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News Item

New roles for PWSD staff – Leadership update for the 2017-2018 school year

October 10, 2018

Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) is pleased to announce the following changes to school leadership staffing, effective the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Students will return to class on Tuesday, September 5.

New Principal appointments at PWSD schools

Rod Vanstone
has been appointed Principal of Penson School. Prior to his new role, Mr. Vanstone served as Assistant Principal, Counselor and teacher of music, band and language arts at Clairmont Community School. In 2015, he was nominated for the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. He replaces Jenny McAusland who has accepted the role of Assistant Principal at the new Whispering Ridge Community School.

Theresa Simmonds
is the new Principal of Bonanza School. Ms. Simmonds began her teaching career in 2001 at Holy Cross School in Grande Prairie, followed by a move to Bonanza School in 2009. In addition to teaching, Ms. Simmonds has been involved with PWSD's Mentorship Program for the past five years, partnering with new teachers to develop teaching strategies and facilitate problem solving. In 2015, she was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award. Ms. Simmonds completed a Bachelor of Education degree through the Teacher Education North (TEN) Collaborative Degree Program at the University of Alberta/Grande Prairie Regional College in 2001, and a Master of Education degree in Multidisciplinary Leadership at the University of Northern British Columbia. She replaces former Principal Randy Carlstad who, in semi-retirement, has moved into a part-time teaching position with PWSD.

Danelle Boychuk, who has served as the Acting Principal of Woking School, is the successful candidate for the school's principalship. Anna Nelson, who shared co-principalship of Beaverlodge Regional High School with Ken Pon since 2015, has been named Principal of the school following Mr. Pon's move to Horizon School Division. Former Savanna School Principal Paula Taylor will join Terry Pattison as Co-Principal at Eaglesham School, replacing Fiona Logan who retired in June 2017. Savanna School teachers Tina Sauder and Chris Young have been named new Co-Principals of Savanna School.

Since 2001, Ms. Sauder has taught biology, chemistry and physics at Savanna School. As a professional development leader with the Northwest Regional Learning Consortium (NRLC), Mighty Peace Teachers' Convention (MPTCA) and Savanna School, Ms. Sauder shares her expertise in science education and educational technology with other teachers. She coaches culinary arts and baking competitors at Provincial Skills Canada Competitions. An active volunteer with the Savanna Agricultural Society, Ms. Sauder has deep roots in the community, graduating from Savanna School in 1987. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta.

Mr. Young joined Savanna School as a junior/senior mathematics and outdoor education teacher in 2012 after graduating from the University of Prince Edward Island where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 2009, followed by a Bachelor of Education degree specializing in senior high mathematics and science methodology. He was recognized with a Rotary Excellence in Education, Service Above Self Award in 2013 and the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Young enjoys sharing his technology expertise with other teachers. During the 2017 MPTCA, he offered an introductory course in Authentic Technology Use in the Secondary Classroom; traveled to the Commonwealth of Dominica during the summer of 2016 where he provided instruction in technology integration to local teachers; and led a professional development course in Technology in the Secondary Classroom through the NRLC during the 2014-2015 school year. He is currently completing a Master of Education degree. 

New Assistant Principal placements at PWSD schools

Jenny McAusland
has been named Assistant Principal of Whispering Ridge Community School. Ms. McAusland began her career in education at PWSD in 2003, as the junior high language arts teacher at Penson School in Grovedale. In 2010, she was appointed to the roles of Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI) Coordinator and acting Literacy Coordinator at PWSD, followed by a return to Penson School as Principal in 2012. In 2005, she was awarded a Rotary Excellence in Education, Service Above Self Award. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree, graduating with distinction from the Teacher Education North (TEN) Collaborative Degree Program at the University of Alberta/Grande Prairie Regional College in 2003, and is a member of the Golden Key Honour Society.

When Whispering Ridge Community School opens mid-year in January 2018, a familiar face will greet approximately half of Harry Balfour School's (HBS) transferring students and teaching staff, that of Assistant Principal Abby Stillwell. She will continue as Assistant Principal, joining Principal Shawn O'Shea and Assistant Principal Jenny McAusland to form the new school's administrative team. Ms. Stillwell began her teaching career with PWSD immediately following graduation from the Teacher Education North (TEN) Collaborative Degree Program at the University of Alberta/Grande Prairie Regional College in 2006, working briefly at Beaverlodge Elementary School, followed by a junior high teaching position at HBS. In addition to serving as HBS Assistant Principal for the past three years, she is completing a Master of Education degree through Royal Roads University.

Kim Schellenberg, teacher-counselor at Harry Balfour School since 2015, has been appointed Assistant Principal of the school. Ms. Schellenberg began her career in education in 1999 as a Grade 4 teacher at Fort Vermilion School Division. Since that time, she has gained varied teaching experience across all grade divisions at schools in Fort Vermilion, Edmonton and Maskwacis. In 2008, she became a Registered Psychologist and began working as a Mental Health Therapist and Educational Psychologist. As lead of the Student Support Services team at Fort Vermilion School Division, she focused on individual and group counseling, social-emotional programming implementation, academic interventions, psycho-educational assessment, and individualized program planning. She obtained a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta in 1999 and completed a Master of Counseling degree from the University of Calgary in 2006.

Scott Bowen
will assume the role of Assistant Principal of Clairmont Community School. Mr. Bowen's career in education began with a semester of substitute teaching in London, England, followed by a mid-year placement at Beaverlodge Regional High School (BRHS) in 2006. In addition to serving two years as High School Redesign Coordinator at the school, he has focused primarily on Grades 10-12 Social Studies, and has experience in health and fitness instruction. In 2013, he was among 70 teachers from across Canada who came together in Ottawa for the annual Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. During his time at BRHS, he coached a variety of sports, including 10 years of badminton and two years as assistant coach of the Boys Volleyball team. He has helped coordinate the BRHS Ten Thousand Villages and famers' market sale since 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta and a Master in Educational Leadership degree from Acadia University.

Penny Calvert
, a familiar face at PWSD schools in her role as Inclusive Education Coach since 2014, has been named Assistant Principal at Beaverlodge Regional High School. She began her teaching career 1992 in Fort Nelson, BC, working for School District 81 and Fort Nelson First Nations, followed by a move to PWSD in 2014. In addition to her coaching role, Ms. Calvert was a half-time Kindergarten teacher at Clairmont Community School during the 2014-2015 school year.

After 10 years of teaching physical education at Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA), followed by taking on the roles of Physical Education Department Head and Athletic Director at the school, Randy Nagel will join the administrative team at Sexsmith Secondary School as an Assistant Principal. Mr. Nagel began his teaching career with PWSD in 2007 as a temporary teacher at PWA. He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Alberta's combined Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Education degree.