Sector Leaders Put a Spotlight on Public Education

Armed with 20 slides and a 6 minute and 40 second window to present them, presenters at BCSTA’s Sector Leaders Speaker Series did not mince words while making their high-impact presentations to trustees to kick off the first Provincial Council Meeting of 2017.

Assembling under the banner, “How does a strong public education system make a difference to your sector?” BCSTA’s Elections Engagement Committee, with the aim of reaching out to community members outside of the education sector,  invited the following distinguished guests to the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver to speak on the importance of public education:

  • Dr. Patricia Daly, Vice-President, Public Health and Chief Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health
  • James Hursthouse, Acting DigiBC Executive Director, DigiBC
  • Bernard Richard, Representative for Children and Youth
  • Isobel Mackenzie, The Senior’s Advocate
  • James Rout, Associate Vice-President, Education Support and Innovation, BCIT
  • Kishoore Ramanathan and Amy Zeng, Representatives, Student Voice, Richmond School District

The committee, led by BCSTA Board Members Donna Sargent and Gordon Swan, sought to bring leaders from different areas of business and education together in order to spark conversation leading into the upcoming election.

Reviews from the session where glowing, the message clearly having a vivid influence on those in attendance.

“The energy brought forth by today’s presenters perfectly captures the passion we have as publicly-elected representatives for education,” said BCSTA Vice President and committee Co-Chair Gordon Swan. “We hope that we can turn that passion into action between now and May 9th”

High-school students Kishoore Ramanathan and Amy Zeng inspired the attendees with their outlook on public education, with Kishoore highlighting that “my teachers have helped form my core values, and helped me figure out what I want to do in life.”

The viewpoint meshed with DigiBC’s James Hursthouse presentation, where he stated that “it is not just what the kids know, but how they learn it.”

The message is that we need to invest in educators and students continued to be echoed throughout the evening.

In response to the formulation of an integrated curriculum, Dr. Patricia Daly of Vancouver Coastal Health emphasized that we need to “plan for the future, not just in 4-year cycles.” The discussion underlined the importance of long-term planning for education, and continued support for initiatives that will have a long-lasting impact on future generations.

The evening was rounded out by an engaging question and answer period, during which BCIT’s James Rout reminded attendees that we need to work together, and break tasks down into manageable steps. His statement that “we change the world a little bit at a time,” was well received by those on hand.

The message from the Sector Leaders Speaker Series is intended to move forward and spark conversation as we move toward the provincial election. “We hope trustees can engage with members of their communities just like we did here,” said Sargent in closing the event.

BCSTA hopes that districts across the province can take ideas from the event and engage sector leaders in their own community.

Videos from the Sector Leaders Speaker Series can be view below. Please share the videos with your district board, staff and community members.


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