Teacher and Staff Directory

Our teachers are the best in their field.

Many of our teachers?have come to teaching as a second, or even third career. They?bring varied experience into the classroom. They were drawn to teaching because they can’t imagine doing anything else. At the core of every great teacher is a life-long thirst for knowledge. At River Valley School we foster continuous improvement in our teaching just as we do in our students’ learning. We are preparing children for professions that don’t yet exist.

Teaching has never been more divergent. More exciting. More demanding, More fulfilling.

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Teachers

Ms. B

Teacher - Upper Elementary / Technology Lead

Ms. B

Teacher - Upper Elementary / Technology Lead

Jyoti Basarke started at RVS in 2008


What brought you to RVS?

I started working here in 2008, after relocating from Montreal. I was looking for just the right environment and found it here at RVS. I enjoy working with our school families and the staff – we love working here and treat each other like family.

My inspiration for becoming a teacher was to ensure that children, no matter what their learning style, would be able to learn in an environment where they will thrive. River Valley School is exactly that place.


More about?Ms. B

I grew up in Montreal and before coming to Calgary, I worked at a Montessori school in Morin Heights, Quebec.

I like to spend time outdoors, running or hiking and – like many other educators, enjoy a good book! Travelling and painting are also things I enjoy.

Miss Mardi

Teacher - Grade 3

Miss Mardi

Teacher - Grade 3

Mardi Francis

I enjoy being a Teacher at River Valley School, ?in the Junior Kindergarten classroom. Working in a creative environment with a group of diverse students is an opportunity unlike any other. My previous experience focused on early intervention with special needs students, which strengthened my ability as an educator in any classroom. The community atmosphere in our school provides benefits, not only to the students, but to the entire River Valley staff. When not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my partner traveling, skiing fresh snow, and raising an energetic blood hound.

Miss Lennon

Art Specialist

Miss Lennon

Art Specialist

Lennon Kelly started at RVS January 2013


What brought to RVS?
When I walked into RVS for the first time I knew I was home. I started working here as an Instructional Aide within multiple classrooms. Immediately I was welcomed as part of the staff. The sense of community and commitment to students was evident and it was exactly what I was looking for in a school.


What did you do before coming to RVS?
My passion for art and teaching started when I worked at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia during their summer camp programs. This experience changed my life and I knew teaching was the only career path for me. After I finished my BFA at NSCAD University I enrolled in the teaching program at Mount Saint Vincent University. Before I came to RVS I worked in England as a substitute teacher.


What do love most about your job?
I am living my dream. Combining my passion for art and teaching is something I have always wanted to do in my life. I love how I get to teach my favourite subject every day and I enjoy watching the students get inspired by art and art history. I love teaching the different grades because I get to see them all grow up. I have developed personal relationships with each of these students and I think it’s important to know them as individuals. I love those moments when a student tries a new medium for the first time, a skill, a technique, and pushes themselves to keep going. It’s very exciting to watch students succeed.


How do you describe River Valley to people?
We are a family consisting of diverse philosophies in Progressive, Montessori, and Arrowsmith education. We value academic excellence and social development equally. We cater to all learning styles and meet the needs of all students.


More About Miss Lennon

I am always up for an adventure and love travelling.
I love to read all types of books but my favourite series is Harry Potter.

My favourite book is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
My favourite artists are: Leonardo Da Vinci, Audrey Flack, Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg, Jean Paul Riopelle, Banksy, Yousuf Karsh, Ansel Adams, and Chuck Close.

I love Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.
One of my favourite movies is Roman Holiday.

One of my favourite songs is Imagine by John Lennon
When I need to relax I listen to Elton John. My favourite song is Your Song.

My husband and I love to cook anything Mexican and enjoy our cottage in Ontario every summer! I enjoy photography, printmaking, Gothic and Victorian architecture, museums, art galleries, long walks, swimming, exploring new places, Earl Grey tea, eating all kinds of delicious food, leggings and dresses, laughing with friends, watching movies, listening to my record collection, classic rock, and anything related to the 1950s/1960s (music, clothes, art, and movie stars).

Mrs. Bingley

Teacher - Grade 4

Mrs. Bingley

Teacher - Grade 4

What do you love about RVS??

RVS is a flexible, inclusive, inquiry-based school where I am encouraged to try new things every day.? Plus, the kids are amazing!?


What drew you to teaching / your work?

Teaching is a journey full of daily discoveries, bright moments, and fantastic children. I love being part of their lives and helping each child be their best self.


More about Mrs. Bingley

Spending time at the family cottage on Georgian Bay is one of my favourite summer time activities. A bit of a history buff, I enjoy a good museum and I'm also a serious bookworm who also knits and crochets.

Madame McIntyre

French Specialist - Early Learning Campus

Madame McIntyre

French Specialist - Early Learning Campus

Dawn Anne McIntyre subbed for two?years?then started full-time at RVS in 2013


What were you doing before you came to RVS?

I taught French immersion a number of years ago then owned my own businesses, including Once Upon A Child.


What brought you to RVS, how did you end up here?

We were done with owning a businesses and I wanted to get back to what I love – teaching kids En Francais.


What do you love most about your job?

When kids begin to believe in themselves and take the risks to speak their own words.?They learn that they can do it.? It’s so rewarding to be a part of that and to witness them do what they thought they couldn’t.?Very cool.


How do you describe RVS to people?

Awesome place to work – great supportive staff, & a strong, caring leader.


More About?Madame McIntyre

Favourite Book?– Flowers for Algernon – Grade 7 teacher read it to us and I recently reread it.? Such a great story.

Favourite Movie – On Golden Pond – such a feel good movie about family, love and respect.

Favourite Food – anything with salt & crunch.

Pastimes - Curling, reading, hiking, singing, playing games, personal growth, camping & I?want Mrs. Bingley to teach me how to crochet.

Pets – Sammy the chat and Tibbers le chien

Coach Leah

Physical Education Specialist

Coach Leah

Physical Education Specialist

Coach Leah Marshall started at River Valley School?in 2003


What did you do before coming to RVS?

Before coming to RVS I ran a Children's recreation program at Kerrisdale community centre in Vancouver. Then worked at a Montessori preschool in Calgary for six?years.


More about Coach Hall

I love to be active - anything outdoors.?

My favourite outdoor activities are?hiking, x-country skiing, and kayaking.

I have a little dog named Ferb, and a 17-year-old son who is my best buddy! ?

Miss Kim

Teacher - Grade 3

Miss Kim

Teacher - Grade 3

Kimberly Forgay started at RVS August 2013

She?taught JK for 1 year, K for 2 years, and now is?in Grade 3!


What were you doing before coming to RVS?

Prior to RVS I was in school at the University of Calgary and I also worked seasonally at Calaway Park in every role from running the rides and games, to groundskeeping, and making candy apples in the candy shoppe!


More about Miss Kim

I have a cat which I adore named Jet, I am an avid Muay Thai kick boxer and overall gym fanatic! I love to snowboard as well! I am currently working towards my Masters degree in Learning and Technology!

Mrs. Harris

Resource Specialist

Mrs. Harris

Resource Specialist

Kate Harris started at RVS November 2014


What brought you to RVS?

I love working with young people and enjoy discovering how my students learn best. I try to encourage children to individualize their learning and take it in a direction that interests them personally.?I help my students to identify their own learning targets and I feel very happy when they recognize they have made progress.


More about?Mrs. Harris

We came?to Canada from the U.K. and are really enjoying life here in Calgary. During the winter my husband and I ski with the kids, our daughter is 11 and our son is 8. We love to ski at Lake Louise (as long as it is above -15!) and are looking forward to exploring as much of Canada as we can.

