Learning Opportunity

Annual Support Staff / Librarians' Conference 2023

This session has been completed.
Facilitator: Various
Date:February 23, 2023
Time:8:30 am to 3:45 pm MTN
$50.00 (General admission)
Location: Virtual
Session Code: 23-IE-016-CARC
Focus: First Nations, Métis, Inuit and TRC Inclusive Education Curriculum Implementation and Pedagogy Mental Health and Wellness

Target Audience

Educational assistants, Learning Commons staff

About this Learning Opportunity

Join us online for our annual Support Staff / Librarians' Conference!

This session is being offered on a cost recovery basis.


Sam Demma

At 22 years old, entrepreneur and keynote speaker Sam Demma doesn’t let his age define his drive or credibility. His goal is to provide people of all ages with the tools and strategies they need to become change-makers in their schools, businesses, communities, and in the lives of those around them. And it all started with...garbage. He’s delivered two TEDx talks, interviewed over 200 educators on his podcast, “The High Performing Educator,” is the youngest board director of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, and there’s no limit to where small actions will take this big thinker. For more information: www.samdemma.com

Richard Van Camp

Richard Van Camp is a proud Tlicho Dene from Fort Smith, NWT, living in Edmonton, Treaty 6 Territory. He is the bestselling author of 26 books and is renowned for his storytelling. His novel, The Lesser Blessed, is now a feature film with First Generation Films and his graphic novel with Krystal Mateus, Three Feathers (HighWater Press), has now been adapted to film and is the first movie to be shot in four different languages: Bush Cree, Dene, South Slavey and English. Richard has dedicated his life to recording, transcribing, and sharing stories and teachings from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers with permission for future generations. You can visit Richard on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube and at www.richardvancamp.com

Barb Rusiewicz-Enright

Barb is a registered psychologist with her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology who has over twenty years experience working with children with a variety of complex and severe special needs and their families. This work has primarily involved a collaborative, team-based approach across a variety of settings. Barb has significant experience within a diagnostic clinic assessment setting as well as supporting families at home as they implement strategies to support their child’s functioning. Barb has also been a consulting psychologist to schools both in an assessment and consultation capacity.  In addition, she has extensive experience teaching courses at the college level in the departments of early learning and childcare and educational assistant programs. Most recently, she has worked within a private, clinic setting utilizing a theraplay-based and collaborative team approach. 

Barb brings to her practice and speaking presentations her early childhood development ‘roots’ as a preschool teacher as well as from child care that informs her commitment to the ‘whole child’. Her bigger picture and systems thinking has also been influenced by her early career advocacy work on national projects such as Child Care Aware and Barb’s current engagement in infant and early childhood mental health.

Tania Johnson

"I am a Registered Psychologist and a Registered Play Therapist. I completed my undergraduate studies in South-Africa before engaging in a one year, full time internship in Chicago at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. In 2012, I received my Masters of Counselling from City University of Seattle. During my Master’s degree, I worked both on the front lines and as a counsellor with foster and adoptive families who faced a range of emotional, behavioural and cognitive challenges.

Since completing my degree, I have worked in a private practice setting with children, teens, adults and families. I work primarily from an attachment based perspective. This means that I work with clients to explore how early relationships affect how we come to understand our self, other people and the world.

It is an honour to work with clients and families to create a space for lasting change. I endeavour to always approach my clients with respect, honesty, integrity and warmth."

Goota Desmarias

Goota Desmarais - Goota is from Nunavut and spent her childhood living in an Inuit settlement during the winter and a traditional settlement during the summers. Goota will share about language, culture and traditional living from the land.

Sue Huff

Sue is a parent mentor at the Alberta Wellness Center for Eating Disorders (www.albertaWellnessED.com), providing support and coaching for caregivers who have a loved one with an eating disorder. She also has private clients from the USA and across Canada (suehuff.ca/familypeersupport). Sue is the founding Executive Director for the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta, author of a book on eating disorders, and the parent of a child who has recovered from Anorexia Nervosa. She is trained in family peer support, emotion focused family therapy, and mediation. Prior to entering the mental health field, Sue had a career as a professional actor, writer and director in theatre, film, TV, and radio. She also did a brief stint as a politician. She lives in Edmonton with her husband and English Setter, Chester.

David Plamondon

David Plamondon is the Team Guide and Co-Founder of Pe Metawe Consulting and Pe Metawe Games. Both organizations focus heavily on community engagement and providing support through a decolonized approach based on the lived experience of Indigenous Peoples. Pe Metawe Consulting specializes in creating customized workshops and leading community focused engagement sessions, while Pe Metawe Games provides a safe and inclusive space for historically excluded people to have a place at the table in the tabletop hobby.

Renee Joslin

For the past 8 years I have worked as a psychologist; in health care and private practice. I support youth and adults with depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. I recently started supervising provisional psychologists and am currently working with two crackerjacks and feel so grateful to learn from them.

