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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

Leadership update for 2019-2020 school year

August 27, 2019

Grande Prairie, AB – Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) announces changes in school leadership for the 2019-2020 school year.

New Principals appointed at PWPSD schools

Rob Robinson appointed Principal of Helen E. Taylor School

Mr. Robinson brings varied experience to the role, having served the school as Acting Principal during the past year, Assistant Principal during 2016-2018, Principal Designate during 2013-2016, and teacher during 2010-2016. He contributes to school culture as the volleyball and basketball coach and tournament organizer, and manages national and international trips as facilitator of the travel club. His career in education began in 2009 when he joined PWPSD as a teacher at Sexsmith Secondary School. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership from Acadia University and holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta. In 2014, he received a Grande Prairie Rotary Service Above Self Award and was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013. In addition to his formal education, he holds Basic Archery Instructor certification, granted by the National Archery in Schools Program.

Erika Walsh appointed Principal of Wembley Elementary School 
Ms. Walsh joined PWPSD in 2017 as an Inclusive Education Coach. Her career in education began in 2007 in Rainbow Lake with Fort Vermillion School Division (FVSD) where she served as Vice Principal, Literacy Lead, and Grades 1, 3 and 6 teacher. During her 10 years with FVSD, she was the lead teacher in the initiation and implementation of Literacy and Math Committees. She holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum Studies from the University of New Brunswick, and Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Memorial University. She is a member of the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) Council of Inclusive Education. In addition to her certifications in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, Violent Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) and Level B Assessment, she is currently completing Inclusive Education certification through Athabasca University and regularly seeks professional development in the areas of instructional coaching and complex needs.

Darren Robertson appointed Principal of Teepee Creek School for the 2019-2020 school year
In addition to serving as Assistant Principal of Hythe Regional School (HRS) last year, Mr. Robertson oversaw the school's Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) program and the School Nutrition Program. He brings 19 years of teaching experience to his new role since joining PWPSD as a teacher at Bonanza School in 2000. A move to Helen E. Taylor School in 2005 included serving as Acting Principal Designate, followed by a teaching position at HRS in 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education from the University of Alberta. In 2011, Mr. Robertson assumed leadership of the division-wide Dave Bleile Track Meet and coordinating entries for the Zone 8 Track Meet. He was the HRS school council representative, has been a member of PWPSD's Quality Learning Environment Committee since 2014, and presented at the 2017 Mighty Peace Teachers Convention. In the community, Mr. Robertson coaches Sexsmith Minor Hockey and is a past board member.

Randy Carlstad appointed Principal of Hutterite Colony Schools
Mr. Carlstad will oversee educational services at PWPSD's nine Hutterite Colony Schools. An Inclusive Education Learning Coach for PWPSD and teacher at Doe River and Silver Valley Colony Schools since 2017, Mr. Carlstad brings a wealth of experience and established relationships to his new leadership role. He joined PWPSD in 2005, serving four years as a teacher at Bonanza School, followed by eight years as the school's Principal. His career in education began in 1987 as a teacher with Peace River School Division (PRSD). His assignments as Principal with PRSD during 1991-2005 included leadership of two Kindergarten to Grade 9 schools and one colony school, Counselling and Inclusive Education Coordinator, and teaching. He holds a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, and an Earth Resources Technical Diploma from NAIT. Mr. Carlstad is trained and certified in a number of areas, including assessment, functional life skills, instructional coaching, and VTRA. He has served on the PWPSD Administration Professional Development Committee and the Inspiring Education Steering Committee; was vice-president, president and past president of the Peace Area Council of School Administrators; and held executive and committee positions on the PRSD Administrators' Association. He taught English to students in Ethiopia during the summer of 2014 and continues to be an active and contributing member of the ANSO Collectives and Educational Support Society that provides assistance in Ethiopia. In Dawson Creek, BC, his involvement in organized sports has ranged from coaching to association director and president.

Heidi Hargreaves appointed Principal of LaGlace School
Ms. Hargreaves brings eight years of teaching and leadership experience to the position. She joined PWPSD as a teacher at Beaverlodge Regional High School (BRHS) in 2010, focusing for two years on social studies and career and technology studies, followed by her current science teaching assignments in the areas of chemistry, biology and general science. In addition to teaching, her contributions as Academic Advising Team Lead, High School Redesign Committee Leader, and myBlueprint Coordinator have enhanced learning and post-secondary opportunities for students. In 2011, she co-founded the annual BRHS Riparian Tour in conjunction with the County of Grande Prairie to expose students to tree planting and area ecology. She served as a BRHS Student Leadership Team Advisor during 2014-2018; was a member of the province's 2015 Diploma Exam Assessment Team; spearheaded and co-designed an online science learning community for diverse learners in 2018; and provided Diploma Exam tutorials and study guidance to students as a member of the PWPSD 'On Your Mark' teaching team during 2013-2015. A current resident of LaGlace and former student of LaGlace School, Ms. Hargreaves is proud of the strong relationships and special bonds she has formed in the community and looks forward to giving back through her educational leadership. She holds a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Education from Acadia University. She contributes to school and local organized sports as a coach and team manager, and served as the Grant and Fundraising Director for the 2018 ASAA Volleyball Provincials held at BRHS. 

Sarah Koning appointed Acting Principal of Eaglesham School for the 2019-2020 school year
Ms. Koning joined PWPSD in 2007 as a junior and senior high science and math teacher at Eaglesham School. During the 2013-2014 school year, she was an instructor in the Academic Upgrading Department at Grande Prairie Regional College, offering Biology 20 and 30-level courses to students seeking prerequisites for post-secondary studies. In 2014, she resumed her former role at Eaglesham School with an expanded science and math teaching assignment, in addition to offering a junior high wildlife course. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Concordia University of Edmonton and a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education from the University of Alberta. She is a member of the ATA Science Council and continues to broaden her knowledge by participating in ATA science and math conferences. She served on the province's 2009 Chemistry Diploma Exam Assessment Team and was a member of the PWPSD Professional Learning Community to improve math and science instruction. Ms. Koning's successful grant applications have enhanced learning opportunities for Eaglesham students, including new cameras supplied by a grant from the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) and a scanning electron microscope on a weeklong loan from the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (CMASTE). She regularly seeks opportunities to provide further development for youth through her involvement in the school's science fair, students' union, and yearbook and graduation committees; and as a judge for 4-H public speaking competitions.

Assistant Principals appointments at PWPSD schools

  • Randy Nagel, Assistant Principal at Peace Wapiti Academy.
  • Jennifer Thompson, Assistant Principal at Sexsmith Secondary School.
  • Holly Gould, Assistant Principal at Hythe Regional School.

Photos: PWPSD announces school leadership changes for the 2019-2020 school year.