Last year we adopted a cat from the Calgary Humane Society. She is called Purdy and has a VERY loud purr!?

Mr. Karran

Teacher - Grade 6 / Outreach Coordinator

Mr. Karran

Teacher - Grade 6 / Outreach Coordinator

Jeff Karran started at RVS October 2014


What brought you to RVS??

The inclusive program creates a unique learning environment that values student individuality, and really allows students and teachers to develop strong relationships. The collegiality and positive workplace attitude make coming to work everyday rewarding and enjoyable.


What were you doing before you came to RVS?

I was a general manager in the food and beverage industry.

After acquiring my Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Alberta, I found myself immersed in the food and hospitality industry. I returned to academic live in 2013, earning my Bachelor of Education degree from Nipissing University, before returning to Calgary in 2014.


What drew you to teaching?

Above all else, I wanted to make a positive difference in the world. I've worked in the oil and gas sector, as well as construction, and spent 15 years in the food and hospitality industry. After achieving my overarching goal, which was to successfully navigate the role of restaurant GM, I found myself ready for a change; I packed up the car and drove 3600 km across Canada to pursue my BEd. When I interviewed at RVS and met Erin Corbett, I knew I'd found something special; four years later, I feel like I've found my calling.


Mr. K

Teacher - Arrowsmith Program

Mr. K

Teacher - Arrowsmith Program

Kris Koloff started at RVS in 2013


What did you do before coming to RVS?

I was educated in my hometown of Windsor, Ontario.

I have an honors degree in History with a minor in Philosophy.

I also received my BEd at the University of Windsor.

Prior to teaching Arrowsmith, I worked as a one-to-one and a classroom aide.?


More about?Mr. K

I like asking the big questions, digging deeper to inspire a love of learning in all my students. Life experience is the best teacher and I use mine to encourage the children to challenge themselves every day. My battle with cancer in 2008 was victorious and from that experience I found a deeper insight and appreciation that I hope is contagious: ?“Life is short and each stage of life is special, so let’s make the most of it.” ?

I love watching the students learn and grow, come into their own. I do my best to help them along the way. I teach with a smile and laugh as often as I can!

I’m a father of two, a husband and a brother. Family is the cornerstone of my life and when I’m not with the children at RVS, I’m with my own. I’m an avid chess player, movie watcher and gym goer.?

Mrs. Green

Teacher - Upper Elementary

Mrs. Green

Teacher - Upper Elementary

Leanne Green?started teaching at RVS in September 2018


What do you love about RVS?

RVS is an incredible school. The wonderfully talented students and staff, coupled with the nurturing and innovative environment make RVS the place to be!


What drew you to teaching?

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a teacher. Growing up, I quickly came to realize the impact a teacher can have on a young person’s life. I was lucky enough to be inspired by a few teachers and I strive every day to bring the same passion and innovative ways of learning to my own style of teaching. Helping young people achieve their full potential and seeing the progress that the students make is truly rewarding.


More about Mrs. Green:

My family and I moved to Canada from the U.K. in October 2017. We are really enjoying our new life here; exploring all the wonderful places this country has to offer. I am married with two amazing sons, aged 7 and 4, who keep us very busy! We love making memories together, visiting new places and having fun with family and friends.

Mrs. Robinson

Teacher - Junior Kindergarten

Mrs. Robinson

Teacher - Junior Kindergarten

Starla Robinson started at RVS September of 2011


What brought you to RVS??

I’ve worked exclusively with 3 and 4 year olds for more than 12 years and I’m certified in Child Development. I recognize how special these early years are and I’m passionate about providing a nurturing and fun environment and programming that enriches learning and growth. I am so fortunate to work at RVS with these very impressionable young people to help them prepare for Kindergarten and beyond. I love to watch their confidence grow through engaging experiences and new challenges they tackle each and every day.


More about?Mrs. Robinson

When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family, I’m a fitness enthusiast and a (really) big hockey fan!

Ms. R

Teacher - Tots

Ms. R

Teacher - Tots

Laureen Rohm started at RVS in 2013


What brought you to RVS?

I heard about RVS from my friend, a teacher here at River Valley School. When she told me how wonderful it was to work here and how passionate the teaching staff was about their jobs, I was hooked.?

I believe children’s first years of learning should be positive ones so they can grow in their self-esteem, self-confidence, have a wonderful school experience, have fun exploring their world and living through wonder. I enjoy learning from my students and they help me become a better educator every day!


What did you do before coming?to RVS?

I was a preschool teacher’s assistant for six years.


More about?Ms. R

I participate in Zumba and yoga and I love photography. My favorite movies always include Audrey Hepburn because she’s a classic!

I value family and friends and my school community, especially the littlest ones. Any chance I get I am outdoors in nature hiking, walking, exploring or camping. I abstract paint and enjoy the freedom to be creative and use my imagination in everything I do.?

Ms Tannis

Teacher - Grade 2

Ms Tannis

Teacher - Grade 2

Tannis Williamson started at River Valley in 2011


What brought you to RVS?

When I was ready to return to teaching, I heard about RVS from a parent at the preschool.? She suggested I apply.? The school seemed to be a good fit with my own philosophy about children, learning and teaching.??


What were you doing before you came to RVS?

I had worked for the CBE as an elementary school generalist. ?After nine?years in the classroom I took some time off to raise a family.? During my parental leave, I helped to run a preschool in Bearspaw.??


More about Miss Tannis

I am born and raised in Calgary.? Growing up, my Mother was a teacher and I was inspired to follow the same career path.? I spent a great deal of time in my teen years coaching sports and working with young children as well.

I was a high jumper, dancer (ballet, tap and jazz) and a rhythmic gymnast for most of my childhood and youth.? I became a National level competitor for rhythmic gymnastics and my background in sport brought opportunities such as traveling for competitions and running with the Olympic torch on 1988.? ?I have many wonderful memories…and of course a number of creaky joints to remind me of my younger years.

Today I am the proud mother of two beautiful children.? They hold my heart in their hands and make me thankful every day.? Together we enjoy reading, biking, hiking and camping.? We are an active team who enjoy the simple things in life.

Mrs. Hawkes

Teacher's Aide - Grade 2

Mrs. Hawkes

Teacher's Aide - Grade 2

Suzanne Hawkes started at RVS three years ago


What do you like most about RVS?

I am thankful for the atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance that exists amongst both?staff and students at River Valley.?I love to witness and celebrate the 'aha?moments' that occur along the path of student learning.


More about?Mrs. Hawkes

I moved to Calgary two years ago from New Brunswick.? Not counting childhood years,?this is?my 11th relocation,?encompassing six?provinces, and nine?cities.? My husband and I have been married for 30 years, and?have one son and two daughters.? In my spare time I enjoy running, hiking, and reading.

Miss Laura

Teacher's Aide - Grade 1

Miss Laura

Teacher's Aide - Grade 1

Laura Klumpp started at RVS September 2011


What brought you to RVS?

A parent of a child at RVS hired me to be her child's Aide in RVS.? I worked with her for two?years and then RVS hired me as an Instructional Aide.


What did you do before coming to RVS?

Working one-on-one with children in their homes, as well as home schooling my daughter who has Autism.

I love?teaching children how to learn for themselves and instilling in them the desire to learn.??I call?it “Learning to Learn.”

I have many years of experience working with children with special needs, and have a passion to help them succeed.??I do this by breaking down tasks and skills into manageable pieces.??I help develop?their self-confidence by building on successes and encouraging independence.


