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Meet the Board
CAIS Board of Directors
CAIS' identity is reflected through strong governance. The Board is a national and capable group committed to best practice in governance policies and procedures. It is committed to a thorough, consultative and transparent decision-making process while serving the best interests of member schools.
The mission and work of the not-for-profit organization is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors. The term of office of elected Directors is three years, with the understanding that Directors will ordinarily serve two terms (i.e. six years). A majority of the directors are people who are independent of CAIS schools, that is not Heads of Schools, Chairs of Boards, directors, officers or employees of CAIS schools.
In addition to the two councils, Standards and Evaluation, there are three standing committees: Finance and Audit, Governance, and Executive Director Performance Review. From time to time, task forces may be formed to deal with specific projects or issues. All councils, committees and task forces report to the full Board.
Jim Nelles, Chair
Jim’s professional background has been in media with a particular focus on managerial and operational requirements for television, radio and cable network operations. He has had a career that began 40 years ago and has included senior management positions with Selkirk Communications, Rogers Media Inc. and Quebecor Media. Over the course of his career he has also been a board member and chaired numerous broadcast industry associations and committees. Jim currently manages a consultancy that works closely with television, radio and cable network operators as well as program content distributors.
Jim is a Past Chair of the Conference of Independent Schools and was a member of the board of the Canadian Educational Standards Institute. He has served as Chair of The Country Day School, in King City, ON and was a member of its Board and has also been a member of the Board of Directors of Rothesay Netherwood School in Rothesay NB.
Jim is currently Chair of the Kensington Health Centre (KHC) which is a 350-bed long term care facility in Toronto that includes hospice, community care, diagnostic imaging, ophthalmology divisions. It is also home to the Ontario division of the Eye Bank of Canada.
Jim holds a BA from Bishop’s University and an M.Sc. from Boston University and has completed the NFP Governance Essentials Program jointly facilitated by the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Jim and his wife Louise live in Aurora, ON and all three children were lifers at The Country Day School in King City.
An executive coach and business consultant with fervor for people, business, and entrepreneurial thinking, Denise is accomplished in diverse sectors including financial, pharmaceutical, real estate, toy, food, communications, media relations, sales, and marketing. Her excellent client relationships are built on trust and integrity. A strategic, focused, and goal-driven leader, she is recognized for helping decision-makers to find minessence in challenging business issues. Denise is committed to recognizing the science behind human behaviour, and to assisting leaders with the move from relevant to essential in their businesses.
Denise is Founder and President of DeniseBurke.ca, is a Canadian Values Coaching and Leadership Company, coaching decision-makers responsible for influencing business, people, and cultural climate.
DeniseBurke.ca based in Montreal, provides a full range of services including executive, career transition, and leadership coaching, supported by C-IQ - Conversational Intelligence, Everything DISC certified, Values Technology, Arbinger Institute: Outward Mindset and Outward Leadership, and Genos Emotional Intelligence, testing and behaviour charting.
Dr. J. Colin Dodds
Dr. J. Colin Dodds is President Emeritus of Saint Mary’s University and Professor of Finance, Sobey School of Business.
Colin Dodds served as President and Vice Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University from 2000-2015; having served as Vice President Academic and Research and Dean of the Sobey School of Business at the University. Following his transition from the President’s Office, he is enjoying a return to the classroom as a Professor of Finance.
Born and educated in the UK, his teaching career has spanned over 40 years in Financial Economics, Investments and Portfolio Management and Corporate Finance in Asia, the UK and Canada. More recently he has focused on teaching International Capital Markets and International/Global Finance to graduate students in the Executive MBA and Masters of Finance programs. He has published many books, journal articles and conference papers, particularly on financial markets.
He has served on Boards of the Bank of Canada, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Better Business Bureau for Atlantic Canada and is Past-Chair of the Greater Halifax Partnership. He is Chair of the Board of the Discovery Centre in Halifax, Treasurer of WUSC and Vice chair of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Society and Foundation. He is also on the Selection Committee for the Canadian Investment Industry Hall of Fame awards through the Investment Industry Association of Canada. He was inducted into the Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame, holds the Queen Elizabeth Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration.
Colin Dodds is a strong community supporter devoting his time and expertise to a number of local organizations in both formal and informal capacities. He has been called upon, by the Province of Nova Scotia, to advise on a variety of immigration matters.
