Nicole Duncan, Board Chair
Nicole has a child attending school in the Greater Victoria School District. Nicole is motivated by a desire to ensure that public education provides all our children an excellent foundation for pursuing their future endeavours. She believes that stability in our public education system is achieved through fair and respectful collective bargaining and adequate and predictable funding. Advocating for an inclusive and vibrant education system is a top priority for Nicole, who believes in the intrinsic value of public education. As a Trustee, Nicole worked…
Advocating for an inclusive and vibrant education system is a top priority for Nicole, who believes in the intrinsic value of public education. As a Trustee, Nicole worked diligently with a focus on student supports, student safety and privacy rights, climate accountability, financial oversight and transparency, administrative fairness and respectful Board governance. Prior to her first term as a Trustee, Nicole worked for many years as a vocal parent advocate in our District demonstrating her commitment to public education as an active volunteer and through her service on the Executive of a Parent Advisory Council.
In addition to raising her son, Nicole runs a business consultancy. Nicole offers nearly 20 years of experience working with a broad range of public and private sector stakeholders, interpreting legislation, investigating complaints and developing policy and business solutions within complex regulatory environments. Nicole will continue to utilize her knowledge and experience to serve our learning community.
Contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karin Kwan, Board Vice-Chair
Karin Kwan is thankful to be a third generation visitor on the beautiful and unceded land of the Lekwungen-speaking people. She is honoured to be a part of building better and more enduring relationships with the Four Houses to bring the education of all of our children more in harmony with Indigenous culture and beliefs. Karin is the mother of four diverse children. Two of her children have recently graduated from the Greater Victoria School District while two are currently attending middle and high schools…
Karin is the mother of four diverse children. Two of her children have recently graduated from the Greater Victoria School District while two are currently attending middle and high schools in the Greater Victoria School District. Karin is grateful for her husband and partner who is supportive of her community work.
Karin obtained a bachelorâ€™s degree in elementary education from UVic, then started her career as a Teacher Teaching On Call (TTOC) in the Greater Victoria School District. With limited opportunities for a permanent teaching position, Karin shifted her focus to a career in finance where she worked for almost fifteen years and received valuable experience working on financial projections and budgets. Currently Karin works in human resources as an HR Business partner at a local technology company.
Karin has been a tireless advocate for public education for many years, serving on advocacy groups (including chairing the Advocacy for Music in Schools VCPAC subcommittee for the past two years), Parent Advisory Councils, helping out in the classroom, and planning various events and fundraisers. Karin hopes to use her varied professional background to ensure the Greater Victoria School District continues to deliver an exceptional education for students by listening and engaging with rights holders, students, parents, stakeholders, and the community.
Contact Karin at email@example.com
Natalie Baillaut, Trustee
Natalie (She/They) completed their Bachelor of Education at the University of Victoria and now works as an on-call teacher in the Saanich School District. As a professional educator, they bring valuable perspectives and insights to the classroom that recognize and respect the needs of students, teachers, and school communities. Natalieâ€™s priority is ensuring that our schools are safe and inclusive spaces for all students, with a focus on reconciliation, accessibility and support for students from all backgrounds. Natalie is a non-binary educator who has experienced…
Natalieâ€™s priority is ensuring that our schools are safe and inclusive spaces for all students, with a focus on reconciliation, accessibility and support for students from all backgrounds.
Natalie is a non-binary educator who has experienced first-hand the positive outcomes of the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) curriculum, both for students and the wider community. These lessons and principles can enrich everyoneâ€™s educational experience.
As well as teaching on-call; Natalie is a facilitator with the BC Teachersâ€™ Federation. Natalie runs workshops for educators on social justice topics such as water rights, gender inclusion, and discussions of income inequality in the classroom.
Contact Natalie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Carmichael, Trustee
Angela Carmichael (she/her) was born, raised and educated on Cape Breton Island, in a small coal mining community. Growing up in a small, tight-knit town on the Atlantic Ocean shaped her from a young age. Family and community were always most important. Money was always tight, but they persevered. After much travel and self-discovery, she ended up in Victoria, when the Trans Canada Highway ended. Falling in love with the beauty, the people and the weather, she made Victoria her home. Angela married and had…
After much travel and self-discovery, she ended up in Victoria, when the Trans Canada Highway ended. Falling in love with the beauty, the people and the weather, she made Victoria her home.
