Presenters

The Presenters for the 2017 Conference

Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso is an international bestselling author and for the past 44 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice.

She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and other national and international publications.

Her uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education, and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader, volunteer in Rwanda, and mother of three grown children.

She is the author of four international bestsellers: kids are worth it! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline; Parenting Through Crisis—Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief and Change; The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander—From Pre-School to High School, How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence; and Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right—From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically. Barbara’s latest book is Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide…and Why it Matters. She also has two critically acclaimed video programs Winning at Parenting...without beating your kids and Winning at Teaching...without beating your kids.

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is a therapist, author and internationally acclaimed parenting expert who empowers families by sharing her principles, rules and tools for raising happy and healthy kids. Parents can count on help from Alyson whether they are simply looking for a bite size tip to see them through a meltdown or delve further to transform their family life. Her style is fast, witty, warm and encouraging. Alyson delivers her deep insights in ways that today’s busy parents can easily understand and apply immediately.

As Canada’s leading parenting expert, Alyson promotes a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offers practical solutions backed by extensive research. Her own experience with raising two children using this parenting technique was so eye-opening and effective, she felt compelled to share her knowledge. Her work aims to make life better for all kids through effective child guidance.

Armed with years of research, clinical and field experience, Alyson can provide a new, positive understanding of your current family dynamic with actionable solutions that will give you the hope and confidence needed to transform your family.

Kathryn Burke - Centre for Literacy

Kathryn Burke has been active in the field of learning disabilities and reading support for over a decade. She is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Literacy, an agency that provides intense remedial support for students who have language or math based learning difficulties or disabilities. She served as the Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta for five years. She is the author of the bestselling book, An Accidental Advocate, which chronicles her family’s journey to support her now adult son with learning disabilities and other health issues. She has frequently appeared on television and radio speaking about learning disabilities. She holds a graduate degree from the University of Calgary, and has previously served in roles as an executive in the health and hospital sector.

Jacqueline Green, BA - The Great Parenting Show

For over 15 years, Jacqueline Green, BA, has been a parenting educator. She speaks in schools and at conferences, and teaches classes online and off, on a wide-range of topics ranging from sibling rivalry, to dealing with behavior issues, to how to survive co-parenting challenges. As well, she hosts the Great Parenting Show, which she created in 2010, and which has tens of thousands of listeners from all over the world. She is passionate about helping parents to regain their natural power to parent, so that family life becomes much less stressful, more successful and a source of joy.

Her journey as a parenting educator began when she left her government communications position in order to stay home with her children. She soon found herself overwhelmed and struggling hard to learn how to be the parent she wanted to be, while battling depression and serious marital issues while living in a new community. She began taking training and teaching classes in order to learn the skills that she so desperately needed.

Parents love her approachable style. Jacqueline shares openly from her time in the trenches, while bringing her years of experience as an educator, and the wealth of knowledge she’s gleaned from interviewing over 125 of the world’s top parenting-related experts. She is a very engaging and interactive speaker, the author of the upcoming book, Strong Enough to Stay; Smart Enough to Go, and has been interviewed for various media ranging from Today’s Parent magazine, Huff Post Live and CTV.

Lorraine Lastiwka - University of Alberta

Lorraine Lastiwka is currently a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta in Secondary Education. Prior to this assignment, Lorraine was a teacher, department head and consultant with Edmonton Public Schools. She has facilitated workshops in Alberta, Quebec, and California.

Roger Moore & Isabelle Reid

Roger Moore has instructed and tutored children and adults including learners with learning differences. He has instructed math, language arts, learning strategies, first aid, windsurfing, canoeing, truck driving and taught instructors. At present Roger is instructing on-line, face to face and at a distance, in addition to, facilitating workshops and presenting at conferences.

Isabelle Reid has been teaching since 2008. She completed her bachelor's degree in Education at the University of Ottawa. For the first three years of her career, she taught a variety of courses, including math and science for grades 5 to 8, in Trenton, Ontario. In 2011, she moved to Alberta and started working for the Greater North Central Francophone School Board here in Edmonton. Since her arrival in the province, she has been quite busy with the different roles. First, she continued her studies in education at the University of Athabasca, as well as the University of Alberta, where she met Roger. She has taught math and science for grades 5 through 9. She has had the opportunity to work with teachers and students at a variety of grade levels as a teacher coach. Isabelle was also Vice-Principal at Ecole Citadelle in Legal and finally, since September 2016, she has been on a secondment at Alberta Education where she will remain until June 2018. Isabelle is now working on her Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning with the University of Ottawa.

