Panelists

French-Language Learner, Licensed Social Worker and Psychotherapist

Waleed Al-Ahmad
Group 3

Waleed lived, studied, and worked in 4 different countries which gave him enriching exposure to different cultures. He has a master’s degree in social work and a second master’s degree, in couple and family therapy. He has diverse work experience in different settings including, child psychiatry, youth protection, and community-based social services, and with different populations including neurodiverse adults, refugees, LGBTQ+, and Indigenous people. He’s now a licensed psychotherapist with his own private practice.

Research Coordinator, Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC)

John Davids
Group 3

John Davids is the Research Coordinator at the Black Community Resource Center (BCRC). Since 2020, he has studied the vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking Black Community and played a key role in both the Black in Quebec Project and the Education to Employability Study (done in collaboration with PERT Quebec).He holds an M.A. in Political Science (from York University) and his areas of interest include International Relations, Human Rights in both domestic and international contexts, and researching marginalized and minority communities.

Center Coordinator, Anchor Academic and Vocational Education Center

Christine Grenier
Group 3

My first encounter with the Eastern Shores School Board was as a student in a vocational program which I completed at the Hopetown Vocational Education Center. After completing my training, I was hired as the center secretary for a couple of years. Following that, I was promoted to work as an office agent at the board office, a position I held for 7 years, after which, I was offered the position of center coordinator at the same center, Hopetown, where I was a student and secretary. I have worked 15 years now as a center coordinator of an Adult and Vocational Education Center. In total, I have been in education for 25 years now, all with Eastern Shores. My career path has given me a 360 degree view of Adult Education, from student to center coordinator, it is a huge asset for me in dealing with my students, teachers and colleagues.

Centre Director, Vocational Training CDC Pont Viau

Heather Halman
Group 3

Heather Halman has over 25 years of experience in education both as a teacher and an administrator in the public sector. She has held the positions of teacher, vice-principal and principal in the youth sector. She has also held School Board level positions as Assistant Director and then Director of Educational Services, Strategic Plan Advisor and Service Director for Adult and Vocational Education. She has been the Center Director of Adult Education and is currently the Director of Vocational Training at the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board.

Ms. Halman has been a member of the Directors of English Education Network, the Advisory Board on English Education, a member of sub committees of the Superior Council of Education, Vice Chair-person of Procede, QACVE, as well as Chairperson of the Procede Conference. She is currently the president of the SWLSB local of AQCS .

Group 3

French-Language Learner, Licensed Social Worker and Psychotherapist

Waleed Al-Ahmad

Waleed lived, studied, and worked in 4 different countries which gave him enriching exposure to different cultures. He has a master’s degree in social work and a second master’s degree, in couple and family therapy. He has diverse work experience in different settings including, child psychiatry, youth protection, and community-based social services, and with different populations including neurodiverse adults, refugees, LGBTQ+, and Indigenous people. He’s now a licensed psychotherapist with his own private practice.

Group 3

Research Coordinator, Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC)

John Davids

John Davids is the Research Coordinator at the Black Community Resource Center (BCRC). Since 2020, he has studied the vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking Black Community and played a key role in both the Black in Quebec Project and the Education to Employability Study (done in collaboration with PERT Quebec).He holds an M.A. in Political Science (from York University) and his areas of interest include International Relations, Human Rights in both domestic and international contexts, and researching marginalized and minority communities.

Group 3

Center Coordinator, Anchor Academic and Vocational Education Center

Christine Grenier

My first encounter with the Eastern Shores School Board was as a student in a vocational program which I completed at the Hopetown Vocational Education Center. After completing my training, I was hired as the center secretary for a couple of years. Following that, I was promoted to work as an office agent at the board office, a position I held for 7 years, after which, I was offered the position of center coordinator at the same center, Hopetown, where I was a student and secretary. I have worked 15 years now as a center coordinator of an Adult and Vocational Education Center. In total, I have been in education for 25 years now, all with Eastern Shores. My career path has given me a 360 degree view of Adult Education, from student to center coordinator, it is a huge asset for me in dealing with my students, teachers and colleagues.

