The YCEC 2014 Summer Institute program has two panels relevant to building strong school / community partnerships:

School Board Panel: Operational Practices, Challenges and Possibilities of Transformative Work Within School Boards

Youth Panel

School Board Panel
Date: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Time: 1:15 – 2:15pm
Room: 0001 TEL Auditorium
Title: Operational Practices, Challenges and Possibilities of Transformative Work Within School Boards
Panelists: Camille Williams Taylor (Durham District School Board), Jim Spyropoulos (Toronto District School Board), and Cecil Roach (York Region District School Board)
Moderator: Jack Nigro (Halton Catholic District School Board)
Description: Transformative work with communities and their schools can look different depending on the jurisdiction. But at the heart of the work is a need to explore practices and possibilities that serve the needs of all students and their families. Superintendents from five different school boards will engage in dialogue around inclusive schooling and education and explore what the challenges, successes and priorities for future practice can look like. How are families and communities part of the boards’ plan to link communities and their schools? How is equity work operationalized at all levels of the school board? And how can educators both inside and outside the system create learning spaces where ALL children have a chance to be successful?
Presenter Bio: Camille Williams-Taylor is the Superintendent of Education for Ajax schools in Durham District School Board. Her portfolio includes responsibilities for parent and community engagement for her system.  Camille's journey in education began as a teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She came to Ontario as a teacher in 1991 when she taught in the Peel Board of Education and then the former City of York now TDSB. Camille became a school administrator in 1998 and she has held a number of roles within school systems and beyond. Some of these roles include: Vice-Principal, Principal, and Student Achievement Officer with the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Course Director for the Faculty of Education-York University, Central Coordinating Principal in TDSB's Teaching and Learning Department. Equity and inclusive practices in education have been central to Camille's work. She has facilitated many professional learning opportunities for educators, pre-service teachers, support staff and community with the goal of improving outcomes for all students by extending the capacity of those who serve them within our system.  Camille is the mother and co-parent of three children who are in the public school system.

In his 33 year career as an educator, Mr. Cecil Roach has, as a classroom teacher, school administrator, and superintendent, had the opportunity to have a very profound impact on the lives of young people. Born on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat (now sadly devastated by a continuously erupting volcano) and arriving in Canada in his early teens, Cecil completed most of his schooling in Montreal where he graduated from Marymount High School, Vanier College CEGEP, and Concordia and McGill Universities. He maintains that his time as one who has been termed the “barrel children” (children whose parents left them behind with a grandparent while they prepare for their reunion in Canada) has given him a special insight into the dynamics of immigration and its effect on student achievement and well-being. This experience has also strengthened Mr. Roach’s belief that schools are places where students regardless of their social identities can expand dreams on their journey towards full participation in Canadian society.  Cecil taught English for 16 years in Quebec at Chambly County High School and Centennial Regional High Schools and in Ontario at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute before becoming an administrator in 1995.  Cecil is currently serving as Superintendent, Inclusivity and Community Services for the York Region District School Board.

Jim Spyropoulos is the Executive Superintendent of Equity and Inclusive Schools at the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest school district with approximately 260 000 students in almost 600 schools. Within this role, Jim is responsible for the infusion of equity and inclusiveness into every element of the district with a specific focus on teaching and learning.  Integration of student, parent and community voice into the daily work is a critical part of this work.  Previous to assuming this role Jim was a Family of Schools Superintendent in the TDSB.  Jim served as an administrator in three secondary schools within the TDSB, Emery Collegiate Institute, Newtonbrook Secondary School and C. W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute before becoming a Supervisory Officer in 2007.  Jim and his wife Selena are the proud parents of three boys, Chris, Alexander and Nicholas.

Moderator Bio: Jack Nigro is the Superintendent of Curriculum at the Halton Catholic DSB, which includes responsibilities in Equity and Inclusive Education, Newcomer Students, New Teacher Induction, and Kindergarten.  He is the past co-chair of the TARO Equity and Inclusive Education Network, and was both a local and provincial EIE lead for the MInistry of Education in his previous role as Education Officer at the Toronto and Area Regional Office. He has held portfolios in Parent Engagement, Leadership Development, and NTIP for the Ministry of Education, and also served as a Private Schools Inspector, inspecting over 80 schools both in Ontario and China. He was also the co-author of the Ministry of Education's Community Use of Schools policy.  Previous roles also include a teacher with the Toronto Catholic DSB, a curriculum developer and administrator with the Independent Learning Centre, and the Director of the School-University Partnerships Office in the B.Ed. program at OISE/UT. Jack is also currently on a Canadian team engaged by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago that is working on the renewal of their Kindergarten and Early Childhood Education program


Youth Panel
Date: Friday, August 22, 2014
Time: 9:30 – 10:30am
Room: 0001 TEL Auditorium
Panelists: Dymika Harte (Graduate of Downsview SS), Fawad Habib(C. W. Jefferys), and Winston Luc (Success Beyond Limits)
Moderator: Kaneka Watkins (Success Beyond Limits)
Panelist Bio: Dymika Harte is a recent graduate of Downsview Secondary school. She is an avid volunteer in her community and school. She is a graphic designer, photographer and public speaker who spends her time at local community centres utilizing and building her skills and networks. Dymika also spoke at this year’s annual Walk with Excellence.

Fawad Habib is an amateur orator and speech enthusiast. He was chosen to represent C. W Jefferys at the 2014 Walk of Excellence and was the leader of the 2010 CWJ Youth Council.  By studying at York, he plans to continue his community work and grow as a public speaker.

Winston Luc is a student from Success Beyond Limits who is passionate about education and equity.

Moderator Bio: Success Beyond Limits (SBL), is a not-for-profit organization which has a partnership with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), and is located at Westview Centennial Secondary School during the school year and at York University during the summer months.  Success Beyond Limits is for youth in the Jane-Finch community, and our unique and innovative model has proven to be an effective approach for supporting young people’s success in education. With our team of dedicated and skilled staff, youth mentors, volunteers and the support of key community partners, we deliver a comprehensive, year-round program.