Steven Erdelyi is the Head of School of Solomon Schechter Academy (SSA), where he has worked since 2013. Solomon Schechter Academy is the largest Jewish elementary school in Quebec with nearly 500 students from PreSchool to Grade 6 and over 100 staff members.
Before joining SSA, Steven served as Principal of Hampstead School and Vice-Principal of Westmount High School. Previously, he was the head of the Science Department at Marymount Academy where he taught math and science. He has also taught English as a Second Language in Japan.
In addition to his role as Head of School, Steven just completed his term as the president of the Association of Professional Educational Leaders (APEL) which consists of all the principals and heads of school of the various Jewish Day Schools in the Province of Quebec. Steven was recently appointed as a member of the provincial Advisory Board on English Education (ABEE). The ABEE’s purpose is to advise the Minister of Education on all matters affecting the educational services offered in English in Quebec.
Steven is also a city councillor for the City of Cote Saint-Luc, a suburb of Montreal, having first been elected in 2005 and re-elected three times since. His initiatives include spearheading organic waste collection, banning smoking in parks and being the first city in Canada to require masks in public spaces during the start of the Covid pandemic.
He is a graduate of McGill University with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Queen’s University with a B.Ed. Steven also completed a post-graduate degree in Educational Leadership at McGill University.
Dr. Leanne Foster
Dr. Leanne Foster is Head of School at Trafalgar Castle School, an all-girls’ day and boarding school in Whitby, Ontario. A dedicated and experienced educator, Leanne’s career in teaching and consulting has taken her from kindergarten classrooms to university lecture halls to government ministries, working in both public and independent schools, as well as the private sector.
Leanne earned a B.A. from the University of Toronto, as well as a B.Ed. and M.Ed. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT). She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Administration at the University of Toronto where her doctoral research focused on school improvement and educational change management.
Dedicated to supporting her community, Leanne serves on the Boards of Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre in Oshawa and Station Gallery in Whitby. She is a member of the Family Council at Isabelle and Arthur Meighen Manor, a long-term care facility in Toronto.
Carol Grant-Watt, B.Ed., M.A.
Carol Grant-Watt is passionate about all things education and is the Head of school at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School in Okotoks, Alberta. She is excited to be working in a rural setting again with a dynamic staff, amazing team of leaders and caring community and loving her work in the K-12 environment. She is pleased to be working within the International Baccalaureate Programme as well as with the Outdoor Education program which is a passion for her as she loves hiking and kayaking. (Especially with her two faithful canine companions.)
She recently jointed the CAIS Board and is enjoying learning from this talented group of people and she is committed to the work of CAIS in supporting the great network of schools in our Association.
Carol completed her undergraduate degree in secondary education at the University of Calgary and has spent thirty six years teaching social studies, working as a guidance counsellor and taking on a variety of roles in educational leadership and administration in a number of schools.
She completed her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership at San Diego State University with a focus on crisis management. Her work at Western Canada High School in Calgary prepared her for her foray into the independent school world. This two thousand student school is a centre of academic excellence and she thoroughly enjoyed her work as Principal leading an IB, University Preparatory public school with exceptional fine arts and athletic programs. Following this she moved into the independent school world taking on the Head of School role at West Island College in Calgary bringing in a focus on innovation, standards of excellence and co-developing the Institute program.
Carol has worked with Alberta Education in a variety of capacities over the years, most recently with the Leadership Standards Committee and Instructor Corp. Passionate about developing the capacity of school leaders, this work has been engaging and rewarding.
Sharon Klein is currently Head of St. Margaret’s School in Victoria, BC. and was formerly Head of St. George’s School of Montreal from 2014-2019. St. Margaret’s is Western Canada’s only all-girls, independent day and boarding school and is an international centre for girls’ learning and leadership development providing empowering education for girls from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.
With a Bachelor of Education from the University of Regina, and a Master of Arts–Educational Leadership from San Diego State University, Sharon began her career in Saskatchewan as a teacher and coach in 1984. She later joined Queen Margaret’s School, in Duncan, B.C., where she served as Deputy Head Student Life, Senior School Principal and Deputy Head, Education.
Sharon is a lifelong learner who is passionate about education and about building leadership capacity in both students and staff. With a positive reputation for community building, she is widely respected by her peers as a collaborative leader. Sharon embraces inquiry and reflection and is an advocate of progressive and research-based education. She is committed to whole-child approaches in rigorous learning environments, always striving to empower each student to find their voice.
