Teachers are encouraged to continue to pursue their goals as much as their students. Therefore, educators’ health and development must be maintained and addressed with the same level of care and support as students. This helps us understand our identity and purpose, which directly affects our students’ ability to reach their fullest potentials.

Sponsored by Nord University and the CANOPY Project

Gerri Nakirigya Lutaaya

Gerri Nakirigya Lutaaya belongs to the Ngonge clan within the Buganda kingdom. Guided by philanthropist Mary McLeod Bethune’s words that “we have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends”, Gerri maintains a spirited zest and commitment to young people because of their potential to spark action, impact and change on society’s most pressing issues. With 8+ years of professional experience, Gerri has gained an in-depth understanding of the nonprofit sector working for internationally recognized charities including Invisible Children,  United Nations Association in Canada and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Gerri has completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Global Development Studies at Queen’s University and a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) degree from Carleton University. To complement her academic accomplishments, Gerri is grounded in Nelson Mandela’s challenge that “a degree means nothing unless you go out into the community to prove yourself” and most recently was recognized as a 2019 Volunteer Toronto Legacy Award Nominee for her outstanding volunteer work. Born in Halifax, raised in Ottawa, and currently residing in Toronto, Gerri is a daughter, sister, singer and baker working on her laugh lines.

Workshop: Leave a legacy: from transactional to transformational

As some of the most influential role models, educators do much more than improve their student's academic achievements. Through the power of human connection, positive and/or negative relationships can have long-lasting implications on a student's social, emotional and overall character development.  This workshop will change how you think, work and act as an educator. By exploring how to cultivate environments rooted in empathy and joy, delegates will gain the practical skills essential to connect with their students in a way that will encourage, inspire and motivate collective success far beyond the walls of your classroom, and for many years to come.

Pak-Kei Wong

Pak-Kei Wong is currently a pedagogical consultant at the CEGEP de Gaspésie and des îles, the Montreal campus. He graduated from Queen’s University from the Concurrent Education program in 2004 (B.Sc (Honours) in mathematics) and from the Faculty of Education in 2005 (B.Ed). He went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Teaching of Mathematics from Concordia where he graduated with a Master of Teaching of Mathematics (M.T.M.) in 2008.

From 2008 to 2018, he has taught mostly in the secondary students in both public and private schools around the Montreal area. He has taught in many different school environments with different foci (Fine-Arts core education, Enriched Mathematics and science track, International Baccalaureat programs) with a diverse student clientele.

He looks forward to his first conference for Education students at his alma mater.

Workshop: Things I wish I knew before heading into the classroom from my B.Ed program!

You have just finished your B.Ed program. You’re excited for having your own classroom and establishing rapport with your own students. But wait, how come there are a bunch of things that are happening in the classroom now that you don’t remember covering in class?

In this workshop, we will bridge knowledge between your B.Ed program as well as the reality in the field. We will also cover the new reality that is in teaching right now and what challenges might arise.

Claire Ahn

Claire Ahn is an Assistant Professor of Multiliteracies at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. She has a decade of classroom experience as a secondary English Language Arts teacher, and continued to guide and mentor teacher candidates as a sessional instructor at the University of British Columbia. Claire’s research interest centres on multiliteracies. Specifically, she is interested in how visual information is mediated across different platforms. She explored this topic in her SSHRC funded doctoral research examining visual rhetoric in environmental documentaries, and how they might engender awareness and, perhaps, even encourage viewers to act in more eco-conscious ways. Claire is interested in how youth take up visual information. Her MEd focused on the pedagogical value of teaching narrative film in secondary English classrooms. Specifically, she argued that inviting students to critically analyze film could help develop their visual literacy skills. Claire is also interested in the role of genre, and how viewers’ genre expectations may modify their response to hybrid and ambiguous rhetorical forms. She has started investigating this idea by exploring what she refers to as deceptive media, and how certain genre markers or representational patterns persuade viewers to believe misinformation. Claire has worked with educators of all grades and teacher-librarians in an effort to provide resources and lesson plan ideas around various topics of visual literacy and deceptive media.

