Laurie French – President
Laurie was acclaimed as President of the CSBA in July 2018 at our Annual Congress. She was acclaimed as President of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association in June 2016 and 2017 and now serves as OPSBA’s Past President. Prior to this, she served as OPSBA Vice-President from 2013 to 2016. Laurie has actively served five terms as a trustee with the Limestone District School Board since 2000, representing Greater Napanee, Ontario, with experience as Vice-Chair and Chair of her Board for 7 years. Laurie has spent her career in the field of healthcare where she is now a Director of Patient Services in the sector. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science from The University of Ottawa and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Queen’s University, with a System Leadership certificate from the Rotman School of Management. She also serves on the Community Foundation for Lennox & Addington, the Limestone Learning Foundation, and is a proud member of 100 Women Who Care in her community. She is the proud mother of 2 children who have since graduated from the public education system.
Alain Fortier – Vice-President, CSBA
Board of Directors
Newfoundland and Labrador School Boards Association (NLSBA):
Brian Shortall, Executive Director
Brian was appointed Executive Director / CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador School Boards Association in September 2004. Since 1969, he has served as a junior and senior high school teacher, high school principal, School District Superintendent and Director of Education for the Avalon East School Board.
He was President of the Newfoundland Teachers’ Association, President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and chaired the Canadian Teachers International Development Assistance Program for two years. He has also been a Director of the Canadian Education Association and was an active participant in the Canadian Association of School Administrators. Some of the awards that have recognized Brian’s accomplishments and contributions to education include; the Newfoundland & Labrador School Boards Association Education Award, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation Special Recognition Award for Meritorious Service, and most recently, Life Honorary Membership in the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association.
Brian has an extensive background in school district leadership, educational change and organizational development. He is also a member with Education Research & Development Corp. (ERDI), an educational organization enabling forums between Corporate Partner companies delivering programs, services and products to the learners and staff in the schools of Canada. Brian is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland and Ottawa University. He has been married to Claudia (who he insists is definitely his“Better Half” for 46 years, and they are the proud parents of 3 and grandparents of 7 grandchildren.
New Brunswick District Education Councils:
Robert Fowler, Chair
Robert Fowler is the Chair of the District Education Council for New Brunswick’s Anglophone South School District. Rob also serves as the Chair of the Provincial Council of DEC Chairs for the Anglophone Sector. A dedicated Council member since 2005, Rob has overseen the amalgamation of three school districts and worked to strengthen Council partnerships with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and colleagues in the Francophone Sector. Rob’s work as co-chair of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Anti-Bullying led the development of legislation, policies and programs to combat bullying in New Brunswick schools.
Stacey Brown, DEC Manager
In the absence of a provincial association, Stacey Brown works on behalf of the Anglophone District Education Councils as a liaison between the locally elected Councils and the provincial government. Stacey has worked with the Councils since 2010 and provides training and guidance to the Councils on governance, conduct, policy, communications, monitoring and evaluations. She avidly represents the interests of New Brunswick DECs and seeks opportunities to raise awareness of the importance of local governance in education.
Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec:
Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA):
Dan Lamoureux is the President of the Québec English School Boards Association (QESBA) and Chairman of the Riverside School Board on the South Shore of Montreal.
He began his career as a firefighter for the City of Westmount in Montreal since then he has been a community activist and involved in many different English Community organizations. Aside from his involvement in English public education since 1998, Dan has also served as President of the Québec Community Groups network.
Russell Copeman, Executive Director
Russell Copeman holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Honours Political Science from McGill University.
He was named Executive Director of the Quebec English School Boards Association in September 2018. Mr. Copeman is also a member of the teaching staff of McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy.
He was, from 1994 to 2008, the Member of the Québec National Assembly for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and was the Mayor of the Borough of Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and a member of the Executive Committee of the City of Montréal from 2013 to 2017.
Active in the community, Mr. Copeman has been involved in and sat on the boards of a number of community organizations.
Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA):
Cathy Abraham, President
Elected in June 2018, OPSBA President Cathy Abraham is a four-term Trustee and three-time Chair of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB). President Abraham has also served OPSBA and the wider community in the following capacities: Two terms as OPSBA Second Vice-President (2016-2018); OPSBA Education Program Work Team Chair; OPSBA Policy Development Work Team Member; OPSBA Central East Region Vice-President (2007-2010); OPSBA Trustee Labour Negotiation Representative; Variety of other leadership opportunities including with Rotary, Newcastle Community Hall, and as a founder of the Newcastle Family Connection resource centre.
Rusty Hick, Executive Director
Appointed in June of 2017, Rusty came into the role following 31 years serving students in public education; as a director of education, teacher, vice-principal, principal, and superintendent. He has been involved provincially in a number of associations, and was a lead director for the first ever provincial bargaining team in the K – 12 sector in Ontario.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and history from the University of Toronto, a bachelor of education degree from Queen’s University, as well as a master of science in education degree from Niagara University. He continues to advocate on behalf of public education as a cornerstone of democracy, as well as a key driver of social justice and equity, He takes pride in being part of an educational system that is a global leader in educational practice!
