Educational Leadership Awards Presented At LEADS ASC

LEADS held its Annual Spring Conference on March 13-15, 2023 in Regina. Approximately 175 participants were in attendance during the three days of various event. LEADS is the professional organization for all senior educational administrators in the Province of Saskatchewan. Working through its members and with education and human service organization, LEADS provides leadership to facilitate enhanced outcomes in the academic, personal, social and spiritual development of all children and youth in Saskatchewan. In 2022, the LEADS Executive Board reintroduced three Educational Leadership Awards:

  • the Exceptional Student Award recognizes two final year Teacher Education students who have demonstrated a significant effort to improve the well-being and experiences of Saskatchewan students through their innovative and personal contributions;
  • the Distinguished Service Award recognizes current exceptional senior leadership within the PK to 12 Education Sector; and
  • the Merit Award recognizes past exceptional senior leadership within the PK to 12 Education Sector.

On behalf of the LEADS Executive Board and all LEADS members, thank you and congratulations to the following recipients:

Exceptional Student Award – Andesha Kukha-Bryson

Andesha excelled in her coursework in the College of Education at the
University of Saskatchewan. She exhibited an understanding of
Saskatchewan curricula and designed meaningful “Understanding by
Design” units of study that were innovative and comprehensive to the
expectations of curriculum, and purposeful to the needs of the grade 5
and 6 students in her class. Her personal qualities, professionalism and
consistent dedication to excellence in learning and teamwork were
outstanding with students and staff. Andesha was able to bring the
curriculum to life and captured the hearts, interest and needs of the
learners. Andesha is passionate toward developing engaging FNMI ways
of knowing and doing into her practice and expressed a desire to work
I with Indigenous communities as her professional goal. She values a
land-based instructional approach and clearly understands the
importance of incorporating students’ prior learning and experiences to
capture their interest. Lessons plans were structured to be “student
centered” and innovative to ensure the students’ needs were met and
success was attainable. Innovative practice is second nature to
Andesha; she was able to incorporate meaningful use of technology and
ensured that natural materials supported the lesson activities as well as
using drama and art-related projects. Key to her practice was ensuring
that the students were able to make personal connections to what
mattered to them and what they were able to relate to in their learning

Exceptional Student Award – Layton Willick

During the course of the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education
Program, Layton consistently achieved an excellent academic average.
His gregarious nature and well-roundedness are always apparent and
fellow students gravitated to his leadership skills, voting him as their SRC
President. He is committed to anti-oppressive education and uses critical
and creative thinking skills that he applied to elementary school contexts
for teaching. During Layton’s time as an EA and as a pre-service
teacher, his students greatly respected him. His well-planned lessons
and motivation to fuel his student’s desires to learn seeped through the
classrooms and, as a result, his students prospered. They demonstrated
respect and gained rich cultural education under his leadership and his
passion for learning. Layton’s gift for teaching is enhanced with the
personal skills that enable him to create meaningful relationships, inspire
people to achieve their goals, and encourage diversity and inclusion. His
ability to motivate others to learn is gracious and quiet; he does not have
to lead boastfully or with repetitiveness to get important learning
presented, he leads with dignity and respect for all. Layton is known to
see the big picture and always puts others first; he is conscientious and
supportive of his students and classmates. He is often seen giving
support and quiet guidance to others. Layton provided excellent
instruction and helped his students to value their Indigenous identity, and
to value and enjoy learning.

In addition, the LEADS Executive Board wishes to recognize the other three nominees for the Exceptional Student Award:  

  • Kendall Allin – Enrolled in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina;
  • Lakisha Custer-Sewap – Recently completed the Indian Teacher Education Program through the College of Education Program at the University of Saskatchewan; and 
  • Sarah Szell – Enrolled in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Program in Prince Albert.

Distinguished Service Award – Greg Chatlain, former Director of Education, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools

Greg is a true servant leader. His humble but confident nature has
allowed him to serve everyone he meets or works with in an open and
authentic relationship. Greg has served his school division admirably and
has also had a significant impact in leadership at the provincial level. Greg
has served for several years as the provincial lead on the Early Learning
Area of Focus within the provincial ESSP plan. As with everything he
does, Greg entered into this work with a focus on deepening his own
learning and assembling a strong team to explore provincial and local
actions to impact early learning for our youngest students. Greg was
instrumental in bringing Early Learning teams together once a year to
participate in a provincial Symposium to share best practices as well as
advocating and supporting the creation of Family Resource Centres to
serve children 0-5. He facilitated the creation, implementation and
collaboration of both Treaty education and culturally responsive and
affirming pedagogy within Early Learning. He responded to the Truth and
Reconciliation Calls to Action, especially #12 by ensuring that Language
programs were valued in Early Learning, giving families the opportunity to
reclaim their language. Under his leadership, Early Learning Educators
were viewed as a vital part of a child’s school journey. From early learning
to graduation, Greg has always had the student as the primary focus of
every decision made. His collaboration with staff, students and parents is
exemplary. As a Catholic Director, he has led with humility and an open
heart and mind through the discovery of the unmarked graves and has
established an Elders Advisory group and supported the development of
an Indigenous leadership cohort in the division. Greg has provided
distinguished service throughout his career and leaves a legacy and model
for future leaders to emulate.

Posthumous Merit Award – Greg Enion, former Director of Education, Regina Public Schools

Greg spent 40 years as a teacher, in-school administrator, Superintendent,
Deputy Director and Director at Regina Public Schools. A testament to
Greg’s leadership and the team atmosphere he created, in August 2004
Maclean’s Magazine published an article about one of Canada’s best
schools…that school was Cochrane High School where Greg was
Vice-Principal and then later Principal. Cochrane held a special place in
Greg’s career as he spoke often of the amazing staff and students that he
was able to work with. Throughout his career, Greg made some
remarkable impacts on the lives of students in Regina Public Schools and
throughout the City of Regina. Greg believed in partnerships and working
together. He was integral in the creation of: the Regina District Industry
Education Council; the Regina Intersectoral Committee, which became the
Regina Human Services Partnership; TRIP – the Regina Intersectoral
Partnership; the North Central Shared Facility Committee that developed
and built the mâmawêyatitân centre; the development of Campus Regina
Public (on the grounds of the former Cochrane High School); he also
worked hand-in-hand for years with the United Way of Regina. Greg led
the school division with a calm and positive manner, even in incredibly
difficult times like a global pandemic. An amazing career for sure, but
Greg’s greatest impact was on people. He was a teacher and leader who
cared about the individual student and the individual employee. His
connection to students, employees and their families, and his ability to
remember their individual stories made him truly special to everyone he
met. He stayed connected with former students, families and staff
members because he cared about them, and they knew it. That is why he
was loved by all. He remembered everyone and made them feel special.
He will likewise be fondly remembered and hold a special place for all who
had the opportunity to meet him.