SANDRA HERBST - Senior Associate

An unparalleled depth of experience, in a range of education systems, provides Sandra Herbst with a uniquely qualified viewpoint on leadership and pedagogical practices. Her roles as teacher (Elementary, Secondary, and specialist), school leader, assistant superintendent, and advisor to Ministries of Education contribute to a broad range of practical insights that serve to enhance her vast theoretical knowledge. Because of this range of experience, she is as effective in the boardroom speaking to trustees about governance as she is doing demonstration lessons in classrooms with students. 

Sandra’s body of work is expansive: author, speaker, coach, mentor, and consultant with extensive experience in educational and system leadership, adult learning, and assessment. She has helped jurisdictions, districts, and schools to reflect on their current programs, identify their long-term aspirations, and strategically plan to achieve their future visions. In addition, Sandra has worked in many Indigenous communities in all three territories and several provinces and has grown her understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing and being. As a result of learning alongside Indigenous Elders and leaders, she is able to support them in reaching their own goals.  

As a facilitator of workshops, web conferences, and symposia across North America – and as a renowned executive coach – Sandra provides educators with a framework to help meet the diverse needs of both student and adult learners. Regardless of the number of sessions a client has enjoyed with Sandra, each opportunity affords them new learning opportunities. She is careful to differentiate her learning strategies for her audience, both during the planning process and within the sessions themselves.  

Sandra is co-author of Collecting Evidence and Portfolios: Engaging Students in Pedagogical Documentation (2017), Grading, Reporting, and Professional Judgment in Elementary Classrooms (2016), as well as A Fresh Look at Grading and Reporting in High Schools (2014). Also in 2014, The Curriculum Journal published the research report “System Leaders Using Assessment for Learning as Both the Change and the Change Process: Developing Theory From Practice” – an 11 year longitudinal study focused on system leadership, written by Sandra and three colleagues. In 2012, Sandra co-authored the Leaders’ SeriesTransforming Schools and Systems Using Assessment: A Practical Guide and Leading the Way to Assessment for Learning: A Practical Guide with Anne Davies and Beth Parrott Reynolds. She currently has several other works in progress.

Her tireless efforts to increase student achievement earned a nomination for the Lieutenant Governor’s Elementary School Classroom Teacher Award and the YMCA Women of Distinction Award. She has served as President of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents and as President of the Manitoba Affiliate of ASCD. Sandra is a coaching trainer, promoting the ‘invisible skills’ and cognitive awareness that strengthen educators’ effectiveness.

She is a highly sought-after, charismatic, humourous, and energetic speaker and leader, who expresses her compassion through a deep commitment to equity in education and to systems that advance the democracy of our communities.

“Thank you, Sandra, for your ongoing leadership to all educators. You have a wonderful way of making best practice achievable on a daily basis with practical, creative ideas. You communicate high expectations of professional educators, yet you also provide examples of how to achieve a body of valid, reliable evidence upon which to base their professional judgment. Your positivity is infectious 😉

You have probably heard this a thousand times already, but I feel compelled to say it again “YOU ROCK, SANDRA HERBST!!”


Sharon Maisonneuve

Northeastern Catholic DSB, Timmins, ON

“Sandra, a sincere thank you for sharing the day with us. I am in awe of your presentation skills, and everyone really appreciated your ‘warm’ demeanour and the ‘sprinkling of grace’ you consistently engage in.”


Sharon Klein, Principal

Queen Margaret’s School, Duncan, BC


“Dear Sandra, As I reflected over the weekend on our learning from the previous 2 days, I was in awe of your spirit, mindset and ability to engage and support our learning here in Edmonton. I was greatly moved and inspired by all that you shared. Thank you. Today I went into our Division Two behaviour and learning classroom to co-construct criteria with the class on what a peaceful classroom looks like. It wasn’t a perfect delivery, but I was impressed with the student voice, input, and thinking that transpired. I believe the teacher will continue on with it and that he saw the power and support it gave the students. Thank you again. I look forward to working with you in the future.”


Tanis Marshall, Principal

Calder School, Edmonton, Alberta


“Sandra, I wanted to thank you for so much these last few days in Mississauga. You are an incredibly talented and passionate speaker….something we aspire to always exude with our students and colleagues. You possess such a unique set of traits – it was a TRUE joy to be present, learning so much! I’m pumped about the new school year and hope to pass on even an ounce of the enthusiasm with which you addressed each of us.”


Stella Paola, Teacher

Resurrection Catholic Secondary School, Kitchener, ON


“Sandra Herbst brings classroom and administrative experience as a dynamic speaker who is a pleasure to listen to. She engages the participants and leaves them with practical tools that school staff can implement the very next day in the classroom!”


