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Melanie Reed-Zukowski is a Registered Psychologist and a Certified Teacher with over 31 years of experience working at the school and district level. She is a VTRA Level I Trainer and co-author of the School District’s 3rd Edition VTRA Protocol. She has served as the District’s Crisis Response Leader, and is part of the Child Trauma Academy’s NME trainer program. Ms. Reed-Zukowski is also a consultant to the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.
She has participated on a Southern Alberta committee to explore trauma/crisis response supports for rural communities, provided psychological support internationally in a number of high profile traumatic events.
Mr. Connolly acted as the Coordinator of the Trauma Response and Threat Assessment Teams for the Waterloo Region District School Board in Ontario for the last ten years of his term which included a team of four psychologists and four social workers that respond to over one hundred schools and communities. The team responds to severe trauma including suicide, homicide, sudden accidental death, anticipatory grief and serious threats and violence.
Mr. Connolly is a nationally certified trainer in Threat Assessment with the Canadian Centre for Threat and Trauma Response. He has received Advanced Training in N.O.V.A., the National Organization for Victim Assistance. He is currently serving on the regions Emergency Support Team.
Mr. Connolly is also trained in the Canadian Mental Health Associations A.S.I.S.T. Model; a program designed to promote awareness and develop strategies to deal with suicide intervention. Mr Connolly has also been Level 1 certified in Healing the Bereaved Child, through the Center for Loss and Life Transitions.
He was an instructor for the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario for eight years where he taught the provincial Guidance training course and interpersonal skill development for educators. Mr. Connolly also is an experienced mediator, trained by the Community Justice Initiative.
His eighteen years as the Head of Counselling in secondary schools has offered him a wide variety of experiences working with youth. Mr. Connolly has been a classroom teacher, a football and basketball coach, a consultant, and many other roles.
In 1996, Mr. Connolly was awarded the Regional Award for Educator of the Year in Waterloo County. In his role as a leader of the Trauma Team, Mr. Connolly has responded to over 20 teen suicides. In 2004, Mr. Connolly initiated and coordinated a Community Suicide Response, as a result of four suicides in one secondary school in a short period of time. Mr. Connolly has since incorporated a system- wide Policy and Procedures on suicide. This protocol includes prevention, intervention and post-vention strategies.
Mr. Connolly has been a ten year member of the community based Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council and has been recently been recognised with and award for his contribution to suicide prevention in the Region.
He has been invited to consult with several school boards on the topic of teen suicide and significant trauma. Mr. Connolly has presented at numerous conferences, community groups and school audiences which include parents, teachers and students.
Pat Rivard has an extensive background in Violence Risk Threat Assessment (VTRA) being trained by internationally recognized expert Kevin Cameron, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre of Threat Assessment and Trauma Response (CCTATR). Grounded in his professional experiences as a social worker, which included a 6 year career in Child Welfare and subsequently a two year career as a family counsellor, provides an in-depth understanding of the foundational practices of VTRA. Recently, Pat transitioned from a 18 year career in Education where he served students and communities as a teacher, Principal and 9 years in senior leadership in two school division in Alberta. Pat received an award from CCTATR for his outstanding leadership in the advancement of VTRA practice demonstrating a tireless commitment towards providing safe and caring environments for students and community. Pat is in his third year of being a national trainer for CCTATR,
VTRA training will introduce participants to a multi-disciplinary/multi-agency team approach that ensures a coordinated response to you who may be at risk to themselves or others. Participants will be provided with the integral tools integrated in a process to assess the risk levels related to community- based threats. Through a protocol that allows professionals to information share, community based partners create intentional intervention plans that mitigate the escalation of escalating violent behaviors.
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress; Diplomate, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.
Theresa established Safer Schools Together (SST) in 2008, to provide opportunities for extensive professional development in the areas of safe and caring schools and violence prevention.
In addition to hosting training symposiums, SST has authored the Safe & Caring School Tool to measure the climate and culture of a school, to ensure best practices are followed and the Ministry of Education mandates regarding school/student safety are met. SST was awarded the contract for the British Columbia Provincially mandated ERASE Bullying Prevention Training Strategy, for which Theresa is the lead trainer.
Previously, Manager of Safe Schools for the Surrey School District for the past 12 years, she has been responsible for the conceptualization, development and implementation of many highly successful, evidence-based prevention and intervention programs, resource materials aimed at enhancing student and staff safety. Many of these unique and innovative projects have also been recognized and implemented worldwide.
Prior to Surrey, Theresa spent 10 years with the Vancouver School District where she worked extensively with entrenched, at-risk and gang-associated youth. Theresa is a certified trainer and consultant with the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment & Trauma Response and is the Executive Director for the International Centre for Threat Assessment.