Effective August 2019 - Tracey McKinnon, Principal, École Okotoks Junior High School
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Tracey McKinnon as Principal of École Okotoks Junior High School. Tracey holds a Bachelor of Education with distinction from the University of Alberta with a Major in Physical Education and a Minor in French. She also holds a Master of Education in Leadership and School Improvement from the University of Alberta.
Tracey became a Foothills School Division school leader in August 2013 as the Principal of École Senator Riley Middle School. Prior to arriving in FSD, Tracey had school leadership experiences as Vice Principal of Percy Baxter Middle School in Whitecourt, AB and as a Learning Services Team member with Northern Gateway Public Schools.
As a focused, dedicated educator who strives to see all students learn in a meaningful, engaging environment, Tracey has sought to bring innovation and creativity to the school setting while valuing stakeholders and respecting best practice research.
Tracey looks forward to joining the Vice Principals of ÉOJHS to continue to serve the needs of our 7-9 school and shares the following: “I am excited to learn with the amazing students, families and staff of ÉOJHS. As a resident of Okotoks for the past 6 years, I look forward to serving our community to ensure our school is a safe, welcoming and engaging learning environment for all. As a collaborative leader, I am grateful for the opportunity to support all students and staff at Okotoks Junior High.”
Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers: “We are grateful for the growth Tracey and her team have accomplished at École Senator Riley School since the 2013 flood. We look forward to her innovative and collaborative leadership at ÉOJHS”
Effective August 2019 - James Holladay, Principal, École Senator Riley Middle School
Please congratulate James Holladay who will be transferring as Principal to École Senator Riley School. Mr. Holladay holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and a Master of Education from Gonzaga.
James began his teaching career with Foothills School Division in 2005 at École Okotoks Junior High School. Mr. Holladay moved to École Senator Riley Middle School the following school year, where he served as the Instructional Coach and assisted with timetabling, organizing school PD, technology and Alberta Initiative for School Improvement projects. In 2012 James accepted his first administrative assignment as the VP of Turner Valley School and quickly developed a deep passion for the school and the community. Effective August 2014 Mr. Holladay was appointed Principal of Turner Valley School.
Mr. Holladay shares the following: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as school leader of Turner Valley School and the amazing students, parents and staff that are in our school community. At the same time, I am excited about the opportunity to return to a Middle School configuration and to support the wonderful learning happening at ÉSRMS.”
Pam Rannelli, Deputy Superintendent shares: “James sets high expectations and empowers those in the school community to excel. We know that his leadership will support students and families exceedingly well in our Middle School in High River.”
Effective August 2019 - Leah Kingston, Principal, Turner Valley School
Please join us in celebrating Mrs. Leah Kingston as Principal of Turner Valley School. Mrs. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Education from Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia and she achieved her Masters of Educational Leadership from Gonzaga University (2008).
Mrs. Kingston began teaching with Foothills School Division in 1995 as a teacher at Dr. Morris Gibson School. Leah will transfer her passion and leadership expertise to Turner Valley School beginning August 27, 2019. Leah has built her leadership practice in a number of administrative positions including as Principal and Vice Principal at Highwood High School; Principal and Vice Principal at École Okotoks Junior High School and as Vice Principal at Dr. Morris Gibson School.
As an experienced leader in Foothills School Division Mrs. Kingston strives to make educational leadership decisions in the best interest of all students. Mrs. Kingston has high expectations and seeks to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of students, staff and the school community. Leah deeply engages with the whole school community and participates and champions extra-curricular activities and a variety of leadership opportunities for students.
Deputy Superintendent Pam Rannelli shares: “Leah’s experience across the school jurisdiction k- 12 and her understanding of what students need to be successful graduates of the school system will inform her leadership at Turner Valley School as she works with staff to develop those foundational learning competencies in this k-6 setting. Her passion for extra-curricular opportunities will be welcomed at TVS where there is strong support for student learning experiences beyond the classroom.”
Effective August 2019 - Bill Holmes, Vice Principal, Spitzee School
Please congratulate Bill Holmes who will be transferring as Vice Principal to Spitzee School. Since joining the Division in 1989, Bill Holmes has served students and families in five of our schools. His career began at Millarville, where he taught physical education and social studies. His second assignment was to a grade six position in Blackie in 1995, where he also provided instruction in all subject areas.
