Task Force for Teaching Excellence – Biographies

Dr. Glenn Feltham - Chair

Dr. Glenn Feltham assumed the role of NAIT’s sixth president and CEO on March 1, 2011. He has an extensive academic and professional background. Dr. Feltham holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Science with a major in Business Administration and an MBA from the University of Montana, an LLB from Queen’s University Faculty of Law and a PhD from the University of Waterloo School of Accountancy. Owing to a unique family history, he brings to NAIT a keen interest in the role of entrepreneurism in strengthening the Alberta and Canadian economy, as well as a deep appreciation of the value of community. Before he joined NAIT, Dr. Feltham was dean of the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. His career has been defined by service to both his community and profession. His roles and achievements include: Potash Corp. Chair (Chuck and Norma Childers’ Chair) for Saskatchewan Enterprise and Department Head of Accounting and at the College of Commerce, University of Saskatchewan; Director of Undergraduate Business Programs in the School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University; chair of the board of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet; board member with the Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.; and board member with the Crown Corporations Council of Manitoba. Professionally, Dr. Feltham holds a designation as a Certified Management Accountant and a Fellowship with the Society of Management Accountants of Canada, is past president of the Canadian Academic Accounting Association, and was previously enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Law Society of Alberta.

Sandra Jansen – Vice Chair

Sandra Jansen was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary-North West on April 23, 2012. She was sworn in as Associate Minister of Family and Community Safety on August 1, 2013. She is a member of the government’s Operations Committee and serves on the Standing Committee on Families and Communities as well as the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing. Previous appointments include serving as Deputy Government Whip, chair of the Calgary caucus and co-chair of the Alberta Film Advisory Council. Ms. Jansen earned a broadcasting diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and later studied French at McGill University. She also holds a master’s degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University. Ms. Jansen is an experienced journalist, having spent 23 years in the field, including 10 years as a national news anchor at CTV News Channel in Toronto. She also hosted the City TV Calgary show Your City from 2007 to 2010. Ms. Jansen later served as Premier Alison Redford’s southern Alberta communications manager from October 2011 to March 2012. A passionate advocate and dedicated volunteer, over the years she has been a spokesperson and a volunteer for the United Way, Calgary Health Trust, and Ronald McDonald House and a board member at the Calgary Girls’ School. Ms. Jansen is an acrylic artist and has donated more than 50 paintings to various charities in the Calgary area.

Naresh Bhardwaj

Naresh Bhardwaj was elected to his second term as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-Ellerslie on April 23, 2012. In addition to his duties as an MLA, Mr. Bhardwaj serves as chair of the capital region caucus. He also sits on the following committees: the Legislative Review Committee, the Standing Committee on Private Bills, and the Standing Committee on Alberta´s Economic Future. Previously, he served as Chair on the Steering Committee for Setting the Direction, which recommended a framework to reform the provision of services and supports to Alberta students with special education needs. Mr. Bhardwaj moved to Alberta with his family in 1976. He became a journeyman automotive mechanic in 1983 before going back to school and graduating from the U of A with a double major. Naresh then spent the next 18 years working as a teacher in Pincher Creek, Whitecourt, Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton, teaching predominantly automotives, mathematics and physical education. Mr. Bhardwaj has been actively involved with Edmonton communities for over 36 years, serving on many associations, establishing Youth Link, a youth employment training program, and coaching soccer at the community league level and for Juventus U-18.

David C. Dorward

David C. Dorward was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Edmonton-Gold Bar on April 23, 2012. On May 8, 2012, Premier Alison Redford named Mr. Dorward as a member of Alberta´s Treasury Board, and he was appointed deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on May 24, 2012. In addition, he is also a member of the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, the Standing Committee on Alberta´s Economic Futures, and the Select Special Conflicts of Interest Act Review Committee. Mr. Dorward has also recently been appointed as the Deputy Whip. He is a graduate of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and the University of Alberta, and was recognized by NAIT as one of its top 50 graduates of the last 50 years. An experienced Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant, Mr. Dorward founded his own company, Dorward & Company Chartered Accountants LLP in 1994. In 2009, his company was a finalist for the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce´s Small Business Owner of the Year Award and he received an honorable mention for the Alberta Outstanding Community Leader Award, presented by the then Lieutenant Governor, Norman Kwong. Throughout his life Mr. Dorward has contributed to his community in many ways. He has served on numerous local and provincial boards, including the Edmonton Epilepsy Association, Basketball Alberta and the Children´s Ability Fund. He founded Edmonton´s Saville Community Sports Centre (GO Centre), the largest community and sport centre of its type in North America. As well, he serves as president of the Edmonton Grads Basketball Centre, the group that operates basketball programming at the GO Centre. In addition to coaching youth basketball for more than 12 years, he organized the basketball program for many Edmonton-Gold Bar communities. Mr. Dorward has also served as a United Way director of finance and administration.

