What education have you taken?
I graduated from high school in London, Ontario after completing my Grade 13 Ontario Academic Diploma. I then went to Brock University, in St. Catharine’s, and graduated with a 4-year Honors Bachelor of Physical Education. After graduation I enrolled at Brandon University, for the first time, in the After-Degree 2 Year Education Program. I have since completed several courses and have obtained my level 1 and level 2 school administrator certificates. Most recently, I have enrolled again at Brandon University and I am on the journey of completing my Master in Education – Administration stream.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
I am very proud of my finest accomplishment, my family. Lane and I have four beautiful children and I believe we are raising them to see how two professional adults can have success in both careers and family. We are also very lucky to have taken nine international students into our home and extended our family well beyond the Manitoba borders. I am pleased with the academic success I have had, but the acceptance of my paper into the BU Journal of Graduate Studies last fall was very exciting for me. I think my proudest accomplishment has been my ability to work with integrity. I believe that it is important that we model for the people with whom we work, and if they take one thing away from me, I hope it is integrity.
Tell me about yourself/ your background/ your history.
I was born and raised in London, Ontario and I have one brother. I was involved in all sports growing up but my favorite was basketball. I also loved school, both the academics and the social aspects. I very much looked forward to venturing out on my own in university, and as expected, loved the social aspect of school. After getting my education degree, I moved to Northern Manitoba where I taught in Split Lake. It was there that I met and married my husband. We both taught a year in Granville Lake, MB, a small community with a K to 8 school, where we were the only two teachers. After two years in the North, we ventured to southern Manitoba where I obtained a job at École Somerset School teaching high school math and science. Three years after being there, I took on the role of school principal and found I quite liked this leadership position.
As our family grew, so did our desire to relocate somewhere slightly larger, and our journey took me to a math/science position at W.C. Miller Collegiate, in Altona, MB. After working there for two years, I moved to Morden Collegiate where I was the Vice-Principal and International Education Coordinator. I went on to be the principal of Morden Collegiate for 5 years. This was a role that I thoroughly enjoyed and truly experienced the change that can occur when leading in a building for a period of time.
While on a final maternity leave I applied and was successful in becoming the Superintendent of Border Land School Division. I am currently in my second year in this role and feel like I am modeling what it means to be a lifelong learner, as I learn something new each day in this position.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
As hokey as it sounds, for as long as I can remember I played teacher in the basement of my house with a ping-pong table on its side as my chalk board. I had helpers of the day and desks with dolls as children. It wasn’t long after I was in the classroom that I was intrigued by the thought of being a school leader. I ventured into courses on school leadership and began pursuing those positions.
What is your philosophy in life?
I have a personal mission statement: to encourage, empower, and brighten someone’s day, each and every day. I have this posted in my office and I try to live by this in all that I do personally and professionally. I also believe that it is important that we model what we expect of those who are looking up to us. We lead by example and by our actions, and we have young eyes looking and listening to us at all times. When making decisions I try to reflect on the following question: What do I want to be remembered for? This continual reflection guides me on this journey, we call life.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself working in the field of education for many years to come, but I also see myself spending significant amounts of time with my newly extended family in Mexico, cuddling with grandchildren, and golfing. Of course that is off in the distance, but none the less in the vision for my future.
Krista has completed exemplary work in class. She has added creativity and found ways to make her work more applicable to her personal environment. For example, last year when she was on maternity leave and taking the school-planning course, she felt uncomfortable working on her school plans because she wanted the person who was filling in for her to be able to have autonomy over that process. So, instead she suggested that she write a handbook for school planning that would outline the process and the events throughout the year that would lead to consistent, dynamic, school planning. The outcome was incredible.
Krista has been published in the BU Graduate Studies Journal. At the end of last year, she was hired as the Superintendent of Borderland School Division.
In my fall class, I was able to see Krista as the informal leader within her cohort in Winkler. She pushed all of us to think more deeply and to consider issues from a variety of perspectives. She shared openly about her experiences in her new job and helped us to understand the personal impact of being the leader of a school division.