Expect The Best


National Leaders Conference

The 2019 National Leaders Post Conference Call for Workshop Proposals are open until December 7. Apply here.

Strengthen Your School Leadership

CAIS values the constant and deliberate quest for excellence, and we recognize the vital leadership role that governors play, in partnership with Heads, in the success of our schools. We want all of our schools to have strong Heads who focus on supporting the students of the present, but we also want strong Boards that focus on supporting the students of the future.

The Governance Guide include new learning on a number of areas, including Human Resources, Risk Management, Head Transitions, and Consent Agendas.

CAIS members and non-members can purchase a hard copy here. And CAIS members can also view the full PDF in CAIS Connect here.


CAIS has big plans this summer for the accreditation program including expanding our team. We are currently hiring for the position of Accreditation Coordinator while I move into a newly created role - Director of Research and Accreditation. This new role will help tie together our national research projects with our accreditation program, as well as help to inform the focus of our professional learning initiatives. We are excited for these improvements that will come from this transition.

This past year, CAIS conducted 11 accreditation reviews with the support of 100+ volunteer Visiting Committee members. CAIS is grateful for all of those who give their time and share their expertise and experience to support independent schools through this national whole school improvement program.

Photo: CAIS Accreditation visit at River Valley School

Many thanks to the following 2017-18 Visiting Committee members:

River Valley School

  • Chair: Rick Parsons - The Sterling Hall School
  • Jo-Anne Kingstone - Aspengrove School
  • Suzana Rajic - Akiva School
  • Andrea Fanjoy - Kingsway College School
  • Colin Powles - Trinity College School
  • Tina Alto - Balmoral Hall School
  • Jim Nelles - Rothesay Netherwood School

Rundle College

  • Chair: Blayne Addley - St. John's School
  • Glenn Zederayko - Glenlyon Norfolk School
  • Vince Haines - Bayview Glen School
  • Erin Kline - Fraser Academy
  • Martin Birthelmer - Hillfield Strathallan College
  • Christina Barwinsky - St. John's-Ravenscourt School
  • Rheanne Stevens - Collingwood School
  • Rob Dalgliesh - Gray Academy of Jewish Education
  • Nick Kovacs - Crescent School
  • David Fitzpatrick - Royal St. George's College
  • Jean Bigelow - Glenlyon Norfolk School
  • Heather Henricks - St. Clement's School
  • Fiona Webster Mourant - CAIS Board

Kingsway College School

  • Chair: Cheryl Boughton - Elmwood School
  • Steven Laffoley - Halifax Grammar School
  • Julie Bournival - Meadowridge School
  • Marc Young - West Point Grey Academy
  • Erica Spurles - The Sterling Hall School
  • Antonia Zannis - The Study
  • Andrew Young - Ashbury College
  • Jim Nelles - Rothesay Netherwood School

Matthews Hall

  • Chair: Erin Corbett - River Valley School
  • David Thompson - Montcrest School
  • Sandy Jorgenson - King David High School
  • Jeff Borsten - Montcrest School
  • Ellen Kellner - Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School
  • Diane Fitzgerald - Kempenfelt Bay School
  • Jim Nelles - Rothesay Netherwood School

Pickering College

  • Chair: Norman Southward - Ashbury College
  • Tyler Lewis - Bishop College School
  • Patti MacNicol - Upper Canada College
  • John Reid - West Island College
  • David McBride - Upper Canada College
  • Shelia Thomas - TMS School
  • Jessie Claudio - Vancouver Talmud Torah
  • Lachlan Maclachlan - Kingsway College School

TFS – Canada’s International School

  • Chair: Tam Matthews - West Point Grey Academy
  • Eric Peterseil - The Leo Baeck Day
  • Jewell Kennedy - Appleby College
  • Malcolm Mousseau - Calgary French and International School
  • Nicole Chichon - Saltus Grammar
  • Jason Parker - Meadowridge School
  • Xavier Abrioux - St. Michaels University School
  • Michele Bett - Ridley College
  • Kathleen Kirkpatrick - Appleby College
  • Greg Reid - St. Andrew's College
  • Paul Prieur - St. John's Ravenscourt
  • Brian Storosko - Ashbury College
  • Lisa Danis - Rundle College
  • Peter Jewett - CAIS Board

St. John’s-Kilmarnock

  • Chair: Hugh Burke - Meadowridge School
  • Paul McLellan - Rothesay Netherwood School
  • Jennifer Kimball - Albert College
  • Jill Cannon - Crescent School
  • Meagan Enticknap - Elmwood School
  • Neil Piller - St. George's School
  • Erika Rath - Sacred Heart School of Montreal

St. Michaels University School

  • Chair: Innes van Nostrand - Appleby College
  • Chantal Gionet - West Island College
  • Jillian Lamothe - St. John's-Ravenscourt
  • Shailau Spivak - Hillfield Strathallan College
  • David Shaw - Crescent School
  • Cole Carlson - Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
  • Julia Kinnear - Upper Canada College
  • Ralph Huygens - West Point Grey Academy
  • Sam Johnston - St. George's School
  • Jan Sullivan - The Bishop Strachan School
  • James Whitehouse - Elmwood School
  • Lesley Bentley - St. George's School (formerly)

Collingwood School

  • Chair: Bill Jones - Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
  • Sam McKinney - Upper Canada College
  • David Burton - Brentwood College School
  • Janet Downer - Pickering College
  • Rob McGuiness - Appleby College
  • Rick Kunc - Hillfield Strathallan College
  • Ciara Corcoran - West Point Grey Academy
  • Tammy Earle - Rothesay Netherwood School
  • Roland Buduhan - St. John's-Ravenscourt
  • Mark Salkeld - Lower Canada College
  • Majella Hillsdon - Appleby College
  • Nicola Spencer - Rundle College
  • Peter Blake - West Point Grey Academy

Vancouver Talmud Torah

  • Chair: Claire Sumerlus - Robbins Hebrew Academy
  • Keith Stansfield - Albert College
  • Tanja Mackin - Elmwood School
  • Casey Sheriffs - The Priory
  • Sherry Wolfe-Elazer - Gray Academy of Jewish Education
  • Darlene Demerchant - St. Margaret's School

If you are interested in serving on a Visiting Committee in 2018-19, I encourage you to speak with your Head of School. Since the process requires missing several days of school, I ask that you secure the support of your Head of School before applying. The online application can be completed here.

We strive to engage as many individuals as possible in the Visiting Committee experience and do our best to distribute invitations across all our member schools. I welcome recommendations from Heads particularly in the areas of ongoing need: finance, governance, curriculum development, student wellness, advancement and admissions.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the CAIS accreditation program. All the best for a wonderful, restful summer.




Val Pighin
Former Director of Accreditation and Research