DREAM BIG - The School Council Event

Workshops, Vendor Fair, Networking

The "DREAM BIG" School Council Event will start in

Bill Crothers
Secondary School

44 Main St. Unionville/ Markham, Ontario

October 28, 2017

Registration begins at 8:30 am

10 Speakers

See speakers list below

300 Seats


About the Event

Parents Engaged in Education believe in the motto of Walt Disney "If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It".

In 2017 PEIE want to inspire parents and school councils to dream big for their child and their school. It is easy to forget how important it is to set high goals for our children to give them something to work towards. Research shows that when we do this our children will work hard to achieve these goals.

This is the second in a series of events designed to provide resources and skill building opportunities to parent leaders in school councils across Ontario.

This event will feature a number of workshops of interest to all parents. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to visit vendors who provide services to schools and network to share experiences and ideas.


Please sign up here to find out more information about this event, recieve the latest updates and news provided by Parents Engaged in Education.

Frequently Asked questions

Is there a cost to attend?

No, this event is free of charge in recognition of the valuable role parents play in schools across the province.

Will there be refreshments?

Yes, there will be light refreshments served.

Is the event open to all parents?

Yes, this event is open to all parents and interested educators.

Will there be child care onsite?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide child minding for this event.

General Sessions

Building Strong School Councils

Building a Multi-cultural school council

Developing a 3 Year Plan

Parent Engagement Panel


When parents feel they have a voice in their children's education they are more engaged as well

Theresa Pastore

Theresa Pastore

Founder and Executive Director
Parents Engaged in Education

Theresa Pastore has been involved in the field of parent engagement for the past 20 years. She has been involved as a volunteer parent leader at the school, local and regional levels. In addition, Theresa spent 13 years as a classroom volunteer parent in Grade One where she enjoyed supporting students who required extra support to achieve their academic goals.

Theresa has been involved in the field of parent engagement for the past 20 years. She has been involved as a volunteer parent leader at the school, local and regional levels. In addition, Theresa spent 13 years as a classroom volunteer parent in Grade One where she enjoyed supporting students who required extra support to achieve their academic goals.

Theresa will be leading all general sessions.

Role and Responsibilities of School Council Chair

Trixie Doyle

Trixie Doyle

PIAC co-chair

This workshop will cover the specific responsibilities of a council chair as out lined in Regulation 612. In addition, it will discuss the general responsibilities of a chair including:

  • - Preparing the meeting agenda
  • - Conducting respectful meetings
  • - Establishing meeting quorum and voting procedures
  • - Setting a positive leadership example
  • - Community communications
  • - And other topics relevant to the subject.

Trixie Doyle has been a member of school councils for the past twelve years at the elementary, middle school, and high schools levels. During this time she has taken on various roles including chair, communications, fundraising & events coordinator, and secretary. Since the fall of 2014 she has also been a member of the TDSB’s Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) and is currently serving as a PIAC co-chair.

Click here to view presentation

Role and Responsibilities of School Council Treasurer

Michelle Aarts

Michelle Aarts

PIAC member

The Treasurer plays an important role in the operation of a School Council including managing budgets and bank accounts, record keeping, and financial reporting to the School Council, the School Board, and the Province. However filling the Treasurer role does not have to be a daunting task; it can be a great opportunity to work with school families and staff on new initiatives and expand your professional skill set.

Michelle Aarts has trained and worked as a academic scientist and researcher for 20 years with roles including data analysis, personnel and account management, and regulatory compliance and reporting. Michelle has been involved with her local School Council for 7 years (currently as Treasurer) and has served as a PIAC (Parent Involvement Advisory Committee) Representative since 2015.

Role and Responsibilities of School Council Secretary

Lisa Landriault

Lisa Landriault

Vice President
Parents Engaged in Education

This workshop will cover the important role of the Secretary position. Tips on how to take meeting minutes that summarize the important points of the meeting, while still allowing for this executive to take part in the discussion at the table. It will also discuss ideas on communication strategies and good record keeping for a school council.

Lisa Landriault is a committed parent leader with 2 children in the TCDSB in addition to being the Vice-President of Parents Engaged in Education. Her experience as chair of a school council in a French Immersion School provided her insight on all executive positions that are vital to a successful council.