Manitoba School Boards Association (MSBA):
Alan Campbell, President
With an academic background in political-science and experience as a past participant and now senator for Manitoba’s renowned Youth Parliament, Alan M. Campbell is a seasoned school trustee who brings significant experience to his role as President of the Manitoba School Boards Association. First elected as MSBA President in November 2018, he previously served as Vice-President, starting in 2016.
In addition to his responsibilities leading MSBA’s Provincial Executive Committee, Mr. Campbell also serves as a trustee for the Interlake School Division. First elected as a trustee in 2010, Mr. Campbell also served five years as chairperson of the Interlake School Board from 2013 to 2018.
Alan believes that our communities benefit from having local voices and local choices through their ability to elect local school boards. He has remained an effective advocate for why local voice and local choices remain relevant to public education today.
When he is not serving as association president and local trustee, Alan is a resident of the community of Stonewall, Manitoba, and is a proud husband and father of two children, in addition to fulfilling full-time duties in the educational transportation sector for one of Manitoba’s largest school divisions.
Named as Executive Director of MSBA in 2015, Josh Watt has held a variety of positions in the field of public education. With the greatest portion of his career spent implementing policies and programs with the Council on Post-Secondary Education, Josh eventually became Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Minister at Manitoba’s Department of Education and Training. He has also worked as an educational assistant in French Immersion, newcomer/refugee, and special needs programs, as a change management consultant for non-profits, and also served as project officer at the Canadian International Development Agency.
Josh holds a BA (Hons.) in Law and Political Science (Carleton), a Master of Public Administration (Winnipeg), and a Masters of Education (Manitoba). He has also completed a Master level certification in Peace Support Operations through the UN Institute for Training and Research.
Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA):
Shawn Davidson, President
Shawn was raised on a family farm near Aneroid, SK, and graduated from high school in Kincaid, SK. He then attended the University of Saskatchewan and graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. After graduation he worked in large animal practice in Swift Current, SK before returning to the family farm in 2004. He has since operated a mixed farming and ranching operation, and practiced veterinary medicine in Assiniboia, SK and Scobey, MT. He was first elected to the Prairie South Board of Education in 2009, became the Board Chair in 2013, and was elected SSBA President in 2016.
Shawn and his wife Krista enjoy everything the remote rural area of southwest Saskatchewan has to offer, and recognize it as a great place to raise their 4 children!
Darren McKee, Executive Director
Originally from O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation in Manitoba, Darren completed his B.Ed. and M.Ed. at the University of Saskatchewan. He has been a Teacher, Administrator, Superintendent and Director of Education, as well as Director and Assistant Deputy Minister with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. In 2011, he became the Executive Director of the SSBA. He has presented at a number of conferences on leadership and Aboriginal Education. He sits on the boards of C-21 Canada; Canadian Education Association, the National Selection Committee of INAC and United Way Regina. Darren is a coach and consultant in education, government, Indigenous peoples, change, leadership, relations and strategic directions.
He holds certificates in Leadership Training and Development; Crucial Conversations; Expedition Coaching; and Leadership Practices Inventory. He and his wife Ivy have three daughters.
Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA):
Lorrie Jess, President
Lorrie lives on the farm that she was born and raised on in Ponoka, Alberta. After High School, she attended Olds Agricultural College and was registered in the Horticulture Program. Took some time travelling to Mexico, Russia, and Europe. Has owned and operated Ponoka Bookstore & Gifts for 37 years. Raised her three children at the store where she also home schooled them until grade 5 when they entered the public school system. Lorrie became a Trustee for Wolf Creek Public Schools in 2004. She represents the schools in Ponoka, Alberta and served as the Board Chair for the last 2 years.
Dr. Vivian Abboud, CEO
After completing her B.Ed and M.Ed with a focus on leadership and bilingualism, Dr. Vivian Abboud, who is multi-lingual, completed several senior and executive management and development programs.
She completed her doctorate in educational policy and governance at Simon Fraser University. At the beginning of her career, Dr. Abboud taught for seven years at the Edmonton Public School Board. During this time, she facilitated workshops; contributed to the development of a math resource; and, received her principal-ship training. Over the last 15 years, Vivian has held multiple leadership positions at Alberta Education.
British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA):
Stephanie Higgingson, President
Mike Roberts, Executive Director
As Chief Executive Officer, Mike Roberts is responsible to the BCSTA Board for the overall staff operations of the organization and provides direct support to BCSTA’s Board of Directors. Mike began his tenure in public education in 1980 as a secondary school teacher, held a variety of district leadership positions there, including superintendent. In 2009, he was appointed to the position of Liaison Superintendent with the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and in 2013, was appointed as Liaison Superintendent for the B.C. Ministry of Education as well as acting as the interim CEO of BCPSEA.
Mike brings extensive experience in educational policy, provincial bargaining, policy management, corporate function organization and field services.
Nancy Pynch-Worthylake, Executive Director
Nancy has served as a School Board Association Executive Director at the provincial level, as a provincial government Senior Executive Director and as a Superintendent of Schools (CEO). She is fluent in French and English and holds degrees at the Bachelor and Masters levels, as well as certification in governance and graduate level education in leadership and administration.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (902) 456-5574.