JENNIFER BARRO RALPH
Elementary Teacher, Halifax Regional Centre for Education
Jennifer Barro Ralph has been working for the Halifax Regional School Board for the past 17 years. Currently a Grade 4/5 teacher at Hawthorn Elementary in Dartmouth, she has taught combined grades for the past 10 years and will seek to offer a voice to the needs of the increasing number of teachers dealing with this particular challenge.
Jennifer holds a Masters in Curriculum Studies from Mount Saint Vincent University with a focus on Elementary Mathematics teaching. Married to a high school teacher and with children in elementary and junior high school, her entire family is deeply affected by issues in the Nova Scotia education system. Jennifer welcomes the opportunity to work with the Council to seek improvements in classroom conditions across all grade levels.
She is also active in the NSTU as a school rep and member of the Curriculum Committee. A busy volunteer, Jennifer has been a leader with Girl Guides of Canada for well over a decade and is also a dedicated supporter of the non-profit Abenaki Aquatic Club.
High School Teacher, Halifax Regional Centre for Education
John Boutilier is a teacher at Sir John A. Macdonald High School in Tantallon. He has been between the English and Social Studies Departments since 1991 and is currently teaching Mi’Kmaw Studies 11 and English 12.
As the Social Studies department head, he has taught most of the Social Studies and English courses offered over the last 28 years and has even taught Family Studies.
Principal, Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education
Cordelia is currently a school administrator at L.E. Shaw Elementary School, a Pre-Primary to Grade 5 School and has held various educational positions including the following: Vice-Principal, Resource/Learning Disabilities Teacher, Behavioral Specialist, Early Literacy Specialist and Multi-Subject Classroom Teacher (Primary – Grade 12).
Cordelia is passionate about growing professionally and connecting with her school family including students, staff and their families to create a supportive learning environment where each student succeeds and feels loved. Cordelia’s diverse educational experiences and positions help demonstrate her dedication and lifelong learning for the teaching profession. She holds a Masters of Inclusive Education and has recently completed a 3 year program Instructional Leadership Program with the NSELC.
Cordelia is honored to work with colleagues within her own school, Regional Centre and throughout the province of Nova Scotia who possess a wide range of educational experiences and knowledge.
Elementary Teacher, Strait Regional Centre for Education
Catherine Gillis has taught with the SRCE for the past seven years. She works in a circuit position between Richmond Education Centre/Academy and Felix Marchand Education Centre. She teaches P-6 Music, 5/6 Immersion Math, Core French 4, Music 9, and Histoire du Canada 11.
As a member of Council, she is particularly interested in sharing her experiences in rural and multi-grade education, Music Education, and French Second Language programming. Her formal education includes a Master of Education (Leadership), Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Music.
Junior High Teacher, Tri-County Regional Centre for Education
Lisa is a grade 8 teacher at Maple Grove Education Centre in Yarmouth. She has over twenty years of teaching experience at the Junior High level, having taught in Halifax, Digby and Yarmouth Counties.
Lisa has taught instrumental music, social studies and health as well as other subjects, and her main area of interest is student literacy and teaching English language arts. She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum Studies with a rural education focus.
Lisa is a passionate advocate for all learners and looks forward to giving voice to teachers and students through participation in the Council’s pursuits.
High School Teacher, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education
Jason is a teacher at Riverview High School in an English / Music position. Jason provides professional development for colleagues within the Regional Center for Education, as well as teachers within the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey school system. Jason brings to the council 21+ years experience in education.
Primarily a teacher of secondary-level English Language Arts, Jason has also taught Grade 6, classroom Music P-6, Drama, and high school Music as well as a literacy mentor with CBVRCE. He looks forward to bringing the concerns of teachers to the Council and collaborating with other educators from across the province.
Marie has a M. Ed in Counselling and is a School Counsellor at Saint Andrew Junior School in Antigonish with a population of 570 middle school students. Marie has worked as a School Counsellor since 2010 and is currently a member of the committee to re-write/re-image the Comprehensive Guidance and Counselling program.
In her 24 years as an educator, she taught high school English for the first 13 years. Passionate about positive mental health advocacy, the integral role of the School Counsellor in a school community, and the belief that positive mental health is a learning enabler.
Junior High Teacher, Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education
Judith MacDonald teaches grade eight at Uniacke District School in the CCRCE. She has twenty-two years of teaching experience, beginning her career in British Columbia and then returning to Nova Scotia.
She holds a master’s degree in curriculum (diverse learners) and has taught in both private and public education. She brings a variety of perspectives to council from her work as a substitute teacher, a program support/resource teacher and as a classroom teacher.
As both a teacher and a parent, she is passionate about public education. Ms. MacDonald is committed to being a voice for teachers in her region as the council continues its work to improve classroom conditions.
High School Teacher, Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education
Derick Smith has taught high school students at Annapolis West Education Centre in Annapolis Royal for over 10 years. Currently, he teaches Physics, Art, Computer Programming and Science.
Derick has also led many extracurricular activities at AWEC, including music and art exhibitions, indoor climbing, and the Annapolis Royal Space Agency, which was the first school club in Nova Scotia to launch a data collection probe to Earth’s upper atmosphere. Derek looks forward to using his diverse background to work with fellow Council members to improve education.
Junior High Teacher, South Shore Regional Centre for Education
Emily Strong has been with the SSRCE for the past ten years and teaches P-5 Music and 6-9 Band at Hebbville Academy.
She is honoured to be a voice for the teachers in the SSRCE and is looking forward to collaborating with others to make positive change.
Elementary Teacher, Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial
Kate Therien has been an elementary teacher with the CSAP since 2002. She started her career at École Beaubassin in Bedford, teaching Phys. Ed. part time to grades primary to 4, and then went on to become a classroom teacher at the primary level full time for 4 years.
In 2007 she moved to École Bois-Joli in Dartmouth, continuing to teach at the primary level, then in 2015 switched to teaching grade 2. She is excited to be once again trying something new this September by teaching Music to grades 1 through 5!
Kate has a strong sense of community and is keen to be working with the members of this council who, together, are dedicated to improving classroom conditions.
DODIE HANNA MAJOR CD
Dodie is a full-time parent of five children ages 11 through 22. Dodie serves as a member of the School Advisory Council for the Malcolm Munroe Middle School (CBVRCE). As a youth mentor for over 30 years, she brings experience with inclusivity, French programming, learning disabilities, LGBTQ and Aboriginal issues. She is a Commanding Officer of a very active Air Cadet Squadron in Sydney Nova Scotia and currently a part-time Canadian Forces Reservist for 32 years.
Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union/Co-Chair
Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development/Co-Chair
JAMES KING (JIM)
- The council is co-chaired by representatives of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Nova Scotia Teachers Union.
- The co-chairs may name a neutral facilitator to work with the committee, as required. There is also a provision for an arbitrator to be appointed in the event the council cannot agree on a recommendation.
- 40 initial recommendations were made in the April 28 Report of the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions.
Questions or comments can be directed to: ClassroomCouncil@novascotia.ca