Governance, Board of Directors & Affiliations

Governance

River Valley School operates as a not-for-profit educational institution. It is governed by a parent Board of Directors with a strong community of educators, students and parents.

The independent Board of Directors was formed in 2003 and is governed by Private School Regulations under the Alberta School Act, the Societies Act and the River Valley School By-Laws.

To view the combined Three-Year Education Plan & Annual Education Results Report (AERR) as well as the Accountability Statement, please click HERE

To read the current Strategic Plan, please click HERE


Head of School Search Update

New Head of School Announced

The River Valley School Board of Directors recently underwent a process of recruiting a new Head of School and is pleased to announce the appointment of Carolyn Breland. Carolyn will be joining us in July 2019. Read the official announcement HERE.

This was an important responsibility and the Board took care to find the candidate best suited to lead River Valley School into the future. To help us in our search, we engaged the services of Laverne Smith & Associates, a leading Canadian firm that has worked extensively with independent schools.

Consultant Introduction

Laverne Smith & Associates Inc. is an executive search firm that specializes in senior-level recruitment for the public and not-for-profit sectors. They are a leading firm in Canada engaged by top independent schools and universities to recruit for prestigious academic and executive leadership positions.

Laverne Smith

Dr. Laverne Smith, the lead consultant, is widely regarded as Canada’s and one of North America’s most skilled educational consultants with a special interest in independent schools. She is a seasoned expert with extensive experience and contacts, and a significant understanding of independent schools around the world.  She thoroughly understands the search process, and the organizational culture of independent schools as an educator. In addition to professional certification, she holds a PhD in Education. Most of the current, successful long-term Heads of School in the country have been placed by her and her firm.

Interim Head of School

To ensure there is appropriate support leading up to and post-Erin Corbett’s departure, as well as effectively on-boarding for the new Head of School, we have determined the need for an Interim Head of School. Therefore, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I am very pleased to announce that Mr. Cam Hodgson has accepted the role of Interim Head of School, effective April 1 through July 31, 2019.

January 30, 2019 – Interim Head of School Introduction

Job Posting Head of School

January 22, 2019 – Head of School Search Update

January 22, 2019 – Search Timeline 

Board of Directors

As a not-for-profit charitable society, River Valley School has a Board of Directors that oversees the governance of the organization. Their primary focus is long-term strategic work for the school, maintenance of our mission and vision as well as ensuring that we are operating in compliance with the legal requirements of a charitable society and a private school under the School Act. The Board and Head of School work together in these areas and the Head of School reports monthly on the operational components of River Valley School.

Learn more – board overview.

The RVS Board of Directors has elected a new Chair, Brett Undershute. Brett has been on the Board of Directors since 2015 and has served as our Treasurer for the last two years. Brett succeeds Bruce McCallum who has been the Chair since October, 2017 and will be finishing his term as a Director at this year’s Annual General Meeting.

The Board of Directors for the 2018 – 2019 school year are:

Brett Undershute – Chair

Chris Rahbek-Nielsen – Secretary

Michael Scott – Treasurer

Jason Cameron

Daniel Collins

Jennifer Forbes

Jane Kerr

Chester Krala

Patrick Stanley

Jana Taylor

Letter from the Board Chair

Greetings parents, faculty and staff from your newly elected Board Chair. I am very passionate about River Valley School. My eldest daughter joined the school six years ago. RVS ignited her passion for learning and she is now an honour student at West Island College. I have two other daughters attending and loving RVS.

The Board’s priorities at this time are very simple: Recruit a new head of school who shares RVS’s community values, complete our capital campaign, and find RVS a new long-term home.

Our recent move back to one campus may seem unusual. We originally leased the Early Learning Campus with the hope of someday buying the school and surrounding land. In my opinion, The City was too comfortable collecting our rent and no progress on our purchase was being made.  The City is again planning a sale of the property, and we expect to bid on it in the spring of 2020.  Other locations will be considered as well.

I have had the benefit of observing and learning from three of our past Chairs–Bruce McCallum, Jon Wrathall and Rob Nieuwesteeg. I thank them for their service and dedication to the school.

Erin and her staff have provided us a great foundation on which to build. We will maintain the warm a caring culture of our school while continuing to provide exceptional education that embraces the unique talents of every child. I expect great things ahead.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank you for your support.

Brett Undershute
Board Chair

RVS Board of Directors Call for Nominations

Each year the Board requests that nominations for members of the Society (parents) nominate themselves or other potential candidates to join the Board of Directors. We are looking to fill three positions of Directors that have completed their terms. The Nominations and Governance Committee of River Valley School Society is seeking candidates who wish to serve on the Board of Directors.

As a member of the Board, Directors are responsible for the effective governance of the organization. Therefore knowledge and skills in the areas of finance, accounting, legal, fundraising, governance, strategic planning, government relations, and/or communications are required.

Directors will be elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting on May 30, 2019. Directors serve a two-year term, and are expected to attend monthly Board meetings, as well as serve on a Board committee. For more information regarding requirements and duties, please refer to the Board of Directors Overview.

Accreditation & Affiliations

River Valley School is accredited by Alberta Education.


River Valley School is a CAIS Candidate School. The Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) is a community of independent schools who choose to meet and exceed rigorous National Standards that inspire continuous whole school improvement.


Accreditation of Early Learning and Care Services since 2016.


River Valley is the only school in Alberta that is a member of the prestigious Cambridge University Students Union Innovation 800 (affiliated with Cambridge University), representing schools worldwide dedicated to innovative and fresh thinking.


River Valley School is the only school in Alberta that offers the Arrowsmith Program; a scientific approach to help students overcome learning disabilities and challenges. Arrowsmith certified teachers focus on the science of neuroplasticity to retrain the brain and give students the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and life.