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 2020, 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

The Saskatchewan Principals' Short Course is very pleased to announce that Dr Michelle Prytula has agreed to return in 2020 in the role of Program Director.

Recognizing that the success of the teaching profession hinges on the experiences of students in classrooms, Dr. Prytula’s number one priority as an educator is the student experience. Throughout her roles as a classroom teacher, school administrator, faculty member, and now in her current role as dean, Dr. Prytula is committed to education in this province, and has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for her work in support of teaching and learning.

SPSC 2020 Facilitators

Pat is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer/Director of Education at Treaty Six Education Council. Pat has worked as a First Nations and Metis Advisor for the Ministry of Education, Director of Education for TSEC, Superintendent for BATC, and and Aboriginal Employment Development Coordinator. He is an experienced advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. He is skilled in working with nonprofit organizations, in educational consulting, and in classroom management, lesson planning, and educational technology. Pat also has a Master's degree focused in educational administration from the University of Saskatchewan.

Dave Derksen has served in division leadership roles for over 20 years. In that time he has focused intensively on development of professional learning systems and effective leadership of learning in curriculum, instruction and assessment. He also has extensive experience in coaching, strategic planning, and development of essential leadership competencies.

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.
Kelley Ehman is Superintendent of Education Services with Regina Catholic Schools. Prior to this role, she spent 18 years as a classroom teacher, primarily at the high school level, six years as a high school department head of English/Humanities, two years as a curriculum consultant, and six years as a high school-based administrator. This is Kelley’s third year as a facilitator at the summer short course and she is delighted to be back to learn much from colleagues and share her own experiences.

Gord Husband comes to the SPSC as a facilitator from South East Cornerstone Public School Division based out of Weyburn. Gord’s roots are from the farming community of Harris in west-central Saskatchewan. His educational path has included undergraduate degrees in Kinesiology, Education and a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.

Gord’s career started as a teacher at the Estevan Junior High. After two years he moved to Hillside Elementary to become a vice principal and the following year he became the principal of Hillcrest School in Estevan. After four years at Hillcrest School he moved to Swift Current to become a vice principal at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School. In the summer of 2010, Gord became the Superintendent of Human Resources for South East Cornerstone Public School Division. After eight years in Human Resources he moved into the Superintendent of Schools role in which he is responsible for overseeing 13 schools. Gord has been a longtime supporter of the SPSC attending twice as a participant as well as accessing the event to professionally support new administrators. Gord looks forward to being a facilitator at this year’s SPSC and connecting with participants in this very valuable professional development.

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!

Joanna Landry is a proud Métis / First Nations member of Cowessess First Nations, Saskatchewan.

She received her Bachelor of Education degree in 1995 from the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teachers Education (SUNTEP) program. In 2005, she completed her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She has been employed with the Regina Catholic School Division these past 25 years as a teacher; Aboriginal Education Consultant; First Nations, Inuit and Metis Education Coordinator; and most recently as Superintendent of Education Services.  As an educator, she has demonstrated a history of leadership in education, with non-profit organizations, in facilitation, in fundraising, and in strategic planning. She is a leader in Indigenous education and has proven to be a strong advocate of professional development to empower educators to achieve success with all students, especially First Nations and Métis learners. Joanna is strong in curriculum implementation, and utilizes collaboration as a means to give community a voice in education.

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.

Lori’s career in education includes teaching and administration in rural and urban schools in southern Saskatchewan. Her first permanent contract was as a principal of a small rural K-8. She has a Master's in Educational Psychology and is a Registered Psychologist. Lori has been working as a Superintendent for Prairie South Schools since 2009 and currently has curriculum, instruction, assessment and student support in her portfolio. She recently completed an EdD in reading and literacy. Lori is a board member with SK Abilities and a sessional lecturer at the U of R. Parenting and playing outdoors biking, running and walking her dog keep her busy outside of work.

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.

Vicki holds a Bachelor of Education degree and Master of Education in Educational Administration from the University of Saskatchewan. She is currently a Superintendent of School Operations with the Sun West School Division. Prior to becoming a superintendent, Vicki held positions as a classroom teacher, storefront school teacher, vice-principal and principal.

