I was born and raised in Calgary, AB and graduated from Chinook Winds Adventist Academy in 2003. I moved to Australia to complete my BA/BEd at Avondale University. I returned to Canada to teach at CWAA and serve as the VP from 2010-2020 and have been the Principal at PACeS since 2021. I finished my MA in Educational Leadership from Andrews University in 2020 and am working on my PhD in Administration and Leadership (hoping to be done in a couple of years!). I am happily married to my wife Samantha who is also a teacher currently working at Sylvan Meadows Adventist School. We have a 2-year-old puppy named Hercules and we enjoy traveling across Canada, going on cruises (we met on a teacher cruise), and spending time in Quebec and Prince Edward Island.
My favourite Bible verse is Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Mina DesjardinsVice-Principal, Home Education, French
Hello! My name is Mina Desjardins. I am a wife to 1 great husband and mother to 3 wonderful kids. I have been here at PACeS 5 years and I spend my time helping the principal, working with our Home Education families, and teaching French as a second language for our high school students. I love Jesus and am grateful for the opportunity to work here to be able to share Him with others as I work.
One amazing thing about God is that He loves us, and wants us to trust Him. A Bible verse that I love to always go back to is Phillippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Michelle WernerRegistrar, Office Manager, Librarian in Chief
Born and raised near the Rocky Mountains I am a nature enthusiast, a mom to 3 sons, Brayden, Owen & Ian, and a wife to Ryan. On the weekends you will find us enjoying the woods quadding and camping. Taking time for a nature walk and a warm cup of tea are some of my favorite things.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”
Kerry SackettGrades K-2, Home Ed Facilitator
Divina BuhiaGrades 3-4, Home Ed Facilitator
I am from Montreal, Quebec, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Canadian University College and my Masters in Arts: Curriculum and Instruction from LaSierra University. Most of my teaching career has been teaching grade 1; other grades have included grades 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8. This will be my 4th year teaching at PACeS. It is a passion of mine to help students grow up knowing that the Lord truly loves them. Outside of the classroom, my family loves to go on adventures hiking in the Rockies or exploring new destinations on road trips. I enjoy cooking and baking and love the changing of the seasons.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Kelly BriereGrades 5-6
I am an Ontario girl and have lived here most of my life. I have two amazing daughters, an incredible husband, and two spunky pups named Maple and Oakley. I love being out in nature, exploring new places, and traveling. I have been teaching with PACeS for the past 15 years. Some of the biggest highlights are connecting with students from all over the world, meeting the Ontario families at the end-of-year field trip, and sharing the love of Jesus with my students. It’s been an incredible journey and I look forward to many more wonderful years.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Danielle RochfordGrades 7-8
Since graduating from Canadian University College in 1999 with a Bachelor of Education degree, I have had the privilege of working with middle school students from around the world. PACeS has been my home for over a decade, and in that time, my experiences with families and students have helped to mold me into the teacher I am today. Technology and experimenting with innovative ideas are passions of mine. Since innovation cannot be achieved without failure, I encourage my students to embrace a philosophy of failing forward with me as we spend each school year creating stepping stones towards success.
Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Shannon KnoppGrades 7-8
I have been an Albertan country girl all my life. I attended PACeS for Grades 9-12. I then got my Bachelors of Education from Burman University in 2019. I have worked with PACeS for a few years as a teacher, and I love it! A good day means having some chips or mangos! I enjoy being able to hang out with my friends and family, and I love a good games night.
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Chelsea PortilloMathematics, Physics, Science
Chelsea Portillo graduated with her Bachelors of Education from Canadian University College (now Burman University) in 2013. She began her teaching career at Parkview Adventist Academy before joining the PACeS team in 2018. Chelsea has a true passion for teaching, specifically the math and sciences, and hopes her students will appreciate the content she teaches as much as she does. When she’s not in the classroom, Chelsea enjoys spending time with her family and friends, escaping to the beach, and playing board games.
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
Lori MacDonaldEnglish, Art, Work Experience
I’ve been teaching English and Art for just over 20 years, and, happily, 13 of those have been with PACeS. I have a Masters of Arts in English from the University of Alberta. In my spare time I enjoy writing poetry and painting. While I love the whole book of Psalms for its beautiful imagery and for the writer’s honest voice, one of my favorite and one of the most reassuring verses is Psalm 46:1-3 – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
Tawnya WillingBiology, Chemistry, Science, P.E.
I graduated from CUC (now Burman University) and have been teaching since 2003 with a few years off for motherhood. I have two children, Ethan and Isabella, and have been married to Michael since 2007. My passion is God’s creation and my hobbies include birding and nature photography, SCUBA and travelling.
Psalms 19:1-2 NIV “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”
Lindsay BoscherSocial Studies, Foods, Home Ed Facilitator
I enjoy all things history and love my job teaching high school Social Studies with PACES for the last 4 years. I live on a small farm with my husband and our two daughters. When I’m not working I enjoy spending time out in the garden, taking care of the yard or doing a project in my house.
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Matthew OkimiMathematics, Information Technology, Religious Studies
Math is fun! No, really. Just keep working at it and asking questions! B.Sc. in Mathematics from WWC. PACeS teacher for approximately √144 years. Prior to PACeS I taught Math in BC and English in Japan. Riding boards, photography and the outdoors keep me entertained. Recently licensed to tell Dad jokes (the punnacle of humour). “That is interesting and I’d love to talk about it – but we need to focus on today’s math…”
Joshua 1:9 MSG “Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”