I teach 3 courses for Red Deer College in the Educational Assistant Certificate program and have been there for 5 years. I am never bored and love the variety and meaning in my work. My husband is a teacher/vice principal with Red Deer Public Schools. We have 3 kiddos. Recently, our oldest son convocated with his B. Comm degree at U of A. Our youngest son is attending RDC in his second year of Secondary Education. Our daughter is in grade 12 and sad that COVID is going to change grad celebrations.

I love to work and love to play. One of my mottos is “Work hard - play hard.”

In my play time I like to travel, camp and golf. I also enjoy walking with our pups Lily and Oliver. My hubby and I took up hiking this past summer and had two adventurous getaways to Jasper and Canmore. It was a timely reminder that nature is one of my happy places!

Callie Drew

Callie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to yoga. She has trained and taught many different styles of yoga as well as taught in many different places such as California, Florida, Sweden, and England. She completed her first teaching training well over 10 years ago and has continued with her yoga training through out the years.
Callie has a deep passion and love for yoga and movement. Her biggest reward: helping people realize their potentials as well as move and groove together. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach this online class and connect with you on the mat!

Chris Zarski

Chris is supporting Alberta teachers as a Curriculum Implementation Support Consultant with the Central Alberta Regional Learning Consortium. She recently served as the Director of Instruction and Staff Development for the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School Division. Throughout her 40+ year career as a teacher, administrator, Examiner with Alberta Education, author and assessment & pedagogical consultant with McGraw Hill/Nelson Publishing, Chris continues her passion for learning and sharing her experiences. With years of experience and opportunities to amass a variety of resources and approaches to pedagogy and assessment, Chris continues to read and stay up-to-date with the current literature and research. “Deepening our students' learning begins with us as educators - having a deep understanding of our subject, and a toolbox full of strategies to pull out as needed.” Come join Chris as she helps fill that toolbox and challenges your thinking!

Dean Pasiuk & Lee Caine

Dean and Lee have over 60 years educational experience working in Central Alberta Schools. During Dean’s 30 years as an educator, he has gone from classroom teacher to administrator with the Chinooks Edge School Division and the Red Deer Public School Division. Dean has been the Director of Education at the CACAC for the past two years. Lee has taught in the Red Deer Catholic School Division for over 30 years at the high school level. For 9 of those years, Lee worked as a high school counselor. Together Dean and Lee are passionate about ensuring that the safety and well-being of the child is always put first. Their presentation will include interactive question answer so educators can discuss the difficult topic of abuse and trauma.

Collette Sylvestre

As a Learning Associate with Jigsaw Learning, Collette brings a wealth of experience specializing in responsive behaviour supports, synchronous/asynchronous learning design, diverse learning strategies, school leadership and educational consulting. With Jigsaw Learning, Collette works strategically with school district leaders, principals and teachers to bring the vision of Collaborative Response, as well as WeCollab, into reality through facilitating the development of effective plans for implementation. Through fostering collaborative relationships, Collette is highly skilled at supporting administrators and teachers with navigating blended face to face and online platforms to meet the needs of all learners within the context of Universal Design.

  • School and District collaborative leadership with both public and international private school systems
  • Extensive experience with strategic planning and inclusive support leadership
  • Masters degree with a specialization in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  • Blended and Online Professional Development for child care workers with First Nations, Metis and Inuit Women’s Shelters in North Eastern Alberta
  • Over 20 years of professional experience preschool to college level in both rural and urban settings
  • Engaging presenter, facilitator, coach and mentor

Amanda Wilson

For 18 years, Amanda Wilson has been an advocate for STEM education. She was a secondary STEM teacher, then transferred to a district STEM instructional and assessment specialist. Amanda has worked with multiple education grants at the collegiate level supporting new STEM teachers designed to increase teacher retention rates. She believes that all students are curious and that providing resources that allow students to engage in exploration is critical for transformative learning. Amanda has been with ExploreLearning for over 4 years supporting elementary and secondary teachers in the United States and Canada. She believes all students are naturally inquisitive and active learners.

Tammy Schamuhn

Tammy is a Registered Psychologist and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. Tammy also has a Bachelors of Education from the University of Alberta and practiced as an elementary teacher in Edmonton before going on to complete her Masters degree in Psychology. Tammy is the Founder and former Executive Director of Family Counselling Centres, and the Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Child Psychology.

Tammy has been working in private practice for the past decade in Alberta, primarily with children and their families. She also supervises offer clinical supervision masters-level counselling students, and provisional psychologists. Tammy also has a big place in her heart for animals developed an animal-assisted therapy program that operates from her property called ‘Hooves of Hope Ranch’ and founded the Child-Centered Animal-Assisted Therapy Association (www.ccaata.com).

Tammy approaches her clinical and educational work with parents and professionals with an attachment and neurobiological lens: all of her work is based on the neurology of the brain and how attachment is integral to adaptive functioning of both children and adults. As a child who endured much trauma in her past she speaks about her personal experiences with family substance abuse, domestic violence, emotional abuse, and how the power of connection is integral to healing and overcoming adversity.

Tammy is passionate, empathic, and down to earth. Her no non-sense approach, woven with humor and personal narratives makes her relatable and her information about mental health, interpersonal neurobiology, trauma, and attachment easy to digest for the audience.

