2020 – Workshops/Sponsors & Exhibitors


A Stream, Thursday, November 26, 2020 – 10:00-11:00 a.m.

<strong>A1: Design Thinking for Creative Learning</strong>

Learn techniques and strategies to engage learners at all levels in ways to see, shape, and tackle problems and opportunities through an interactive process known as Design Thinking. This workshop will introduce learners to the foundations of design thinking, profile some techniques and tools that can support creative engagement with learners of all ages and levels, and highlight ways it can be used to support interactive, problem-focused learning, teaching, and class interaction in both online and offline contexts.  


  • Dr. Cameron Norman is an educator and consultant working in the area of innovation — or change, by design. He has taught design thinking to children and adults and uses it regularly as part of his practice as the Principal of Cense Ltd., a Toronto-based consultancy that supports organizations in learning and development through design and evaluation.  

<strong>A2: Adult Education in Ontario: A Plan for the Future </strong>

This workshop will summarize research undertaken in summer 2020 that explored the current state of Adult and Continuing Education (A & CE) across the province. Participants will discuss current trends in A & CE as well as future opportunities and will be invited to share their own experience and expertise on this important issue.


  • Dr. Sandy Youmans is an adjunct assistant professor at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. As an educational researcher for the Eastern Regional Partnership for Adult Education (ERPAE), Sandy helped to document their implementation of the Adult Education Strategy from 2016-2019.  

Dr. Lorraine Godden is an Instructor II at the Faculty of Public Affairs, Carleton University. She worked in adult education in England and was a member of the Eastern Regional Partnership for Adult Education (ERPAE) research team, reporting their implementation of the Adult Education Strategy from 2016-2019.

<strong>A3: <strong>Create A Beacon of HOPE: How to Be Resilient, Even When Everything is Going Sideways</strong> </strong>

Finding and maintaining hope is not always easy during a crisis, but hope can provide protection against life’s trials. It is the most significant moderator of well-being in the face of negative life events. Participants will learn how to utilize and boost Strategic Hope as a resiliency strategy using the S-O-S Principle


  • Beverly Beuermann-King is a stress and resiliency expert at R ‘n’ B Consulting Corp – Work Smart Live Smart. For 20 years, Beverly has used her S-O-S Principle with teams who want to control their reactions to stress, increase resiliency against life’s challenges and live fulfilling lives. She works with teams and leaders to shift from ‘stressed- out’ to resilient, and supports them to be more engaged, productive and healthy. 

Cancelled – <strong><s>A4: Making Ally a Verb: Inclusion of Two-Spirit & LGBTQIA+ Peoples </s></strong>

This Allyship workshop will provide practical tips on how to be an Ally to Two Spirit & LGBTQIA+ learners and colleagues. It will explore why it is so important to go beyond labels and re-engage sometimes reluctant learners who often have felt alone or misunderstood in the education system. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and challenge their own comfort levels on how to support students, co-workers and employees through discussion with an openly Transgender Teacher and Advocate. 


  • Mitch Borsc has been a secondary classroom teacher for 16 years and is the Two-Spirit & LGBTQIA+ Staff PD Co-Chair with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board. His work has seen him involved in Two-Spirit & LGBTQIA+ PD training, system work on Equity and Inclusive schools using an anti-oppressive framework, mental health initiatives and presenting at CESBA’s Professional Development Day in April of 2019. He is a proud and visible Transgender educator, advocate and husband to an amazing wife who has stuck by his side throughout all his endeavours!

<strong>A5: Inclusive Education with Indigenous Content and Methodologies </strong>

Inclusive education is the integration of Indigenous education and public education, facilitating enhanced learning and broader understanding for all students. This workshop provides an overview of the Indigenous education system, and explores how educators can integrate Indigenous teaching, and knowledge into their programs.  


  • Iehnhotonkws Bonnie Jane Maracle, Wolf Clan, Mohawk Nation, is an Indigenous Learning Strategist at First Nations House, University of Toronto.  A doctoral candidate in Indigenous Studies at Trent University, Bonnie Jane is a Board member for the Language and Culture Centre, Tyendinaga, and the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition at Six Nations of the Grand River.