More about?Miss Laura

I am married and have a son and a daughter.

I used to have a motorcycle. I cannot carry a tune. I hide?chocolate in the fridge in a container under the vegetables and so far no one in the family has found my hiding spot. ??

Mrs. Tara

Occupational Therapist

Mrs. Tara

Occupational Therapist

Tara Kuervers has been at RVS since?September 2013 - this is her sixth school year with RVS


What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS?

A program that was invested in supporting individual needs of students.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

A passion to help children be the best that they can be!


More about Mrs. Tara

When I am not working, I love to have outdoor adventures with my family.

One of my Favourite Quotes is: "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." - John Muir

 

Ms. Robin

Speech Language Pathologist

Ms. Robin

Speech Language Pathologist

Robin Tiller joined River Valley School in the fall of 2011 when Mrs. Corbett decided to contract the services of a Speech-Language Pathologist.


What brought you to RVS?

I was so impressed with the vision and enthusiasm I found at the school that I knew I wanted to be a part of it.? I worked on numerous multidisciplinary teams at the Alberta Children’s Hospital for many years before coming to RVS.? With a young son and daughter at home, I was looking for a change that would allow some flexibility and balance in my life.


What do you love about your job?

As an elementary school student, I saw a speech-language pathologist for my lisp. That had a big impact on me when choosing a career. I love helping children communicate successfully with their loved ones. The ultimate reward is when families tell me years later that they can’t believe their child ever had a challenge with communication.

Mrs. Duthie

Library

Mrs. Duthie

Library

Shannon Duthie?started with RVS in October of 2010.


What did you do before coming to RVS?

I spent four years working as a library assistant at Webber Academy. Before that I spent 15 years working and travelling with the Airlines.

I love working with children. My favourite is watching the expression on their faces when they find a really good book that interests them.


More about Mrs. Duthie

I have two kids–a daughter, Cassidy, age 18 and away at school now, and a son, Carter, age 16 and in Grade 11. We have a dog named Muffins that is very much a part of our family as well.

My favourite thing to do for relaxation is getting into a good book.

As a family we enjoy travelling and Scuba Diving in warm climates. I spend my summers at the lake boating and golfing.

Mrs. Taylor-Bilenki

Music - Grades 1-6

Mrs. Taylor-Bilenki

Music - Grades 1-6

Jan Taylor-Bilenki arrived at RVS in 2006 with a passion for teaching music to children in a way that is hands-on and aligns with children's natural music development. This follows with her many years of teaching experience in Alberta.


What did you do before coming to RVS?

Jan has 26 years of experience in applying her post-graduate training in Kodály music pedagogy.


More about Mrs. Taylor-Bilenki

As a life-long learner, Jan lives by the words, “the more you know; the more you know you need to know.” She loves to participate and speak at conferences and workshops near and far to continue her learning and to share her knowledge about children’s music and beyond.
Jan loves being the silent observer of “watching the light bulb turn on” as her students unlock the world of music ideas. Her joy of teaching continues to grow with every new class she gets to teach at RVS!

Ms. Reimer

Teacher - Grade 6

Ms. Reimer

Teacher - Grade 6

Erin Reimer has?been at River Valley School for 5 years.


What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS?

As soon as I enter the building every morning, I feel positive, welcoming energy; it’s like I am home and truly belong. Each and every day I get to spend time with the amazing students and teachers who have a genuine love of learning and deep adoration and care for one another’s success.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I have been teaching for 12 years. I started in Korea teaching English for 2 years. I then worked in the public system for 5 years both with CBE and Elk Island Public Schools with the majority of my time spent teaching junior high Science and Math. Life’s twists and turns brought me back to Calgary and into River Valley!


More about Ms. Reimer

When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my nieces and nephews, my wacky cat Edie, and my friends from all over the world. I enjoy yoga, the outdoors, gardening, cooking, reading and trying new things. I love adventure and try to visit a new country every year!

 

 

Mrs. Allan

Teacher - Grade 1

Mrs. Allan

Teacher - Grade 1

Lindsay Allan?started at RVS in 1999.


What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS?

I came to RVS when my oldest was able to enter preschool, so I've been at RVS for 19 years...yikes!

I started at RVS for the pedagogy, the warm and welcoming culture, and the wonderful colleagues. That's also why I've stayed for so long!


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I decided early in my life that I would be a teacher. I like that every year is different, there's always new things to learn and the students help keep me young(ish)!


More about Me…

I love hanging out at the barn riding my favourite horse, Tex, reading, cooking for my university-aged kids when they come home from school, and traveling with my husband Mark to wherever there's a good band or wherever my kids happen to be!

 

Ms. Dalia

Teacher - Junior Kindergarten

Ms. Dalia

Teacher - Junior Kindergarten

 

What Brought you to RVS?

During my Montessori Diploma I was fortunate to meet a parent whose kids are students at River Valley School; she always talked positively about RVS and how it’s a place in which learning and teaching are interesting, fun and challenging. I wanted to be part of the RVS team because I am always inclined to work in a safe, healthy and supportive environment which develops compassion and mutual respect between the teacher and the students; and I knew that RVS was the perfect fit.


What did you do before coming to RVS?

After I earned my Bachelor degree in English Language and Literature I worked as an ESL teacher for a couple of years in an elementary school in the Middle East. After moving to Canada and finishing my Montessori Teacher Assistant course and volunteering in several Montessori preschools here in Calgary, I decided to apply for the Montessori Teaching Diploma at the Montessori Teachers College in Toronto. I worked at Aspen Hill Montessori in Calgary for five years where I was lucky to finish my internship and graduate.


More about?Ms. Dalia

I believe in the Montessori philosophy and teaching has always been my passion. I always strive to build independence and confidence in the students.

My favorite quote is: “The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of Responsibility and the wings of Independence.” Maria Montessori

I am a lucky mom of an extremely athletic daughter and son; my daughter plays field hockey and my son is a swimmer. I love travelling and my favourite and unforgettable trip was the one to the Bahamas. I love music, reading and walking.

Coach Stuart

Physical Education Specialist

Coach Stuart

Physical Education Specialist

Stuart Goss started at RVS in September 2016.


What were you doing before coming to RVS?

I had previously worked at the same Montessori school in Calgary for many years. ?When I came to Canada from England I lived in Toronto. I worked at the Bloorview Macmillan school as a gym teacher. In England I worked in Nursery School and special needs schools.

I visited Canada a long long time ago and after hitchhiking and traveling across the country decided it would be a great place to stay for a while.... I now have a partner, three children and a dog: so it's looking pretty permanent now.

I have worked in Romania in an orphanage and hospital. El Salvador ( Habitat for Humanity) and the THMC children camps in Canada as a volunteer, which were all wonderful experiences that I am very proud of.


More about Mr. Stuart

I love all sports. I played semi-professional soccer in England and still enjoy playing today. I like skiing with my?family and would love to travel more.

Miss Zoe

Teacher - Grade 3

Miss Zoe

Teacher - Grade 3

Zoe Donaldson?started as a substitute teacher at RVS September of 2015.

I was then hired on as an instructional aide in the kindergarten classes for the remainder of that year. For the last two years I have been teaching in the Lower Elementary classroom and have really enjoyed learning about the Montessori philosophy.


What did you do before you came to RVS?

Before I came to RVS I was teaching in London, England for two years.? In those two years I worked as a substitute teacher, a one-on-one instructional aide, and had my own kindergarten class.


