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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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. 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!

Mrs. R

Teacher - Tots - ELC

Mrs. R

Teacher - Tots - ELC

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 Mrs. 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. 😉

Ms. Tara

Occupational Therapist

Ms. Tara

Occupational Therapist

Tara Kuervers

Ms. Robin

Speech Language Pathology

Ms. Robin

Speech Language Pathology

Robin Tiller

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

Mrs. Allan

Teacher - Grade 1

Mrs. Allan

Teacher - Grade 1

Lindsay Allan

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

Miss Krista

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Miss Krista

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Krista Lawrence

Staff photo Kiran Sangha

Miss Kiran

Resource Specialist

Staff photo Kiran Sangha

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

Mrs. Johnston

Teacher - Kindergarten

Mrs. Johnston

Teacher - Kindergarten

Reagan Johnston

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

Ms. Powell

Teacher - Grade 5

Ms. Powell

Teacher - Grade 5

Cori Powell

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

Miss Jenn

Teacher's Aide - Arrowsmith

Miss Jenn

Teacher's Aide - Arrowsmith

Jennifer Janzen

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

Mr. Richard

Facilities Supervisor

Mr. Richard

Facilities Supervisor

Richard Lester

Miss Jitka

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Miss Jitka

Teacher's Aide - Kindergarten

Jitka Gingrich

Miss Joann

Teacher's Aide - Junior Kindergarten

Miss Joann

Teacher's Aide - Junior Kindergarten

Joann Presquito

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

Mr. Nigel

Specialist - Art

Mr. Nigel

Specialist - Art

Nigel Murphy began working at RVS as a videographer in the spring of 2017 assisting the grade 5 class with creating a short film called The Consumer Monsters. After the success of this project I was asked to return to provide further instruction in visual art, videography, and animation.


What do you love about RVS?

The enthusiasm students here have for expressing themselves and putting their unique mark on any project they are given is second to none. Their access to and grasp of complex technologies and digital platforms allows for the level of instruction that would be impossible anywhere else.


What drew you to teaching / your work?

The opportunity to teach critical thinking, expression, and kindness is my life's calling. As an author, researcher, artist, and lecturer at the university level, I am acutely aware of how vital digital presentation skills and media awareness are, no matter what subject a student chooses to pursue. My goal is to see every student I am teaching today in front of me at the university level down the road.


More about Mr. Nigel

There are three principles that I choose to live my life by. The first comes from Benveunito Celini–a true renaissance man–who said that "A well-rounded man is an artist, warrior, and philosopher." The second comes from Plato's Apology of Socrates "an unexamined life is not worth living." The third quote I live by, and perhaps the most important, comes from a lesser-known pair of philosophers, musicians, and travellers, who said very correctly to "Be excellent to each other." My personal interests include historical martial arts, graphic novels, and ruthlessly dissecting popular culture.

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!

Mrs Lewis

Teacher - Grade 2

Mrs Lewis

Teacher - Grade 2

Chelsey Lewis

Miss Sara

Teacher's Aide - Grade 3

Miss Sara

Teacher's Aide - Grade 3

Sara Wolfe

Miss Joesel

Teacher's Aide - Grade 4

Miss Joesel

Teacher's Aide - Grade 4

Joesel Camano

Ms Deyrdre

Teacher's Aide - Grade 5

Ms Deyrdre

Teacher's Aide - Grade 5

Deyrdre Szyndrowski

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