<strong>A6: Virtual HR: When Employees Work from Home </strong>

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work and has created new challenges for managers who have employees working from home.  This workshop will discuss the differences between onsite vs. offsite employees, and how managers can reduce isolation and increase morale through enhanced communication. Participants will share their own experiences and ideas and will learn about tools, systems and policies to support productivity, technical support and safety for all parties.

  • Presenter: Cheryl Menezes is an HR professional with more than 20 years experience working in non-profit organizations, government and the private sector, in both unionized and non-union environments. She has an educational background in industrial relations, psychology, adult staff training and leadership development. Cheryl specializes in setting up HR departments. Her current focus is on helping clients address the HR challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

<strong>A7: Improv Training – A Tool for Authentic Inclusion</strong>

This engaging workshop will explore the fundamentals of Improvisation that make that art form so collaborative and inclusive, by teaching people to incorporate the skills of  “yes, and“.  In this safe environment, participants will learn how to include and support everyone’s input, push past the fear of failure and become more comfortable with change. You will take away some great exercises to use with both colleagues and students.


  • Kevin Frank is a corporate facilitator and comedic performer who has worked as a professional actor and musician for 36 years. A past host of popular children’s game shows, Kevin can also be heard as many of the voices in the first feature movie of Thomas the Tank Engine. He began his career with the Second City, where he held the position of Artistic Director. He still teaches Improv. 

B Stream: Thursday, November 26, 2020 – 11:30-12:30 p.m.

<strong>B1: Funding and Reporting for Experienced Administrators — What’s New? </strong>

A workshop for experienced administrators to review highlights related to funding rates and continuing education registers. Participants will share experiences about the flow of average daily enrolment and funding generation. There will be an opportunity to discuss enrolment reporting, from registers to OnSIS.


  • Namita Aggarwal, Program Manager, Toronto District School Board
  • Deb Cook, Technology Administrator, York Region District School Board

<strong>B2: Leveraging Immigrant Skills in Canada’s Workforce: Challenges and Innovative Solutions </strong>

Immigrants, refugees, and international students are critical to Canada’s long-term economic success. And yet, they experience ongoing challenges that prevent them from using their skills and education here. It will explore research on the employment outcomes of immigrants and will discuss persisting systemic barriers that prevent Canada from fully realizing the contributions of immigrants.  Participants will learn about the value of newcomers and will the importance of being advocates for their inclusion.

  • Presenter: Shamira Madhany is Managing Director for World Education Services (WES) Canada, a leading provider of credential assessments, has extensive experience working with licensing bodies, settlement agencies, higher education and post-secondary sectors in Ontario. She has served as the chief architect of several government programs that enable highly skilled immigrants to obtain employment in their fields. 

<strong>B3: The New Soft Skills and How to Hire for Them </strong>

What are the most common ‘soft skills’ employers are looking for and what are they seeking in the new world we are living in? Participants will learn about current research and curriculum resources that can help strengthen “soft skills” and will discuss how to integrate these skills into learning programs. 


  • Robyn Cook-Ritchie is the Executive Director at Laubach Literacy Ontario (LLO) and a consultant with two decades of experience in adult literacy across Ontario. She coordinates Literacy and Basic Skills, Coordinated Language Assessment, Language Training and English as a Second Language programs at the Grand Erie District School Board. After completing her education as a lawyer, Robyn “fell” into and in love with the adult learning and literacy field more than 20 years ago and never looked back. 

<strong>B4: Workplace Training Within LBS for Adults with Developmental Disabilities</strong>

The OCDSB has been offering a Workplace Training program for Adults with Developmental Disabilities for several years. This population are vastly underestimated and misunderstood. These adults are an untapped source for entry level positions in the labour market.  Participants will learn about how to provide a valuable resource to your community and hear what students have to say! Note: This workshop will be of interest to people working LBS.


  • Shirley Graham has been the Education Officer for ESL/LINC/LBS at the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) since 2010. She works to continuously improve the transition of students between LINC/ESL/ LBS to Credit programs or the workplace. She was a member of CESBA’s Board of Directors for 5 years and has participated on advisory committees for the YMCA Trades Talent Link, Power of Trades and the Trades Advisory group of the local LEPC.  
  • Alison Trusty is the Support Instructor and Assessor for the LBS Academic Upgrading, Workplace Training and Adaptive Learning programs at Ottawa Carleton District School Board. She is CTESL and CELPIP certified and has also taught ESL since 2008. Alison is an active member of the LBS support organization for Eastern Ontario known as the Rideau-Ottawa Valley Learning Network (ROVLN).  

