Our Teams

Our diverse school team includes more than teachers. Everyone at Willowstone Academy– administrators, office staff, support staff, specialists and teachers–is here because we believe in championing the extraordinary potential of every child. 

We are committed to supporting each students’ individual journey by cultivating strengths, embracing differences, and encouraging vulnerability.

And, like our students, our staff is supported to challenge themselves to grow professionally, encouraged to explore their personal faith journey purposefully, and invited to share their passions, interests and gifts in our school and church community in ways that matter. Indeed, many of our team members actively run after-school clubs and activities on our campus throughout the year, and volunteer or run one of our Summer Camps in July and August. 

Fostering connections between home and school is integral for success and thriving; after all, you are the experts on your children! So, ultimately, we stand as partners with you in our students’ journeys. We are here to support in every way we can–whether you have questions about registration, after-school programming or what the curriculum or faith journey looks like in the classroom–please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Willowstone Academy’s administrative team is designed to effectively serve our teachers, students and parents. Our Principal and Director of Operations are committed to ensuring not only the smooth running of our campus, but also that our teachers are equipped to create classrooms where rich learning opportunities abound, while our Team Leads and Program Managers direct each of our specific departments: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten to Grade 5, Middle Years (Grades 6-9), and Student Services. If you have any questions about school policies, procedures or plans, or anything else, please contact one of our team members!

Dave Balfour

Dave Balfour

Principal

Lisa-Diane Fortier

Lisa-Diane Fortier

Director of Operations

Janine Draper

Janine Draper

Team Lead: K-5 + Educator (Grade 2/3)

Stefan Montalbetti

Stefan Montalbetti

Team Lead: Middle Years + Educator (Middle Years)

Jenn Knourek

Jenn Knourek

ECE Manager
ECE – IT, Human Service Work Diploma

Candace Sced

Candace Sced

Admissions Advisor

Jessica Krebs

Jessica Krebs

Operations Coordinator

Mark Ridley

Mark Ridley

Chief Accountant

Laura Clifton

Laura Clifton

Receptionist

Pearl Fehr

Pearl Fehr

Office Assistant

Our Kindergarten to Grade 5 team is a diverse group of educators who are dedicated to building foundational literacy and numeracy skills in classrooms that are vibrant, “hands-on” and inclusive. The research is clear that students thrive when they feel strong attachments to their teachers. First and foremost, our teachers ensure that your children are seen, are known and are cared for. Feel free to connect with one of our educators if you have any questions about student learning, or to inquire about ways to volunteer in the classroom.

Janine Draper

Janine Draper

Team Lead: K-5 + Educator (Grade 2/3)

Shauna Webster

Shauna Webster

Educator (Kindergarten)

Teri-Lynn James

Teri-Lynn James

Educator (Grade 1)

Tabitha Kee

Tabitha Kee

Educator (Grade 2)

Jill McIntyre

Jill McIntyre

Educator (Grade 2/3)

Kim Abadillos

Kim Abadillos

Educator (Grade 4)

Erika Drexl

Erika Drexl

Educator (Grade 5)

Our Middle Years team has content areas specialists in each of the core subjects who also deeply understand the specific nature of adolescent development so that they support not only academic achievement as well as healthy social-emotional growth. Fostering attachments to mentor-teachers is no less important in middle school as it is in the elementary school years. These connections provide a safe foundation on which students can build their learning journey. Teachers anchor their teaching around the 3-Pillars of our Middle Years Program: Powerful Learning, Authentic connections and Identity Formation. Please contact anyone on the team to hear more about our dynamic Middle Years program.

