President's Report - January 2022

By Deani Van Pelt  |  January 10th

Happy New Year, dear colleagues!

Although we begin another calendar year learning and working virtually, with all the discouragements that entails, we also begin 2022 with a spirit of hope and optimism. We stand on the threshold of a time when education—both its delivery and its content—is being re-examined. As we consider gaps and losses from the past two years, we also consider opportunities for new approaches, and renewed appreciation for the freedoms we have in the independent school sector to design and deliver education in vibrant and fresh ways. Which educational ideas are catching your attention as you consider your school’s educational direction and how it will flourish?

At Edvance, we’ve just gone through a strategic planning process. As we look ahead to the next three to five years, we look forward to living into our newly articulated aspirations and strategic themes. We’ve committed to “Next Level Leaders”, “Growing What Works”, and “A Seat at the Table”.

In our work, we’ll be striving to cultivate Christ-centered leaders at every level in a school: leaders who desire to grow in calling, courage, commitment, character, competency, and community. We’ll also strive to provide quality scalable services, so that we can serve more schools, more leaders, and more students efficiently and with authenticity. Additionally, we’ll strive to be an influential and persuasive advocate that amplifies the voice of independent Christian schools, and shares how these schools contribute to the common good.

One of our most recent successes is our advocacy for Ontario independent schools to be included in the distribution of rapid antigen test kits for student use over the Christmas break. We are now working to ensure our government hears how much we desire to contribute to the wellbeing of Ontario students through opening our school buildings again as soon as possible.

We’ve been invited to have a seat at a new table as well. Beginning January 1, 2022, I began an appointment serving as the Chair of one of eight committees that exists by regulation under the newly formed Council of the Ontario College of Teachers. It’s energizing and encouraging to see how the regulation of the teaching profession is being renewed in the public interest and to be invited to have a leadership role in that renewal.

We are growing our dedicated professional team at Edvance too. Are you a leader of leaders—someone who could take Christian school leaders to their next level of potential and impact? Are you someone who can help others understand the position and contribution of independent Christian schools on the educational landscapes? Or perhaps your competencies and interests are in contributing to the supportive infrastructure of the organization. Whether in a director role or an administrative support role, if working with a dynamic team that supports the growth and flourishing of Christian schools and their leaders sounds attractive to you, please watch for the posting of various positions that we will soon be announcing. We look forward to hearing from you.

As we wish you every blessing and abundant times of flourishing in 2022, we want to affirm that it is our greatest desire to serve Christian school educators, leaders, boards, students, parents, and supporters well during these times. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to anyone on our team should you have ideas or opportunities for us to consider.

Deani Van Pelt is the President of Edvance.