Sackville as an integrated educational community – The way forward

On Thursday, April 27th, Mayor John Higham hosted a public gathering at Sackville Town Hall that focused on the idea of Sackville as a learning community, based on the ideas brought forward by Sackville Schools 2020 over the past 18 months. One of the key messages of support for this new way of thinking about education came from the Assistant Deputy Minister for the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Mr. Chris Treadwell. 


At the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development we believe that education is everyone’s business. You are modeling how that can happen. Your vision recognizes that in 2017 we can’t still be using approaches to education that are, in some cases, hundreds of years old. Your vison represents the thinking of 21st century educators who stress collaboration, wrap around services, the central role of the community and the critical importance of leveraging citizens to assist professional teachers.

...We need more student centered learning environments. We need to both tinker with our present structure and unleash support for structures that create deep change like Sackville 2020.

...Sometimes schools can stifle creativity. I do suggest that you remember new ideas are not always received with open arms. Educational progress requires people in the system to behave in new ways, to think differently, to spend money in new ways perhaps even work harder. Your initiative will require you to be determined to push against the status quo and the prevailing paradigm. But I believe your inspiring vision, your commitment to your idea, your organizational skills, belief in your community and strong leadership and persistence will prevail.

I wish you all the best and I look for ways that we can collaborate on behalf of the children of your community as we re-imagine what a learning environment can look like.

— Mr. Chris Treadwell, Assistant Deputy Minister for the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

All of the speakers inspired the many teachers, principals, parents, students, businesses and community members in attendance with the possibilities that exist for shaping a new community-based education model.

visiting Speakers

Mr. Chris Treadwell: As the Assistant Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) for New Brunswick’s Anglophone school board, Chris Treadwell has been an educator for 35 years. For 31 of those years, he has served as principal for several schools, at different levels: Grand-Manan High, Hartland High, Keswick Valley, Park Street Elementary, Miramichi Valley High, North and South Esk High Schools, too. He has also taught graduate School courses at UNB and is currently an adjunct professor of education at St. Thomas University. The Canadian Association of Principals named him one of "Canada’s Outstanding Principals". He says that when Hartland High School was recognized as one of 20 exemplary high schools in Canada by the Canadian Education Association, he could not have been more proud. If you ask Chris, he will tell you, education has the power to provide quality of life for the individual, and to enhance the social and economic fabric of society.

Mr. Gregg Ingersoll: Gregg Ingersoll is the Superintendent of the Anglophone East School District and has a Masters Degree in Educational Administration. He is passionate about providing opportunities for professional growth for educators. He believes that the secret to providing the best possible education experiences for our students is to have highly trained teachers that are current regarding the most effective teaching and assessment strategies. These teachers need school based leadership that supports their efforts so Professional Development for Principals and Vice-Principals will always be a priority as well. Gregg is a lifelong learner himself and enjoys sharing his leadership experiences outside of his role by teaching Masters level leadership courses for teachers at the University of Moncton.

Ms. Molly Hurd: Having taught in both public and private schools, Molly Hurd's perspectives on education have been developed out of her wide variety of teaching experiences in northern Quebec, rural Nova Scotia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Britain. She believes passionately that keeping children's natural love of learning alive throughout their school years is the best thing a school can do for its students. She has recently written the book “Best School in the World. How students, teachers and parents have created a model that can transform Canada's public schools”, based on her experience teaching at Halifax Independent School (HIS) for twenty years as a teacher and head teacher. HIS is part of the laboratory school network (Int’l Association of Laboratory Schools), and its original purpose was to train teachers at Dalhousie. Molly's experiences were valuable to this discussion because it is important to learn from successful models elsewhere that can inspire the local public system.

Mr. James Seaman: James Seaman, Principal & Michigan Studio Director, FIelding Nair International, has over fifteen years of architectural experience focused entirely on the design of places for learning. He is a well-rounded architect and his skill at seeing both the big picture and the detail gives him the ability to lead complicated projects. He has managed, planned, and designed numerous innovative schools around the world. James truly straddles between the world of architecture and education. He holds a Masters degree in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University, a graduate level certificate in Educational Facility Planning through San Diego State University, and is currently studying the relationship between education and the built environment as a PhD student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) program at Michigan State University. His influence extends beyond architecture as he regularly collaborates with educators and students. James has authored numerous articles about education and 21st century learning and regularly presents at conferences, as well as leading community-based visioning and educational facility planning projects. He has been advising the Sackville Schools 2020 group for the past 18 months.

The videos

Below are the 6 videos that comprise the event. Video-recording and editing by Wade Settle Connections.