BCAEA Welcomes You!

The BC Alternate Education Association is a Provincial Specialist Association of the BC Teachers Federation. Our purpose is threefold:

1. To promote and advance alternate education throughout the province;
2. To act as a clearing house for ideas and a source of trends and new developments; and
3. To recommend and advise the BCTF on matters affecting alternate education and alternate education teachers.

Association Activities

The BCAEA engages in a number of activities for its members, including holding a conference in Vancouver every February, publishing a newsletter twice a year, maintaining a provincial alternate programs directory, and providing a list serve. We also provide $7000 annually in awards for eligible students and grants for eligible teachers.


Every February we put on the Challenge & Change Conference. 2015 saw Dr. Martin Brokenleg return as our keynote speaker, along with thirty-nine other informative sessions.

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The Association provides $7000 in Awards and Bursaries each year to elegible students and grants to member teachers. Just one of the perks of membership!

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Attend our annual conference and automatically get a one year association membership. If you didn’t attend the conference, you can still pay the fee and join the PSA.

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The Association publishes the conference brochure each fall, and a newsletter twice a year. Members receive these communications either electronically or as a mailed paper copy.

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The 2015 AGM was held on February 20 during our annual conference. President and Vice-President are elected in odd years. Elected positions are for two year terms. Note that the entire Executive, including their roles and responsibilities is viewable from the Contact button at the bottom of each page.


Mike Shaw was re-elected President and his two-year term starts July 1. Mike has worked in alternate for nearly 25 years, and currently teaches the senior program (Grades 10-12) at Westside Learning Centre in Westbank, a part of School District 23 (Central Okanagan). He has served on the executive of the association since 2002.


Jim Lawson has returned once more to serve on the BCAEA Executive after a four year hiatus. Jim has filled a number of positions before, including regioinal representative, newsletter editor, vice-president, and president. He has a breadth of experience in a varitey of alternate teaching positions in Port Alberni (SD#70), and we are pleased to have his wisdom and experience back on the executive.


One year term appointments for each of the four positions below on the association executive are made each year after the conference. This year’s appointments include:

Conference Coordinator

DJ Pauls was appointed as Conference Coordinator, a position which oversees all of the myriad tasks necessary to ensure that the conference runs smoothly each year.

Speaker Coordinator

Karen Gadowsky was appointed as Speaker Coordinator and will continue to find thought-provoking and dynamic conference keynotes and session speakers..

Conference Registrar

JD Duncan was appointed as Conference Registrar once more, ensuring that registering online for the conference remains a smooth process for all.

Publications Manager

Mike Shaw was appointed as Publications Manager, responsible for producing the newsletter and conference brochure, and maintaining the website and listserve.

Elected in 2014

Secretary-Treasurer, and Newsletter Editor are elected in even years. This is the half-way point in their respective terms.


Liz Louwersheimer was elected in 2014 as Secretary-Treasurer. She has a long history of involvment with the BCAEA, wearing many different hats over the years.

Newsletter Editor

Leanne Hagglund was elected in 2014 as the Newsletter Editor. She works in the Pinnacle Program in Vancouver, and brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the editor’s role.


Executive contact information.


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