewan School Boards Association
Ms Carol Sarich Saskatchewan School-Based Leaders
Mr Kevin Kleisinger Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
Mr John Schultz Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation
Mr Shane Skjerven League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents
Dr Vicki Squires Director, Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit
Ms Patricia Prowse Associate Director, Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit
Dr Vicki Squires Director, Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course
Mr Pete Chief First Nations Representative
Dr Jay Wilson Head, Department of Educational Administration

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