Jan Underwood

Jan is a Settlement Practioner for CARE for Newcomers in Red Deer.

Cathy Coers

Cathy Coers is in her sixth year of secondment as a Curriculum Implementation Support Consultant for the Central Alberta Regional Consortium, focusing on instructional design in the areas of numeracy, literacy and concept based instruction. Much of her work has been in chool divisions and schools facilitating sessions and elbow-to-elbow support. She spent 20 years as a classroom teacher from Kindergarten to Grade 8. During that time she also provided support to her teaching colleagues through the roles of Learning Coach, Math Curriculum Implementation Lead, and AISI Leader working in the areas of literacy, mathematics, assessment, and instructional practices. She earned her Master's Degree in the Science of Education focusing on the Art and Science of Teaching. In 2018, she became a certified Independent Lynn Erickson and Lois Lanning Concept-Based Curriculum & Instruction Presenter and Trainer.

Bonnie Moshenko-Mitchell

Dr. Bonnie Moshenko-Mitchell has been a practicing psychologist since 1996.  During her career, she has worked in the areas of assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults with a variety of developmental, mental health, and learning concerns.  She has worked in all of the school divisions in Central Alberta, as well as in Fort McMurray Public Schools, at Red Deer College, and at the Child Development Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, AB.  She currently works in private practice in Red Deer, AB.

Jay Bardyla

Jay strives to create a thriving community of literate nerds throughout Alberta. As the former co-owner of the Edmonton-based Happy Harbor Comics (1999-2019), he helped build an innovative and international award-winning business that offered a variety of opportunities to artists, writers and educators.

Happy Harbor visited hundreds of schools and libraries to spread the joy of comics, creativity, and literacy, also donating more than $10,000 worth of comics back to libraries with their Comic Book Fair program. His store was also the first in Canada to develop and maintain a Comics Artist-in-Residence program, which supported creators financially as well as creatively.

After a brief hiatus Jay has returned to the world of pop culture in 2021 co-founding a new shop, Rolling Tales. With some modern tech and a refreshed outlook on how to share the world of comics, this new enterprise will work to bring even more comics to the masses.

He continues to sit on the Board of Directors for the Comics Legends Legal Defense Fund and We Are Here Canada, is an occasional guest instructor at Pixel Blue Art College, and a regular presenter and Keynote Speaker at Library conferences across the Province.

Lisa Shamchuk

Lisa Shamchuk is an Assistant Professor at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, and teaches undergraduate courses in areas such as library collection development, reference, public service, technologies, and research methods. A former elementary school teacher and academic librarian, she has worked in various school, public, academic and special library environments.

Young Alberta Book Society (YABS)

The Young Alberta Book Society (YABS) has been bringing professional literary artists and Alberta’s youth together for nearly 40 years. Through our various programs, we create opportunities for Alberta’s kids to experience the arts, discover their creativity and imagination, and develop stronger literacy skills. Our dedicated team of two staff and a volunteer board have brought literary artists to more than 1.5 million Albertan young people.

Mark Jones

ASEBP Benefits Specialist

Marc-Alexandre Ladouceur

Media Smarts consultant

Thomas Haennel

Tom (MLIS) is the manager is the Confluence Campus library, a facility shared by Red Deer Polytech, West Central Highschool and St. Dominics Highschool in the thriving metropolis of Rocky Mountain House. A self professed nerd, Tom is passionate about everything nerdy/geeky from anime to board games and everything in between.

Jen Awde & Megan Ginter

Jen’s start to the world was in Ontario, where she became a Toronto Maple Leafs fan (don’t hold this against her) and an avid reader, which the public library system helped in dramatically (Harry Potter fans unite!!). Schooling took her from the University of Guelph to the University of Alberta and she never left. Settling in rural Alberta, Jen devotes time to her acreage, Highland cows, Bernese Mountain Dogs and of course, reading. Nothing better than her deck, a good book and a beverage!

Megan grew up in rural Alberta during which the library quickly became her favourite place where books opened the door to many worlds and allowed her to keep learning. Discovering that she could make a living working in her favorite place Megan has been working in libraries for the past 20 years in various capacities. She graduated from San Jose State Universities MLIS program in December 2018. In 2019 she began serving at Carstairs Public Library as their Library Manager. Megan is passionate that everyone deserves excellent library service and that libraries are important hubs for entertainment, learning, and community engagement. She now resides in Airdrie where, in her spare time, she dabbles in art, making activities and music but most importantly finds time to read a book with a cup of tea.

Sherry Taylor

I’m 37 years old, single mom of 2, a 9 year old girl and a 7 year old boy who are my whole world! I’m HR and health and safety coordinator for an oilfield manufacturing company. I found fitness as a Passion when I was pregnant with my oldest, and became a group fitness leader. I love to move, music, high energy and having fun!!!

Destiny Reay & Jenn Erickson

Destiny Reay and Jenn Erickson are mental health professionals with a combined 25+ years of trauma informed practices with Canadian Mental Health Association East Central/Camrose Recovery College