Deborah R. Burnside, Student Services Coordinator

Swan Valley School Division, Manitoba


“Sandra is an inspirational and talented speaker. I would recommend her without hesitation to other educators seeking expert professional development in the field of Assessment for Learning. Sandra did an exceptional job for our board and we are truly grateful and wowed by her efforts.
As a workshop facilitator, Sandra was informed, prepared, innovative, entertaining, engaging, and inspiring. People are still telling me how much they enjoyed her presentation and how much they learned from her.”


Monica Williams, Director of Programs and Student Services

Strait Regional School Board, Port Hastings, NS


“J’espère que tu vas bien! Je veux te remercier à nouveau pour la journée que tu as animée la semaine dernière à Toronto. Mes collègues et moi avons beaucoup apprécié le rythme, le contenu, la profondeur et les conversations de la journée.”


Celine Renauld-Charette, Conseil

écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, Ottawa, ON


“Sandra, I was impressed by:
*** your accomplishments
***your sincerity, your genuineness, your humour, and your positive/pro-active attitude
***most importantly, your “in it for the kids” frame of mind. That’s what it’s all about…making them feel important, successful, loved, cared about…it’s great to know people like you are in difference-making positions…super for the young girls that get to cross your path!”


Jennifer Nicholson, Teacher

Boularderie Elementary School, Nova Scotia


“Over the past two years school administrators, teachers, and I have had the opportunity to work with Sandra to further our understanding and enhance our professional practice in assessment and instruction. Wow! The breadth and depth of her expertise in these areas is quite remarkable. She engages us in meaningful conversations based on current research and then seamlessly moves from the philosophical to the specific and practical. She affirms the hard work that we do and both challenges and supports us to move forward. Whether working with a group of 30 or 300, Sandra makes personal connections through her stories, real life experiences and fabulous sense of humour. The feedback from staff is exceptionally positive… we want her back!”


Robert Chartrand, Superintendent of Schools – South District

The Winnipeg School Division, Manitoba


“Sandra, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences with my colleagues and I. You have a unique way of engaging an audience. As a teacher beginning my career, you have given me many ideas on how to capture student learning that I can now try in the classroom.
Thank you for such an empowering presentation.”


Jessica Lelen, Teacher

York Region District School Board, Ontario


“Sandra, from my colleagues and I at German Mills Public School who were at your presentation, Miigwetch and sincere thanks for the passion, creativity, and expertise you shared with us today. You walked alongside us in our learning and reminded us how our deliberate decisions as teachers are made in a social justice context, where they matter more than we may know.”


John Baumann, Grade 2/3 Teacher & Librarian

German Mills Public School, Thornhill, ON


“Sandra, I wanted to take the time tonight to thank you for being a great inspiration in my teaching career.
I’m the person with the greatest seat in the house today who asked you to comment my mathematics journal at the end of the day. I must tell you that I got all nervous when I talked to you because you are really ‘up there’ for me.
I began the evaluation revolution three years ago and it wasn’t until my first videoconference with you that it all started making sense for me. I’ve progressed a great deal this year and am now looking forward to integrating more triangulation.
You are a true inspiration. I admire you and feel privileged to have participated in your sessions. Have no doubt, you are making a difference in my life, my teaching skills but foremost, the lives of my students. I’ve only gotten good feedback and more engagement from my students on my new/modified initiatives.
Thank you for being the intelligent, common-sensed, funny, and deeply inspirational woman that you are!!!”


Suzanne Hevey, Teacher

École secondaire publique, Northern Sturgeon Falls, Ontario


“Depuis trois ans, Sandra nous appuie au CSPNE dans notre cheminement de l’évaluation au service de l’apprentissage et en tant qu’apprentissage. C’est grâce à son expertise, ses expériences, ses connaissances approfondies et sa personnalité attachante que nos enseignants et nos élèves bénéficient de pratiques qui sont beaucoup plus dynamiques et engageantes.
Nous sommes vraiment privilégiés de collaborer avec Sandra. Elle est inspirante, brillante et nous présente des stratégies simples qui sont vraiment gagnantes et qui ont un impact sur l’apprentissage de nos élèves.
Sandra a vraiment fait une différence chez nous et laisse des traces positives et efficaces qui nous orientent vers une vision où l’élève joue un rôle beaucoup plus important dans ses apprentissages!”


Angelle Martel-Davies, CSPNE

North Bay, ON




Like most education professionals, we have a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of learners. We started as teachers and leaders, but saw the potential to drive greater transformation by creating and sharing methodologies with other educators.

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