Wendy Chorley & Sharla Quantz

Sharla Quantz is an Edmonton music educator and mom of three. She has taught music for over 20 years and has a keen interest in the connection between music and learning enrichment. Sharla home-schools her three daughters, who are all pursuing music at their own pace and for their own enjoyment.

Ritu Chawla Ray - Founder and Director, Kosha Alignment and Wellness Centre

Yoga and Mindfulness trainer, Ayurvedic Wellness Counsellor, Certified Holistic Nutritionist & Natural Health Educator

Cpl. Brad McIntosh - RCMP

Cpl. Brad McIntosh is the Team Leader for the RCMP K Division Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) Team. He has been a member of the RCMP for 18 years and has been involved in Clandestine Lab investigations for the past 12 years. The CLEAR Team consists of specialty trained police officers who investigate illegal synthetic drug operations and dump sites, as well as incidents of chemical diversion. Currently, the CLEAR Team has been involved in a number of Fentanyl and other toxic opioid responses in Alberta, BC and the Northern Territory.

Laurie Young, MC, CCC, BA, CYC - AHS, Prevention & Health Promotion (Addiction & Mental Health - Edm Zone)

Laurie Young is an Addiction Counsellor/Consultant with Alberta Health Services in Prevention and Health Promotion - Addiction and Mental Health with the Edmonton Zone. Laurie has an undergraduate degree in Child and Youth Work and a Master's of Counselling. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor and a professional member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. During the past twenty plus years, Laurie has worked in multiple settings but mainly with high-risk youth, adults and families in crisis. A common theme in her work has been around addiction and other mental health concerns. Laurie works from a strength-based resiliency model.

Susan Agrios - Agrios Mindfitness

Susan Agrios is the founder, President and CEO of AGRIOS MINDFITNESS dedicated to helping & motivating others to lead healthier lives both physically & mentall through movement & breath. She is a former school teacher and multi-sport world medalist and record holder in cycling, badminton and weightlifting with more than 2 decades of experience as a personal fitness trainer/strength & conditioning specialist. What makes her unique is that she is an Internationally Certified Level 2 Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Teacher with advanced training in Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) making her North America's only fitness trainer to have completed these certifications. Agrios created TIME OUT, an innovative program where individuals take time out of their day to do fitness, yoga or meditation. Recently, Agrios launched the first ever Agrios Mindfitness Triathlon in Canada in schools incorporating fitness, yoga and meditation. Over 1400 people have taken her TIME OUT Mindfulness Training & over 7500 adults and kids have taken her 40 Day Mindfulness Challenge. Will you be the next?

Meg Fortier - North Central Edmonton Early Years Coalition

Meg Fortier, B. Ed, currently teaches at Gold Bar Preschool and works as coordinator for the North Central Edmonton Early Years Coaltion. In addition to her work roles, she also volunteers on the Northern Alberta Preschool Teachers Association Board. Meg is always striving to improve the lives and education of preschoolers, whether it's in her own classroom, or helping other teachers and parents! Meg completed The Brain Story Certification in February 2017 and wants to help spread the word on the importance of the early years!

Ellie Shuster & Greta Gerstner - Learning Disability Association of AB/Strategic Alliance for AB Students with Learning Challenges

Ellie Shuster is the Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta.

Greta Gerstner is a parent with a child with a Learning disability and a full-time insurance broker. She serves as co-chair on her daughter’s school council and is a member of the Casa Family Advisory Council to help improve mental health services and support for all children and adolescents.

Edmonton Public Library

Edmonton Public Library is a place for discovery, learning, and exploration. Our mission statement is simple: We Share. We share our collections, our technology, and our expertise to help children and families on their literacy journey. Every day over 1,300 people attend our library programs - and we're more than just books! Nestled into our vast suite of free programming are makerspace, robotics, and video game programs that help children develop crucial skills in literacy, collaboration, imagination, and problem-solving.

Geri Lorway - Thinking 101

Geri is known for her passion, her energy and her ability to engage the most reluctant learners. As a learning consultant she provides workshops, resources, coaching, tutoring and day to day support to teachers, parents, students and other consultants.

