Excellence in education through exceptional school board governance


Keynote speaker

Drew Dudley

Speaker, author, and founder of Day One Leadership

Prior to founding Day One, Drew spent 8 years as the Director of one of Canada’s largest leadership development programs at the University of Toronto and served as National Chair of Canada’s largest post-secondary charity, which mobilized 35,000 volunteers annually to support the work of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Recognized as one of the most dynamic keynote speakers in the world, Drew has spoken to over 250,000 people on 5 continents, been featured on The Huffington Post, Radio America, Forbes.com, and TED.com, where his “TED talk” has been voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time”. Time and Business Insider magazines have all included his talk on their lists of “speeches that will make you a better leader”.


Overcoming Silos Building Leaders and Breaking Down Silos

Your organization has smart, dedicated, and talented people. So why does it sometimes struggle to get everyone working together effectively? Silos develop when people fear that working as part of a collective will stand in the way of reaching personal goals and living their core values. As a result, they stick to people with the same values, and avoid engagement where their values might be compromised. This can lead to cliques, turf wars, interpersonal conflict, and of course, lower productivity and satisfaction.

The problem in many organizations is that those within them only discover (or really, guess at) the key values of their teammates when a conflict arises or when a teammate does something they don’t like. In this keynote, leadership speaker Drew Dudley provides a step-by-step process organizations can use to help team members understand their own values and those of their colleagues, as well as embed four key values necessary for collaboration in every organizational culture.


Maddy Daniels

Board Chair, Northland School Division

Maddy’s life journey began in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories (NWT). Her paternal lineage is with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. Maddy’s great-grandfather, Fredrick Daniels, and her grandfather William Daniels, both worked for the RCMP as guides throughout the North Wood Buffalo area in the NWT. Her maternal lineage (Calliou) is from the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement. Maddy’s great-grandfather Louis Calliou was one of the first settlers to arrive on the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement in 1939. She was raised in the earliest part of her life in the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement. Daniels is the mother of three boys who attend Paddle Prairie School.

In 2008, Maddy earned a Social Work Diploma from Northern Lakes College. Her diploma is supplemented with many years of community work in the fields of early intervention, prevention and education both in the kindergarten to grade 12 system as well as post-secondary studies. Maddy’s first job in education was with Northland School Division as an ECS teacher. The most influential people in Maddy’s life are Great Aunt Elizabeth and her sister Jude. Great Aunt Elizabeth provided Maddy the unconditional love and support to forge on with a unique way of looking at the world and Jude encouraged her to keep all areas of life strong and to work hard.

As the Board Chair, Maddy wants to contribute to student learner success for all Northland Schools. She believes having a Métis background as well as being a First Nation woman puts her in a unique position in representing the interests of First Nation, Metis, and non-Indigenous students.



Lorraine Cardinal-Roy

Director of First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Learner Success, Northland School Division

Lorraine Cardinal-Roy, a mother of four children and five grandchildren, was appointed Northland School Division (NSD) Director of First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Learner Success in 2015. A member of Sucker Creek First Nation, Lorraine is using her knowledge to help NSD school communities revitalize and sustain Indigenous language and culture. Her early schooling experiences included attending residential school, catholic and public school systems. Those experiences motivated Lorraine to seek better ways to balance education with her ancestral background and a cultural upbringing that stressed the importance of family and giving back.

Lorraine’s career in education began as a Teacher Assistant and Cree Language Instructor. She became a certified teacher after completing a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta (U of A) in 1996. From there she accepted a position as a teacher at High Prairie’s St. Andrew’s School where she instructed grades 3 through 12 in the Cree language. During her time serving as a teacher she also worked with Northland School Division contributing to background research and providing regional insights for the development of Cree language resource materials for instructors. In this role she collaborated on NSD Cree Project as a teacher resource person for grades 4, 5 and 6 which resulted in the publication of the Pakan Series 2000.

Lorraine returned to U of A in pursuit of a Master’s Degree in First Nations’ Education. Her thesis focused on maintaining Aboriginal cultural identity and language retention. In her research she discovered that school conditions can influence learning rates.

After graduating, she accepted a position as a Senior Education Manager for Alberta Education’s First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Branch.  While fulfilling a variety of roles with the First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Branch, Lorraine’s vision and passion to make a difference did not waver.  Her optimism that solutions were possible grew stronger when she worked as the Executive Secretary with the Northland Inquiry Team. In this role, she travelled with the inquiry team to all twenty-three communities in NSD. There she listened to narratives from Community Leadership, Teachers, Educational Assistants, Elders, parents, students and community members as they described their struggles, regional concerns and hopes for the future of education.

She then joined the Northland Community Engagement Committee where she took part in the development of the Northland Community Engagement Framework. These experiences proved to Lorraine that collaboration and communication between community and schools, infusion of language and culture in curriculum is integral to student success.


How NSD is overcoming barriers to be a leader for Indigenous Education excellence

What is your call to action? That is the question you will be challenged with during this presentation by Northland School Division Board Chair Maddy Daniels and Director of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Learner Success Lorraine Cardinal-Roy.

In a school division where 95% of the student population is of First Nations, Metis descent, weaving Indigenous language and culture into the learning environment has been the norm since NSD was established in 1960.

Indigenous language and culture plays a critical role in shaping division-wide philosophy, encouraging parental and community involvement and ensuring students are strong in identity, healthy and successful.

Residential Schools and the 60’s Scoop are dark moments in Canadian history. Moments that continue to impact NSD school communities. In this presentation, you will learn how the Board of Trustees is aligning policies and strategies to ensure NSD is a leader for Indigenous Education excellence.