More About Miss?Zoe

My favourite hobby is traveling the world. I love to experience different cultures and have had the opportunity to live in Canada, Europe and Asia. A life goal I have set for myself is to travel to every continent in the world!

Miss Marilou

Teacher's Aide - Tots

Miss Marilou

Teacher's Aide - Tots

Marilou Fajardo?started at River Valley School in 2016.


What did you do before coming to RVS?

Before coming to River Valley School, I taught Grade 4 students for 12 years in the Philippines. Luckily, I was able to come to Canada and worked as a caregiver for over three years for an 11-year-old autistic child.


More about Miss?Marilou

My favourite hobby is reading educational books, playing badminton and I love travelling to various parts of the world. I've had the?great opportunity to visit United States, China, Hong Kong, Spain and Morocco, where I had the chance to mingle with people from different cultures. But the greatest opportunity I ever had was to live in the Land of the Maple Leaf – Canada. A dream come true!

Mr. Josh

Teacher - Kindergarten

Mr. Josh

Teacher - Kindergarten

Josh Ramirez?started at RVS?in 2015 at Big Kids Club while completing his last year of university and joined in September 2016 as an Instructional Aide.


What brought you to RVS?

Miss Jamie, the music and French specialist at the Early Learning Campus.


What did you do before you came to the school?

Before I came to RVS, I was in the after-degree program at the University of Calgary and before that, I was living in South Texas and teaching immigrant children in a youth shelter.


More About?Mr. Josh

I lived in South Texas most of my life before making the move to Canada. My first degree was a BSc of Biology before I found my love for teaching. I am an avid reader—I have way too many favourites to list! I also love to travel whenever I get the chance and love to visit new places.

Miss Tina

Teacher's Aide - Grade 2

Miss Tina

Teacher's Aide - Grade 2

Tina McMillan started with RVS in August, 2018.


What Brought You To RVS

I came from Calgary Academy, working in their Writing Remediation Centre. A staffing redesign led me to RVS.


What Do You Love About RVS?

I really like the supportive environment at RVS for both staff and students


More About Miss Tina

I have certificates in: Special Needs Education Assistant, Applied Behavioural Analysis, Functional Behavioural Analysis, and Visual Design.

My hobbies are: soccer mom, arts and crafts, painting, hiking in the Rockies, old and new science fiction movies.

My favourite quote is: "Do or do not, there is no try." - Yoda

 

Miss Krista

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Miss Krista

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Krista Lawrence started?at RVS in September 2015.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I am inspired by the gratification of helping children succeed, achieve and develop.


More about Miss Krista

I have a Diploma of Disability Studies from Mount Royal University and have worked with children for eight years.

In my free time I enjoy traveling, yoga, watching movies and spending time with my family.

Miss Kiran

Resource Specialist

Miss Kiran

Resource Specialist

Kiran Sangha started at RVS in 2014 as an Instructional Aide. This past summer, she completed her Masters in Social Work, which has enabled her to further assist children with their learning and development needs.


What do you love about RVS?

I love the atmosphere of RVS! I work with incredible educators and staff. Furthermore, the familiar faces of students brighten my day–it is amazing to see the students grow before my eyes!


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I have always had an interest to work with children. During my clinical placement, one of my tasks was to facilitate a socialization group for adults who had a sustained a brain injury. This experience taught me the value and importance of socialization to enhance individual well-being. My previous experiences inspire the work I do at RVS by integrating additional programs which aim to enhance a student’s social and emotional development.


More about Miss Kiran

I grew up in a small town in British Columbia, as a child I spent most of my time outdoors-swimming in the summer and skating in the winter. As an adult, I still prefer the outdoors and laying poolside with a good book!

Mrs. Keay

Teacher - Kindergarten

Mrs. Keay

Teacher - Kindergarten

Alyssa Keay started at RVS in September 2017.


What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS?

I originally interviewed to substitute teach and was hired but a full-time opportunity opened elsewhere. I had such a positive view and good feeling about RVS from that interview that I knew I had to work there one day! As soon as I saw a classroom opening a year later I knew it was my chance. I’m so thrilled to be working here with such a wonderful community of parents, children and staff.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I started coaching synchronized swimming when I was just 15 and loved working with young children. I knew I had a natural talent for coaching and motivating others from a young age. This drew me to the teaching field. Over the years I have taught in the public system in Montreal and California and taught child actors on film sets in Toronto for several years. Since moving to Calgary in 2008, I've taught at a couple of other private schools before finding my "forever home" at RVS.


More about Mrs. Keay

I grew up in Montreal and was a national level synchronized swimmer then water polo player. My entire childhood was spent in a pool. In later years, I developed a love for musical theatre. I currently sing with Encore, a division of Youth Singers of Calgary. I’m a mom of two little boys who keep me on my toes!

Mrs. Johnston

Teacher - Kindergarten

Mrs. Johnston

Teacher - Kindergarten

Reagan Johnston started at River Valley School in 2017.


What brought you to RVS?

I was looking to substitute and then a wonderful opportunity came up at RVS to teach Grade One. I love that the students can explore their own discoveries and learning at RVS.


What drew you to your work / teaching???

I am a born and raised Calgarian!? I was a competitive figure skater at a young age and continued to pursue the sport through my high school years. I then coached young skaters, remained active, and earned a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Lethbridge. I took my love of the sport and found joy in teaching the skill to youngsters, which made me realize that I wanted to become an elementary teacher.

I then completed a Bachelor of Education degree from the Master of Teaching program at the University of Calgary, and gained 10 years of valuable experience while teaching at other Calgary private schools.

I have ventured into many other industries over the years, including home building and design with my husband. I also took a few years to be at home enjoying time with my family. I am always drawn back to teaching, and am excited to be at RVS!


More About Mrs. Johnston

I am a mom of two lovely children, a girl who is 8 and a boy who is 6. I enjoy assisting with my son’s Timbit hockey team, on and off the ice.

 

Ms. Caitlin

Teacher - Grade 5

Ms. Caitlin

Teacher - Grade 5

Caitlin Beames started at RVS in December 2016 working in Resource. This year she is one of the Grade 2 teachers.

What brought you to RVS and what do you love about RVS??

I initially came to RVS to work in Resource using my background experience in teaching English as a Second Language while working with English Language Learners (ELLs). What I love about RVS is that we are so open to different styles of teaching and learning, and we make a point of adapting our instruction to meet the needs of the students.

What drew you to teaching / your work??

I've always enjoyed school myself, and I feel that as a teacher? you are constantly learning new things, from new experiences, students, and colleagues. I love sharing my interests with the students, and finding the things that really drive them to learn more.

More about Ms. Caitlin?

In my free time I enjoy yoga, hiking, skiing, and lots and lots of reading! I also really enjoy travelling, and worked abroad in Japan for 2 years. It was an exciting opportunity that gave me a new perspective on many things!

Mrs. Morris

Teacher - Grade 4

Mrs. Morris

Teacher - Grade 4

Maia Morris started with RVS as a substitute teacher in 2017.


What do you love about RVS?

I had the chance to work with a variety of classes on both campuses before stepping into my role teaching grade four. It was a wonderful way to learn all about RVS, and feel warmly welcomed by the students, staff and families! I love the inclusivity of our school community and the opportunities I have each day to build relationships not only with my own class, but with students of all ages throughout the school.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

Having begun my professional career at a digital marketing agency, I realized a few years in that my heart just wasn’t in the work of writing advertising copy. I returned to the University of Calgary to begin a journey in education, and felt I’d found my place! My previous experiences working with children and youth as a ski instructor, day camp leader and university peer mentor came into sharp focus and I realized that in teaching, I’d found my calling.