Role and Responsibilities of School Council Parent Members

Jocelyn Midghall

Jocelyn Midghall


There is often focus or training on the executive positions in a school council, but, the parent member is an equally important role within a school council. This workshop topics will include:

  • - Recruiting parent members
  • - Identifying issues to be placed on meeting agendas
  • - Positive communication with school communities
  • - Sub-committee leader or member
  • - Supporting the goals of the council

Jocelyn is a parent volunteer and education advocate with lofty ideas. She is a strong proponent of raising digitally-responsible children. It's hard to imagine but at one time, her presence in school council meetings were frowned at as council members find her approach to managing meetings too structured. Little they knew that her years of experience and expertise as corporate board liaison comes in to play when running school councils. She had been a co-chair, a communications committee lead, an events volunteer and a grant seeker and writer for her children's schools.

Click here to view presentation

Partnering with Principals

Nadia Young

Nadia Young

Secondary School Principal

This workshop will provide strategies for forming positive partnerships with school Principals. There will be tips on how to work towards creating a relationship that accomplishes the most for the school community as well as opportunities for participants to share and ask questions on this important topic.

Nadia has been an educator for over 30 years with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. She has worked both as an elementary and secondary teacher as well as a Secondary Resource teacher and Literacy Coach in the Student Success department at the Catholic Education Center. Nadia was a Vice Principal at Brebeuf College and is currently serving as Principal at St. Mother Teresa Catholic Academy since September 2014.

Planning a successful school event

Martin Paquette

Martin Paquette

Event Specialist
The Main Event Fun Games Inc.

Martin is an Event Specialist with The Main Event Fun Games Inc. Previously, as Event Manger, Martin was responsible for the hiring, staffing, training and scheduling of all event staff at The Main Event along with day to day operations of a 10,000 sq ft warehouse and product maintenance. A TSSA licensed ADMI with 10 years of experience in the events industry, Martin believes in providing his clients with a safe, exciting experience people will remember for years to come.

Click here to view presentation

Team Building and Conflict Resolution

Kate Jones

Kate Jones

Personality and Positivity Specialist
Kate Jones and Associates

With nearly 15 years running her business, Kate Jones & Associates, Kate has had opportunity to inspire parents, educators, and teams as a speaker and workshop facilitator in educational, not-for-profit and corporate settings.

Kate has presented educational workshops in many Ontario school boards, and at numerous educational conferences. As a Personality Dimensions Master trainer she has been running train-the-trainer workshops for awhile now, drawing from 15 years in both the education and human resources fields prior to opening her own business.

Fundraising ideas at a Bargain & tips to brand your school at wholesale prices.

Jody Steinhauer

Jody Steinhauer

Chief Bargain Officer
Bargains Group

My personal pet peeve is students selling items that we don't need, don't want and at ridiculous above retail prices. Let me give you some tips to fundraise for your school with practical effective fundraising concepts. As an added bonus-I can also share winning ideas on how to brand your school at bargain prices while fundraising at the same time. Who doesn't love a bargain?

School Councils and Social Media

Adrian Marmara

Adrian Marmara

Parents Engaged in Education &
School Council Chair

Adrian Marmara will be discussing best practices for making the most of social media for your school's parent council. Using social media can be a great way to communicate with other parents and the wider community. It can help reach more parents, including those who can't always make it to parent meetings or those who just get caught up in their daily lives.

Adrian has been working in the I.T. field for the last 17 years. He has been parent council chair at his children's school for the past 3 plus years. As one of the Directors of Parents Engaged in Education, Adrian has combined his love of I.T. with his passion for parent engagement by developing and maintaining the Parents Engaged in Education website. Adrian also manages the many Parents Engaged in Education social media channels.

Click here to view presentation


8:30 - 9:00: Registration
9:00 - 9:10: Opening Remarks
9:10 - 9:45: Building Strong School Councils
9:45 - 10:00: The Importance of Multi-cultural School Councils
10:00 - 11:00: Workshop Session One

Roles and Responsibilities of School Council Chairs
Roles and Responsibilities of School Council Treasurer
Roles and Responsibilities of School Council Secretary
Roles and Responsibilities of Parent Members

11:00 - 1:00: Lunch and Vendors Fair
(Be sure to have your passport stamped & play PLINKO)
1:00 - 2:00: Workshop Session Two

Partnering with the Principal
Fundraising and Branding
Event Planning for School Councils
Ins and Outs of Social Media for School Councils
Team Building and Conflict Resolution

2:00 - 2:30: Developing a Three Year Plan for School Councils
2:30 - 3:00: Parent Engagement Panel
3:00 - 3:05: Wrap Up and Adjournment
3:05 - 3:15: Hand in your completed passport and play PLINKO
3:05 - 3:15: Hand in completed event surveys for Grand Prize draw!

Click here to get a copy of the agenda