<strong>B5: Des opportunités de leadership à réinvestir dans l’après-COVID-19</strong>

Depuis le début de la pandémie, les choses changent souvent et rapidement. Ça déstabilise, ça suscite des émotions et ça demande de l’énergie. C’est un signe que nous faisons nos premiers pas dans un nouveau contexte.  Et si nous pouvions identifier des leçons de leadership apprises pendant la gestion de la crise sanitaire jusqu’à maintenant, afin de transformer les défis actuels en opportunités de leadership dans l’après-COVID-19?  

À la fin de la conférence, les participantes et les participants repartiront avec des opportunités de leadership concrètes à réinvestir dans leur milieu. (Note: This workshop will be delivered in French)


  • Marius Bourgeoys est conférencier, coach et consultant. Il met sa passion pour le leadership et le coaching au service des leaders en éducation. Sa mission est d’aider et d’inspirer les leaders à exprimer leur plein potentiel, à avoir un impact positif sur les gens autour d’eux et à obtenir de meilleurs résultats dans toutes les sphères de leur vie. 

<strong>B6: Beyond the Buzzwords: Upholding Human Rights and Equity; Challenging Anti Black Racism</strong>

This interactive workshop will help educators better understand how racism, anti-black racism show up in schools and address how educators can be active participants in creating anti-racist classrooms  Participants will learn why  self-reflection is integral to anti-racist teaching practice, develop skills to respond and disrupt racism when you see it and understand the legal obligations of educators to uphold human rights.

Presenter:Gilary Massa is a Human Rights Outreach and Engagement Officer at the Toronto District School Board. She is a proud Afro-Latina Muslim with a long-standing history in community engagement, public education, and activism related to equity, human rights, and social justice. Gilary has spent the last 15 years supporting school boards, advocacy organizations, labour unions, government agencies, and private enterprises through organizational change work that centres on human rights, equity, and inclusion.

<strong>B7: Towards a Basic Income in Canada</strong>

COVID-19 has presented dual challenges to the health and economic security of Canadians. Between 2017 & 2019, three communities in Ontario tested the idea of providing a basic income to low income residents to determine whether physical and mental health, housing, job prospective, education and overall wellbeing might be enhanced. While the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project was cut short, important lessons were learned and data collected that may provide a roadmap for a post-pandemic reform of Canada’s income security system. Tom Cooper, director Hamilton’s Roundtable for Poverty Reduction will discuss his community’s experience with Basic Income & 


  • Tom Cooper is the Director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction – a collaborative organization formed to tackle the City’s unacceptable levels of poverty. Through the Roundtable, Tom has worked to give people experiencing poverty a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. He helped co-found the Ontario Living Wage Network – an initiative of 30 Ontario communities endeavouring to address working poverty, and was involved in helping to establish Ontario’s first basic income pilot.
  • Jodi Dean, participant, Ontario Basic Income Pilot

C Stream: Thursday, November 26 – 2:00-3:15 p.m.

<strong>C1: Guidance Pathway Planning Tool – special preview </strong>

This session will provide a glimpse into the revamped tool which was developed by the Southwest Regional Partnership. You will learn how easy it is to enter the information and provide students with a pathway plan. There will be opportunities to ask questions and to explore the portal. 


  • Leonard Noens has worked in the continuing education field for over 30 years and has managed the credit and ESL programs at the London District Catholic School Board.  He is the 2019 recipient of the CESBA Lifetime Achievement Award for service to Adult and Continuing Education. 
  • Jim Mackrory started as LBS manager in continuing education for 17 years. He is currently a Program Manager in Community and Continuing Education at the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.
  • Sean Pynaert is a Continuing Education Counsellor at the London District Catholic School Board.

<strong>C2: How to Support Student Mental Health during Remote Learning </strong>

This session will provide a quick overview of educator resources developed by School Mental Health Ontario in collaboration with stakeholder groups in supporting student mental health during COVID. Participants will learn about new resources to support student mental health during the time of COVID and how to adapt them for both in-person and virtual learning environments. 


