Blog Posts

June 16, 2022

The Launch of Our Equity Website

One of the lasting legacies of the COVID-19 pandemic will be its exposure of pre-existing societal inequities to a wider audience. While inequities have existed in society and schools since they were created, the pandemic has caused many of us to see them with greater clarity. The murder of George Floyd perhaps served as a catalyzing moment, but I suspect there were more forces at play.

June 7, 2022

The Bridge

We all have a history, some of which we would change if we could go back, but we can’t. On the other hand, it would be a mistake upon a mistake not to learn from it. This also can apply to whole countries that have committed unconscionable acts. Canada is no exception for its inhumane treatment of Indigenous People. Leaving them deeply wounded, scared and bewildered with generational trauma. In other words, the gravity of the damage is so severe it has left the first people with long-term repercussions. Impacting them mentally, physically, and spiritually. And it isn’t over.

April 28, 2022

Speaking Your Truth: Student Voices (from WJ Mouat)

The most recent stop on my student voice inquiry journey was at WJ Mouat. I continue to be fascinated by the diversity of thought about certain issues, and simultaneously the remarkable consistency around other topics. Rather than editorialize, I will Arianna (Gr. 9), Omran (Gr. 12), Jazzi (Gr. 11), Nickolas (Gr. 11), Bella (Gr. 11), Lily (Gr. 12), Nathan (Gr. 11), Jayda (Gr. 12), and Natalie (Gr. 12) speak their truth:

When you think about school, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why?

March 10, 2022

Trust the Village

I visited the temporary Upper Sumas Elementary site this week to see how the staff and students were adjusting to their “new” environment (For those of you who have been around as long as I have been, this was the old Abby Elementary School site). As I approached the front doors, I saw a class of students standing in circle in a little garden patch. I made eye contact with the teacher, Ms. Marr, who invited me to join their circle. She told me that they had just finished sharing what they were grateful for and invited me to do the same.

February 28, 2022

Student Voice: Selling Hope

With all that has transpired in this country and in Europe over the last few weeks, it is easy to slip into despair. However, when you work with and in service of children it is both difficult and unhealthy to live in that space. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with a group of eight students from Robert Bateman Secondary last week, and true to form, they not only affirmed the importance of our work, but lifted my spirits about the fundamental importance of our ongoing journey to deepen student learning experiences in our schools.  

February 3, 2022

Why Celebrate Black History Month?

I have a hope that one day we will not have to celebrate Black History Month, that our society, discourse and school curricula will be redolent with the contributions and experiences of Black Canadians, that Black students in our schools will be proud of who they are, that they will see their history and culture in the ecology of their school experiences, and that they will not suffer the legacy of prejudice and racism as their previous generation had. This is certainly not the case right now, but we must remain ever optimistic that this will be evident in the not-too-distant future. 

January 13, 2022

Renaming and Intertwining History

At the end of 2021, the Abbotsford School District approved changing the name of two of our schools - Upper Sumas Elementary to Semá:th Elementary and Matsqui Elementary to Mathxwí Elementary. This decision was made in consultation with the local First Nation communities as an acknowledgement of the traditional and unceded territory of the Stó:lō people, the Semá:th First Nation and Mathxwí First Nation and their longstanding relationship to the land. Stó:lō Elders describe their connection to the land in the statement "we have always been here." 

December 12, 2021


This past month families experiencing flooding lost so much.  Having little to no time to respond, many lost items stored in the basement or crawlspace, especially seasonal items that were damaged beyond repair.  Considering much bigger loses occurred, why is it that losing Christmas decorations hurts so much?  The ornament made by our kids, the picture ornaments of special memories, family antiques carefully wrapped and placed on the tree each year.  Memories of better times lost in soggy basements.  Allison Gardner, Teacher for Indigenous Success (Supporting Indigenous Pedagogy), knows th

December 9, 2021

School is Where the Heart Is

When I was recently asked to share with some of my colleagues how our school district was handling the challenges related to the recent rainstorms and flooding, I could not help but reflect on the numerous calamities we have experienced as a community over the last decade. In addition to the pandemic and disastrous flooding of the last three weeks, our community has endured more than its fair share of tragedies. We have lost more students from a range of misfortune too difficult to recount here.