Make More Gerry

Few people have been as selflessly helpful to me in recent years as Gerry Hopkirk has.

I first met Gerry when he facilitated a planning session for the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust. He took us through an exercise that, in less-skilled hands, would have been pointless dotmocracy, but that, with Gerry’s care and attention, became a seminal moment along the organization’s path.

More recently Gerry has facilitated meetings and workshops for the PEI Home and School Federation, and the result has universally been deeper engagement, better insights, and greater, more inclusive participation.

Gerry knows how to bring people together, how to set effective scenes, how to use process tropes effectively.

So if having Gerry on board makes any meeting better, what do we do about the fact that there’s only one Gerry?

We make more Gerry!

I’m happy to report that the PEI Home and School Federation has launched the Dr. Helen MacDonald Collaboration and Facilitation Scholarship, a project to pay the full tuition for a member of the home and school community on Prince Edward Island to obtain a Collaborative Leadership and Facilitation Certificate from the University of Prince Edward Island this fall. The course is facilitated by Gerry himself, along with Paula Gallant. The recipient of the scholarship must agree to “pay it forward” by offering 20 hours of leadership and facilitation services to the PEI Home and School Federation and local home & school associations over the 2016-2017 school year.

Dr. Helen MacDonald was the founding President of the PEI Home and School Federation, and I’m so glad we have this opportunity to honour her, an idea that started back at the beginning of the summer when I met her son David at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market.

Please spread the word about this scholarship: any member of a home & school association in an Island school is welcome to apply, which means any parent, guardian, teacher, administrator or staff person. Send them to for details.