Palliser's school leadership team set for the fall

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Palliser Regional Schools’ nearly 60-member team of principals and vice-principals welcomes some new faces and several familiar faces in new roles for 2016-2017. Congratulations to these members of the Palliser Administrators’ Association.


Mike Thiesen, Principal

Calgary Christian Elementary School

Mike Thiesen joins Palliser from South Oaks Elementary School in Grunthal, Man., where he served as principal since 2001. Thiesen has a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies from Providence University College and a master’s degree in biblical studies (Old Testament) from Providence Theological Seminary.  His bachelor of education degree and BA in history are from the University of Winnipeg.

His teaching experience includes teaching Hebrew at Providence Theological Seminary (1990-91); high school English and history at Landmark Collegiate in Landmark, Man. (1995-97); and Grade 1 (1999-2001) and physical education (1999-2001) at South Oaks Elementary, before becoming principal.

Thiesen replaces Gwen Uittenbosch, who retired.

Calgary Christian Elementary School serves about 450 students from kindergarten through Grade 6.

Lloyd Boody, Principal

Calgary Christian Secondary School

A man with nearly three decades of education experience and nearly 20 years in school leadership will lead Calgary Christian Secondary School starting in the 2016-2017 school year.

Lloyd Boody started teaching in 1987 at Prairie High School, now Prairie Christian Academy in Three Hills. He entered school leadership in 1997 as associate principal of Trochu Valley School in Trochu, assuming the principalship of that school in 1999 to 2002. From 2002-2005, Boody served as associate principal of Three Hills School. He then spent the next 11 years as principal.

He has a bachelor of education in secondary education and physical education from the University of Calgary, and completed his master’s degree in policy and administration from U of C in 1997.

Boody has certifications in Cognitive Coaching and Leadership Coaching.

He takes over as principal from Jason Kupery, who takes on a new leadership role as a Director of Learning in Palliser.

Calgary Christian Secondary School serves about 370 students in grades 7-12.

Ramy Elhamalawy, Principal

Calgary Islamic School Akram Jomaa Campus

Ramy Elhamalawy, who served as one of Akram Jomaa Campus’s vice-principals for the past two years, takes the reins as principal this fall.

Elhamalawy earned a bachelor degree in kinesiology from Brock University in St. Catherines, Ont., and a bachelor of education from the University of Ottawa.

His teaching career began in Hamilton, Ont., in 2007, and he joined Calgary Islamic School in 2012. He joined the school’s administrative team in 2014.

Elhamalawy’s aim is to guide AJ’s students to an understanding and embodiment of humility, wisdom and nobility in character.

Akram Jomaa campus serves about 900 students from kindergarten through Grade 12.

Leslie Olson, Principal

Heritage Christian Academy

Leslie Olson, who had served as acting principal of Heritage Christian Academy since February 2016, takes over as principal. No stranger to HCA, Olson served as the school’s vice-principal since 2013.

Olson’s post-secondary education began at Full Gospel Bible Institute in Eston, Sask., where she obtained a certificate in biblical studies. She earned her bachelor of education with great distinction, specializing in junior high education, at Brandon University in Manitoba.

She has 17 years of experience in teaching students from grades 3 through 12.

Olson takes over as principal from Ryan Brennan, who was promoted to Palliser’s Director of Human Resources.

Heritage Christian serves more than 600 students from kindergarten through Grade 12.

Denise Weaver, Principal

Menno Simons Christian School

Denise Weaver joins Palliser from Airdrie, where she was assistant principal at Muriel Clayton Middle School for the past four years.

Weaver earned her bachelor of education and BA from the University of Lethbridge in 1996. She attended Swift Current Bible College in 1990-91.

She has a wide range of teaching experience in elementary and middle school, from teaching in a multi-grade environment in a two-room school in Gem, a rural community northwest of Brooks, to serving as the program co-ordinator for a Primary Years International Baccalaureate School in Chestermere. Weaver was nominated for the Edwin Parr Award, recognizing outstanding first-year teachers.