More about Mrs. Morris

When I find myself with free time, I love spending it outside – preferably in the mountains! Hiking, running and cycling are my activities of choice in the warmer months, and I grab my skis or snowshoes when the snow flies. I also love to travel, and have been lucky enough to live, study and teach abroad in places like England, Spain and Germany. I hope to be able to combine these two passions by one day skiing in the Alps!

 

 

 

 

Ms. Powell

Teacher - Grade 5

Ms. Powell

Teacher - Grade 5

Cori Powell joined RVS in August 2017.


?What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS

I love how RVS welcomes all learners and provides a warm, caring environment. The staff and students are amazing!


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I simply love children; I’m passionate about teaching and learning. I have been in education for over 20 years.

 


More about Ms. Powell

I enjoy dining out and spending time with my husband Ed and dog Charlie. I also enjoy?traveling to sunny destinations.

 

 

Ms Renata

Teacher's Aide - Grade 6

Ms Renata

Teacher's Aide - Grade 6

Renata Habberfield started at RVS in September 2016 and works as an Instructional Aide.

Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to work with children in some capacity. While attending University at UBC Okanagan, I completed my B.Ed. with a focus on elementary education. After graduating, I moved to Calgary to begin a new adventure in the big city. I have since worked as an Early Childhood Educator in a daycare program, a preschool program and a before and after school program. While these experiences were exciting and enjoyable, working in the classroom with elementary aged children has always been my ultimate goal and RVS has been able to fulfill that passion.

I grew up in Kelowna, BC and love to go back every chance I get. Since moving to Calgary, I have made so many memories and met many amazing friends, including my husband. I have a beautiful daughter and love spending time with her and just being her mom. During my free time I enjoy being active, vacationing and spending time with friends and family.

 

Ms. Cydney

Teacher's Aide - Grade 4

Ms. Cydney

Teacher's Aide - Grade 4

Cydney Hawkes began at RVS on a casual basis at the Early Learning Campus at the end of 2016, and was thrilled to be brought on in March of 2017, spending part of her day in the Casa program as an aide and the other part of her day in Little Kids Club. This is her first year working at the Elementary Campus.


What drew you to teaching/your work?

I’ve always enjoyed working with children, but it wasn’t until my final course, in my final year of my Bachelor of Fine Arts when I realized my interest in working in a classroom environment. One of our final assignments was to plan and execute an art lesson for a group of grade 5 students. This experience led me to pursue teaching art lessons for three years prior to beginning my journey at River Valley School.


What do you love about RVS?

River Valley School has been an incredible place to work! It is truly a place that embraces inclusivity and allows the children who walk through its doors each day to flourish. I love that it is a place where talents, of staff and students alike, are recognized and nurtured. It is truly a place like no other!


More About Ms. Cydney

I’m an animal lover, and recently adopted a cat who is equal parts affection and mischief. I’ve lived in eight different cities across Canada, spanning five different provinces, and have been in Calgary since 2013. I love music and played the piano and sang through high school.

Ms. Jenn

Teacher's Aide - Arrowsmith

Ms. Jenn

Teacher's Aide - Arrowsmith

Jennifer Janzen began working at River Valley School’s before and after-school care program (Kids Club) while she was attending university before happily accepting a position as an Instructional Aide. She is?currently enjoying her fifth year at River Valley.


What do you love about RVS?

I am passionate about River Valley School because of the inclusive nature of our community, as well as the dedication to?the complete well being of all students, family and staff.


What did you do before you came to the school?

I was obtaining my degree in Social Work.


More About?Ms. Jenn

My two favourite hobbies are running and reading. I also enjoy any opportunity to be out in nature. A life goal is to run a full marathon.

 

Mr Barry

Drama Specialist

Mr Barry

Drama Specialist

Barry Thorson is joining RVS as Drama Specialist in the fall of 2018.

While brand new to RVS, I have been using drama and storytelling as a teaching and leadership style for more than 20 years. I am so very excited about the possibilities ahead.


What brought you to RVS?

I used to work as an artist in schools, and the goal was always to create a school filled with wonder and curiosity. RVS is a place that has achieved what we were striving towards.


What drew you to teaching?

I have been an actor, a director, a writer, and an arts administrator since graduating from theatre school. Through it all, story has played a major part in shaping who I am. I have been very lucky in my life and work, and the thought of being able to share that good fortune by inspiring young people excites me as much as anything I’ve ever done before.


More about Mr. Barry

Favourite Book: The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. Reading it is like climbing a mountain, and the view along the way always changes depending on what stage of life I make the trek.

 

Favourite Movie: Cinema Paradiso. An Italian movie about the magic of movies, with the best child actor you’re ever likely to see on screen. Very sentimental and beautiful… I cry at the end.

Favourite Food: My own home-baked artisan sourdough bread. Often with avocado, butter, and vegemite on top. So yummy!

Pastimes: reading, home improvement activities, cycling, jogging, blowing raspberries with baby Piper.

Madame Wrobel

French Specialist - Grades 1 - 6

Madame Wrobel

French Specialist - Grades 1 - 6

Catherine Wrobel started working at River Valley School in August 2018.


What Brought You To RVS?

In my search for a teaching position, I found myself searching high and low for a place to call "home." And then I happened upon RVS. At first, it was a job opportunity, but then I realized that here I would find family. This is a happy school - the students are smiling, the staff is smiling. This is?special. This is?rare. Wonder really does live here!


What Drew You To Teaching?

Throughout my adult years, I've always gravitated towards working with children. From leading day camps to teaching swimming lessons, it was only natural that my love of working with children would meld seamlessly with my love of the French language. I love helping students find their strength, their courage, and their "aha" moments.


More About Mme. Wrobel

I love spending time in the outdoors - swimming, hiking, road cycling, and rock climbing. You can also find me at home unwinding on the couch with a good movie, show, or playing Harry Potter lego on the gaming console.

Mr. Richard

Facility Supervisor and Support Lead for Transportation

Mr. Richard

Facility Supervisor and Support Lead for Transportation

Richard Lester has been part of the River Valley team for over 10 years. Mr. Richard is responsible for making daily operations of both campuses safe for students and staff.? Mr. Richard brings to River Valley School his strengths in project management and organizational skills. He is a great communicator and self-motivator.


More about Mr. Richard

When not at work, you will find Mr. Richard biking and hiking in the mountains or busy cooking for family and friends with his wife. Mr. Richard professes that life is all about balance.

 

Ms. J.

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Ms. J.

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Jitka Gingrich started working at RVS in September 2018


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I′ve been working in Early Childhood environment for the last nine years. Before moving to Canada I was a preschool teacher in the Czech Republic where I also received a Bachelor′s degree in Special Education. Passion for teaching and travelling brought me to Calgary where I′ve gained more experience in the preschool and kindergarten classrooms as an Educational Assistant.


More about Ms. J.?

I like spending time with my husband, stepchildren and our little dog. On weekends you can find me in the mountains hiking or snowshoeing. Reading books and playing piano are other activities I enjoy.

Ms. Joann

Teacher's Aide - Junior Kindergarten

Ms. Joann

Teacher's Aide - Junior Kindergarten

Joann Presquito?started working at RVS in October 2014 and was given the responsibility to handle Kids Club. She also worked as an Instructional Aide in one of the Casa classrooms.


What do you love about RVS?

I am grateful for working at River Valley School; they have given me a chance to grow in my passion for dealing with children and I love children.