Mr. Holmes has been a Foothills administrator for eighteen years: Vice Principal of École Joe Clark School (2001-2004), Principal of Cayley School (2004-2009), and most recently for École Okotoks Junior High School (2009-2019) as the Vice Principal. Bill holds his Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary, and Masters of Education from the University of Lethbridge.
Bill is excited about this administrative appointment in High River: “I am excited to return as an educational leader to the community where I was born, educated, worked, and served as a community volunteer. As a senior Educator and Administrator in the FSD I have prided myself in working in the best interest of students.”
Acting Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers: “We are excited to have Bill return to High River. His deep commitment to community, student learning, and the development of the whole child will greatly benefit the students and families of Spitzee School and the broader community.”
Effective August 2019 - Andrea Laubman, Vice Principal, École Okotoks Junior High School
We are pleased to announce Andrea Laubman as Vice Principal at ÉOJHS. With Mr. Holmes moving to Spitzee School, Andrea joins the current team at ÉOJHS in her first administrative assignment with the Division.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary with a major in French Immersion, and Master of School Counselling from the University of Calgary. She has taught in Costa Rica, at West Island College and Strathcona-Tweedsmuir prior to joining Foothills School Division at École Secondaire Foothills Composite High School/Alberta High School of Fine Arts in 2004 where she taught for 8 years and has been a school counsellor since 2011.
Andrea brings diverse school-based leadership experiences to her new role: “I believe that in order to serve my school community, as a leader I must present, visible and involved outside the office and classroom. As such, I have always promoted school spirit and fostered a sense of belonging by coaching and volunteering. For the past 4 years I have led the work to destigmatize mental health in schools through my involvement with the Sheldon Kennedy Youth Champion Committee. The relationships that I have built with students and staff in the community have guided my work as a teacher and school counsellor and I look forward immensely to the exciting challenge of working with the amazing students and staff at ÉOJHS.”
Acting Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers: “The students and families of Okotoks know the invaluable learning and servant leadership Andrea has provided for many years in her role at ÉSFCHS/AHSFA. The opportunity to have her supporting our Junior High students at ÉOJHS as they prepare for high school is a truly optimal scenario. We are truly excited about this opportunity for the broader Okotoks community”
Effective August 2019 - Tammi Andrew, Vice Principal, Blackie School
Tammi holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta (La Faculté Saint-Jean) and Master of Education from the University of Lethbridge (Shared Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction)
Tammi’s background includes extensive experience as a teacher, Learning Coach and an Instructional Coach supporting students across the continuum at both the elementary and junior high levels.
Tammi joined the Division in 1997 and has served three school communities, Dr Morris Gibson, Westmount and Spitzee Schools. Tammi also completed the Foothills School Division Leading and Learning program and the CASS Start Right program for aspiring school leaders. She is knowledgeable of effective practices to motivate student effort, and is a strong advocate for students and their families. She has collaborated to help design systems and structures necessary to support learning for all, including building a solid continuum of supports.
Ms. Andrew looks forward to engaging students, parents and staff through visionary and servant leadership in her first administrative role: “As a proud member of Foothills School Division and a strong champion for students, I believe I could help to create an exciting, dynamic, engaging learning environment where students, staff and parents feel an innate sense of belonging, where they are supported in discovering and developing their own talents, gifts and abilities and where they are driven by their own passion to contribute to the betterment of their school, their town and their global community.”
Acting Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers: “Tammi is an enthusiastic student-centered leader. She will bring passion, strong design for learning and diverse experience to the Blackie School team. Students, staff and families will quickly learn they have an advocate in Ms. Andrew.”
Effective August 2019 - Ryan Hayden, Vice Principal, Turner Valley School
Foothills School Division celebrates the appointment of Mr. Ryan Hayden on his first administrative position with the Division. Ryan joined Foothills School Division in 2005 and throughout his fourteen years he has taught PE, Humanities, Math, Science CTS modules and IB programming.
Ryan brings diverse experience as he has taught K-12 in the learning communities of Oilfields, Turner Valley, Millarville, École Okotoks Junior High School, and most recently at École Highwood High School. Ryan holds both a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education (Administration and Leadership) from the University of Alberta.