She replaces Byron Thiessen, who is relocating to complete his master’s degree.

Syed Raza, Vice-Principal

Calgary Islamic School Akram Jomaa Campus

Syed Raza, a teacher at Akram Jomaa Campus, takes on the role of vice-principal this fall.

Raza began his teaching career in Toronto after earning his bachelor of education from the University of Toronto in 2001. His teaching experience spanned Toronto, Syria and Saudi Arabia before his move to Calgary.

Raza has a master’s degree in religion, with a major in Islamic studies from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is working toward his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Lethbridge.

He joins Hanan Haydar and Nesmh Elkestawi as vice-principals of the school and replaces Ramy Elhamalawy, who is taking over as principal of AJ.

Akram Jomaa serves about 900 students from kindergarten through Grade 12.

Liesel (Elisabeth) Kaiser, Vice-Principal

Heritage Christian Academy

The new member of the Heritage Christian Academy leadership team brings an international flavour. Liesel Kaiser was born in Cape Town, South Africa. After graduating from high school there, she earned her bachelor of science degree with a double major in mathematics and botany. Her post-graduate studies specialized in high school education. In 2015, she completed her master’s of education degree in leadership and administration.

Kaiser has more than 20 years of teaching experience in a range of grades.

Her school leadership experience includes serving as head of natural sciences and mathematics at the Deutsche Schule in Pretoria, South Africa; junior high team leader at the Calgary Arts Academy; and academic co-ordinator of the Airdrie Koinonia Christian School.

Kaiser replaces former vice-principal Leslie Olson, who will serve as Heritage Christian Academy’s principal.

HCA serves more than 600 students from kindergarten through Grade 12.

Coaldale and Lethbridge County

Chris McIntyre, Principal

Coalhurst Elementary School

Chris McIntyre is the new principal of Coalhurst Elementary School, but he’s not a new face to the community.

McIntyre has served the past four years as principal of Coalhurst High School, where he used “the Coalhurst Way” as a motto to reflect the efforts of staff and students to build strong relationships while pursuing excellence.

McIntyre earned his education degree and his master’s degree in education leadership from the University of Lethbridge. His teaching experience includes teaching English in South Korea. On his return to Alberta, he joined the staff at Amisk School, east of Red Deer, later becoming principal of the small Grade 1-8 school. He went on to lead Alcoma School, a K-9 program, and then the K-12 Duchess School, both near Brooks.

Coalhurst Elementary School serves about 290 students from early learning and kindergarten through Grade 6.

Charlene Grimes, Principal

Coalhurst High School

Charlene Grimes has 12 years of school leadership experience, and a wealth of experience in inclusive education and special needs.

Grimes spent the past eight years as principal of a school in Carbonear, Nfld., and four years prior as a vice-principal with the Grande Prairie Catholic School Division.

Before entering school administration, she taught for four years in Fort Liard, N.W.T., and one year in Trout River, NL.

Grimes has a bachelor of education degree from Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L. She completed a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2007.

She replaces Chris McIntyre, who takes over as principal of Coalhurst Elementary School.

Coalhurst High School serves about 160 students from grades 7-12.

Sharleen Albrecht, Vice-Principal

Coalhurst Elementary School

An award-winning elementary and middle school teacher and administrator joins Palliser Regional Schools as vice-principal of Coalhurst Elementary School.

Sharleen Albrecht, a 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award winner, brings a wealth of experience in student leadership, multi-grade teaching and technology integration.

Albrecht had been vice-principal of Park Meadows School in Lethbridge since 2013.

She was awarded a bachelor of education with distinction from the University of Lethbridge in 1990, specializing in special education. She earned her master’s degree, specializing in leadership and administration, in 2011 through Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

Albrecht fills a vacancy left by Adam Browning, who took on the role as a Palliser Director of Learning this spring.

