School Spotlight

Everyday Leadership & Well-Being Symposium for Grade 7 to 11 students

May 7, 2018—Approximately 160 students in Grades 7 to 11 will participate in the Everyday Leadership & Well-Being Symposium this week.

Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2018
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Loyalist College

This event is planned and hosted by the Student Senate which consists of two students from each secondary school. The  purpose of the symposium is to redefine leadership with respect to well-being and living as an everyday leader. Students will participate in three workshops throughout the day (see below) to explore elements of leadership and well-being, supporting globally minded leaders and learners.

Mandy Savery-Whiteway, Director of Education, will bring greetings. Stu Saunders, the keynote speaker, will focus on the theme of Everyday Leadership.

Workshop presenters include students, HPEDSB staff, Dr. Julie Gowthorpe and Sean Kelly, and Loyalist College instructors who will share their experiences and highlight the importance and value of student voice, leadership, initiative and well-being.

Symposium schedule

9:00 a.m. Welcome, opening remarks, Student Senate and Mandy Savery-Whiteway, Director of Education
9:15 a.m. Stu Saunders, keynote speaker
10:10 to 10:40 a.m. Workshop 1 (30-minute workshops)
10:40 to 10:55 a.m. Abby Heffernan, student presenter from Prince Edward Collegiate Institute
10:55 to 11:25 a.m. Lunch
11:25 to 11:40 a.m. Kristen Sutherland, student presenter from North Hastings High School
11:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Workshop 2
12:30 to 1:00 p.m. Workshop 3


  • Abby Heffernan from Prince Edward Collegiate Institute. Abby Heffernan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2015 before starting high school. She will speak about staying positive through difficult situations and making the best of every situation. Finding and maintaining a positive perspective through challenges reinforces the overall theme of the conference; everyday leadership is about making small changes for personal or someone else’s well-being.
  • Kristen Sutherland from North Hastings High School. Kristen Sutherland is an amputee and her speech will have an underlying message of the importance of resiliency. She will speak about how she was able to remain positive and overcome the obstacles that she faced throughout her journey, and how some of the hardest decisions, may be some of the best decisions. Leadership can be expressed in the ability to make choices for oneself; everyday leadership can be personal and does not have to impact others.


  • Keynote address: Stu Saunders. Stu will work with everyday  leaders to reflect and uncover their leadership potential and help them craft their next steps.
  • Dressing on a Dime and Feeling Great: Lucille Kyle. This workshop will be conducted in the form of an unorthodox fashion show. It will identify strategies for shopping to meet one’s own comfort level, as well as on a budget. Lucille and student senators will model the importance of dressing to feel confident in one’s own skin. Models in the workshop will have the opportunity to be styled in multiple innovative ways. The goal of the workshop is to show how trends can be limiting.  Students will be encouraged to question and push beyond these boundaries to explore the fun of fashion. An overall theme of positivity will be encouraged throughout the workshop, supporting mental health and well-being.
  • Art and Mindfulness: Andrea Kerr. This will be a hands-on workshop. Mindfulness boosts creativity and creativity boosts mindfulness. Learn how to get into creative flow anywhere and anytime you have a few moments of solitude. No drawing experience necessary! Create something of your very own to take home. Choose one project or complete all three!
  • Managing and Reducing Stress: Dr. Julie Gowthorpe and Sean Kelly. This workshop will be conducted in the form of a conversational presentation about mindful stress reduction. It will identify sources of stress in a student’s life through conversations facilitated by Dr. Gowthorpe and Sean Kelly. Staying mentally healthy while encountering a variety of barriers to self-esteem can be difficult in social environments (such as high school). The goal of this workshop is to reflect on effective self esteem management and to recognize vulnerability.
  • Sleep and Well-Being: Dr. Deanna Mayfield and Julie Pulman- Brogee. This workshop will be conducted in the form of a conversational presentation about the aspects of the brain that manage stress. Mental health specialists will guide the workshop and address the importance of sleep for maintaining mental health and well-being; high school students are within the age demographic that sleep the least and work the longest. They will also discuss how stress impacts memory and how to cope with pressure. Students will also be shown when and how to reach out for help; finding a personal limit with regards to mental health is important to staying healthy.
  • The Powers and Pitfalls of Social Media: Kerry Ramsay. This workshop will be conducted as a conversational presentation about the power and pitfalls of social media use. It will identify the positive aspects of social media for students as well as offer strategies to developing a positive online presence. Student voice will be facilitated by student senators and a well-being expert from Loyalist College through conversations about how social media is used and the overall effect on mental health; perceptions of other people on social media can lead to personal pressures and negativity.
  • Mindful Yoga: Tammy Kenzie. This will be a mindful workshop in which students participate in a 30-minute yoga session guided by a professional. The goal of the session is to introduce stress reduction techniques through yoga. Physical activity can increase dopamine levels and decrease stress; it is important to be mindful of mental and physical health.
  • Mission Impossible: Student Senators. This is an interactive workshop in which students will work in teams to complete the mission, which is comprised of several tasks, such as puzzles, an obstacle course, etc., under a given time constraint and with certain stipulations.  The first time that the teams attempt the mission, they will not be given any time to plan or organize themselves, which typically results in teams being unable to complete the mission. They will then be given five minutes to plan before their second attempt to complete the mission. Teams tend to be more successful in their second attempt, which ultimately demonstrates to students and will lead into a discussion about the importance of time management and organization, as well as effective collaboration.
  • Action Planning: What does the world need now?: Student Senators. This workshop will be conducted as a conversation translating into action plans. The workshop will take place throughout the day and each group of students will have a different responsibility. The students in the morning will generate ideas on how to improve their school, community, or world. The students in the afternoon will implement ideas into tangible action plans that can be taken back to schools and used. Action plans developed in this workshop can be brought to conversations with a school’s senator and can be supported by the student senate. The overall goal of this workshop is to transform student voice into tangible initiatives that provide leadership opportunities for students attending the conference.

Throughout the day, students will be encouraged to document their ideas and thoughts. They will keep the ‘Not  Exit Card’ and bring it to a follow-up meeting with their school student senators. The goal of the Not Exit Card is to make tangible connections between ideas (or notable thoughts) on paper (visible thinking).

At the end of the day, students will document one goal on a postcard and it will be placed in a draw with their name and school on it. The postcards will be given to the school student senator for immediate and future follow-up.

The event hashtag is #HPE_BeWell.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354, [email protected]

Last updated: May 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm
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