Angela married and had two boys. Not wanting to be away from her children, she opened a home daycare and opened early for shift workers and single parents. Helping raise children in the community was and is very fulfilling for Angela. When her oldest was ready for preschool, a private school was chosen, but quickly ruled out long term. It was that community of her childhood she wanted for her own children. Angela enrolled her son in their catchment school, George Jay Elementary. It was then her advocacy and volunteering began.
She started attending Parent Advisory Council meetings and took on every job available. From fundraising to large event planning to physical labour, she took on a wide array of responsibilities, and eventually became the PAC President and began advocating in earnest.
Painting murals to combat graffiti, working with the City of Victoria to implement traffic calming strategies, including several crosswalks within the school zone. She then began researching the history of the school, once its namesake's segregation policies were made known to her. She spearheaded the name change by asking the District to form a committee to consult the community. That committee did find the need to remove the name and move forward in kindness and inclusion.
Angela then was asked to chair the VCPAC (Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils), a stakeholder group in the Greater Victoria School District. She represented the parents and caregivers of 20,000 students in this District. She advocated at a board level for all students.
During her time as VCPAC Chair, she ensured that all families were represented by marching with the VCPAC for the first time, in the Victoria Pride Parade.
Angela's main goals are equity for all students, support for staff in schools and reconciliation. No child left behind due to circumstances beyond their control.
Contact Angela at email@example.com
Mavis David, Trustee
Mavis David was elected trustee for School District 61 on October 15, 2022. Mavis has spent her life caring for childrenâ€“in her own family, in her community and her working career. Her friends and family describe her as loving, wise, caring, open-hearted. She knows that the job of school trustee involves many business decisions but she also believes a heartfelt, inclusive approach to the children under the care of the school district as well as their families is just as important. Her campaign theme "Balance…
She knows that the job of school trustee involves many business decisions but she also believes a heartfelt, inclusive approach to the children under the care of the school district as well as their families is just as important. Her campaign theme "Balance in Education" reflected this idea of involving families and communities in education. This holistic approach will produce the best outcomes, children who are confident, well adjusted and eager to learn, living a balanced life in the school and at home.
Mavis is married to Tony, has a son Nolan and three beautiful granddaughters, Nataliena, Novalee and Madeline. Her heritage is Coast Salish and she has been involved in healing and restoring cultural practices throughout her life. She has a Bachelor of Child and Youth Care Degree from the University of Victoria as well as a Child and Youth Care Diploma and a Life Skills Coaching Certificate, both from Vancouver Island University-Malaspina. She has worked as a Child Youth Care Worker at Craigflower School, a Life Skills Facilitator/Community Advocate at Songhees Learning Centre/Esquimalt Nation, a Balancing Education Program Supervisor at Esquimalt and a Child and Youth Care Worker at Cowichan Family Life in Duncan.
Mavis was raised by her grandparents. "I do not just bring my loving, welcoming spirit. I bring my grandparents' teaching as I walk in the world, for they are always in my heart."
Contact Mavis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Derek Gagnon, Trustee
Derekâ€™s passion for the education of our children and youth goes back many years. Through volunteering with the Army Cadet Corps and Special Olympics, to working with Edmonton Public Schools as a communications consultant, Derek has seen the challenges facing students, staff and families of those attending public school through a variety of lenses. Derek also has in-classroom experience, having been a student teacher prior to switching career paths to public relations. Derek currently works in communications as an emergency response information officer, which has…
Derek currently works in communications as an emergency response information officer, which has shaped his ability to work on a broad variety of urgent subjects simultaneously.
Derek brings an informed, compassionate, and reasonable voice to the SD61 Board of Trustees, and is an advocate for equitable learning and bringing more voices into the conversations that shape how the students of SD61 receive their education.
Prior to moving to British Columbia, Derek lived in Edmonton and his hometown of Winnipeg. Derek lives in Victoria with his wife.