In addition to her duties as Head of School, Sharon is an actively involved member of the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS), serving on the Board of Directors. She previously served on the Quebec Association of Independent Schools (QAIS) Executive Committee. She served on four CAIS Accreditation Committees, one of which she chaired, served on the CAIS Strategic Planning Committee, and currently sits on the CAIS Evaluation Council. Sharon holds a diploma in Independent School Leadership through the CAIS Leadership Institute and is a certified Fierce Conversations Facilitator (Fierce Inc.). In addition, she has presented at several conferences, including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) and CAIS.
Kevin R. McHenry
Kevin R. McHenry was appointed the eighth Headmaster, retitled Head of School in July 2019, of St. Andrew’s College on July 1, 2009. Founded in 1899, St. Andrew’s is an independent all-boys’ day and boarding school for 650 students in Grades 5 through12 located in Aurora, Ont.
Kevin earned his B.B.A. (Hons) from Wilfrid Laurier University, his B.Ed. from Western University, and his M.Ed. from the University of Toronto. He holds additional qualifications in law and co-operative education, earned both parts of his Principal’s Qualification program through York University, and his diploma in Independent School Leadership through the CAIS Leadership Institute.
Kevin continues to be actively involved in many CIS and CAIS committees and initiatives. He has taught the Academic Administrative module for the CAIS Leadership Institute on several occasions; was co-chair of St. Andrew’s CAIS internal evaluation team; served and chaired numerous external CAIS accreditation teams, and is a member of the CAIS Board of Governors and Standards Council. He was co-chair of the CIS Curriculum Network, chair for the CAIS Online Learning Steering Committee, and sat on the committee that developed the last CAIS strategic plan. As well, Kevin has presented at three international conferences on a variety of topics over the years.
Through various capital campaigns with Kevin as Head, St. Andrew’s has added more than $60M in new facilities. The school’s endowment/planned gifts total more than $70M. Throughout Kevin’s tenure, the school has acquired two adjacent properties adding 16 acres and housing to its assets. In 2020, SAC acquired a 40,000-square-foot manor and property valued at more than $35M to start an independent school for girls, St. Anne’s School, just across the road.
Kevin, his wife, Karan, and their children, Caden ’21 and Hadley, reside in the Head of School’s House on the SAC campus. Their son William ’18 is a student at Queen’s University studying commerce.
Dr. Saida Rasul
Dr. Saida Rasul is a volunteer at Aga Khan University (AKU) where she has applied her professional expertise to build capacity, set up dental clinics and develop preventive dental programmes as part of the University Hospital system operating in East Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Distance learning supported by faculty at Canadian and American universities complements the programmes. Working with a team of volunteers, she has helped AKU set up an associate of science in dental hygiene programme to train dental health workers from the same regions on promoting oral health and disease prevention in communities. She has been a dentist for 44 years and was in private practice in the Kerrisdale area of Vancouver, BC for 26 years she worked as a clinical instructor at UBC.
In Canada, as Chair of the Board of Simon Fraser University, Dr. Rasul was very active in the planning of the Burnaby UniverCity, Surrey campus and Woodward’s site developments, and securing funding for the Centre for Performing Arts and for the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Cultures and Societies, among other initiatives.
Dr. Rasul served as Chair and Member of Advisory Council of MultiVan Broadcast Corporation and on the board of the British Columbia Automobile Association. She has chaired board fundraising committees of the Children's and Grace Hospital Foundations, York House School (as a parent) and Outward Bound Canada. She served as Co-Chair of the 2004 United Way Community Campaign in the Lower Mainland of BC. Dr. Rasul served on the boards of community organizations such as the United Way as Chair, Science World, and the Aga Khan Health Board. She also served on the Advisory Councils of the BC Cancer Foundation, the UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies and Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts.
Since 2003, Dr. Rasul has been a member of the Vancouver chapter of International Women’s Forum (IFW) where she promotes women in business and professions, coaching and supporting them to operate on various corporate and professional boards. Dr Rasul is mentor for young women looking to progress in their professional careers.