Everett McDonald

Everett McDonald was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Grande Prairie-Smoky on April 23, 2012. He also serves on the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices (deputy chair), the Standing Committee on Alberta´s Economic Future, the Special Standing Committee on Members´ Service, the Select Special Conflicts of Interest Act Review Committee, and the Select Special Chief Electoral Officer Search Committee. Mr. McDonald was recently appointed as chair of the MLA implementation team working on the review and implementation of the retail market review recommendations to strengthen Alberta´s retail electricity market. First elected to the County of Grande Prairie No. 1 Council in 1992, Mr. McDonald served in various capacities during his tenure, including as chair of numerous commissions and boards and as deputy reeve. He then served as reeve from 2004 until his election to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Mr. McDonald was the chairman of the Crystal Creek Conservation Society and also represented the county on various provincial committees, including the Alberta Growth Summit and the provincial Mountain Pine Beetle Advisory Committee. In addition, he was also a founding board member of Aquatera, a municipally owned utility corporation, the first of its kind in the province.

David Fraser

David Fraser is the Executive Director of Corporate Services at Edmonton Public Schools. He is well respected and knowledgeable in the field of employee and Human Resources issues in the education sector. Mr Fraser is currently a member of the External Advisory Committee for Alberta Education’s Workforce Planning Initiative.

Dr. Sharon Friesen

Dr. Sharon Friesen is a founding partner and president of the Galileo Educational Network and Vice Dean in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. She has devoted herself to conducting research and collaborating with administrators and teachers to develop research based practices. She is the recipient of numerous awards including: the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences 2007 Education Prize, the 2007 Calgary Stampede Legacy Award for Innovation and the 1999 Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. She has co-authored three books, one which won the 2004 American Education Research Association Book Award for Curriculum Studies. Dr. Friesen was a member of the Inspiring Education Steering Committee.

Dr. Irene Lewis

Dr. Irene Lewis became president and CEO of SAIT Polytechnic in 1998 and retired from that position in 2013. Prior to joining SAIT, Irene was president of the Alberta Vocational College (now NorQuest) and led its transition to an independent board-governed institution. Beginning her career as a teacher in rural Alberta, she later worked in Singapore for more than five years, where she had a central role in shaping that country's vision for workforce development. Irene has written textbooks, hosted an educational television series and taught in primary, secondary and post-secondary systems. In 2010, Irene received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary – its highest honour. She was presented with the Chair Academy’s 2009 International Exemplary Leader Award and was named the 2009 Woman of the Year by Consumers’ Choice of Calgary. Irene was recognized with the 2008 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Council of Advancement and Support of Education, named a 2008 Woman of Vision by Global Calgary, one of Alberta’s Most Respected Corporate Leaders in 2007, and one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential Citizens in 2005. She has received the Premier’s Gold Award of Excellence, a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and a University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award.

Dr. Craig Loewen

Dr. Craig Loewen is the Dean of Education at the University of Lethbridge. He is a long serving faculty member, U of L alumnus (BEd ’84) and mathematics education expert whose research includes how students learn and how teachers can promote and enrich student learning. He has received the University of Lethbridge Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Educational Research Award from the Alberta Teachers’ Association, which acknowledged his involvement in pre-service and in-service mathematics education. In addition, he was appointed a Friend of the Mathematics Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association and was inducted into the University of Lethbridge Alumni Honour Society in 2011.

