Amine H. Aïdouni is the Superintendent of Education at the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'est de l'Ontario (CEPEO). He holds two bachelor's degrees, one in science and one in education, a master's degree in educational leadership and a supervisory officer's certificate. His twenty-five years of experience in the field of education, the last five as a Superintendent of Education, contribute to his intimate understanding of the purpose of any school board, which is the development and success of every student. Mr. Aïdouni has lived in many countries throughout his life and has developed an understanding and appreciation for the richness of diversity in all its forms. As the champion of diversity and inclusion at CEPEO, Mr. Aïdouni understands the essential role that schools must play in building a caring and inclusive society. Thus, he invests all his passion for education in the service of a pluralist vision of Canadian society. Mr. Aïdouni is known for his creativity, his authenticity and his sense of humour.
Abdi Bileh Dirir is a historian, researcher and promoter of African culture and history. Very active in the community, he is a vice-principal in an elementary school, founder of l’Association canadienne pour la promotion des héritages (ACPHA) and former president of the expert group against racism in education at CCUNESCO (2020-2021). Mr. Bileh is the recipient of the prestigious Capital Teaching Excellence Award in 2014 and a Provincial Award from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade for his advocacy work in inclusion and diversity. Finally, he was a candidate for the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence in 2016. An active member in the community, he organizes large-scale national and international events to promote the culture and history of people of African descent. In February 2017, he joined forces with UNESCO to bring together Canadian artists from different backgrounds and origins to join the UNESCO International Coalition of Artists for the General History of Africa, a first in Canada.
Julie Cafley is a creative, strategic leader and an accomplished academic with expertise in in public policy, governance and higher-education leadership. She is the Vice-President, Communications and External Relations at the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. She is helping to lead an innovative vision to build the organization from the ground-up and develop its brand as a world-class start-up funding tomorrow’s technology. Previously, she worked as Executive Vice-President at the Public Policy Forum (PPF). Ms. Cafley built bridges and enhanced the profile and visibility of thePPFwhile directing its communications, external partnerships, membership and learning teams. In her previous role as Chief of Staff to two presidents at the University of Ottawa, she worked closely with the senior executive team to develop and advance strategic initiatives. She holds a PhD in education leadership from the University of Ottawa and has sought-after expertise in university presidential mandates. Her thesis is focused on higher education leadership and governance through the lens of unfinished terms of Canadian university presidents. Ms. Cafley is an active community builder, a committed advocate for women and leadership, and a tireless champion for diversity initiatives. She is also a collaborative change maker and an inclusive connector.
Eugénie Congi is Director of Education at the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence. Her professional background includes more than 11 years in a senior management role and nearly 28 years in the education sector. She has a very diverse range of professional experiences and has managed pedagogical and business initiatives. In addition to being coveted as a pan-Canadian and international advisor, Ms Congi holds a master’s degree in education and three bachelor’s degrees. She is recognized for her sense of innovation, her authenticity, her keen political sense and her qualities as a visionary and educational leader. Her professional path is strewn with accomplishments that put student engagement, well-being and success at the heart of her priorities.
Tom D’Amico is the Director of Education with the Ottawa Catholic School Board. A graduate of the University of Ottawa faculty of Education, he has over 30 years of experience in education and has had many roles including as a teacher, school administrator and as Superintendent of Human Resources and Superintendent of Learning Technologies and as the Associate Director of Education. An award-winning educator he has been recognized with the Prime Minister’s Award for teaching excellence and with Canada’s Outstanding Principal award. As a Superintendent he received the EXL award to recognize excellence among members of the superintendency. He has presented across Canada on the topics of educational technology and leadership in the 21st Century. Mr. D'Amico is the Canadian co-lead for New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL), a global partnership of over 1500 schools across 14 countries focused on practices to develop deep learning and the development of global competencies. In addition to his educational qualifications, he holds an Osgoode certificate in education law; a workplace mental health leadership certificate, a diversity and inclusive management certificate, an executive certificate in conflict management with a focus on alternative dispute resolution, and safe schools certification. He is also an off-ice official with the NHL and prior to his career in education was the general manager of Ottawa’s professional soccer team, The Ottawa Intrepid, and also spent time as the general manager of Malkam Cross-Cultural Training, a provider of cross-cultural communication, diversity and employment equity training. Mr D.Amico says “I believe in the empowerment of youth and their ability to make our world a better place, especially through the use of social learning and technology in a connected global society.”
June Girvan has devoted her life to nurturing, protecting, affirming, and giving voice to children and young people. Since moving to Canada from Jamaica in the 1950s, Ms. Girvan has invested her talents and resources in bettering the lives of newly arrived Canadians, vulnerable children in the school system and at-risk youth. Her career included positions in teaching and curriculum development, and she also served as an Education Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Education. After her retirement, Ms. Girvan founded the J'Nikira Dinqinesh Education Centre (JDEC) in Ottawa, where she is the Volunteer-in-Chief. The JDEC's community work is based on honouring and celebrating the moral compass of fellow Canadians, both historic and contemporary, for their efforts in fighting against slavery and championing human rights and social justice in Canada. The JDEC's main initiatives, held annually in Ottawa, include: Every Child is Sacred and Every Child is Sacred Day; The Era 21 Networking Breakfasts for Young Canadians; History-in-the-Street, and Reconciliation Day. Ms. Girvan also started a program at Carleton University to expand students' experience and understanding of inclusive citizenship in multicultural societies. The June Girvan Bursary is awarded annually to a graduate student at Carleton who is researching a topic related to reconciliation.
