Featured Keynotes

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange

Minister of Education

The Honourable Adriana LaGrange was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Red Deer-North on April 16, 2019. She was appointed Minister of Education on April 30, 2019.

Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, she was a trustee for the Red Deer Catholic regional school division for over 11 years, during which time she held every position, including board chair and provincial negotiator. She held the position of provincial president of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association from 2015 to 2018 and vice-president of the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association from 2017 to 2018.

Between 1981 and 2006 MLA LaGrange intermittently worked for the Michener Centre in Red Deer, where she filled various roles, including as a shift charge, behavioural specialist and social academic.

She has also been involved in managing the family farm and the trucking division of a hog farm partnership since 1984.

Over the years she has received numerous accolades for her community work, including having accepted the friend of the Alberta School Councils’ Association award in 2017 and the St. Thomas More award in 2018. She has also been recognized by the Michener Centre for her avid volunteerism.

She was born in Guelph, Ontario, and holds an honours diploma in rehabilitative studies from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.

She is a wife, mother of seven and proud grandmother of four.

She was the 924th Member to be sworn in to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

Kelly Johnson, BA, BEd, MA is an Alberta educator, organizational development facilitator, experienced Professional Certified Coach, former school administrator, instructional coach and parent of two Alberta graduates. She supports schools, administrators, boards, school councils and central office leaders in school community transformation. To date, she has applied her coaching and educational expertise to partnering with senior and system leaders in the public and private sectors, government, public and post-secondary education, non-profit, health, communication/publishing and business entrepreneurial areas.

As a full-time leadership coach in government and now a full-time Alberta-based Leader in Me Coach with the Education Division of FranklinCovey, Kelly provides one-on-one team coaching and professional learning related to student empowerment, leadership and implementation of goals. Kelly brings inspiration, curiosity, strategy and a keen sense of passion to her personal mission to change the world alongside of other educators, system leaders, community members and families.

Debbie Pushor, PhD, is a mother of three adult sons, Cohen, Quinn, and Teague, and a former public school teacher, consultant, principal and central services administrator. She currently works as a Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

In her program of research, Debbie has engaged in narrative inquiries into parent engagement and leadership, a curriculum of parents, and parent knowledge. She is currently engaged in research on systematic parent engagement in an elementary and a secondary school in Saskatchewan. In her undergraduate and graduate teaching, Debbie makes central an often absent or underrepresented conversation about the positioning of parents in relation to school landscapes.

Working with graduate students, Debbie has published two books, Portals of Promise: Transforming Beliefs and Practices through a Curriculum of Parents (Sense Publishers, 2013) and Living as Mapmakers: Charting a Course with Children Guided by Parent Knowledge (Sense Publishers, 2015). She has also published numerous articles and book chapters, and has co-edited a book on teacher education. More information can be found at: www.debbiepushor.ca.

Debbie led the development of a 9 part video series on parent engagement in Early Childhood settings. The videos, Care as a Bridge Between Us, have been released as a free course  through Debbie’s website: https://www.debbiepushor.ca/courses/bridgebetweenus

Follow Debbie on Twitter @DrDebbiePushor. Check out conversation threads: #parentengagement, #parentknowledge, #walkalongside, #gentlerevolution.

Student Panel: EcoVision Environment Club Lacombe Composite High School

Lacombe Composite High School’s EcoVision is an environmental club where student’s dreams become reality.

Students have become empowered to become ecological leaders through projects that benefit their environment, enhance their education and encourage community collaboration.

The EcoVision students at Lacombe Composite High School have organized projects over the past 15 years that have seen solar panels installed on the school roof, a geodesic energy efficient tropical greenhouse built, a two-acre garden developed and a unique urban beekeeping program incorporated into the curriculum.

A recent project is “Roofs 4 Kids” with an EPICC - Educational Pollinator Indigenous Carbon Capture - Garden, where students have built a baby goat or “KID” sanctuary with a rooftop garden, a rainwater catchment and solar power. Through this project, students would like to introduce an animal husbandry class, animal therapy program and reintroduce Indigenous herbs with medicinal, edible and pollination uses.

These projects — and many others — have led to the group winning the 2014 Emerald Award, the 2016 Ron Kruhlack Award and Canada’s Greenest School in 2018. Whether it’s feeding compost worms, raising tilapia fish, harvesting honey or building a goat sanctuary — listen and discover how EcoVision’s projects have left an impact on students, their school and the community.