Better Education Starts Today (BEST) Engagement and Advisory Groups

Parent Engagement Task Force
Teachers’ Idea Fund Review Panel
Student Advisory Council
Curriculum Advisory Panel
Funding Review Team
Minister’s Advisory Council on Inclusive Education
Task Force on Poverty and Education
Indigenous Inclusion Directorate Advisory Council
Attendance Task Force

Parent Engagement Task Force

The province has established a Parent Engagement Task Force to guide public input and provide advice to the government on how to move forward with parent engagement as a key component of education reform in Manitoba.

The Task Force will engage directly with Manitoba parents and caregivers through a series of 15 regional meetings scheduled for later this month and June to understand about the role of school community councils, how parent engagement can be strengthened and the resources they need to be successful. The province is also hosting four telephone town halls and targeted workshops with parent advisory councils, school leaders and social service organizations. Following their engagement with Manitobans, the Task Force will make recommendations to the Minister to inform the work of this priority action going forward.

Access the Parent Engagement Task Force Terms of Reference information

Scott Johnston (chair) MLA for Assiniboia
Ian Wishart (vice-chair) MLA for Portage la Prairie
Janice Morley-Lecomte (vice-chair) MLA for Seine River
Terry Brown K to 12 Review Commissioner (Parent Representative)
Amanda Gurke Turtle River/Indigenous Inclusion Directorate Advisory Committee (Parent Representative)
Pamela Nowosad-Federowich Brandon (Parent Representative)
Jason Perring Louis Riel School (Parent Representative)
Rachel Smith Family Advocate Network (Parent Representative)
Jodene Baker Winnipeg (Parent Representative)
Mike Babb Winnipeg (Principal)
Susanne Marius Francophone/French Immersion (Principal)
Brent Hauser Southwest Horizon (Principal)
Colin Campbell Hanover (Assistant Superintendent)
Don McCaskill Frontier (Area Superintendent)


Teachers’ Idea Fund Review Panel

The Idea Fund accepts proposals from teachers, school staff and leaders. The Teachers’ Idea Fund Review Panel members will review and approve applications and provide ongoing guidance and implementation support to recipients. Panel members will also be invited to identify other individuals within their field that could also provide mentorship and/or research capacity to the successful applicants.

Jeff Anderson Louis Riel School Division
Marni Brownell University of Manitoba
Chuck Davidson Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
René Déquier Division scolaire franco-manitobaine
Heather Duncan Brandon University
John Ferris inVision Edge
Paul Ilchena Manitoba Association of School Business Officials
Ryley Larway River East Transcona School Division Adult Education
Glenys MacLeod Manitoba Education
Nora Murdock Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre
Anna Stokke University of Winnipeg


Student Advisory Council

The Student Advisory Council consists of 30 students, aged 14 to 18, with diverse interests, identities, backgrounds, and perspectives from across Manitoba. Council members will provide insights and advice to the Minister of Education regarding current and emerging issues and topics that relate to Manitoba Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. Students will form a network to advance innovation and improvement in Manitoba’s education system.

Aadvika Mukherjee Grade 9 student at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg
Aidan Tully Grade 11 student at St. Paul’s Collegiate in Prairie Rose School Division
Allison Beaumont Grade 9 student at Neepawa Area Collegiate Institute in Beautiful Plains School Division
Ashton Kaleta Grade 12 student at Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School in Mountain View School Division
Bijan Salimi Grade 11 student at Morden Collegiate in Western School Division
Breanna Bacala Grade 12 student at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Pembina Trails School Division
Breanna Roussin Grade 12 student at Balmoral Hall School in Winnipeg
Brooklynne Grieger Grade 10 student at Collège Miles Macdonell Collegiate in River East Transcona School Division
Bunny Davis-Holstein Grade 12 student at Technical Vocational High School in Winnipeg School Division
Celena Atchison Grade 11 student at Seven Oaks Met School in Seven Oaks School Division
Christyna Caldwell Grade 12 student at Hamiota Collegiate in Park West School Division
Clark Kernaghan Grade 12 student at École Kelvin High School in Winnipeg School Division
Eric Wang Grade 10 student at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg
Heavendeep Kaur Nandwal Grade 12 student at Glenlawn Collegiate in Louis Riel School Division
Janik Grenier Grade 12 student at École régionale Notre-Dame in Division scolaire franco-manitobaine
Joshua Nienhuis Grade 11 student at Springfield Collegiate Institute in Sunrise School Division
Kamryn Brown Grade 12 student at R.D. Parker Collegiate in the School District of Mystery Lake
Katherine Dueck Grade 12 student at Green Valley School in Hanover School Division
Kaydon Laurin Graduate of the Class of 2021 at Murdoch MacKay Collegiate in River East Transcona School Division
Lenea Perrin Grade 9 student at Steinbach Regional Secondary School in Hanover School Division
Lily Rich Grade 11 student at Balmoral Hall School in Winnipeg
Namirembe Afatsawo Grade 10 student at Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute in Kelsey School Division
Pearl Janman Grade 9 student at Dakota Collegiate in Louis Riel School Division
Rania Ibrahim Grade 11 student at University of Winnipeg Collegiate in Winnipeg
Rebecca Cheasley Grade 11 student at Birtle Collegiate Institute in Park West School Division
Ryan Malabanan Grade 11 student at Sisler High School in Winnipeg School Division
Skylar MacLean Grade 10 student at Westwood Collegiate in St. James-Assiniboia School Division
Suroor Ajani Grade 11 student at Erickson Collegiate Institute in Rolling River School Division
Tairan He Grade 11 student at Vincent Massey High School in Brandon School Division
Vuk Roca Grade 11 student at Garden City Collegiate in Seven Oaks School Division

Established July 2021.

