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Home » Cultivating “Success” – Guidance Counsellors as Gatekeepers

Cultivating “Success” – Guidance Counsellors as Gatekeepers

Presenter: Natasa Vujanovic & Michael Minchella

Workshop Description

This workshop seeks to explore some of the systemic practices (and barriers) that have impacted pathways outcomes for students, beginning with the process of transitioning learners from elementary school to high school. Participants will be asked to consider what  “success” means for students transitioning to secondary school [and beyond], and how the perception of what success looks like for different learners is impacted by social identity and community affiliations.

Snapshots of various data, as well as a brief overview of both the Pathways to Success document and course selection process will provide a context for understanding and unpacking how common practices reinforce negative outcomes for many of our learners, based on their social identity and perceived engagement in the school system.  This workshop will also challenge transition/pathways teachers and guidance counsellors to question and disrupt common practices to ensure that they are promoting equitable outcomes for all students, particularly in regards to course selection processes and pathways destinations of minoritized, marginalized, and underserved or underperforming learners and their families."


Natasa Vujanovic
York Region District School Board; Pathways & Transitions Itinerant Teacher

Natasa has been a teacher with the York Region District School Board for 20 years. She has held a variety of classroom and leadership positions, across several schools, and has engaged in leadership-based work and learning at both school and system level.  She is currently a Transitions & Pathways Itinerant Teacher, serving multiple schools, and continually seeks to bring an equity lens to her work as both an educator and mentor. Her teaching and leadership experiences have been rooted in literacy, equity, student advocacy, and student and parent engagement.

Michael Minchella
York Region District School Board, Math and Pathways Consultant

Michael has been an educator with the York Region District School Board since 2005. The majority of his teaching experiences have been with intermediate students, and he now supports teachers and students throughout the district with transitions into secondary school, pathways exploration and planning, and math teaching and learning. He is an advocate and champion of students and is committed to promoting their well-being and success in all areas of education.