About the Board

Jordan Watters, Board Chair

Contact Jordan at - jwatters@sd61.bc.ca Contact Jordan at: jwatters@sd61.bc.ca or follow her on twitter @Supportbced - Jordan Watters and her husband Matthew are proud to be raising their family in Greater Victoria. Their young sons are the driving force behind Jordan’s commitment to inclusive and equitable public education in SD61. Jordan is the founder and administrator of Support for BC Students on Facebook providing information and news updates to over 19,000 subscribers. Jordan has been a strong voice in the fight for fully funded quality…

Contact Jordan at - jwatters@sd61.bc.ca

Contact Jordan at: jwatters@sd61.bc.ca or follow her on twitter @Supportbced -

Jordan Watters and her husband Matthew are proud to be raising their family in Greater Victoria. Their young sons are the driving force behind Jordan’s commitment to inclusive and equitable public education in SD61. Jordan is the founder and administrator of Support for BC Students on Facebook providing information and news updates to over 19,000 subscribers. Jordan has been a strong voice in the fight for fully funded quality public education in BC, and she looks forward continuing her advocacy work as a Trustee.

Jordan is the Director of Research for a consulting firm specializing in labour market and economic development projects for First Nations, labour, industry and governments. She specializes in qualitative research methods, stakeholder engagement, and strategic planning. Jordan holds a Master of Arts in Sociology with specialization in Education from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Bishop’s University. Jordan has researched, lectured, and published in the fields of Education, Sociology, Business Regulation and Law.

Full biography

Diane McNally, Vice-Chair

Contact Diane at: dmcnally@sd61.bc.ca - Diane has lived a lifetime commitment to public education, as a student in public schools in Canada, Japan, and all over the US. She then began a 34 + year career in education at age 18 as a teacher in Alberta after two years at U of A Edmonton. She completed a B.Ed. at UVic, MBA at Royal Roads, and completed the 5 year Uvic French Language and Literature Diploma program. She is proud to have earned a Naturalist Diploma…

Contact Diane at: dmcnally@sd61.bc.ca -

Diane has lived a lifetime commitment to public education, as a student in public schools in Canada, Japan, and all over the US. She then began a 34 + year career in education at age 18 as a teacher in Alberta after two years at U of A Edmonton. She completed a B.Ed. at UVic, MBA at Royal Roads, and completed the 5 year Uvic French Language and Literature Diploma program. She is proud to have earned a Naturalist Diploma from the Whale Museum (Friday Harbour). Diane has in the past been a member of the ATA, CUPE, and GVTA/ BCTF.

Diane has served the larger community as Chair of the original Wild ARC Council, Chair of the Victoria SPCA Community Council, as a Board member of the Early Music Society of the Islands, and served on the Executive of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association. She has been a member of Our Place Society for many years, and is a member of Moms Stop the Harm.

Diane provided support for students with needs for additional support in SD62 for 10 years as a CUPE education assistant. She taught as a teacher on call and school based teacher in Alberta and School Districts 61, 62 and 63 on the South Island, for the last 22 years as case manager and teacher of students with special needs for support, and concurrently 10 years as a Reading Recovery teacher in SD61. Diane ended her 22 year teaching career in SD61 in June 2011 and was elected to the SD61 Board of Education in November 2011.

Diane looks forward to continuing to advocate for students’ increased involvement in their own education and is pleased to have brought the original motion to establish a Student Trustee (now student representative council ). Diane wants to work to contribute to Indigenous student graduation rates and success by supporting actions that will have positive outcomes for Indigenous students. She continues to advocate for a completely provincially funded, free no fee universally accessible public education, and believes services for children with exceptional needs for support and the staffing levels that will ensure their success will (always) need close watching and focused advocacy at the Board level. This is a significant equity issue and as a former teacher of students with special needs for support, this issue commands her attention.

Full biography

Nicole Duncan, Trustee, Education Policy Development Committee Chair

Contact Nicole at - nduncan@sd61.bc.ca Nicole has a child attending school in the Greater Victoria School District. Nicole is motivated by her child and a desire to ensure that public education provides all our children an excellent foundation for pursuing their future endeavours. She believes that stability in our public education system is achieved through fair and respectful collective bargaining and adequate and predictable funding. Adequate and predictable funding is essential to planning for and maintaining effective programs for our children. Advocating for a strong…

Contact Nicole at - nduncan@sd61.bc.ca

Nicole has a child attending school in the Greater Victoria School District. Nicole is motivated by her child and a desire to ensure that public education provides all our children an excellent foundation for pursuing their future endeavours. She believes that stability in our public education system is achieved through fair and respectful collective bargaining and adequate and predictable funding. Adequate and predictable funding is essential to planning for and maintaining effective programs for our children.