Dr. Rasul graduated from London University in England and the University of Toronto Dr. Rasul has received numerous awards including the YWCA Woman of Distinction; the Andre Maillot award, the national award presented by United Way Canada; and honorary doctorate degrees from Simon Fraser University (2013) and University of Alberta (2017). In 2015, she was conferred with Order of British Columbia for her service to the community.
Riva J. Richard is the Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Pollard Banknote Limited, one of the world’s leading full-service lottery vendors and a major supplier to the North American charitable gaming industry.
Prior to joining Pollard Banknote in December 2010, Ms.Richard served as Vice President, Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary of Canwest Global Communications Corp. Until September 2001, Ms. Richard practiced as a corporate law associate with the Toronto office of McCarthy Tétrault LLP.
Ms. Richard lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba and served as a member of the Board of Governors of St. John’s-Ravenscourt School from July 2011 through June 2018. During her tenure on the Board, Ms. Richard served as Chair of the Governance Committee from July 2012 through June 2015; Vice-Chair of the Board from July 2013 through June 2015; and Chair of the Board from July 2015 through June 2017. Following her retirement from the Board in June 2018, Ms. Richard was awarded the St. John’s-Ravenscourt School Distinguished Service Award.
Ms. Richard received her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Civil Law Degrees, with distinction, from McGill University and holds an undergraduate business degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. She is a member of the Ontario and Manitoba Bars and in 2005 was named as one of Canada’s “Top 40 Corporate Counsel Under the Age of 40” by Lexpert Magazine.
Michel Shah is an experienced educator, speaker, coach and consultant who has been a leader supporting the development of personal and interpersonal skills for over twenty years. She is Professor and Faculty Consultant for Human Skills Development at George Brown College, Facilitator of Executive Education at Schulich School of Business, York University, the author of Explorations in Career Development: Personal and Professional (2019), and UpSkill: Soft Skills and Professional Development Essentials (2021), McGraw-Hill Education.
Michel holds a MSc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a BA (Hons.) from the University of Toronto, and has completed the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) with the University of Kingston, England. She is a Certified Training and Development Professional, Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach and a Project Management Professional.
Michel is the founder of Hammersmith Prep School in Jamaica and the MAS Programme which integrates confidence building and leadership development into the K12 curriculum. She is the founder and CEO of The UpSkill Corporation Inc. where she facilitates UpSkilling conversations in organizations across Canada. From education and health care to finance and government, Michel provides strategies and readily actionable steps for soft skills development.
She is highly regarded for her creative, innovative and inclusive style
Sean Shore is a lawyer at Canadian Compliance & Regulatory Law and does work for investment dealers, mutual fund dealers, portfolio managers and other registrants in the Canadian investment industry. Sean also supports the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) as a subject matter expert in regulatory compliance and is also a Hearing Panel Member for the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), which involves adjudicating enforcement proceedings for IIROC and the MFDA, respectively.
Between 2006 and 2014 he was employed and worked with investment dealers within their compliance departments, in particular, from 2008 to 2011, was registered and worked as the Chief Compliance Officer and the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer for the Wellington West Group of Companies (Wellington West) and, following the acquisition of Wellington West by National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF) in 2011, in a senior compliance role with NBF from 2011 to 2014. Prior to his position at Wellington West Sean was a Director and Legal Counsel for Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (IGFS). Prior to his role with IGFS, Sean practiced law primarily in the area of taxation and commercial law both in private and public practice.
Sean holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law (obtained in 1993) and a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics (obtained in 1994), and has been practicing law since 1995.
Sean is a life-long resident of Winnipeg and proud supporter of not-for-profit organizations. He is the Past Chair of the Winnipeg Board of Jewish Education (Gray Academy of Jewish Education), a position which he held for five years. Through this role he participated on a number of CAIS Accreditation visits as the Governance lead and has presented at both the Heads and Chairs conference and the National Leaders conference on the topic of cyber security. Sean is also the Past Chair of Winnipeg’s Jewish Child and Family Service and has served on a number of other community boards and is also an independent public company board member for a TSX listed issuer.
Peter Sturrup has been Headmaster of Pickering College, a coeducational, K to 12 day and boarding school in Newmarket, Ontario since 1995. Previously, Peter was a Geography teacher and Dean of Residence for nine years, also at Pickering College, and taught Geography at Wilfrid Laurier University (in Waterloo, Ontario) for ten years.
