Born and raised in beautiful Powell River, BC, I am the youngest of four children. My parents were both raised in Powell River and both my grandfathers worked at the local pulp and paper mill. Although my parents moved away for a decade to go to university (my father is a physician) they chose to return to their hometown to raise their family close to grandparents. They even purchased a house on the same street as my maternal grandparents which meant that I grew up with daily interactions with my grandparents. My paternal grandparents lived only a few kilometers across town and I also saw them frequently throughout the week. Thanks to the involvement of my first generation immigrant maternal grandparents I learnt to speak French (my grandfather is from Belgium) and German (my grandmother is from Germany) while growing up. My mother was also fluent in French and German and rarely spoke with me in English and so I grew up fluently trilingual. This early multilingual begining set the stage for future studies in modern languages.
Some of my fondest memories involve a month long trans-Canada camping trip my family took when I was five years old. From the Tyrell Museum in Drumheller to Wanuskawin Cultural Centre near Saskatoon to Upper Canada Village along the St. Lawrence, it was a trip rich in hands on discovery of Canadian history and culture. Even at such a young age these experiences filled me with an appreciation for our country in its historical and cultural context which would remain with me throughout my lifetime.
Other fond memories of mine involve spending three months of the year from the age of newborn to 8 years old living among the Tahltan First Nation in Dease Lake, BC. My father participated in a rotation of physicians who would spend three months of the year in Dese Lake and he brought our family along for the adventure. We typically went for the months of January, February and March which gave us the experience of winter in Northern British Columbia. The Tahltan people welcomed us with open arms and generously invited us to participate in cultural events such as community potlatches. They taught us their traditional ways of ice-fishing and introduced us to their land. I am forever grateful for this opportunity to experience the Tahltan culture living and attending school alongside students from this great nation.
My school years were spent as a student of the francophone education system. In grade five I lived through the transition from the “Programme Cadre,” which was administered by the local school district, to the establishment of the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. Our first francophone school in Powell River, BC, École Côte du Soleil, had 75 students from kindergarten to grade eight. In grade 10 I participated in a foreign exchange to Germany which strengthened my oral and written German which I had first learnt as a child. After graduating from highschool I spent my first year of university studying at a castle in England (International Study Centre) run by Queen's University (Kingston). I then transferred to Trinity Western University where I completed a B.A. in Modern Languages.
Over the years I have worked as a lifeguard, university admissions counsellor, community support worker for individuals with developmental disabilities, and tutor. I have been an active volunteer with organizations such as Big Sisters and Special Olympics. These experiences have given me the opportunity to work with individuals of all walks of life. In working with individuals with developmental disabilities I delighted in encountering the incredible strengths each individual has in spite of what others may perceive as limitations.
As a teacher I hope to inspire students to achieve their highest potential. I enjoy journeying with my students as they explore their interests and pursue the burning questions they have on their mind. I am eager to watch my students grow day by day as they seek answers to the questions that arise naturally for them in the inquiry process of learning.