Ryan has served on broader school-based leadership teams since 2013, provided system level professional learning, and completed Foothills School Division’s Learning and Leading program for aspiring leaders in 2016.
Ryan is excited to bring his learning leadership and deep connections to the High Country school communities into this role: “I view Turner Valley School (TVS) as an excellent fit for both myself and the school community. I have pre-existing relationships with many teachers and parents in the community, and possess both an understanding and an appreciation for the role that TVS plays in its community. I am well-versed in Alberta Education’s competencies, and have led the design of learning which bears these competencies in mind- the result is that I could confidently lead a learning team around effective numeracy practices.”
Acting Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers: “We are excited to see Ryan take on this leadership role. His learning focused relationships with students and families will be well-received by all in the Turner Valley School community.”
Effective August 2019 - Scott Flintoft, Vice Principal, Dr. Morris Gibson School
Currently working on his Masters of Education at the University of Alberta, with a completion of June 2019, Scott holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta (2012) and a Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of Calgary (2010).
Scott has served the community of Dr Morris Gibson since 2012 as a teacher, learning coach, and Acting Vice Principal. In 2017/2018 Mr. Flintoft completed the Foothills School Division Learning and Leading program for aspiring school leaders and the College of Alberta School Superintendents Start Right program for beginning school leaders.
Scott believes in the power of inclusion, flexibility, collaboration and relationship building; these are the foundations of his leadership. Scott looks forward to joining the leadership team at Dr. Morris Gibson School and sharing his passion for teaching within in his first administrative position within Foothills: “ I look forward to being an exceptional contributor to the Foothills team in the capacity of Vice-Principal. I collaborate, build relationships and problem solve effectively. My practice aligns with the FSD vision for teaching and learning and I am eager to continue to grow, learn, and develop. I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to continuing working at Foothills School Division in this new role. I have been so fortunate to work with, and learn from, the incredibly dedicated staff, students, and parents at Dr. Morris Gibson school and I am excited to continue our work together for the 2019/2020 school year.”
Acting Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers: “Scott is an insightful young leader. He is deeply reflective well-read and puts his learning into action in his school community. The opportunity for providing learning that is engaging, inclusive with strong achievement will continue with Scott as part of the school administrative team.”
Effective August 2019 – Kevin Newman, Director Student Learning (Early Learning)
Foothills School Division is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Kevin Newman as Director of Student Learning (Early Learning).
Mr. Kevin Newman became a staff member of Foothills School Division in February 1995 at Senator Riley High School as a teacher. Since joining Foothills Mr. Newman has developed strong professional relationships across numerous school communities as a respected colleague and school leader. Mr. Newman’s leadership in the role of Director will draw on the diverse experience informed by his time at École Senator Riley Middle School, École Okotoks Junior High School, École Elementaire Percy Pegler School, Spitzee School, and Dr. Morris Gibson School. Through his numerous teaching and leadership roles throughout the School Division Mr. Newman has served as Teacher, Learning Coach, Instructional Coach, Vice-Principal and Principal.
As Principal for the past 10 years Mr. Newman has been successful in creating the conditions for both Spitzee School and Dr. Morris Gibson School to be recognized as fully inclusive environments with exceptional early learning and engaging learning environments that support optimal student learning.
Mr. Newman shares the following as he prepares to move into the Director role “I look forward to bringing my school leadership experience into this role to ensure high quality learning for all students as Director of Student Learning. As Principal I am proud of the work all staff in schools do to ensure our early learners and all students are successfully prepared for being productive citizens of the world.”
Acting Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers her support for Mr. Newman “Kevin’s successful experience as a school Principal will be welcomed in this Directorship. Kevin understands the complexities of learning environments and has empowered those around him to do their best work in every role he has served.”
Effective August 2019 – Dr. Miriam Ramzy, Literacy Facilitator
Foothills School Division is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Miriam Ramzy as Literacy Facilitator.
As a learning organization FSD celebrates that Ms. Ramzy is preparing to defend her PhD at the University of Calgary and is excited about the expertise she will bring to this role. The focus of Ms. Ramzy’s research is early literacy and the role of the foundations of writing in improving the written composing skills of young learners.