Workshop: Being able to move beyond our comfort zones

As teachers, we are committed to our profession and dedicated to enhancing our own learning to better support our students, which may require us to challenge ourselves. Interweaving her own narrative as a high school teacher, in this workshop Claire will demonstrate ways in which she was able to draw upon classroom observations, and learn about and implement alternative unfamiliar instructional approaches that turned into successful ‘ah ha’ moments in her class. This workshop will focus particularly on and engage participants with media and technology, and how as educators it is important to balance traditional and more current approaches to teaching; even if that means moving out of our comfort zone(s).

Dan Finn and Concetta Buragina

Dan Finn has been an educator with the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic School Board for the past 22 years. During this time, he has assumed various teaching positions from elementary to adult education where he has worked to integrate technology for all learners. He worked for five years as the Special Assignment Teacher for Integrated Technology. He promoted the continued use and integration of technology for students and teachers throughout the Board. In this position, he implemented the online reporting system used by all teaching staff. In addition, he offered a variety of training programs during and after school hours for teachers. Dan has assisted in the development and production of many training videos for NTIP and helped in the development of a website for the MISA initiative. He has worked for the past 12 years as a vice-principal and principal where he continues to take an active role on many committees to ensure the promotion and integration of technology in schools throughout the system. In September 2017, he was appointed as the principal of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School. St. Francis of Assisi was designed by Fielding and Nair International. FNI builds and renovates school facilities for today and tomorrow with one primary goal in mind — to improve learning.


Concetta Buragina has been teaching with the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board in Kingston since 2008. She has qualifications in the Primary, Junior and Intermediate Divisions, taken Religious Education courses, Math courses, and has her Specialist in Special Education. Ms. Buragina participates in multiple board and school committees and teams, including the New Teachers’ Induction Program (NTIP) committee and is the Information Technology Contact at the school level. She was part of the educator planning team through the discussion process as St. Francis of Assisi was designed and built. Upon the school’s opening, she was one of the first educators within the Grades 3-5 Collaborative Community, and this year has moved to the supportive role of the Special Education Resource Teacher. She strongly believes in the collaborative teaching practice which builds student-centered tasks that engages students and promote student voice and choice. Social-emotional learning is a passion of Ms. Buragina as building relationships and trust is a vital component of collaborative and social learning.

Workshop: The Open Model School with Multiple Studios for Collaboration

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School opened in September 2017 as one of the first collaborative schools in Ontario. Our open model with multiple studios within each divisional community allows for educator collaboration in both planning and teaching, as well as student centre, choice learning. The environment creates opportunity for student and staff to work together on project-based learning tasks, cross-community initiatives, and fluid movement within their learning and teaching.

Sarah Bunting

Sarah Bunting (she/her/hers), OCT (B.Mus, B.Ed), CCDP (Certified Career Development Practitioner), Queen’s University


Sarah is a Queen’s Concurrent Education Alumni who is passionate about educating others. Sarah always envisioned being a classroom teacher, but discovered her love for career education after taking on the volunteer role of Resume Coach at Queen’s Career Services during her undergrad..  Upon finishing her degrees at Queen’s, Sarah worked providing career and employment support in various community settings with diverse clientele.  Most recently, Sarah returned to Queen’s Career Services in her current role of  Career Counsellor, where she supports post-secondary students in their career and job search efforts.  As a life-long learner, Sarah approaches every experience with a lens for listening, learning, and growing, and she looks forward to learning and growing with you today!


Workshop: Education Careers Outside the Classroom

Being an educator is an extremely fulfilling career, but did you know there are many avenues, workplaces, and career paths for educators beyond the traditional classroom?  In this workshop, Sarah will explore the wide array of careers that require the skills educators possess. Participants will also be encouraged to reflect on and articulate what draws them to the education field, what skills they have developed as educators in training, and how these skills can contribute to solving various challenges the world faces.  Participants will come away with an understanding of how they align with various career paths in education, as well as how to find more information to make informed decisions about their futures. 

Understanding Educators as Lifelong Learners

Teachers are encouraged to continue to pursue their goals as much as their students. Therefore, educators’ health and development must be maintained and addressed with the same level of care and support as students. This helps us understand our identity and purpose, which directly affects our students’ ability to reach their fullest potentials.





The Concurrent Education Student Association acknowledges that Queen's University is situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory.

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