Executive director of the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario since January 2012, Peter Hominuk has many years of experience in community development. Over the years, Peter has demonstrated his skills in advocating for the rights of Francophones in minority situations, project management, staff and volunteer management, strategic planning, organization and promotion of activities and the economic development of his community in general. He was also one of the architects of the movement “La Résistance,” which was created following the cuts to French services on the famous “Black Thursday” on November 15, 2018.
Carl E. James holds the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora in the Faculty of Education; and is also the Senior Advisor on Equity & Representation in the Office of the VP of Equity, People and Culture at York University. His research interests include examination of accessible and equitable opportunities in education and employment for marginalized and racialized Canadians noting the ways in which societal and institutional cultures shape their lived experiences, educational trajectories, and social outcomes. He is the 2022 Killam Laureate (Social Sciences); and his most recent publications include “Colour Matters”: Essays on the Experiences, Education and Pursuits of Black Youth (2021).
Huguette Labelle has served for a period of nineteen years as Deputy Minister of different Canadian government departments including Secretary of State, Transport Canada, the Public Service Commission and the Canadian International Development Agency. A former Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, former Chair of transparency International and former Board member of the UN Global Compact. She has also served on several additional boards. She is currently Chair of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, Chair of the IACC Council, Vice-Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation Board, member of the Board of the Global Centre for Pluralism, Board member of Global Financial Integrity, Board member of the Aga Khan Museum, member Advisory Board of RESOLVE and Chair of the Selection Committee for Master's Scholarships on Sustainable Energy Development.
Roger Paul has worked throughout his career to protect and develop Francophone communities in Ontario and across the country. He began his career as a high school teacher in Timmins, then became a school principal for many years at the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est in Ottawa. He was seconded as an education officer at the Ottawa regional office of the Ministry of Education. In 2001, he became superintendant, and then, director general, of the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien. After his retirement from the school board, he accepted a position as executive director at the Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones (FNCSF) and the Regroupement national des directions générales en education (RNDGÉ), positions he held for nearly a decade. In 2019, he received an honorary doctorate from Ottawa University. He is now a Visiting Professor and Educator-in-Residence at the Faculty of Education.
Norman Southward became Ashbury’s tenth Head of School at the beginning of January, 2014. He brings with him 20 years of education experience, including seven as Principal of Neuchâtel Junior College in Switzerland and 11 at Stanstead College in Québec, where he served five years as Assistant Headmaster. Most recently, he was Headmaster at St. John’s-Kilmarnock School, an IB World School of 400 students (JK-12) serving the Waterloo and Guelph regions of Ontario. Norman’s career in social studies, second language and international education includes the completion of the CAIS Diploma in Independent School Leadership and his participation in visiting committees with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). He has served as vice-chair of the Swiss Group of International Schools (SGIS) for five years including organizer of the SGIS annual educator’s conference for over 40 international schools. He currently sits on the board of the Conference of Independent Schools (CIS) in Ontario, and chairs the CIS Governance Committee. He has presented at the International Baccalaureate Annual Conferences, international schools in China and is enthusiastic in developing a range of experiential and learning opportunities for students. Norman holds a BA in history and French from the University of Western Ontario, a B.Ed from Mount Allison, and an M.Ed (Curriculum and Instruction) from McGill University.
Anita Tenasco is Anishinabe Algonquin and was born and raised in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community (an Algonquin community located 2 hours north of Ottawa, Ontario). She is a djo djo (mother), kokomis (grandmother) and the child of a Residential School survivor and Indian Day School survivor. She has dedicated her career to First Nations education and has served the Kitigan Zibi community for the past 26 years in a variety of capacities. She is currently the Director of Education for Kitigan Zibi and is a firm believer in First Nations Control of First Nations Education. Anita Tenasco is a proud graduate of the Kitigan Zibi High School, Heritage College and the University of Ottawa.
Over a thirty year career, Camille Williams-Taylor has worked in education settings from Winnipeg to Montreal, with the better part of her career spent in schools and education systems in Ontario. A graduate of the University of Manitoba and McGill University, she is currently serving as the Director of Education for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board which is a district of 147 schools and over 75,000 students. Her previous experiences in education include roles at the Ministry of Education, York University's Faculty of Education and at a number of school districts including Durham, Toronto and Peel. While her experiences are varied, Ms. Williams-Taylor's commitment to student achievement through teaching excellence and equitable opportunities has been and continues to be the common thread. She believes that educators must ensure that each and every student has the tools to unleash their potential and author their own story. She is a wife, and a mother to three daughters.