Stefan Montalbetti

Stefan Montalbetti

Team Lead: Middle Years + Educator (Middle Years)

Jamie Stevens

Jamie Stevens

Educator (Middle Years)

Karen Harris

Karen Harris

Educator (Middle Years)

Jake Anderson

Jake Anderson

Educator (Middle Years)

Willowstone Academy is pleased to have specialty teachers to enrich our students’ learning experience and the arts. Our Music, French, Physical Education and Fine Arts specialists work collaboratively across grades with our teaching team to create meaningful, engaging and challenging learning experiences both inside the classroom and in a variety of extra-curricular activities and events. Class-led Chapels, Christmas Concerts, Spring Celebrations, and other school and community-wide events are places where our specialists make sure that your child’s gifts, talents and learning are celebrated and honoured.

Jerry Hesse

Jerry Hesse

Educator (Phys Ed)

Tamara Priebe

Tamara Priebe

Educator (Music)

Jezabel Morin

Jezabel Morin

Educator (French)

Our support team is integral to personalized learning and student success at every grade level. Our certified educational assistants (CEAs) work closely with classroom teachers and individual students to ensure that each child has the resources they need to succeed and is supported in all areas of school life, whether in specific subject areas, social-emotional learning or with executive functioning strategies. Like our teachers, our CEAs are deeply invested in fostering, championing and celebrating the unique potential in each student, and are unwavering in their support of your child’s success.

Andrea Kifle

Andrea Kifle

CEA

Carla Simonin

Carla Simonin

CEA

Christina Schewa

Christina Schewa

CEA

Claire Littlewood

Claire Littlewood

CEA

Claudia Marroquin Pinto

Claudia Marroquin Pinto

CEA

Leanne Brost

Leanne Brost

CEA

Our Infant Toddler team is dedicated to creating a space where our “Willowseeds” can grow and thrive. Building trust and nurturing emotional security is so important during these tender years, and our attuned educators foster strong relationships with families and develop schedules that are both predictable and flexible. Our team creates smooth and calm transitions that minimize the cares and worries that can often accompany entering care for the first time. Daily connections with families ensure that important information is communicated easily and provides insight as a window into your child’s day.

 

Our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) educators are dedicated to nurturing learners in an environment that is bursting with wonder, playfulness, and joy. Tenderly holding each child’s diverse needs and carefully cultivating trusting relationships between school and home, our educators are deeply attuned to the unique developmental needs of young children. We know that for many children (and parents!) this might be the first time they are spending time away from home and family, and our team is dedicated to ensuring that this experience is not merely positive, but also fulfilling and memorable.

Jenn Knourek

Jenn Knourek

ECE Manager
ECE – IT, Human Service Work Diploma

Amanda Kovatch

Amanda Kovatch

Infant-Toddler Room Lead
ECE-A

Becca Wellspring

Becca Wellspring

Pre-K Lead Teacher; ECE Daycare; Infant-Toddler Room
ECE, B.A

Chiyo Saito

Chiyo Saito

Pre-K Assistant; ECE Daycare; Infant-Toddler Room
ECE - IT + SNE

Emma Balfour

Emma Balfour

Preschool 208 Assistant; ECE Daycare; Infant-Toddler Room
ECE-A

Jillian Kirk

Jillian Kirk

Infant-Toddler Room
ECE-A

Laura Oig

Laura Oig

Infant-Toddler Room
ECE

Page Gates

Page Gates

Preschool 118 Assistant; ECE Daycare
ECE-A

Rachel Lambrecht

Rachel Lambrecht

Preschool 118 Lead Teacher; ECE Daycare
ECE - IT, B.Ed

Sarah Passley

Sarah Passley

Preschool 208 Lead Teacher; ECE Daycare
ECE

Kerstin Slater

Kerstin Slater

ECE Department Substitute
Responsible Adult Certificate

Willowstone Academy’s School Board is pleased to support and uphold our Principal, Director of Operations, and all school staff in their daily endeavours to carry out the vision and mission of our school. This means honoring and balancing the many priorities and objectives of our stakeholder community while partnering with First Lutheran Church to serve both of our organizations in positive and practical ways.

Please feel welcome to contact the school board at schoolboard@willowstoneacademy.com if you have any questions or comments.