When: Wednesday, June 23rd, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM PDT
Are you wondering what practical teacher activism resembles? Come and learn how educators Monica, Nikitha, Ramona, Trevor and Kenneth are transforming pedagogy and student learning experiences through collaboration, ally-ship, organizing and resource sharing. Remember, best educators don’t limit themselves into their traditional classroom walls! They cooperate and collaborate within and across schools, build teams and networks to advance their teaching skills and to ensure student success.
Kenneth Headley is a Caribbean/Black school administrator. He has been an educator for over 12 years and an advocate for marginalized students, their families and their communities. Through his long-standing relationship with Beth Applewhite and James Morton, Kenneth has been a part of a team that focuses on providing meaningful opportunities to discuss issues of racial discrimination with students and educators. Since 2016, he has played an integral role in the success of annual Anti-Racism Youth Symposiums and Black History Month Student Conferences. Kenneth completed his Bachelor of General Studies in Canadian studies and sociology at SFU. He completed his BEd at SFU as well as his Master’s Degree in Educational Practice, looking at integrating cultural narratives in the classroom. Kenneth has been a moderator on #bcedchat for 5 years moderating conversations on race and curriculum goals for BC Students. Kenneth taught in Surrey for 9 years before becoming a Vice-Principal with the Maple Ridge School District in 2018.
Ramona Cruickshank is currently a teacher and coordinator of a District Program in Maple Ridge for students with complex learning needs. She manages a team of 9 Educational Assistants and works collaboratively with them to support students in developing their voice to better self-advocate and communicate. Ramona is a UBC alumni with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Bachelor of Education degree. This is her 15th year of teaching, four of which were spent in First Nations Schools in BC in the roles of a Special Education Teacher, Vice-Principal, Student Services Coordinator & Spoken Language 12 classroom teacher. In 2016, she completed her Special Education Diploma from Queen’s University. Ramona is biracial, Grenadian, Black, Canadian, phenomenal, leader, founder and former President of the Caribbean & African Association of UBC, Carnival Sensations Caribbean Society and the Vancouver Caribbean Carnival Association. She is soca – the beat and rhythm of the African drum runs through her veins and she is proud of every attempt to feel free both physically and mentally.
Nikitha Fester completed her Bachelor of Education at UBC in 2015 and is presently teaching in the French Immersion program with the Vancouver School district. She is passionate about teaching for joy and social justice and inspiring her students to develop their critical thinking. She will be pursuing her masters in Diversity and Equity Education in the fall.
Monica Noakes is an elementary teacher with the Surrey School District. Monica did her undergraduate studies at SFU and completed it in 2004. Since then she has also completed her MEd at SFU. Over the years Monica has focused her learning and classroom teaching on environmental education, which includes working with the Pembina Foundation to create an environmental education curriculum for elementary students. More recently she has been involved with the Classroom Champions program, partnering with Olympians to work on building students’ character and social and emotional learning.
Trevor O’Rourke is a Queer teacher of Irish descent in Languages at Vancouver Technical Secondary. Having completed his B.A (Latin American History) and B.Ed (French Immersion) at SFU, he started his career teaching Spanish at New Westminster Secondary before branching out to French Immersion and Modern Languages at Van Tech. His work is centred around intersectionality, empowerment and celebration, and he a member of his school’s Anti-Racism Team. Outside of school, he has worked with Rainbow Refugee as a volunteer, and has used his voice as a local musician to highlight a number of social and environmental justice issues.