Coalhurst Elementary School serves about 290 students from early learning and kindergarten through Grade 6.

Lindsey Hagen, Vice-Principal

Kate Andrews High School, Coaldale

Lindsey Hagen will be a new face at Kate Andrews High School, but she’ll already be familiar to some of its students.

Hagen spent the past year as vice-principal at R.I. Baker Middle School in Coaldale. Prior to that she was principal of Hays School for two years.

Her teaching career began in 2008 in Trochu, where she taught elementary Language Arts and high school Social Studies. She later taught high school social studies in Stettler.

Hagen completed her bachelor’s degree in secondary education majoring in social studies with a minor in English language arts at the University of Alberta. She earned her master’s degree in curriculum studies from the University of Saskatchewan in 2013.

Kate Andrews High School serves about 340 students from grades 9-12.

Krista Gaskell, Vice-Principal

R.I. Baker Middle School, Coaldale

After 10 years of teaching experience in Palliser Regional Schools, including the last four at R.I. Baker Middle School in Coaldale, Krista Gaskell is taking on her first administrative role as Baker’s vice-principal.

Gaskell graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2004 with a bachelor of education and bachelor of arts degree. A master’s degree in educational leadership followed in 2011, also from the U of L. Gaskell’s capstone project focused on building a collaborative

school culture.

Before joining R.I. Baker’s team, Gaskell taught at Noble Central School, Nobleford; Sunnyside School near Lethbridge; and Jennie Emery Elementary School in Coaldale.

Gaskell fills a vacancy left by Lindsey Hagen, who will serve as vice-principal at Kate Andrews High School this fall.

R.I. Baker Middle School serves about 350 students in grades 5 through 8.

Vulcan and Vulcan County

Daniel Grimes, Principal

County Central High School

Daniel Grimes brings to Palliser more than a decade of school leadership experience in the Northwest Territories, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Grimes earned a bachelor of science degree from Memorial University in St. John ‘s, N.L. in 1996, followed by his education degree in 1997. He completed his master of education degree from the University of Scotland.

Grimes was principal of a school in Fort Liard, N.W.T, where he also taught Grade 7-12. He served as a principal in Grande Prairie for four years before returning home to Newfoundland and Labrador to assume vice-principal, then principal roles. While there, he taught middle and high school math, science and physical education.

Grimes replaces Tracy Inaba, who will be moving to Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School as principal.

County Central High School serves about 250 students from grades 7-12.

Tracy Inaba, Principal

Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School

An award-winning educator and experienced school leader will take the reins at Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School.

Tracy Inaba has five years of leadership experience at County Central High School in Vulcan, where she was vice-principal from 2011, becoming principal in 2014. She started teaching at County Central in 1992, primarily French and junior high English Language Arts.

She earned her bachelor of education degree in 1992 from the University of Lethbridge, and completed her master’s degree, specializing in educational leadership, in 2013, also at the U of L.

She received the Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.

Inaba takes over Vulcan Prairieview from Shane Cranston, who was promoted to a Director of Learning position.

Vulcan Prairieview serves about 190 students from kindergarten through Grade 6.

Gerry Tetrault, Vice-Principal

Milo Community School

The new vice-principal of Milo Community School brings an international and diverse educational background.

Gerry Tetrault studied arts and science at the University of Saskatchewan, where he graduated with honours. He earned a diploma in secondary school teaching from McGill University and completed a master’s degree in international and cross-cultural education at the University of Saskatchewan. He also has a law degree from Ryerson University, and completed articling and licensing exams in Ontario. He studied for his law degree while teaching elementary guided reading in Hong Kong.

His teaching experience includes teaching core Grade 8 subjects, Grade 9 science and English and high school biology, history, English as a foreign language, academic writing, and law courses to post-secondary students.

Tetrault also has experience living and working in First Nations communities.

Milo is an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme candidate school serving nearly 60 students from grades 1-9.

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