More about Ms. Joann

I have a 19-month old baby girl and I just returned in August 2018 from maternity leave.

 

Mrs. Gill

Teacher's Aide - Grade 3

Mrs. Gill

Teacher's Aide - Grade 3

Neeraj Gill joined RVS in 2015 as a substitute teacher. She also worked as a supervisor at Little Kids Club and as an Instructional Aide in Kindergarten and Grade 3.


Where were you before coming to RVS?

I have more than 10 years of experience in Education. I did my Masters in Mathematics in India and upgraded my B.ED at the University of Alberta.


What do you love about RVS?

Being part of RVS has been a rewarding experience and every day is a new learning opportunity. My passion is inspiring children to reach their full potential and helping them achieve their goals. I enjoy painting, baking and reading books in my free time.

Miss Lana

Teacher's Aide - Grade 3

Miss Lana

Teacher's Aide - Grade 3

Svetlana Pushkar started working at River Valley School as an attendant in Kids Club and moved into the role of Instructional Aide in September 2017.


What Do You Love About RVS?

I really love working at RVS because this school is an amazing place for children to learn and flourish through a wide range of academic, physical, outdoor, and creative activities associated with a healthy and active development of young minds.

While working full-time at RVS, I am also finishing a Disability Program at Bow Valley College and an ASL (American Sign Language) program at the University of Calgary. So, I am working hard to bring my knowledge and experience to RVS as I love being a part of such a great team.


More About Miss Lana

My favourite things to do are gardening, interior designing, and spending outdoor time with my family.

 

Ms Wendy

Teacher's Aide - Junior Kindergarten

Ms Wendy

Teacher's Aide - Junior Kindergarten

Wendy Wood joined the RVS staff in 2018.

When I entered the doors of RVS for the first time, I could feel the warmth and sense of community right from the start. I knew then that this would be an awesome place to work!

What were you doing before you came to RVS?

I directed and taught a preschool in northwest Calgary and worked briefly with children one-on-one. During those times, my experiences have been truly remarkable and filled with countless wonderful memories.

More about Ms Wendy

I have worked in the early childhood field for more than 20 years. I knew from an early age my desire was to grow up and be a teacher! I enjoy working with children because they keep you young at heart! My experience with children over the years has been if you give them love and truly spend quality time with them they will meet your expectations! One of the best things I believe you can do for a child is to teach them the “joy” of being a “friend.”

I am married, have two young incredible adult sons and am a cancer survivor. When I’m not at school, you can find me at home reading, cooking and spending time with my husband and our pet cat “Casper.” I love to craft, walk, and travel when time permits.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Pat

Transportation Coordinator / Relief Bus Driver

Mr. Pat

Transportation Coordinator / Relief Bus Driver

In 2015, I was lucky enough to be offered a position as? school bus driver at RVS. Two years later, I took on the additional role of Transportation Coordinator which has allowed me to be more involved with providing busing solutions for both the daily full-time riders and group-oriented field trips.


What do you love about RVS?

What has impressed me about RVS is the positive environment created by staff, parents and students with a focus on respect, responsibility and politeness.


What were you doing before you came to RVS?

In my past life I was quite involved in coaching soccer. The culmination of that activity came in the form of taking a team of U16 Boys to Brazil for a two-week immersion into the culture of Futebol Brasil style.

 

Mr. Bob

Bus Driver

Mr. Bob

Bus Driver

Bob Clark has been driving for RVS since later October 2015.


Where were you before you came to RVS?

Prior to driving for RVS I drove for First Student for two years.


What brought you to RVS / your work?

I first applied to RVS because of the School's proximity to where I live, here in Bowness. Since beginning my duties, I have come to experience River Valley School as a warm and inviting place to work.?What originally drew me to driving a school bus? Well, I enjoy being in contact with kids: it's a stimulating and altogether rewarding for an older person–certainly ideal for a recent retiree who has always valued humour and structure in his daily life.


More about Mr. Bob

When not driving, I write fiction and practice advanced classical piano–with a passion bordering on 'obsession' (or so I am told!).

I also keep busy playing computer chess, maintaining our house and pond, and assisting in the upkeep of my wife's extraordinarily beautiful garden–sometimes simply by staying out of her way!

Ms. Lisa

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Ms. Lisa

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Lisa Shaw?started at RVS in September 2018, and is thrilled to join such a wonderful team!


What drew you to teaching/your work?

Having been out of the field for a number of years, I am excited to be working with children again. I have a Rehabilitation Services Diploma and Early Childhood Development Certificate from Mount Royal College. My previous experience includes being a classroom assistant (preschool and kindergarten), in-home personal aide, support worker, and day home provider.


More About Ms. Lisa

My hobbies include watching movies, playing games, cooking/baking, and volunteering with local animal rescues and farm sanctuaries. One of my favourite quotes is, "I expect to pass through the world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Grellet

Mrs Lewis

Teacher - Grade 2

Mrs Lewis

Teacher - Grade 2

Chelsey Lewis started working at RVS in February 2015 as a Grade 1 teacher.


What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS?

I love the student diversity and the supportive staff at RVS.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I volunteered with a man who had a massive stroke but was a teacher and the one thing he consistently talked about was his students. It inspired me to pursue a career in education!


More about Mrs Lewis

I play soccer on a women's team and love to spend time with my daughter!

 

Mr. Bill

RVS Bus Driver

Mr. Bill

RVS Bus Driver

Bill Van Hoof started at RVS in September 2018


About Mr. Bill

After a short stint with Canadian Armed Forces, I ended up in the jewellery retail business for 27 years. Retiring didn’t suit me, so I accepted a position with a transportation company in the Alberta oil patch. The downturn affected my position, so once again I retired.

Needing to keep busy I found myself driving school bus transporting handicapped children in Surrey BC.

I moved back to Calgary after five years on the coast. Grandchildren overruled remaining on the coast. Hence I find myself here in Calgary with River Valley School.

Everyday respect shown by the children is deeply appreciated. I know this comes from the teachings of the staff here at RVS.

Miss Sara

Teacher's Aide - Grade 3

Miss Sara

Teacher's Aide - Grade 3

Sara Wolfe started at RVS in August 2018.


What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS?

This is my first year at RVS and all I can say is WOW!?The opportunity to work for RVS came at the absolute right time in my life! I decided to take a step out of my “part-time work” comfort zone, applied to River Valley and crossed my fingers! After reading about the school, reading the teacher and admin profiles and feeling so comfortable in the school, I knew I had made the right decision!


What drew you to teaching / your work?

Prior to RVS, I worked part time for the CBE for two years while continuing to volunteer in my children’s classrooms. I have always loved working with kids and began this path in my late teens in a before and after school care environment.

 

Miss Joesel

Teacher's Aide - Grade 4

Miss Joesel

Teacher's Aide - Grade 4

Joesel Camano started working at RVS Big Kids Club two years ago while also studying Early Learning and Child Care at Bow Valley College. After finishing her diploma degree, she was then hired as an Instructional Aide for grade four.


What brought you to RVS?

I really enjoy working at RVS. I feel like I belong in a small community where I can make a big difference. It is an inclusive community where you can be yourself and fully utilize your capabilities. It is a place of wonder and creation which aligns with my teaching philosophy of inquiry-based learning, where children can bring out the best of themselves with the right help and resources.


More about Miss Joesel

I finished my bachelors degree in Mass Communications back in the Philippines. I used to do courtside reporting and hosting events. I worked briefly as an admissions officer for an I.T. college before coming to Canada.