Advocating for a strong and vibrant public education system is a top priority for Nicole, who believes in the intrinsic value of public education. Nicole has worked for many years as a vocal parent advocate in our District demonstrating her commitment to public education as an active volunteer and through her service on the Executive of a Parent Advisory Council.

In addition to raising her son, Nicole currently runs a consultancy. She offers her experience running a department for a national regulator, investigating complaints and interpreting and applying legislation. Nicole brings her years of experience in policy development, budget management and conflict resolution. As a Trustee, Nicole will utilize her knowledge and experience to serve the public interest.

Full biography

Tom Ferris, Trustee

Contact Tom at: tferris@sd61.bc.ca - I feel honoured to serve on the Victoria Board of Education. When my children were young, I joined the Ecole Quadra Elementary PAC and eventually became it's president. Since then, I have chaired the Victoria Board of Education, the Education Policy Committee and the Swan Lake-Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. My family experiences and business background have helped to guide my decisions at the board table. Our students' welfare and education are my highest priority.

Contact Tom at: tferris@sd61.bc.ca -

I feel honoured to serve on the Victoria Board of Education. When my children were young, I joined the Ecole Quadra Elementary PAC and eventually became it's president. Since then, I have chaired the Victoria Board of Education, the Education Policy Committee and the Swan Lake-Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

My family experiences and business background have helped to guide my decisions at the board table.

Our students' welfare and education are my highest priority.

Full biography

Angie Hentze

Contact Angie at: ahentze@sd61.bc.ca - Angie Hentze is excited to start her first term as a Trustee in SD61. Her two children are currently in elementary school. For the last five years she served as vice president of their non-profit, coop preschool. Now that her youngest is in kindergarten, Angie wants to continue being involved in their education in a meaningful way. Angie's background is in science and education. She has deep love of both learning and teaching, and believes that all children can succeed,…

Contact Angie at: ahentze@sd61.bc.ca -

Angie Hentze is excited to start her first term as a Trustee in SD61. Her two children are currently in elementary school. For the last five years she served as vice president of their non-profit, coop preschool. Now that her youngest is in kindergarten, Angie wants to continue being involved in their education in a meaningful way.

Angie's background is in science and education. She has deep love of both learning and teaching, and believes that all children can succeed, as long as they have educators who are supported, willing, and able to meet them at their level.

As a school trustee, Angie advocates for children and families in our community, helping ensure that the needs of local families are prioritized in the school district. Her goal as trustee is to increase communication and collaboration between the board and the local community, especially parents and teachers. We need to ensure that our education system is working for all our children, regardless of their backgrounds or needs; it is only through collaboration that we can reach that goal.

Full biography

Elaine Leonard, Trustee

Contact Elaine at: eleonard@sd61.bc.ca - Elaine Leonard has been a Trustee for 22 years, including three years as Chair of the Board of Education. She has been Chair of the Operations and Policy Planning Committee for a number of years and has also served on many community advisory committees. Elaine attended school in the Greater Victoria School District as did her 2 children. Elaine volunteered for many years in the classroom and held many executive positions in her local PACs. Elaine believes that a trustee's…

Contact Elaine at: eleonard@sd61.bc.ca -

Elaine Leonard has been a Trustee for 22 years, including three years as Chair of the Board of Education. She has been Chair of the Operations and Policy Planning Committee for a number of years and has also served on many community advisory committees.

Elaine attended school in the Greater Victoria School District as did her 2 children. Elaine volunteered for many years in the classroom and held many executive positions in her local PACs.

Elaine believes that a trustee's role is to make decisions that support learning in the classroom. She believes in supporting a diverse program of arts, music, physical activities and academics and believes that these programs should be fully funded by the government.


Full biography

Ryan Painter, Trustee

Contact Ryan at: rpainter@sd61.bc.ca - Ryan was born and raised in Vernon BC and from the outset of his life he faced uphill challenges. Born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, Ryan required half a dozen surgeries between two months old and sixteen years. The resulting surgeries meant Ryan needed to undergo speech therapy for several years in elementary school. While not nearly as complicated as some issues children and youth face, the facial reconstruction and therapy meant Ryan developed a deep sense of…

Contact Ryan at: rpainter@sd61.bc.ca -

Ryan was born and raised in Vernon BC and from the outset of his life he faced uphill challenges. Born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, Ryan required half a dozen surgeries between two months old and sixteen years. The resulting surgeries meant Ryan needed to undergo speech therapy for several years in elementary school. While not nearly as complicated as some issues children and youth face, the facial reconstruction and therapy meant Ryan developed a deep sense of empathy for those who experienced childhood trauma and who were seen as “different” by their peers.

Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Geography from UBC – Okanagan in 2007, Ryan joined his partner Stephanie in travelling to Asia, where they lived and taught English for four years. Ryan thoroughly enjoyed his time teaching overseas and developed close relationships with his students, parents, and co-teachers. Upon his return to Canada Ryan took a job as a Constituency Assistant to a local MLA for three years before moving onto the public service as a Property Information Administrator with BC Assessment. Recently Ryan secured a position as a Community Fundraising Coordinator with the Heart and Stroke foundation, where Ryan is the Big Bike and My Own Fundraiser coordinator.

Since early 2017 Ryan embarked on a new path as a public activist and advocate on mental health issues. Ryan shared his own lived experiences of struggling with depression, anxiety, panic disorder and a near suicide attempt at the age of 22. Ryan decided he needed to take his experiences and make them public in order to break down the stigma of mental health. Ryan worked at the federal, provincial and municipal level to lobby governments and politicians to take up the cause of mental health, championing such causes as compulsory paid sick leave for all BC workers. In the fall of 2017 Ryan started his own public relations and communications firm Painter Consulting.

Ryan is driven by a sense of public engagement and communication in order to get feedback on what the community wants and needs. He has a strong sense of dedication and commitment to community organizing and ensuring that there is public buy-in on projects and initiatives moved by local, provincial, and federal governments. This means that the public good is at the core of Ryan’s focus. As a School Trustee, Ryan will work tirelessly to ensure transparency and accountability are at the forefront of how the Board and the District operate, and he will work hard to advance issues of local, regional, and provincial interest, in order to ensure that students receive the best quality education they can.

Full biography

Rob Paynter, Trustee, Operations Policy and Planning Committee Chair

Contact Rob at: rpaynter@sd61.bc.ca - Rob and his wife Kris have two children who currently attend elementary and middle school in School District 61. It is their experiences that inform Rob’s view of the conditions in our school district and the provincial education system more broadly. Rob is committed to the principle that a comprehensive, properly resourced and accessible public education system is the very foundation of our society. Rob arrived in (greater) Victoria in 1983 to attend Royal Roads Military College and subsequently served…

Contact Rob at: rpaynter@sd61.bc.ca -

Rob and his wife Kris have two children who currently attend elementary and middle school in School District 61. It is their experiences that inform Rob’s view of the conditions in our school district and the provincial education system more broadly. Rob is committed to the principle that a comprehensive, properly resourced and accessible public education system is the very foundation of our society.

Rob arrived in (greater) Victoria in 1983 to attend Royal Roads Military College and subsequently served in the 3rd battalion PPCLI stationed at Work Point Barracks in Esquimalt. Following his military service, Rob studied at Camosun College and UVic before joining the provincial public service to work on strategic land use planning efforts, including those related to the Great Bear Rainforest. In the course of this work, Rob came to realize that achieving balanced and durable decisions was through meaningful collaboration with all interested or affected parties. Rob will be using this same approach as he works to ensure the best possible opportunities for every student.

Full biography

Ann Whiteaker, Trustee

Contact Ann at: awhiteaker@sd61.bc.ca - Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Ann is proud to call Victoria her home. Through her interest and involvement in her own children’s education, Ann developed an understanding and passion to advocate for the success of all children in the public education system. Ann served for four years as President of the provincial Parent Advisory Council (BCCPAC), working tirelessly and collaboratively with education partners building relationships, improving communication and supporting student success through parent involvement. She has advocated for students…

Contact Ann at: awhiteaker@sd61.bc.ca -

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Ann is proud to call Victoria her home. Through her interest and involvement in her own children’s education, Ann developed an understanding and passion to advocate for the success of all children in the public education system.

Ann served for four years as President of the provincial Parent Advisory Council (BCCPAC), working tirelessly and collaboratively with education partners building relationships, improving communication and supporting student success through parent involvement. She has advocated for students and parents on numerous educational committees including the Education Advisory Council, BC Educational Leadership Council, First Nations Education Steering Committee, the BC School Centred Mental Health Coalition and was appointed to the BC Teachers Council in 2013, for a 3 year term, Ann is committed to ensuring positive education experiences for all children and supporting the role parents and community play in positive learning outcomes with our diverse public education system.

Full biography

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