Engaging All Learners in the Middle Years:

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

April 26, 2022 Session Recording with Beth Applewhite and Bryan Gidinski.

Beth Applewhite is the acting District Principal of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with the Burnaby School District. BC-born and raised, Beth is a bi-racial educator of Trinidadian and Scottish heritages. She has been unrelenting in her determination to challenge the status quo and create equitable experiences and spaces that both acknowledge racial bias and celebrate personal and cultural identities. Beth recognizes that most folks value diversity, equity and inclusion. The challenge is encouraging them to be vulnerable enough to explore and reflect on their own biases, practices and rituals that contribute to school/district culture. Beth has been recognized for her work, including the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Community Achievement Award (2019). She was nominated for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award (2020) and has been nominated for a Premier’s Award in Education (2020/2021). She has also been named one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women (2020/2021).

Bryan Gidinski is an intermediate elementary school teacher with more than twenty years of teaching experience. In addition, he has worked as a Faculty Associate and Sessional Instructor, teaching courses in Language Arts Methodology and Classroom Management as well as facilitating teacher education modules with Diversity and Literacy themes. He currently holds a district leadership role as the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Support Teacher for Elementary Schools. He has demonstrated a passion for writing and enjoys facilitating rich writing experiences for students, so that they develop comfort and become experimental with language and composition. In addition, he has been very sensitive to the issues surrounding boys and their learning, and strives to provide instruction that is highly motivating for all students, and that allows students opportunities to achieve to their highest potential. He is also an advocate for ensuring that LGBTQ+ students and their families see themselves reflected in curricular resources, lessons, and conversations by promoting themes of diversity and acceptance.

Special thanks to Victoria School District 61 and to the Edith Lando Virtual Learning Centre

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