As a University professor, she teaches education students how to teach math and science in ways that transform every learner. Across Canada and around the world, Geri she is recognized as a learning leader who is committed to transforming the teaching and learning of mathematics, no tears, no fears teach em to think, then let them learn. One Mind at a Time

Tracy Mastrangelo - Wellness, Resiliency and Partnerships (WRaP)

Tracy Mastrangelo is Project Coordinator for the Wellness Resiliency and Partnership project. The WRaP project is an innovative project supporting junior and senior high school students throughout the province of Alberta diagnosed with FASD. Prior to this, Tracy used her Social Work education while working in the Yukon Government with Family and Children's Services supporting kinship, foster and adoptive parents caring for children affected by trauma, FASD and emotional abuse.

Laura L Comfort - Limitless Literacy Society

Laura L. Comfort is a writer, motivational speaker and educator. Her works include fantasy novels, script writing and educational resources. She is an advocate of education and works with parents, educators and government officials.

Laura is the Director of the Limitless Literacy Society; a non-profit organization that promotes and fosters literacy & learning in schools and in the community through mentoring, training, tools, technology and resources.

Marianne Robertson

Marianne is a happily married mother of two boys, six cats, one dog, and any number of foster cats at any given time. She has overcome many challenges from drug addiction to an eating disorder, an abusive marriage, going back to school, and eventually losing part of her right leg to infection. Through it all, she has managed to maintain some level of sanity and is a testament to the power of will and spirit.

Kristen Miller - EPSB - FNMI Education Unit

Kristen Miller is a member of Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation which is located in the Yukon Territory. She was a kindergarten-Head Start teacher in the inner city of Edmonton for 9 years. This sparked her passion for attaining a stronger cultural connection and understanding the impacts of inter-generational trauma. Kristen was then employed with the Ministry of Human Services for 15 years. She had the great opportunity to connect with a variety of First Nation and Metis communities throughout Alberta. She attained teachings from Elders and further developed a deeper understanding of cultural traditions, protocols and the healing power of ceremony. Kristen currently works as a Consultant with the First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Education Unit with the Edmonton Public School Board.

Jeffrey Newton - Alberta Science Network's Edmonton branch

Jeffrey Newton is a soil ecologist and entomologist that has made his interest in science outreach and education his career. Today he is the director of the Alberta Science Network's Edmonton branch. He spends most of his time getting scientists, engineers, and topic experts to volunteer as presenters for classroom science outreach. (More info at: www.AlbertaScienceNetwork.ca)

Janis Lawrence-Harper - CAREERS: The Next Generation

Janis Lawrence-Harper is the Vice President of Operations for CAREERS: The Next Generation, a provincial nonprofit foundation that connects employers and youth through internships and career exploration.

Janis started with CAREERS in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and presently guides CAREERS' field directors and assists schools across the province.

Previously, her ten years with Keyano College were spent growing and managing continuing education programs and developing industry training.

Telus WISE

Courtney Cliff - PRIDE Centre

Courtney Cliff is the Community Educator at the Pride Centre of Edmonton, with over five years' experience working within LGBT communities in Alberta.

Vanessa Pouliot - Glow Yoga Kids

Vanessa has a love for life, a passion for progress and a craving for creativity! Inspired by children, she believes that we are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves or more deeply engaged than when we are at play. Vanessa's bright heart and playful spirit are woven into her daily practices and teachings as a mother of 3, kids' yoga instructor, business owner, yoga teacher trainer and business coach.

Debbie Vance - Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE)

Debbie has worked as an educator and Senior Administrator within the Calgary Board of Education for many years. A highlight of her career was the opportunity to design and implement the Career Pathways Initiative within the Calgary Board of Education. The Pathway concept included Internships, Registered Apprenticeship Programs and Partnerships with industry, employers and transitions to post-secondary institutions. Debbie spent two years working with the Provincial Government on a Cross-Ministry (Education, Advanced Education and Employment and Immigration) initiative called Connecting Learning and Work: The Career Development Strategy for Alberta. Debbie also worked with a Government of Canada Sector Council, the Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada, as the Regional Manager for a 21st century high school program called "Focus on Technology (FIT)." Currently, she is the Director of Dual Credit with the College of Alberta School Superintendents.

Rachel Williams - e2 Academy