Peter received his B.A. and M.A. (Geography) from Wilfrid Laurier University and his B. Ed from the University of Toronto. Peter's volunteer time includes having just completed his term as Chair of the Board of the Ontario Conference of Independent Schools (CIS) and he is the Chair of the Standards Council of the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). In his community, Peter has served as Honourary Chair of the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life and is Chair of the Newmarket Celebrates the Arts Bursary Committee.
In addition to his duties as Head of School, Peter has presented at conferences, seminars and workshops for the National Association of Independent School (NAIS), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), the Friends Council on Education (FCE), the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and the Ontario Conference of Independent Schools (CIS). Topics include "The Soul of Teaching", "Leaving a Legacy of Leadership", "Schools as Sacred Places" and "Becoming the Head You Aspire to Be". Over his career he has served on or chaired nine Accreditation Visiting Committees to other schools.
Until her retirement in June 2015, Martha had spent 39 years at Ernst & Young LLP where she was a partner specialized in serving not-for-profit organizations.
Martha is a member of the board and chairs the Finance Committee of several not-for-profit organizations including MaRS Discovery District, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and U of T Press. She is also a member of the Standards Council of Imagine Canada.
Martha is the past Board Chair of St. Clement’s School and Trinity College at the University of Toronto, was a member of the Board, Finance Committee and Chair of the Governance Committee of Crescent School, and was a Board member and Treasurer of the Conference of Independent Schools.
Martha holds a B.Comm from the University of Toronto. She has an FCPA, FCA and an ICD.D designation.
Peter has over 30 years experience working on some of the world's most prestigious brands in Asia, Europe and North America.
He has a multi-discipline background having built integrated Advertising, Public Relations, Customer Relationship Management and Brand Consultancy Operations. He has run companies for three of the top four global marketing communications networks: WPP, Publicis and Omnicom. His most recent corporate role was Regional Managing Director of BBDO Asia Pacific and prior to this he ran companies for Leo Burnett and Ogilvy.
Brands he’s worked with include: AIG, Coca-Cola, BMW, Disney, Fedex, IBM, Kodak, McDonalds, Nestle, PepsiCo, Proctor & Gamble, Seagram (Diageo), Shangri-La, Shell, SONY, Unilever and Visa International. In Canada, he has helped St George’s School develop their vision and long-term strategy for the past eight years.
Peter has led three different agencies to become the leading creative agency in their respective markets. In 2001 he was a co-winner of a coveted a Cannes Gold lion, the Oscars of the advertising world.
He co-founded The Brand Company in 2002. The company grew into Hong Kong’s leading specialist Brand Management Consulting firm consulting to clients such as: AIG, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Lane Crawford, Shangri-La Hotels, SmarTone-Vodafone, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Swire.
In March 2006 The Brand Company was acquired by The Ingram Partnership, the London-based Consulting group headed by CIA Media founder Chris Ingram.
Peter moved with his wife and three sons to Vancouver BC in August 2007. In addition to his private consulting practice in Vancouver, Dolphin Brand Strategy, he is a Co-Founder and Director of The BioCube Corporation Ltd, which has designed and developed the BioCube™ a community-sized transportable biodiesel refinery that makes commercial biodiesel production viable for developing markets using renewable and waste feedstock.
He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with Honours in Psychology and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising. Peter is a global citizen having lived in Edinburgh, Southampton, Jackson Mississippi, Honiara in the Solomon Islands, London, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and now Vancouver. Work and play has taken him to over 50 countries across every continent.
David Young is the Head of School at TMS in Richmond Hill. It is a pre K – 12 school of roughly 800 students.
He has thoroughly enjoyed his time at TMS where he has the privilege of working with a wonderful leadership team and school community. Working together, the school has grown over the last 5 years by nearly 100 students, expanding its High School, developing its campus and entrenching its excellence as an IB school.
David has a MA (Hons) in History from the University of St. Andrews, a PGCE from the University of Durham, and an M.Ed from the Open University and is a Fellow of the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University.
David began his teaching career in the North East of England teaching Grade 5 and 6. He moved to the Czech Republic to be the Assistant Head of Lower School at the Riverside International School. In 2003 he moved to Canada where he has worked at The Country Day School and Crescent School, holding a variety of leadership roles, culminating as Deputy Head at Crescent School.
