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Honourable Rachna Singh - Minister of Education and Child Care

Rachna Singh was elected as the MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers in May 2017 and re-elected in October 2020. She is the Minister of Education and Child Care. She served as the parliamentary secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives where she led the development of the Anti-Racism Data Act, and as a member of the Special Committee to Reform the Police Act. Rachna moved from India to Canada in 2001 and chose Surrey to build a better life for her young family. She has worked as a drug and alcohol counsellor, a support worker for women facing domestic violence, and a community activist. Rachna has two children and is married to radio journalist Gurpreet Singh.

Melanie Stewart - Assistant Deputy Minister, Learning and Education Programs Division, Ministry of Education and Child Care

Melanie has been with the BC Public Service since 2007 and has led a diverse range of portfolios during that time. Prior to joining the public service, Melanie had a successful academic career teaching political science and communications at York University, the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University. Melanie holds a PhD. in Political Science and master’s degree in Women’s Studies. Although born in Auckland, New Zealand, Melanie grew up in small town British Columbia. She has a 19 year old son and 21 year old daughter; both products of the BC education system..

Swee alt (Denise Augustine), Superintendent of Indigenous Education (Secondee)

Denise Augustine, M.Ed, is a First Nations woman of mixed ancestry who lives in the Cowichan Valley on the unceded lands of the Hul’q’umi’num people. Denise is on Secondment with the Ministry of Education and Child Care, where she serves as the Superintendent of Indigenous Education. With over 25 years as an educator and a recipient of the Indspire Indigenous Educator Award for leadership, Denise is a passionate champion for systemic changes that support education Equity for all learners, especially Indigenous Learners.

Brad Baker, Associate Superintendent of Indigenous Education (Secondee)

Brad Baker is a proud member of the Squamish Nation, on Secondment with the Ministry of Education and Child Care as the Associate Superintendent of Indigenous Education. Prior to this, Brad was an educator for 27 years in the North Vancouver School District, including as a District Principal involved in Indigenous Education and Safe Schools portfolios. Brad is a Board Member for ViaSport BC and the Gord Downie-Chanie Wenjack Fund and a member of Rugby Canada’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee.

Carolyn Broady - BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA)

Carolyn Broady is a trustee and board chair in SD45 (West Vancouver). She is president of the British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) and vice-president of the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA).

Carolyn’s priorities include Indigenous reconciliation, supporting inclusivity and improving student outcomes across B.C. Inspired by a former teacher and fellow trustee, Carolyn always asks: “Is this good for kids?” when making decisions.

Teresa Downs - BC School Superintendents Association (BCSSA)

Teresa Downs is the Superintendent of Schools for the Gold Trail School District (SD 74). Teresa completed her practicum in Gold Trail and has stayed in the district since that time.

She has been a classroom teacher, Learner Support Teacher, Principal, Director of Instruction and is now in her thirteenth year as Superintendent. Currently, she also serves as President of the BC School Superintendents Association.

Brian Leonard - BC Principals' & Vice-Principals' Association (BCPVPA)

Brian Leonard is the 2022-2024 President of the BC Principals' & Vice-Principals' Association. He served as a BCPVPA Board Director for 10 years, and has been an educator in BC’s public education system for 25 years, serving at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels as a teacher, Vice-Principal, and Principal. Brian’s priorities are to support member well-being, build the leadership capacity of members, and work towards fairness and equity in our members’ employment relationships.

Julie Strutt - Senior Director, Provincial Support Office , Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Julie Strutt is with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions as the acting Senior Director of the Provincial Support Office, responsible for implementing Integrated Child and Youth teams across the province. Julie has been a guest on Coast Salish traditional territory for the last 24 years, and during this time, has worked in several social sector initiatives across community-based organizations, schools, and the provincial government, including in the ministries of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and Children and Family Development. Married with four adult children, Julie enjoys walking, running, hiking, and golf.

Asli Kucukbumin - Integrated Child And Youth Program Lead

Asli Kucukbumin has been a Program Lead with ICY Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows since September 2021. She came to ICY with over 15 years of combined experience in counselling, youth work, teaching and leadership. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor by trade who feels honoured to be one of the first ICY Program Leads in the province. The Integrated Child and Youth (ICY) Teams are part of B.C.'s strategy for mental health and substance use care. The ICY teams bring services together in a multidisciplinary team setting.

John Gaiptman - BCCPAC CEO

John has been involved with public education for over 35 years. He spent 14 years as a Superintendent of Schools; twelve of which were with the Greater Victoria School District and two with the New Westminster School District. John is married with two daughters and three grandchildren. It is his hope, through his vast experience in public education, that he can continue to support and empower parents for the success of each learner.

Rick Moore

Rick Moore is the father of Jeffrey Moore. Jeffrey is severely dyslexic. In 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the North Vancouver School District discriminated against Jeffrey by failing to provide the services he needed in order to learn to read. The court famously stated: “Adequate special education, therefore, is not a dispensable luxury…it is the ramp that provides access to the statutory commitment to education made to ALL children in British Columbia".

Jay Chalke - Ombudsperson

Jay Chalke has been the Ombudsperson of British Columbia since May 2015. In this role, he has led several wide-reaching systemic investigations, including the first referral of a matter to the Ombudsperson by a legislative committee, which resulted in the 2017 report Misfire: The 2012 Ministry of Health Employment Terminations and Related Matters, the most resource-intensive investigation in the 40-year history of the Ombudsperson’s Office in BC. Jay has an extensive background in executive leadership, conducting fair and independent investigations and the use of modern approaches to dispute resolution. Jay is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, and was appointed King’s Counsel in 2006.

Tanya Pawliuk - Associate Teaching Professor, Thompson Rivers University

Tanya Pawliuk (she/her) is an Associate Teaching Professor in the School of Social Work and Human Service at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people. Her teaching specialties include child and youth care, trauma informed practice, and communication. She has worked for over 25 years with children, youth, and families in the fields of adoption, permanency, and gender-based violence. She is the co-founder of the Consent Café.

Chelsea Corsi - Senior Wellness Coordinator, Thompson Rivers University

Chelsea Corsi is a registered nurse and Senior Wellness Coordinator at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people. In her role she is responsible for developing and leading innovative wellness initiatives, including co-founding the Consent Café. Her practice and pedagogy is rooted in feminist, anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, and survivor/person-centered theories, and is influenced by health promotion, social determinants of health, community development, and harm reduction frameworks.