Active participation in all aspects of Saskatchewan high school athletics has been a valued part of each of those experiences. Vicki’s current portfolio and professional responsibilities include beginning teacher orientation and mentorship; School Community Council operations; family and community engagement; School-based Administrators Leadership group; principal meetings; high school re-design and athletics. She is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of 18 Sun West Schools, and is currently a member of the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association. Vicki’s work is driven by her belief in the limitless potential of every child. She is very honoured to be returning to this year’s Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course.

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.

SPSC 2020 Assistants to the Director

Kathryn Bloski
Zanna McCrea
Jade Belhumeur

Kathryn Bloski is from Saskatoon. She has completed her Bachelor of Arts Honours degree and is now currently in her final year of the Elementary and Middle Years Bachelor of Education program. Her teaching areas are Social Studies and English. Kathryn finds it exciting to be a part of the SPSC as it provides a space for teachers, principals, vice-principals, administrators etc. to all 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 as she works with presenters, facilitators, and attendees. She feels that the sharing of knowledge and experience will be beneficial to her own ideas of instructional leadership and to her future career. Kathryn loves history and museums and once worked at a small-town Saskatchewan museum for a summer job. Getting to know the history and community kept her coming back for three summers. Once she completes her degree in December she is looking to teach anywhere in Saskatchewan to discover and celebrate the communities throughout the province. Working with this platform has her excited to enter into the workforce and explore the opportunities available.

Zanna McCrea is from Yorkton and is in year-four of the Elementary and Middle Years Bachelor of Education program.  Her teaching areas are Science and Modern Languages.

Zanna was interested in working for the Short Course because she feels that it provides a valuable opportunity to meet and interact with educators and administrators across the province. She also sees the SPSC as providing a means for future educators like her to learn more about educational leadership, and to work alongside a dedicated and knowledgeable team. Outside of her university classes, she enjoys reading, music and spending time with family and friends.

Jade Belhumeur is from Calgary and is in her second year of the SUNTEP Bachelor of Education program.  Her teaching areas are Indigenous Studies and English.  Working with the Short Course was of interest to Jade because she wants to be as involved in the educational system as she can be and she feels that this course is a great tool for her to utilize for the rest of her career.  After SUNTEP, she wants to take the Master’s program in Public Policy and use her experience in education to make laws and policies related to educational matters.

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.

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.


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 25, 2020; however, as late appointments of Administrators are inevitable, we may be able to accept late registrations under such circumstances.

Past Participant Comments


The following comments were selected as representative of participant response to a request as part of SPSC 2019 Evaluation to provide a closing Additional Comment about the program:

  • The diversity of your speakers and presentations, so many options.
  • The variety of breakout sessions around a range of topics.  The ability to choose for ourselves what we wanted to learn was a treat.
  • Loved the small group sessions wher we could debrief and share our thoughts in a safer space. 
  • Overall loved the program.  Great sessions and I really loved the small group sessions and having time to discuss more in depth what we learned.
  • Wonderful! The campus is beautiful, the session rooms are adequate.  The theatre is great and Marquis Hall has wonderful food.
  • Planning and execution was phenomenial.  Sessions and toopics were choosen carefully and everything seemed to run smoothly and on time.
  • This has been the best PD I have taken.  I feel so refreshed, motivated and have had a fire ignite within me this week.  I loved seeing how everyone involved in the organizing and implementing this course are so passionate.  It was so easy to catch their passion.  I loved the week.  Thank you and keep up the good work!
  • The opportunity to learn with and from all our Indigenous leaders was very powerful.  I appreciate all of the keynote speeches and their messages about the different aspects of being a leader.
  • Excellent presentations to choose from.  Loved that they are offered twice so that I could attend more that I'm interested in.
  • Excellent venue.  Staying close to campus havind the walk to and from added to being present in the learning and the days.  Beautiful campus!
  • This course challenged my thinking and opened my eyes in particular to the importance of Indigenization.  The quaility of the speakers was absolutely superb, I am humbled and honoured to have spent a week with such passionate and intelligent professionals. 

Advisory Committee

2020 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 David Burgess Director, Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit
Ms Patricia Prowse Associate Director, Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit
Dr Michelle Prytula Director, Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course
Mr Pete Chief First Nations Representative
Dr Vicki Squires Head, Department of Educational Administration

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