David was born and raised in Bangladesh to a Northern Irish mum and a Scottish dad, attending an international school in Dacca. He returned to Scotland aged 8. After graduating high school, he attended the University of St. Andrews. Sandwiched between high school and university was a spectacularly mediocre and inevitably doomed professional soccer career that was, none the less, a lot of fun.
David is married to Sue and they have two children, McKenzie (19) who is in her 2nd year studying Neuroscience at the University of Guelph and Callum (16) who is entering his Grade 12 year. By no means last is their dog, Rory, a lovely, if rather dim, member of the household.
CAIS Board Advisors
Alan Whyte, CIS Board Chair
Alan is a semi-retired human resources lawyer (for management) who also conducts a human resources consulting practice.
He is enthusiastic about assisting CAIS schools, Boards and senior leadership teams with (non-legal) human resources and governance issues and challenges, building on his 13 years of experience on the Board of Albert College (4 as Chair) and 11 years on the CIS Ontario Board (3 as Chair). He also sits as a regional Advisor on the CAIS Board.
He has acted for a number of independent schools in human resources legal matters throughout his 40 year legal career.
Alan has the full perspective on the independent school world – proud Alumni of Lower Canada College; school Board member as described above; proud parent of Albert College and Ridley College students; association involvement at both the provincial and national levels and legal counsel to several independent schools.
He has conducted Board training on good governance and has presented extensively at numerous legal conferences and webinars on human resources topics. Alan is also a CAIServices Advisor.
Christian St-Pierre, QAIS President
Christian St-Pierre is in his third year as Head of School at The Priory, a premier co-educational independent school in Montreal, specializing in elementary education. His tenure is characterized by his kind and caring demeanour, openness, and the nurturing of students, faculty and staff.
A graduate of Université de Montréal, Christian holds degrees in Education, Mathematics and Economics and is currently pursuing his M.Ed. studies. His extensive experience in education spans over 20 years, and he has served in various teaching, administrative and leadership roles, in both the public, private and independent schools sectors in both French and English establishments. Prior to assuming the role of headmaster at The Priory School, Christian led a school community in southwestern Quebec to restore a positive school culture, and implement new pedagogical practices. His focus areas include building community, teacher empowerment and program development.
Passionate about providing the best educational experiences possible for all students, Christian is diligent in embracing each of his educators' strengths and talents, allowing them to learn from each other to develop enhanced, progressive best practices. From the very beginning, he has placed his prime importance on building sincere, authentic relationships with students, staff and parents, thereby fostering a strong sense of school community and family involvement.
In addition to his role as headmaster, Christian serves on the Executive of the Quebec Association of Independent Schools (QAIS) as Treasurer, and currently serves as a member of a CAIS Board of Director as an Quebec Advisor.
At home, he is a devoted family man who loves spending time with his wife, Julie and two children, Marc-Antoine and Nicolas. Together as a family, they enjoy entertaining, travelling, sports and taking on home projects.
Drew Stephens, ISABC Board Chair
Drew is in his fifteenth year as Head of School at Southridge. Prior to being appointed Head in 2007, he spent seven years as the Junior School Principal, two years as a division leader and one year as athletics director. A graduate of McMaster and Queen’s Universities, he earned his Bachelor of Physical Education, Bachelor of Education and Master of Science degrees before beginning his teaching career at an independent school in Quebec where he spent nine very fulfilling years teaching in the elementary division and leading the school’s outdoor education and athletics programs.
Drew is committed to the vital role that experiential education plays in the development of a reflective mindset fully immersed in exploration and discovery. He supports the integration of active inquiry and engaged collaboration in all elements of a school community, and was extremely fortunate to join Southridge in 1997 as it began its third year of operation. Having been with Southridge for the past 25 years, he has had first-hand experience in all facets of the school’s operations, and has been a part of the school’s growth and maturation as it has intentionally and purposefully implemented an education program devoted to the importance of balancing knowledge with goodness.
Drew attended the Heads of School Program at the Klingenstein Centre at Columbia University, and has served as a mentor for students in its master’s degree program. He was a member of the CAIS Board of Directors for many years during which time he was an active participant of the Evaluation Council. Drew is the current board chair of the Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC) and holds a cross-appointment as the ISABC regional representative with the board of directors of CAIS. Drew’s volunteer work with the ISABC and CAIS supports a strong and cohesive network of independent schools provincially and nationally.