Miriam joined Foothills School Division in 2008 at École Elementaire Joe Clark School and as a teacher has demonstrated her dedication to truly understand the needs of all learners and the importance of literacy foundations in ensuring student success in both English and French Immersion classrooms. Recently Miriam has worked closely with staff and students at both Big Rock School and Heritage Heights School as part of her research focus.
Ms. Ramzy shares the following as she prepares to take the role of Literacy Facilitator. “I am grateful for the opportunities FSD has provided in their commitment to research informed practice. In parallel to my PhD engagement, I have had the opportunity to lead three research projects, directly focusing on literacy instruction, with the main goal to support administrators and teachers in implementing research-driven best practices in literacy. I look forward to supporting our incredible staff in their work with students in each of our school communities.”
Acting Superintendent Pamela Rannelli offers her support for Ms. Ramzy in this role. “Foothills School Division looks forward to Dr. Ramzy engaging our school communities in the role of Literacy Facilitator. Miriam models the ideal of student-centered career long learning and staff and students across the Division will benefit from the expertise and research focus she brings to the role.”
Effective August 2019 - Bobbi Hunter, Dr. Morris Gibson School Principal
Bobbi began her career with Foothills in August 2011 at Big Rock School in a Grade 6 assignment, after serving 12 years with the Calgary Board of Education. Mrs. Hunter has successfully taken on numerous leadership opportunities with the Division since joining in 2011, including serving as a Teacher, school-based Instructional Coach and Learning Coach at Westmount School (2012 -2014), Division Office Curriculum and Instructional Facilitator (January 2014 – August 2015) and Vice-Principal at Dr. Morris Gibson School (2015 – 2019).
A career long learner Bobbi recently completed the Harvard Education Cultures of Thinking course. She holds a Bachelor of Education from University of Alberta; as well as a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership from Gonzaga University (2017).
Mrs. Hunter shares her student-centered approach as she moves into the Principalship of Dr. Morris Gibson School. “I sincerely look forward to my new role in this amazing school community. The students of DMG have taught me endless lessons about overcoming challenges and achieving success. I believe including students in the learning process and allowing them to ask questions that provoke and challenge their understanding is essential in order to engage our learners and keep them interested in the ever-changing and complex world. I have been fortunate to work with the dedicated staff and committed families of DMG who all have high expectations and great belief in the success of our students.
Acting Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers her support for Mrs. Hunter as she takes on this Principalship “Bobbi brings recent leadership success, student-centered advocacy, a collaborative approach and a caring attitude that will continue to serve the DMG school community.”
Effective Immediately - Brad Skeet, Vice Principal, École Joe Clark School
Mr. Skeet joined Foothills School Division in 1994 at Spitzee School after teaching in Calgary Catholic School Division. In 2006 Brad became part of the inaugural staff of Heritage Heights School when it newly opened. Brad holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary. Brad was appointed acting Vice-Principal at École Joe Clark School in August 2018.
A lifelong-learner Mr. Skeet begins work towards his Master’s Degree in Education this Spring with Athabasca University.
Brad is excited about continuing with Sarah Clark and the École Joe Clark School staff in this role as they collectively provide engaging, relevant and meaningful learning opportunities for students in their school community.
Please join us in congratulating Brad Skeet on this leadership appointment. We are confident that all stakeholders at ÉJCS will benefit from his deep educational knowledge and belief that all kids can learn at high levels.
Acting Superintendent Pam Rannelli shares that: “Brad has been very successful in his acting role at ÉJCS. He has developed high-trust learning centered relationships with all school community members. He has a deep curiosity for learning which sets high expectations for all around him.”
Effective August 27, 2019 - Debra Sorensen, Vice Principal, Westmount School
Debra holds her Bachelor of Education (PE, Language Arts and Special Education) and Master in Educational Administration from the University of Saskatchewan.
Debra joined Foothills in 2004 as a teacher and became the Vice Principalship in 2006 at Blackie school. Prior to joining Foothills School Division, she taught in Saskatchewan specializing in Elementary PE, and three years as a Vice Principal.
Debra brings a passion for supporting all students and looks forward to supporting students of Westmount school. She shares the following: “I am excited for the change and grateful for the many years at Blackie School.”
Superintendent Pam Rannelli offers her congratulations to Debra. “We are excited about the deep educational experience Debra will bring to our team at Westmount. She is a champion for students and families and supports staff well in their learning and growth.”