Mackenzie Martin

Mackenzie Martin has just completed a year as a member of the Minister’s Student Advisory Panel (Speak Out). A student leader she is focused on education and public health and very passionate about girls' issues. As a young feminist, she has organizes many community events to highlight the issues facing girls locally and globally, including an event here in Edmonton that included students participating from international venues to recognize the UN’s first day of the Girl Child. Her perspectives on policy and the importance of education has also been shaped by working as a Page at the Legislature. An International Baccalaureate Student, she is also recognized as a recipient of the Toronto Dominion’s Scholarships for Community Leadership. She will be attending the University of Alberta this coming semester and studying in the field of education.

Brent McDonough

Brent McDonough is a teacher with extensive experience at the secondary school level. He is currently a Sessional/ Field Experiences Associate/ IB advisor to the Masters in Educational Studies Program in the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. He is also a member of the Education Society of Edmonton and an executive member of the Friends of the University of Alberta. He has served a six year term on the University of Alberta Senate and a three year term on the University of Alberta Alumni Association, and is past chair of the Edmonton Public Library Board. The province honored Mr. McDonough for his contributions to the community with an Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. Mr. McDonough was co-chair of the Inspiring Education Steering Committee.

Michele Mulder

Michele Mulder was a school trustee for 15 years with Battle River Schools and served as Alberta School Boards Association President for three of those years. She holds an unwavering belief in the positive benefits that can accrue to a school board when a group of engaged and knowledgeable parents share and support the board’s vision.

Andy Neigel

Andy Neigel is the President and CEO of CAREERS: The Next Generation. Mr. Neigel earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry at the University of Alberta and a Forestry Diploma at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and has provided successful leadership in the forest industry for more than 25 years. Andy’s career in the forestry business has taken him throughout both British Columbia and Alberta, and included forestry instruction at a nationally recognized technical forestry school. He is a Registered Professional Forester both in Alberta and in British Columbia, is a certified Forest Auditor, and is a graduate of the Queen’s School of Business Executive and Leadership Programs. He has served on the Board of Directors for CAREERS: The Next Generation, Forest Products Association of Canada, Pulp and Paper Institute of Canada, Forest Engineering Research Institute for Canada and Portage College and is the former VP and COO of Al-Pac. He is also a member of the Northern Alberta Development Council, serves on Athabasca University Governing Council and the Athabasca Oil Sands Area – Transportation Coordinating Committee. Andy, his wife, and their four children reside on a farm south of Athabasca.

Shelley Ralston

Shelley Ralston is an executive with sales, marketing, operations, general management and human resources expertise. She is a change agent with strengths in building organizational capacity, strategic planning and consistent excellence in results delivery. Ms. Ralston was appointed to the Red Deer College Board of Governors in June 2010 and in March 2012, she was appointed Board Chair. Currently she is the Director of Talent and Culture for Xerox Canada and partner in Graden Systems. Prior to starting her business, she spent a year and a half with TELUS as a director and area vice president for Public Sector Business solutions. Shelley also spent 13 years with Xerox Canada in various senior management roles, which included: sales manager, marketing manager, and general manager. She is a past board member of the Red Deer Rotary Club; a board member of the Women’s Leadership Foundation, past cabinet member of the Central Alberta United Way and a member with the Alberta Chapter for Room to Read, as well sat on the marketing committee for the Central Alberta Leadership Centre. Shelley was the recipient of the Women of Excellence award in 2008. Shelley has a bachelor

Laurie Thompson

Laurie Thompson has two decades of experience as a teacher and a principal. Ms. Thompson lives on the Kikino Métis Settlement with her 14 year old daughter; she has a B.Ed from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Arts in Leadership degree from Royal Roads University in Victoria. Ms. Thompson was a member of the Inspiring Education Steering Committee.

Ron Young

Ron Young as a teacher and principal in rural Alberta, Ron brings significant experience to discussions on education. When faced with the closure of the local school at 4 Wing Cold Lake, he stepped in and organized a successful private school that has been a foundation of success for families at Cold Lake’s military base. Shortly after arriving in Grand Centre, Ron ran for town council. He was the youngest councilor ever elected. He went on to win a total of 9 consecutive elections, none by acclamation. He retired from council in 2004, after serving longer than anyone in the history of the city.


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