My mother inspired me to be an educator; her passion and dedication made me realize the joy of learning and teaching. I believe that being an educator has a lot of challenges but at the end of the day it is always a very fulfilling career.

When I’m not busy building puzzles or legos, I enjoy taking a road trip and travelling to fun cities in the world. I also love photography, reading, and watching classic movies. My hobbies also include collecting action figures from comic books and movies.

Ms. D

Teacher's Aide - Grade 5

Ms. D

Teacher's Aide - Grade 5

Deyrdre Szyndrowski?started working at RVS in September 2018.


What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS?

I met some wonderful staff members at a Bow Valley College job fair. From their description of the program, I was completely enamoured. I love that RVS is so inclusive and friendly.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

I love kids. I love their sense of wonder and adventure. Watching a child gain a new skill and grow into themselves is truly amazing to me.


More about Ms. D

I find great inspiration in Dr. Seuss; my favourite quote is: "A person's a person, no matter how small." I believe that everyone deserves love, kindness, respect and safety, and that quote embodies it all for me.

 

Miss Devika

Music Specialist - Early Learning Campus

Miss Devika

Music Specialist - Early Learning Campus

Devika Banerjee became a part of the RVS family in 2018.? She strongly believes that music is a valuable part of a child’s education and a community’s heritage.


What brought you to RVS?

A school that celebrates the joy of learning, enhancing creativity in a child not just through academics but through Arts and Music and embracing the unique talents of every child was like love at first sight for me. A place where I am living and realizing my dream is… RVS!


What did you do before coming to RVS?

A Masters in music and founder of her own Institute of Arts and Music in India, she is an accomplished classical vocal artist and has successfully released her own Music Album ‘Ecstasy’ based on semi-classical music.

With over 15 years of teaching experience, she specializes in Early Childhood Music Education based on the principles of Kodaly, Suzuki and Orff pedagogy. She has been instrumental in bringing music into the lives of children starting 6 months old. She has introduced purposeful music education that stimulates the young brain, nurturing each child’s creativity to explore music and movement.


What do you love most about your job?

I enjoy every aspect of teaching and have realized over the years that children can teach us as much as we can teach them.

Music education is a process. As I teach, I draw rich imagination, continuously helping children make deep connections, inspiring their understanding as they grow and apply them in the real world. Children gain confidence and begin to celebrate the tiny steps they take pride in.? That defines success for me as a teacher.


More About Miss Devika

I moved to Calgary in May 2014 with my husband and daughter and I am proud to call Calgary my home city.

Some of my favorite music artists are Pt. Ravi Shankar and Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt from the east and composers like Yanni, Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi from the west. I am very friendly and enjoy spending time with friends and family.

I love reading books on medical science fiction and my favorite author is Robin Cook.

My favorite quote is from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth night, “If music be the food of love play on, give me excess of it; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die”.

Music is my passion and I love singing.

Mr. Ken

Bus Driver

Mr. Ken

Bus Driver

Ken Adams?started working at River Valley School in September 2018


More about Mr. Ken

I worked at the University of Calgary for 24 years as a communications technician for distance education. After 24 years with the U of C I retired. I also worked for eight years with the Calgary Transit system.

 

Mr. Hodgson

Interim Head of School

Mr. Hodgson

Interim Head of School

Cam Hodgson started at RVS in April 2019 as Interim Head of School


He has enjoyed an over 30-year career as a professional educator. He has been a classroom teacher, administrator, Principal, Head of School, CEO, and Superintendent in schools from pre-Kindergarten to grade 12 in both public and private schools. Cam has a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and has been a Sessional Instructor at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education.

He has also spent considerable time in the field of leadership development, and has mentored leaders in organizations ranging from small non-profits to multi-national corporations

Mrs. Hawes

Director, Teaching & Learning

Mrs. Hawes

Director, Teaching & Learning

Lynda Hawes started at RVS in 2011


What brought you to RVS?

Having taught in the Public Education system for many years, I was looking for a change.? A friend told me about River Valley, and after meeting Erin Corbett, I knew that RVS was where I wanted to be.

I have taught Kindergarten, Grade one & Grade two, Reading Recovery and Early Reading Intervention. With my background teaching the early years, I was thrilled to move into administration when we opened up River Valley's Early Learning Campus in 2014.


More About?Mrs. Hawes

I lead an extremely busy life, and am always on the go! Not much time for reading, but I do crash in front of Netflix at the end of the day.

I am married with two children. With one child in Junior High and one in Senior High, I spend a lot of time driving kids to friends' houses and to sport training- cheerleading and basketball.
My daughter is a competitive cheerleader so we spend our weekends from Jan-March travelling to competitions.

I am very social, and enjoy spending time with family and friends. I enjoy camping in the summer, and going for walks with close friends in my neighborhood.


Favourite authors for ELC students:

Mo Willems, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Bill Martin Jr. Laura Joffe Numeroff
A favourite link: Animated Literacy


"All I Really Need To Know
I Learned In Kindergarten"

by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

Mrs. Berry

Instructional Leader

Mrs. Berry

Instructional Leader

Michelle Berry started at RVS 2012

In adition to being a Grade 4 teacher, Mrs. Berry is also Instructional Leader, Inquiry and Project Based Learning


What brought you to RVS?

An old colleague of mine, Lynda Hawes, introduced me to the school. I loved the dedication to children and learning, the purposeful energy and collaborative atmosphere.


What were you doing before coming to RVS?

I was a stay-at-home parent for ten years, and then taught most elementary grades within private and public schools in Medicine Hat and area and Calgary before joining River Valley School.


More about Mrs. Berry

In my downtime I love to sew and just be with my family. In the summer I love to travel, especially to go on road trips with my husband.


Fvourite Books?- Anything with a map; historical fiction

Favourite TV Shows?- People and stories

Favourite Food?- Quality food and real food

Favourite Country?- Canada, of course!


WEBSITES I LIKE:

GOOD READS
BOOK DEPOSITORY
CALGARY LIBRARY
GLENBOW
STEVE SPANGLER SCIENCE
GALILEO

Mrs. Price

Administrative Assistant - Early Learning Campus

Mrs. Price

Administrative Assistant - Early Learning Campus

Janice Price started at RVS 2014


What brought you to RVS?

Looking for a new challenge. While searching for a new job opportunity I came across River Valley School. River Valley School is a caring, compassionate community of amazing people and what a privilege to work here.


What did you do before you came to the school?

I worked downtown for 12 years as an executive secretary in the Oil & Gas Industry and then 14 years as a business manager at another private school.

It is so much fun and rewarding to work at the Early Learning Campus, the interaction that I have with the children is heart-warming. There is always an abundance of stickers at my desk for the kids.


More About Mrs. Price

My husband (Bob) and I have two adult children; Ned a dentist in Red Deer and Barb a nurse in Calgary and four grandchildren, all of whom I enjoy spending time with.

I enjoy going for walks and drives in the country and to the mountains. I love reading and beach combing.

Fall is my favourite time of the year and Christmas is my favourite holiday and I go all out decorating for the holiday season. And let's not forget that I love pizza and ice cream!

Mr. M

Student Experience Secondment

Mr. M

Student Experience Secondment

Cyrus Mirshahi started at RVS in 2013


What brought you to RVS?

I’ve always enjoyed helping others achieve their goals and realize their full potential. I also just really love working with people and expanding on my own point of view through the things I learn from others.?

