Principal, teacher and presenter who is passionate about strengths-based education and leadership, human motivation, balanced assessment, and using social media to connect and share the positive stories. 

Skills and Attributes

  • Instructional Leadership: By being in classrooms and engaging in ongoing dialogue around pedagogy, I have worked with staff to become instructional leaders in which we work together to push student learning to the next level.
  • Connected Education: I have encouraged and developed learning relationships through the use of learning communities and social media
  • Inclusion and Special Education: I have worked closely with special education teachers, special education assistants, and parents to encourage an environment that includes adaptations and/or modifications in school to lead to an enhanced student learning experience and a more inclusive school culture.
  • Parent Relationships: I have not only learned a great deal from the family community at our school but also through learning relationships with parent leaders in BC and North America.
  • Student Relationships: I continually take the time to get to know the students by being there when they arrive, in classrooms throughout the day, and on the playground at recess and lunch.
  • Care, Patience, Empathy: Attributes that I continually strive to model with students, staff, and families of the school.
  • Student Motivation and Assessment: two areas of passion for me that are closely linked.  I have worked to create school culture in which students motivate themselves and teachers use a balance of ongoing formative assessments along with consistent summative assessments.
  • Leadership: each day I continue to grow to become a more effective leader and manager to create the conditions for student and staff success.
  • Education Technology: I continue to work to place technology in more hands of students and staff and ask the question, "How can technology enhance the learning outcomes?".


In the past three years, I have been honoured to have the opportunity to present and facilitate workshops with teachers, administrators, parents and university students in Canada and the US on the following topics:

  • Strengths-Based Education
  • Parent Engagement
  • Student Motivation
  • Social Media for Professional Learning
  • Assessment For Learning
  • Creating Real Change Through Connected Educators
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Social Media and Youth

For more information, including slides from the above presentations, go to the presentation page on my site or visit my Slideshare page.

Distance Mentors

Although I have not worked directly with the following people, the ongoing dialogue I have had with these passionate educators have significantly impacted my leadership philosophies as well as my views on pedagogy and education reform.  

Chris Kennedy

Superintendent of West Vancouver Schools

Leadership, Social Media, Education Reform

Bruce Beairsto

Retired BC Superintendent , Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University

Leadership, Instructional Leadership, Education Reform

George Couros

District Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning at Parkland School Division (Alberta)

Leadership, Social Media, Education Technology, Education Reform

Brian Kuhn

Director of Technology and Chief Information Officer at Vancouver School Board

Education Technology, Education Reform

William Ferriter

Middle School Teacher (North Carolina), Author

Learning Communities, Assessment, Education Technology, Student Motivation, Education Reform

Tom Schimmer

Education Consultant, Author

Assessment, Leadership, Education Reform

Darcy Mullin

Principal, School District 67 (Okanagan-Skaha)

Assessment, Leadership, Student discipline

Cale Birk

Principal, School District #73 (Kamloops)