Contact Derek at email@example.com
Emily Mahbobi, Trustee
Born in Victoria and educated through SD61, Emily is a tech professional and leader in Victoriaâ€™s music community. Emily attended school in SD61 from Kindergarten through to Grade 12, graduating from Reynolds Secondary in 2014. As a recent graduate she has close connections to educators and feels duty-bound to improve the system through which she was educated. Emily feels that the skills she learned through middle and high school tech classes were instrumental in her career in Victoriaâ€™s tech industry. Emily is a leader in…
Emily attended school in SD61 from Kindergarten through to Grade 12, graduating from Reynolds Secondary in 2014. As a recent graduate she has close connections to educators and feels duty-bound to improve the system through which she was educated. Emily feels that the skills she learned through middle and high school tech classes were instrumental in her career in Victoriaâ€™s tech industry.
Emily is a leader in Victoriaâ€™s music community. She completed her post-secondary education at the University of Victoria School of Music in 2019. Since graduating, she has taught piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and is now an owner of Quadratic Sound, a local music studio and performance venue dedicated to the growth and accessibility of Victoriaâ€™s music scene. At Quadratic Sound, alongside her team, she aims to provide a space for musicians of all backgrounds and skill levels to have the opportunity to play, network, and create. Emily is also the current Chair of Cabaret Voltaire SociÃ©tÃ© & Diversions, a registered non-profit society devoted to showcasing underrepresented, vibrant experimental musicians and artists.
Contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane McNally, Trustee
Diane has lived a lifetime commitment to public education, as a student in public schools in Canada, Japan, and all over the US. She then began a 34 + year career in education at age 18 as a teacher in Alberta after two years at U of A Edmonton. She completed a B.Ed. at UVic, MBA at Royal Roads, and completed the 5 year Uvic French Language and Literature Diploma program. She is proud to have earned a Naturalist Diploma from the Whale Museum (Friday…
Diane has served the larger community as Chair of the original Wild ARC Council, Chair of the Victoria SPCA Community Council, as a Board member of the Early Music Society of the Islands, and served on the Executive of the Greater Victoria Teachersâ€™ Association. She has been a member of Our Place Society for many years, and is a member of Moms Stop the Harm.
Diane provided support for students with needs for additional support in SD62 for 10 years as a CUPE education assistant. She taught as a teacher on call and school based teacher in Alberta and School Districts 61, 62 and 63 on the South Island, for the last 22 years as case manager and teacher of students with special needs for support, and concurrently 10 years as a Reading Recovery teacher in SD61. Diane ended her 22 year teaching career in SD61 in June 2011 and was elected to the SD61 Board of Education in November 2011.
Diane looks forward to continuing to advocate for studentsâ€™ increased involvement in their own education and is pleased to have brought the original motion to establish a Student Trustee (now student representative council ). Diane wants to work to contribute to Indigenous student graduation rates and success by supporting actions that will have positive outcomes for Indigenous students. She continues to advocate for a completely provincially funded, free no fee universally accessible public education, and believes services for children with exceptional needs for support and the staffing levels that will ensure their success will (always) need close watching and focused advocacy at the Board level. This is a significant equity issue and as a former teacher of students with special needs for support, this issue commands her attention.
Contact Diane at email@example.com
Rob Paynter, Trustee
Rob and his wife Kris have two children who currently attend elementary and middle school in School District 61. It is their experiences that inform Robâ€™s view of the conditions in our school district and the provincial education system more broadly. Rob is committed to the principle that a comprehensive, properly resourced and accessible public education system is the very foundation of our society. Rob arrived in (greater) Victoria in 1983 to attend Royal Roads Military College and subsequently served in the 3rd battalion PPCLI…
Rob arrived in (greater) Victoria in 1983 to attend Royal Roads Military College and subsequently served in the 3rd battalion PPCLI stationed at Work Point Barracks in Esquimalt. Following his military service, Rob studied at Camosun College and UVic before joining the provincial public service to work on strategic land use planning efforts, including those related to the Great Bear Rainforest. In the course of this work, Rob came to realize that achieving balanced and durable decisions was through meaningful collaboration with all interested or affected parties. Rob will be using this same approach as he works to ensure the best possible opportunities for every student.
Contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org