40th Annual Catholic Educators’ Conference

February 13 and 14, 2020 at the Vancouver Convention Centre – East Building

Mission Statement:

The Catholic Educators’ Conference (CEC) is held each year to provide opportunity for the spiritual and professional growth of Catholic educators, for the development of Christian community, and to provide leadership in the development of a dynamic, evangelistic school system.


We are eagerly anticipating the celebration of our 40th annual conference in February 2020. From our very first conference in 1978 (CECs were not held in 2010 and 2016) which was held at St. Thomas More Collegiate, Catholic educators from the Archdiocese of Vancouver as well as other BC Diocese, have gathered annually to celebrate Catholic education in BC. This wonderful, long-standing tradition is one of the highlights of the school year and is a visible reminder of our shared participation in the evangelizing mission of the Church.

Our two-day conference will once again be held at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver.


begins with Morning Mass and then an opportunity to be engaged by our Opening General Session speakers –The Skit Guys are Eddie James and Tommy Woodard, two high school friends who love to communicate God’s Word in dynamic and captivating ways through the use of drama, teaching, and comedy. They have been involved in various ministries and impacting lives for more than twenty years. The duo has written numerous dramas, plays, and humorous skits that cover a wide variety of topics. They’re the authors of Skits That Teach, Instant Skits, and TV Shows That Teach, along with their own Skit Guys resources.

After a break with a visit to our vendors, attendees can select from among three outstanding breakout sessions – which includes:

o   Tracy Schmitt, also known as ‘Unstoppable Tracy’, is a resident of Toronto who is a four-way congenital amputee. She is a Paralympic trialist who won a bronze medal in downhill para-skiing, Schmitt has also climbed the Himalayan mountains, captained 110-foot-tall ships in the Atlantic, and written her book, Unstoppable You, published earlier this year. It’s about perseverance and a positive attitude – Tracy shares her memorable story as motivation for all of us to overcome our own obstacles

o   Warren Woytuck, is a Project Consultant for TC² who lives in Victoria, BC. He has been a K-12 teacher and elementary principal for more than 20 years. Warren has leadership experience in government and not-for-profit organizations and co-led the development of a provincial secondary social studies curriculum. He has authored and edited several teaching and learning resources, bringing the practical experience of working with thousands of teachers to his project consultation.

o   Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl is an Applied Developmental Psychologist and a Professor in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture area at the University of British Columbia. She began her career as a middle school teacher and then was a teacher for “at risk” adolescents in an alternative high school. Kimberly is a renowned expert in the area of social and emotional learning research with children and adolescents, particularly in relation to the identification of the processes and mechanisms that foster positive human qualities such as empathy, compassion, altruism, and resiliency.

Our day will continue with a Social Hour in our Vendor Area followed by our Conference Dinner (a ticketed event).


following Morning Prayer is our 2nd General Session speaker, Sr. Marie Veritas. We are delighted that after numerous attempts to have the Sisters of Life speak at our conference we have finally succeeded! The Sisters of Life are women who are in love with Love – Love incarnate, crucified, and Risen – and captivated by the truth of the beauty of every human person, created in God’s image and likeness. “We believe every person is valuable and sacred. We believe that every person is good, loved, unique and unrepeatable. We believe that every person’s life has deep meaning, purpose and worth. In fact, we give our lives for that truth.” The sisters take four vows that define their lives: poverty, obedience, chastity and to uphold the sacredness of life. Sister Marie Veritas, the youngest sister at the convent, joined when she was 22, after completing a biology degree at the University of Alberta. She organizes the convent’s evangelical trips to parishes and Catholic conferences.

Following the break, we will gather once again for our Closing General Session speakers, Ann Garrido has worked in the field of Catholic education for over 25 years, having taught students of every grade level from pre-k to Ph.D.  A long-time faculty member at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, Ann recently completed a visiting professorship at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of eight books, including the award-winning Redeeming Administration and Redeeming Conflict. Ann has previously spoken at two of our Catholic Educational Leadership Days with principals. As the Opening Keynote at the 2019 NCEA Conference in Chicago, Ann’s “Embracing Grace in the 21st Century Church” acknowledged that these are challenging times to be in the field of Catholic education. Yet, we are surprised day after day and year after year by small “graces” that sustain us in this ministry – keeping us hopeful and learning amid the craziness.

Our Conference will end as we celebrate the Eucharist at our Closing Mass.


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