Curriculum Advisory Panel

The Curriculum advisory panel will provide focused input on the curriculum framework at key points within the development cycle. Its members will provide feedback representing diverse perspectives. For the complete terms of reference see the Curriculum Advisory Panel Terms of Reference.

Karine Metivier Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM)
Katherine Abra Winnipeg School Division
Christopher Burns Hanover School Division
Sofia Costantini Winnipeg School Division
Chad Cobbe Brandon School Division
Louise Legal-Perrin Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM)
Carole Shankaruk Mountain View School Division
Catherine Hart The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
Eric Sagenes The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
Thomas Falkenberg University of Manitoba
Valdine Bjornson Reading and Learning Clinic of Manitoba
Diedre Desmarais ACCESS Programs, University of Manitoba
Angela Fey Pembina Trail School Division
Janice Hamilton Manitoba Council for International Cooperation
Taiseer Shareif Independent
Michael Hudon Canadian Parents for French
Ashton Kaleta Minister’s Student Advisory Council
Kaydon Laurin Minister’s Student Advisory Council
Namirembe Afatsawo Minister’s Student Advisory Council
Nadia Binda-Moir River East Transcona School Division
Bernard Alibudbud Sisler High School
Rebecca Chartrand Indspire
Bob Grant University of Winnipeg
Jayesh Maniar Manitoba Education
Jason Drysdale River East Transcona School Division

Established September 2021.

Funding Review Team

This team will be responsible for developing a new funding model for public education in Manitoba. This will incorporate the phase out of education property taxes and ensuring a fair, equitable and transparent funding model is delivered.


Education stakeholders, provincial departments, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.


Recruitment underway for team members and advisory members via the Education Expression of Interest.

Minister’s Advisory Council on Inclusive Education

The objective of the Council is to provide recommendations to the Minister with a focus on ensuring timely access to assessment, learning supports, and clinical services for students with special needs; implementing a standardized reporting mechanism aligned with the provincial report card; and reviewing investments and professional learning needs to enhance classroom supports. For the complete terms of reference, see the Inclusive Education Advisory Council Terms of Reference.


Key stakeholders, or those in the public with expertise related to special learning needs, will be key in seeking diversity of perspective, geographic representation, and experience.

Allan Hawkins Manitoba Education
Kendra Gowler Student Services Administrators’ Association of Manitoba
Janet Forbes Inclusion Winnipeg
David Kron Children’s Coalition
John Leggat St. Amant
Stephanie Skakun Canadian Mental Health Association—Manitoba and Winnipeg
Kathleen Vyrauen Newcomer Education Coalition
Myra Laramee New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families Inc.
Sandra Goff Family Advocacy Network of Manitoba
Brenda Brazeau Manitoba Association of Parent Councils
Lars Fielberg Student Services Administrators’ Association of Manitoba
Rob Fisher The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
Jennifer Young The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
Robert Charach Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools

Established June 2021.

Task Force on Poverty and Education

The Task Force, in connection to the Poverty Reduction Strategy, will examine the linkages between poverty and education and support the implementation of strategies to improve engagement and outcomes for all students. For the complete terms of reference see the Task Force on Poverty and Education Terms of Reference.


Key stakeholder with expertise poverty-related issue – will be key to seek diversity of perspective, geographic representation, and experience


Recruitment is underway.

Indigenous Inclusion Directorate Advisory Council

The Indigenous Inclusion Directorate Advisory Council (IIDAC) is to provide advice, guidance and recommendations to the Director of the Indigenous Inclusion Directorate (IID) on matters as they relate to initiatives and action areas within Nursery – Grade 12 education.

Starlett Beardy Youth Representative
Ann Callahan Elder
Myra Laramee Elder
Nicole Chaske Trustee
Colleen Clearsky First Nation Education Director
Nickie Batzel Principal
Angela Fey Teacher
Clifton Flett Citizen-at-large
Amanda Gurke Parent (rural)
Lorie Henderson Superintendent
Mona Moquin Full Circle for Indigenous Education (previously known as Aboriginal Circle of Educators)
Shirley Thompson Parent (rural)
Diedre Desmarais Co-Chair (Kiskentamowin Representative)
Dan Ward Cultural Representative

This Council was established prior to the launch of the BEST Strategy.

Attendance Task Force

This Task Force will provide the Deputy Minister of Education with updates on the mandate of the Task Force which include: key child-serving departments make school attendance a policy and programming priority (Education, Families, Justice and Indigenous and Northern Relations); meetings with educational partners that emphasize the importance of school attendance; and work with school divisions to develop strategies to improve attendance.

Sel Burrows Community Member
Kent Dueck Community Member
Barb Isaak Manitoba Association of School Superintendents
Celia Caetano-Gomes Winnipeg School Division
Pauline Clarke Winnipeg School Division
Reg Klassen Frontier School Division
Tyson MacGillivary Frontier School Division
Scott DeJaegher Indigenous and Northern Relations
Emily Keijzer Indigenous and Northern Relations
Brian Malkowich Families
John Mikula Families
Todd Clarke Justice
Frankie Snider Justice
Cameron Zacharias Justice

This Task Force was established prior to the launch of the BEST strategy.