Wendy Boje

Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Services and Governance Division

Alberta Education

Student Transportation Presentation


Jenelle Butler

Associate, Brownlee LLP
Barristers & Solicitors

Jenelle acts as counsel for employers across Alberta at all levels of court, the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and the Alberta Labour Relations Board. Her two primary practice areas are Labour & Employment Law and Education Law. Within those practice areas, Jenelle has developed experience in Human Rights, Privacy & Access to Information, and Technology Management, among others. Jenelle has further developed specializations in the representation of school divisions and municipal clients, in addition to private corporations and non-profit organizations of various sizes.

Jenelle’s practice in Labour & Employment Law has brought her into professional contact with both unionized and non-unionized workplaces, primarily from a management perspective. Jenelle frequently provides legal advice regarding issues such as hiring, discipline, and termination; employment contract and policy development and review; collective bargaining, grievances and arbitrations; wrongful dismissal litigation; workplace reorganizations; negotiating severance and retirement packages; managing human rights issues, including the accommodation of illness and disability, family status, mandatory retirement and religious beliefs; privacy and access to information issues, including employment records; confidentiality, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements and related litigation; managing social networking sites and other technology in the workplace; employee training and development agreements; workplace drug and alcohol testing; Alberta Employment Standards Code and Canada Labour Code Complaints; and Human Rights Complaints.


Don’t Let Your Drug and Alcohol Policies Go “Up in Smoke”

Has your approach to drugs and alcohol in the workplace “gone up in smoke” with medical, and soon to be legal, Cannabis? What will be the “new normal”; what do you need to know; and what proactive steps can School Divisions take to deal with this fast breaking issue.


Colin Fetter

Parnter, Brownlee LLP
Barristers & Solicitors

Colin Fetter was drawn to the legal profession by his love of advocacy. Since as early as grade four, Colin has loved to take up a cause or an argument and advocate for his side. Constantly looking for the ideal way of approaching an argument or a problem to guarantee, or at least maximize, the end result. Now as a Partner at Brownlee, and the Leader of the firm’s Employment and Labour Practice Group, Colin relishes and takes pride in tackling employers’ often complex and highly inflammatory employee problems, usually providing solutions and practical advice during the first phone call.

One of Colin’s favorite quotes is from British legal consultant, Richard Susskind, who stated, “Clients want a fence at the top of the cliff, not an ambulance at the bottom.” As much as Colin loves and excels at advocating his clients’ interests in the heat of battle, Colin learned early in his years of advising employers that many of his clients’ disputes or problems could have been prevented or minimized with proactive steps at the time of hire, policy development or a more effective human resource management system. Colin chose many years ago to proactively speak to his clients and to employer groups across Western Canada, about key proactive steps that every employer should be taking to reduce employee disputes and the cost of resolving the ones that do arise. Colin continues this practice to date and has become an indispensable part of many employers’ human resource management teams. Colin regularly advises and represents a wide variety of employers in all industries, ranging from large national companies through to small business and charitable community organizations. In particular, Colin has extensive experience and specialization in the representation of Municipal and School Division clients, and in these areas, his practice and experience also extends to a wide array of issues affecting these unique institutional clients such as governance, risk management, and other issues arising from legislation such as the School Act and Municipal Government Act.

While Colin’s practical focus is on assisting clients with proactive employee management, he is also a fierce litigation advocate when needed. He has an overwhelming record of successful outcomes at every employment and labour tribunal, forum and court in the Province of Alberta, including multiple successful appearances at the Court of Appeal, and a successful appearance at the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Her Majesty the Queen v. Public Service Alliance of Canada, where he represented the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association as an intervenor.

As a married father of two and avid cyclist, Colin can also be regularly found at sporting venues throughout Edmonton where he has and continues to be a regular volunteer and minor club football coach.


Don’t Let Your Drug and Alcohol Policies Go “Up in Smoke”

Has your approach to drugs and alcohol in the workplace “gone up in smoke” with medical, and soon to be legal, Cannabis? What will be the “new normal”; what do you need to know; and what proactive steps can School Divisions take to deal with this fast breaking issue.

Who’s the Boss?

A Board’s most critical and important relationship is with its Superintendent.  This session will focus on how a Board and the Superintendent can work together most effectively; and in particular in the employment area, who has responsibility for what and how can the Superintendent and Trustee’s stay on course with proper principals of governance and communication.


Kirsten Hayne

Associate, Brownlee LLP
Barristers & Solicitors

Many leaders, especially those in Human Resources, will tell you that 20% of the people consume 80% of their time.  Kirsten likes to help her clients flip that statistic by working on their business instead of in it.  Kirsten is an experienced Labour & Employment and Education lawyer with a unique background in executive management meaning she knows how to take theory into practice. Although she’s always there to help if you get into trouble, Kirsten prefers to support her clients with proactive strategies, policy/process development and professional learning opportunities.  She works with Management in both unionized and non-union workplaces, and has experience with employers of all types and sizes including large corporations, small family businesses, municipalities, school boards and not-for-profits. Kirsten learned these skills in the trenches – she spent 5 years at Northlands, a 139-year old not-for-profit company that was home to the Edmonton Oilers, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, horse racing, K-Days and western Canada’s largest conference centre.  As Vice President of People Services & General Counsel, Kirsten oversaw the legal affairs of the company as well as led 2,200 employees and 1,500 volunteers through everything from strategic initiatives to operational matters. Whether Boardroom politics or bucking bulls, Kirsten has seen it all.



Don’t let your workplace be a bystander on this issue. If you do not have a Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy this is not only an opportune time to address the issue in your workplace surrounded by overwhelming societal support and commentary; it is actually required to comply with an employer’s occupational health and safety obligations.  If your School Division has a Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy, now is the time to review it and make sure it is up to date, appropriate, and effective.