The Board of The Booker School are here with a shared Mission: to offer a contemporary and innovative educational choice for families in the community.
In July 2017, the Board selected an experienced international educator to take the school and help realize its Mission, Vision and Values.
If you would like to contact a member of the Board, their email addresses are below.
KRISTINA BOUDREAU - Board Member (Treasurer & Secretary)
Kristina grew up in British Columbia on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. She was fortunate to spend most of her free time exploring forests and ocean shores developing a love and appreciation of the great outdoors. In 2003 she graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology. In 2006 she graduated from NSCC with a Paralegal Diploma with Honours. Since 2014, Kristina has been the Prothonotary at the Kentville Justice Centre. she feels fortunate to call the Annapolis Valley her home away from home.
Kristina considers it an honour to be a member of the Board for the Booker School. Her daughter Sophie has been a student at the school since 2015. Together with her husband Matt, they chose the Booker School because of their desire to instill in their daughter the values of critical thinking, community and global citizenship. Being a member of the Booker School community has been an enriching experience for their family. With the patience, nurturing and instruction by the remarkable teachers at the Booker School, Sophie has developed from a shy nervous four year old girl to a confident well-spoken seven year old. Through Kristina's participation in the Board, she hope to give back to the Booker School Community and help it to grow into its fullest potential.
Jennifer Tufts - Board Member (Vice Chair)
Born and raised in the Annapolis Valley, Jennifer feels strongly that the Annapolis Valley is a great place to live and raise a family. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Bachelor of Arts Honours in Classics from Acadia University, level one and level two of the National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration from Dalhousie University and is close to obtaining my economic development professional designation through the Economic Development Association of Canada. Jennifer has been working in economic development in the Annapolis Valley for the last 15 years. She is the CEO of the Valley Regional Enterprise Network, a regional economic development organization for the Annapolis Valley region primarily focused on business development, providing one-on-one customized supports to businesses, and working on major projects in our region in various sectors/industries. She is passionate about making a difference in the communities of the Annapolis Valley.
Her son Lucas started at the Booker School this year (2019). Together with her husband Jerry, they felt the Booker School was the best fit for their son: based on the exceptional curriculum, small class size, personal touch and overall development of the children. Jennifer joined the Board in 2019, as she knew she wanted to make a difference in her son’s school community. She has a great deal of experience with boards and committees, and felt it would be a good fit to her skillset and a way to help at the school.
DOUG KAIZER - Board Member
(Bio coming soon)
JOHN PARSONS - Board Member (Building Committee)
John is an active member of the Valley community, and has been heavily involved in the new Kentville Library.
John's interests in construction, as well as a love for his daughter, makes him a very active member and supporter of The Booker School.
RON TESTROETE - Board Member (Chair)
(Bio coming soon)
FRIENDS & VOLUNTEERS
JOHANNA MERCER - Founder
Johanna Mercer BA (Acadia), MFA (UBC)
Inspired by her son’s experience at Stratford Hall, Vancouver, and mentored by its founder, Dr. Jim McConnell, Johanna founded the Booker School and served pro bono as its Director from 2012 – 16.
Over the course of her career, Johanna has taught at McGill University and the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. She has produced and directed over sixty theatre productions with companies as diverse as The Shaw Festival, The Wooster Group, and the Mulgrave Road Co-op, and has written, produced and directed more than fifteen films shown and distributed nationally and internationally. In her spare time, she has developed and sold real estate.
At 21, Johanna traveled around the world solo visiting the United World Colleges she had hoped to attend. Coming full circle, it’s her profound hope that the young people of this province will benefit from the introduction of the early years International Baccalaureate program.
MARY GAGNON - School Supporter
"Throughout the founding years of The Booker School, Mary provided wisdom, guidance and inspiration for the team as they built their identity. Her experience within the IB has been invaluable to the growth of The Booker School, and her contributions will always be appreciated." - James Weekes, HoS
There are currently 84 authorized IB PYP programmes in Canada, none of them in the Maritimes. I was the PYP coordinator of one such program in Edmonton, in 2003 when we became one of 3 authorized Canadian schools. In 2005 I left the classroom and spent 3 years as a trained consultant and evaluator for the IBNA. After returning to NS, I was thrilled to hear that Booker had aspirations to become an authorized school and immediately contacted the director to offer support and encouragement.
Over the past few years, Booker has persevered through many challenges to work towards this vision. The staff has worked hard to provide an approach to learning , through inquiry, that fosters higher level thinking, and helps students set personal learning goals. Booker is laying the groundwork to bring this highly regarded program to, at least some NS children.
DOREEN COULSTAN-GUPPY - Volunteer
"It is with great appreciation that Ms Doreen visits us every Thursday. Her enthusiasm and exuberance for teaching is infectious, and I believe our teaching team enjoy her stories as much as the students do" - James Weekes, HoS
Every Thursday morning, I have the pleasure and privilege of reading with the Early Years children at The Booker School. Reading together is interactive. I invite children to predict, and to join in repeated parts. A variety of texts can be used during our story-time. There are a wealth of beautiful picture books that enhance an easy text. There are also picture books that have fairly advanced language and the picture helps the child with the meaning of that language. There are non-fiction books, poetry, and chapter books, each bringing and demonstrating a different use of language. Before we ask children to write in these styles, they need to hear them read aloud, discuss differences, and understand how language works.
I love watching passive listeners become engaged listeners … it’a a bit nosier, but I am constantly amazed and delighted with children’s enthusiasm and understanding. Learning is a joyous and exciting way to connect meaning to our lives. Books and reading enhance the experience!
SENSEI ANDREW HAIGHT | Aikido
Head instructor, Sensei Andrew Haight, (4th dan Aikido) has been a dedicated student of the martial arts & Ki (or Chi – Life energy), for almost 30 years. From his beginnings in Karate, his intensive, live-in years studying Aikido in California, to his passion for Tai Chi & Iaido, Andrew is a deeply knowledgable teacher who loves sharing his experience & encouraging others to grow & thrive. Andrew has traveled extensively, studying with some of the best teachers in the world. He has been teaching since 2000, continually exploring body awareness, centre & the body-mind-spirit connection.
GAEA JESS | Dance & Yoga
Dancing since the age of 3, Gaea pursued intensive and continuous dance training (ballet, jazz, modern) in Nova Scotia before attending York University in Toronto, where she earned a Bachelor of Dance and Kinesiology in 2001. After graduating, Gaea spent a year studying and teaching dance in Australia before travelling extensively throughout New Zealand, Thailand and Malaysia.
She then returned to Canada and studied and taught at the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Calgary. Gaea returned to Nova Scotia and in 2006 became the owner and Artistic Director of Cadance Academy, formerly owned by her mother Linda Jess. In 2006 she earned ed her Hatha Yoga certification. She also obtained certification in CDTA Acro, Zumba, Zumbini and continues to attend many workshops and training sessions to keep her teaching methods up to date including teacher training at the National Ballet School of Canada. Under Gaea’s direction, Cadance became the first dance academy certified by the Nova Scotia Department of Education to grant High School Matriculation credits to its ballet students upon completion of their CDTA intermediate or advanced ballet exam. Gaea continues to share her passion for dance, health and wellness throughout the Annapolis Valley and beyond.
The Meindl family kindly donated a fully functional kiln to the school in September 2018. The item has been used to create some of the beautiful, well-loved figurines finely crafted by Ms Elfriede Meindl herself.
The kiln will be one of the items available for the wider community to use once the school's Makerspace is open.
You can find out more here.