  • Gail Lalonde is the Mental Health Promotion Team Lead for School Mental Health Ontario, and a clinical supervisor at the Child & Youth Clinic, at the Faculty of Education at Western University.  As a registered social worker working in education, Gail has held several system positions, including Mental Health Lead for the Thames Valley District School Board, and Supervisor of Professional Support Services at the London District Catholic School Board. 

<strong>C3: Social Media, Social Distancing & Student Outreach </strong>

COVID school closures challenged our efforts to stay connected with and empower existing learners to stay on course with their learning journey. With the re-opening of schools, did our adapted reality draw new learners or are they yet to be engaged? This carousel session will explore the current digital tools that can keep learner motivation up and the ConEd success stories top of the feed.  


  • Michele Breault, BRLS, Program Manager, Partnerships and Proposals. Michele has a diverse 35-year career in community and resource development within the not-for-profit and education sectors, including the YWCA, Ontario Lung Association, Wilfrid Laurier University, Region of Waterloo and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. The past 10 years has focused on establishing a strong St. Louis ConEd brand and working alongside community and colleagues to develop new initiatives. 

<strong>C4: Improv tools for Inclusion </strong>

This experiential session will touch on the fundamentals of Improvisation that make that art form so collaborative and inclusive. Participants will try out and will take away some great exercises to use with both colleagues and students. (Note: This is an abridged version of a session A-6)


  • Kevin Frank is a corporate facilitator and comedic performer who has worked as a professional actor and musician for 36 years. A past host of popular children’s game shows, Kevin can also be heard as many of the voices in the first feature movie of Thomas the Tank Engine. He began his career with the Second City, where he held the position of Artistic Director. He still teaches Improv. 

<strong>C5: Connect Creatively! Ideas and techniques for relating with students online </strong>

Join us to practice using a creative technique that helps to deepen online connection with both students and team members. This technique encourages participants to ask questions of each other, uses holistic (R/L brain) expression and is adaptable! With the help of an infographic, this session will introduce this technique and other equity and inclusion strategies. We hope you will leave with a concrete experience and lots of new ideas for connecting with students online! 


  • Ishwar Persad is an equity implementation coach and consultant at Insight Consulting. He specializes in equity, diversity and inclusion Implementation, consultation and facilitation. Ishwar supports individual leaders and small teams grapple with challenging conversations while meeting learning objectives. 
  • Gillian Kranias is a design, facilitation, evaluation and strategy consultant with 20 years experience co-leading and coaching adult education, community development, health promotion programs, and joint-action partnerships.

<strong>C6: Virtual HR Q&A</strong>

Do you have questions about how to manage employees who are working form home? Bring them along! HR professional Cheryl Menezes will answer questions on the differences between onsite vs. offsite employees, how to protect safety and confidentiality, how to reduce isolation and how to boost morale


  • Cheryl Menezes is an HR professional with more than 20 years experience working in non-profit organizations, government and the private sector, in both unionized and non-union environments. She has an educational background in industrial relations, psychology, adult staff training and leadership development. Cheryl specializes in setting up HR departments. Her current focus is on helping clients address the HR challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

<strong>C7: Unconscious bias and how it impacts learning</strong>

An introduction to unconscious bias and how it impacts student learning, particularly for adult learners and special education students.  You will learn strategies to help you recognize and address bias in the classroom and beyond. 


  • Sheliza Jamal is a Special Education Inclusion Consultant at the Toronto District School Board, supporting programs and services that foster equity and inclusiveness in special education programs.  An experienced equity facilitator, she is also a Digital Lead Mentor with a passion for integrating technology to meet the needs of diverse digital natives. Sheliza is completing her PhD at OISE, in Social Justice Education.  

Sponsors & Exhibitor Info

For more than 20 years, the annual CESBA Conference has offered a wide range of professional networking and learning opportunities to inform and inspire exemplary practice in adult and continuing education (A&CE) across Ontario.

This year’s virtual conference, to be held on November 25-26 2020, will focus on Inclusion: Moving Forward Together. With exemplary programming over the two days, we provide a digital forum where adult, alternative and continuing education program staff working in Ontario’s school boards can network, learn and collaborate while honing skills and abilities to assist learners in achieving their education and employment goals.

The CESBA Conference 2020 offers a unique online opportunity to connect with leading educators and administrators from across Ontario.


Multi-Year Title Sponsor


Learning & Content Partners

Prize Partner

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