Leadership, Professional Learning

Jacquie Taylor

Retired BC Superintendent, Education Consultant


Projects and Contributions

Work History

Work History
Feb 2009 - Dec 2013

Elementary School Principal

Fraser-Cascade School District (#78)
  • Principal and teacher of Kent Elementary School with a population of approximately 275 students in kindergarten through grade 6. Teaching included grade 1 reading, grade 5/6 technology, kindergarten technology and writing, and grade 3 reading intervention.
  • Worked with site-based budgeting to allocate staff and resources to create the optimal learning environment for students.  This included prioritizing time for student support (ex. .5 FTE teacher-librarian in our wonderful school library).
  • Shared the positive stories of the school and built relationships with parents and community members through the use of social media. Created a new school website with a weekly blog of "10 Good Things to Talk About", a Kent School Facebook Page, YouTube Channel, and Twitter and Flickr Accounts. Kent was the first school in British Columbia to use Facebook to engage with parents and through this, we have provided a window in to the many great things that happen in our school.
  • Worked with with staff, students, and parents and made the decision to shift how we honour students away from year-end awards and "students of the month" to one in which each child is honoured throughout the year for their strengths and interests.  This decision initiated many other ideas on how we can work to honour and challenge our students.
  • Implemented a school wide event, Identity Day, in which students create and present a project on an area of identity, strength and/or interest.  We have done this twice now and it has been the most powerful event in which I have ever been a part.
  • Worked with staff to implement ideas of Assessment For Learning.  Transparent criteria and learning outcomes, along with a focus on descriptive feedback, have led to increased student achievement and more consistent pedagogy within the school.  
  • Fostered effective relationships with the First Nation communities of Seabird and Sts'ailes. Worked with the Seabird Island Band to create the Fraser-Cascade:Seabird Island Local Education Agreement.  Created the First Nation parent group as a way to gain feedback and insights into how we can best support our Aboriginal Learners.
  • Worked with staff, parents and community to create the Kent School Garden as well as the Kent Hill as a way to encourage learning and play in a natural, outdoor setting.  Every day I am out with the kids at recess and lunch, I take a moment to admire the beauty that is our back field.
  • Collaborated with School Planning Council and PAC at least once a month to not only create the School's Growth Plan but also listen and implement many ideas from our parent community.
  • 2013-14 - implementing a 'Living Systems' Learning Community Model as way to build on the strengths and passions of staff and to provide time for staff to collaborate, inquire and enhance student learning.
  • Collaborated regularly with School-Based Team to implement strategies and provide resources to best support students.
  • Implemented our reading intervention program in which each child in the school that is below grade level in reading is provided with an extra reading period per day.  This shift in scheduling and mindset on learning assistance has helped increase the number of students meeting expectations in reading.
  • Worked to shift the mindset of school discipline to one that focuses on skill development (based on the work of Dr. Ross Greene).  We have not had a single suspension in three years and school culture continues to improve.
  • Created a Sensory Room for students to have the opportunity to use tools to help them calm and self-regulate.
  • Changed the way that classes are created at the school.  Shifted from a split class to a combined class in which students are placed not by their academic ability but based on class balance and equity.
  • Worked with the school district to bring our Strong Start Centre to the school.  This has proven to be a wonderful way to encourage early learning and build relationships with Agassiz-Harrison families and future students.
  • Represented the BC Principals and Vice Principals Association on a team that met with the Minister of Education to provide feedback on the BC Education Plan.  This was a wonderful opportunity to work with and learn from other passionate school leaders on the future of education in the province.
  • Worked with colleagues in the Fraser-Cascade School District on professional development and technology committees.
  • Was part of a team to implement the Fraser-Cascade App that would provide parents with more of an opportunity to stay informed of school and district events.
  • Helped to bring speakers and consultants (Tom Schimmer, Peter Jory, Linda Kaser, Judy Halbert) to our district so we could be more consistent with our assessment philosophies and practices.
Aug 2007 - Jan 2009

Elementary School Vice-Principal

Fraser-Cascade School District (#78)

Worked as vice-principal and intermediate teacher of Kent Elementary School.

  • Implemented the CHOICES program in which students participate in courses in areas of their interest. Students can explore areas of academics, technology, fine arts, culture, and many others as a way to increase student engagement at school.
  • Worked with the principal to shift the mindset around punishment and rewards in the school.
  • Taught a grade 5/6 class for two years.
  • Created the Life Skills room for those students who struggled with behaviours in class to have an opportunity to work with their peers, with support, outside of the classroom. This room was only needed for two years as behaviour problems lessened. 
  • Participated in the BC Educational Leadership Council (BCELC).  This was a two year cohort program that focused on developing skills and confidence in Assessment For Learning, Supervision For Learning and Leadership.
Sep 2000 - Jul 2007


Langley Schools (#35)

Worked as a high school teacher at Brookswood Secondary School.  

  • Taught math (8, 9), science (8, 9), science and technology 11, physical education (8-12)
  • Developed a new physical education curriculum for girls in grades 9-10 called Lifestyles Fitness. This was created as a result of a year of personal research (surveys, interviews) on the reasons that girls in the school were not fully participating in PE at the grade 9-10 level.  This new curriculum emphasized skills for lifelong fitness with the main goal of creating an environment of effort and joy in physical activity.  You can read more about this program in the BC Principals and Vice Principals' Adminfo article "The Power of a Student-Based Curriculum".
  • Worked with a small team of teachers to implement a 20 minute advisory period once a week with a consistent teacher to help build student:teacher relationships.
  • Brought the idea of Challenge Day to the school to help students to better understand each other and decrease bullying.
  • Worked to create an enhanced version of the Science and Technology Curriculum based on the needs/wants of the students.  In addition, moved assessment in the class away from grades to more of a focus on feedback.  These changes helped students to gain confidence and become more engaged learners.
  • Worked as Athletic Director alongside Ivan Adrian to oversee the athletic department.  Duties included: budgeting, ordering, distributing, and organizing uniforms and equipment, referee development and allocation, coach recruitment and development, and promotions.
  • Coached volleyball, track and field, basketball, and rugby.  Led a senior girls volleyball program from a programs that had never made the provincials to a team that made it 5 straight years finishing as high as 4th in BC (and Fraser Valley Champions).


Jul 2006 - Aug 2008

Masters of Education

University of British Columbia



Roxanne Watson

Roxanne worked with me for two years as a supervisor and colleague in her role of principal of Kent Elementary.  She continues to mentor me in her retirement.

Stan Watchorn

Mr. Watchorn has worked with me as a supervisor and colleague as a principal and director of instruction for the past five years.

Dr. Karen Nelson

Dr. Nelson has worked with me as a supervisor and colleague as superintendent and assistant superintendent for the past six years.

Dr. Scott Benwell

Prior to becoming superintendent of SD85, Dr. Benwell worked with me for four years as a supervisor and colleague in his roles of assistant superintendent and district principal of SD78.