I started working at River Valley School in 2013 after I was referred by my aunt who works here doing outreach and teacher support for the JUMP math program.? I’ve never worked in a more welcoming environment or been part of a more supportive and good-natured staff. I’ve also made many good friends at the school, which makes coming to work every day that much better.

There is exceptional leadership here at RVS and an unparalleled environment of acceptance.


What did you do before coming to RVS?

Before I came to RVS I worked as an adult ESL teacher, math tutor and basketball coach. I spend my spare time with family, play/watch/coach sports (particularly basketball), watch classic films, read, cook, travel and enjoy a good crossword puzzle.?


More about?Mr. M

I grew up in Toronto, did elementary school in French and high school in English. I took my BA in?Psychology at York University and my BEd at OISE.

My fiancée is wonderfully supportive in all that I do and the positive impact she has had on my life is immeasurable.

My brothers and sisters were my first friends and have taught me so much.

My Mother is and has always been my greatest teacher and the person whom I admire most the in the world.

Mrs. P

ELC Instructional Leader

Mrs. P

ELC Instructional Leader

Margaret Petropoulos has been teaching at RVS for more than 25 years.


What brought you to RVS?

A very good friend of mine who has been teaching for more than 30 years introduced me to the Montessori Philosophy and a light went on in my head that inspired me to enrol in the Vancouver Training Centre on “the barge” on Granville Island. That was in 1985 and a truly amazing experience!

After graduation, I was an assistant at a Montessori school in North Vancouver then went on to lead the program at the prestigious West Side Montessori School the following year.? Once I married and moved to Calgary, I immediately connected with the local Montessori community and have been with RVS, in many roles for more than 25 years!?


More about Mrs. P

I love spending time with my family and playing board games with them.

Miss Lori

Receptionist and Office Administrator, EC

Miss Lori

Receptionist and Office Administrator, EC

Lori Lindgren started at RVS in October 2015


What brought you to RVS?

I saw a job posting for the position at RVS and once I walked through the doors?I knew this is where I wanted to be.


What were you doing before coming?to RVS?

After being a stay at home mom for 11 years, I decided I wanted to go back to work. I had my sights set on working in a school environment.


What do you love most about your job?

The laughter of the children walking the halls. The friendly staff, and meeting new parents.


More about?Miss Lori

I am married and have two very active children that are taking me all over the city. If I'm not driving my son to soccer, or car pooling my daughter for dance, I'm enjoying a relaxing night at home.

My favourite place to be in the summer is at the lake in BC with sand between my toes and a good book to read.

Mrs. A-K

Co-Director, Teaching & Learning

Mrs. A-K

Co-Director, Teaching & Learning

Mary Amantea-Klukas started at RVS in August 2014


What brought you to RVS?

Erin and I often chatted about me coming to work at RVS someday.? “Someday” finally came as a result of my early retirement from public education.


What were you doing before coming?to RVS?

I was a classroom teacher for 29 years before becoming the Elementary Math Consultant for the Calgary Catholic School District for four years, which then lead me into retirement.


What do you love most about your job?

I love the RVS community! The commitment of the teachers, the engagement of the students and the support of the parents make this school a remarkable place to be!


How do you describe RVS to people?

River Valley School is a dynamic community, which I feel, makes us unique in comparison to other private schools.? We inspire innovation and student success through challenge and engagement in everyday learning.


More About Mrs A-K

I am very much a family person. I have a 23-year-old son whom I’m very proud of. He will graduate from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (History) in 2018. He was recruited in December of 2017 by the Calgary Stampeders...I am one proud football momma!

I also have an adorable dog named, Hugo. He’s a Bichon-Shitzu and he’s full of love and energy.

I really enjoy cooking. I like preparing special meals (Italian), especially on the weekends when I can spend time in the kitchen.

I also like to bake, a skill I learned from my mother. I had the opportunity to create a cookbook with two of my “baking buddies.” Some of my family’s most treasured recipes have been recorded in that cookbook

Mr. Fry

Science and Innovations Coordinator

Mr. Fry

Science and Innovations Coordinator

Paul Fry started at River Valley School in 2017. During his first year at RVS, he was a Lower Elementary Montessori Teacher.


What brought you to RVS? / What do you love about RVS?

The personality of the administrators who I interviewed with easily convinced me I would enjoy the atmosphere of RVS. It is fresh, welcoming and there are smiles everywhere. I mean...there is a "Golden T-Rex" and "Baby Groot" on the staff wall. What other school would do THAT!


What drew you to teaching / your work?

Like many in this career would say, I've always been a teacher. No matter my previous employment choices, my skill-set was always best represented when educating or tutoring others. When (in my late 30s) I told my parents I'd decided to become a career teacher I believe my Mom's response was "It's about time!." Yup....she knew all along....


More about Mr. Fry

Simply put, I'm "The Science Guy." That has been my never-ending passion in life and now to teach it exclusively has me smiling everyday. I'm a self-proclaimed nerd, though that kinda comes with the job description doesn't it? When not geeking-out, I'm at the gym, playing badminton, volleyball, yoga or heading to the mountains for the occasional hike.

 

Mrs. Moore

Director of Finance

Mrs. Moore

Director of Finance

Tonya Moore started at RVS in January 2016 leaving behind the corporate world and searching for a new accounting adventure.


What do you love about RVS?

It was evident the moment I stepped through the doors of RVS, it was where I belonged. The sense of community and pride was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Being able to watch as the children develop and seeing the joy on their faces every day is such an honour.


More About Mrs. Moore

I am a wife and mother to two wonderful children. I am originally from Montreal and relocated to Calgary in middle school. I enjoy spending time with my family exploring the zoo, hanging out at the lake during the summer as well as watching my son’s sporting events.

 

Mrs. Friesen

Director of Enrolment Management, and Marketing

Mrs. Friesen

Director of Enrolment Management, and Marketing

Sarah Friesen started with RVS in the summer of 2017.


What brought you to RVS?

Before RVS, my background was in print, sales, design and marketing. I came to the school with hopes to help spread the word about all the amazing things happening every day at RVS, in and out of the classroom.


What do you love about RVS?

Within the Admission’s role, I love the opportunities I get to meet and tour with new and current families, learn more about the students, and help drive the school forward.


What is your favourite quote?

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon

Mrs. Fleeton

Inclusion Coordinator

Mrs. Fleeton

Inclusion Coordinator

Angela Fleeton started at RVS in January 2013.


What do you love about RVS?

I love the warmth and acceptance. I love that all students are treated as individuals and that RVS creates an environment where all students can succeed, explore their strengths and talents, and become confident learners.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

Teaching is my passion.?Growing up I observed and understood how difficult school can be for those individuals who learn differently. I also saw the profound impact a positive learning environment can have on a child and their family. I knew from a young age that I wanted to help children succeed and foster a life long love of learning. I believe in Ross Greene's words,?“kids do well if they can” and as educators our role is to ensure we provide students the tools they need to thrive.


More about Mrs. Fleeton?

I love being with family and friends. Nothing brings me more joy than spending time with my three beautiful children and amazing husband. Together we enjoy traveling, skiing, biking, camping, yoga, reading and anything outside. (and anything at the ice rink!)

 

 

Mrs. Gronlie

Financial Accountant

Mrs. Gronlie

Financial Accountant

Diane Gronlie is new this year to RVS.


What do you love about RVS?

From the very first moment, I knew this was the place I had been looking?for.?I continue to be amazed every day by the sense of community and family.


More About Mrs. Gronlie

I was born and raised in Alberta, married with 2 grown boys. In my free time I love to travel, and spend time with family and friends. A high energy dog keeps me busy the rest of the time!