Group 3

Centre Director, Vocational Training CDC Pont Viau

Heather Halman

Heather Halman has over 25 years of experience in education both as a teacher and an administrator in the public sector. She has held the positions of teacher, vice-principal and principal in the youth sector. She has also held School Board level positions as Assistant Director and then Director of Educational Services, Strategic Plan Advisor and Service Director for Adult and Vocational Education. She has been the Center Director of Adult Education and is currently the Director of Vocational Training at the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board.

Ms. Halman has been a member of the Directors of English Education Network, the Advisory Board on English Education, a member of sub committees of the Superior Council of Education, Vice Chair-person of Procede, QACVE, as well as Chairperson of the Procede Conference. She is currently the president of the SWLSB local of AQCS .

Deputy Chief Executive, National Centre for Learning Welsh

Dona Lewis
Group 3

Dona developed her career by working in a range of positions for Mudiad Meithrin, the largest Welsh-medium early years care and education organisation, providing services to 20,000 children annually. In 2013 she was appointed Deputy Chief Executive for the organisation and was the acting Chief Executive before leaving in 2016 to join the National Centre for Learning Welsh. She is Deputy Chief Executive of the National Centre, and leads the Planning and Development directorate, responsible for corporate quality, finance and innovative schemes such as Work Welsh and the new Scheme providing Learn Welsh opportunities for 16-25 year olds. Dona has led the sector’s digital transformation which began with the development of a multimedia digital platform to give learners greater support and choices. Dona has been a Council Member for Adult Learning Wales since 2020, also serving on their Resources Committee.

Affiliate Assistant Professor, School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University, And Research Associate, Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN)

Lorraine O'Donnell
Group 3

Lorraine O’Donnell has a Ph.D. in History (McGill), a Master’s in History (York), and a Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development (Concordia). She is Research Associate at the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), where since 2008 she has led day-to-day operations. Before that, she worked as archivist, researcher, teacher, and public historian. In 2015, she became an Affiliate Assistant Professor with Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs.

Lorraine’s research focus is Canadian women’s history and history/heritage projects that involve and help build communities. She has contributed to English-speaking Quebec history exhibits on the topics of immigration, Jewish and Irish communities, social movements, and housewives.

Director, Policy and Research

Sta Kuzviwanza
Group 3

Sta is a policy researcher and analyst with a background in economics and technology policy. Sta previously worked as the policy lead for Québec at Airbnb Canada and as a consultant providing policy analysis to organizations in the private and public sectors. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Max Bell School of Public Policy and a Bachelor’s in Economics and African Studies from McGill University.

Group 3

Deputy Chief Executive, National Centre for Learning Welsh

Dona Lewis

Dona developed her career by working in a range of positions for Mudiad Meithrin, the largest Welsh-medium early years care and education organisation, providing services to 20,000 children annually. In 2013 she was appointed Deputy Chief Executive for the organisation and was the acting Chief Executive before leaving in 2016 to join the National Centre for Learning Welsh. She is Deputy Chief Executive of the National Centre, and leads the Planning and Development directorate, responsible for corporate quality, finance and innovative schemes such as Work Welsh and the new Scheme providing Learn Welsh opportunities for 16-25 year olds. Dona has led the sector’s digital transformation which began with the development of a multimedia digital platform to give learners greater support and choices. Dona has been a Council Member for Adult Learning Wales since 2020, also serving on their Resources Committee.

Group 3

Affiliate Assistant Professor, School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University, And Research Associate, Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN)

Lorraine O'Donnell

Lorraine O’Donnell has a Ph.D. in History (McGill), a Master’s in History (York), and a Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development (Concordia). She is Research Associate at the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), where since 2008 she has led day-to-day operations. Before that, she worked as archivist, researcher, teacher, and public historian. In 2015, she became an Affiliate Assistant Professor with Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs.

Lorraine’s research focus is Canadian women’s history and history/heritage projects that involve and help build communities. She has contributed to English-speaking Quebec history exhibits on the topics of immigration, Jewish and Irish communities, social movements, and housewives.

Group 3

Director, Policy and Research

Sta Kuzviwanza

Sta is a policy researcher and analyst with a background in economics and technology policy. Sta previously worked as the policy lead for Québec at Airbnb Canada and as a consultant providing policy analysis to organizations in the private and public sectors. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Max Bell School of Public Policy and a Bachelor’s in Economics and African Studies from McGill University.

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