Welcome to Nex̱wlélex̱wm! (Bowen Island)
Island Pacific School sits on the unceded and ancestral territory of the Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish) Nation. We are deeply grateful to share this beautiful land.
Island Pacific School has now passed the significant milestone of 25 years and we are boldly looking forward to celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2045. Despite the pandemic raging across the world, Island Pacific School continues to fulfill its mission to equip, inspire and cultivate the humanity of its students. The 2020-21 school year marks a few significant milestones for the school as we will purchase our building, set up an endowment fund, and completely overhaul the school branding and website. In addition, Bowen Island Properties has generously donated strata lot #2 to the school and we are excited to begin a formal campaign to build a beautiful covered outdoor Field House.
As ever, we are thrilled to welcome web visitors to this site and by extension to our beautiful home on Nex̱wlélex̱wm. Island Pacific School is driven daily to ensure that the critical middle school years will be much more than just a way station en route to high school, university or a career. Our purpose is to ensure that students’ time here will make a lasting impact on the rest of their lives and allow them to express the very best of what it means to be human. As an IB World School offering the Middle Years Programme (MYP), our “small by design” nature provides a unique opportunity to engage middle school students in the rich conversations of human inquiry as we stretch and challenge them. Our middle school team works daily to equip and inspire our students and cultivate their humanity at this pivotal point in their lives.
Should you have any questions or an interest in visiting our school, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be thrilled to show you around our beautiful school and island home.
Our Middle School Team
At IPS, our motto is Learning. To Make a Difference. Because Island Pacific School is small by design, our faculty and staff can make direct connections with each and every one of our middle school students. Our middle school team believes this is how education should be done and this is how we can recognize the unique potential of every student at IPS.
Island Pacific School’s faculty and staff are selected with an eye for creating a team that shares in the school’s mission and core values. The middle school teachers at Island Pacific School come from diverse backgrounds and bring a wealth of world experiences which are shared as part of the collaborative effort to achieve the school’s open/responsible environment. And they are middle school experts.
Book an appointment to discuss our distinctly different approach.
Or find out more about each member of our middle school team, below.
Adrian van Lidth de Jeude
ARTS GR 6-9, DESIGN GR 6-9, SENIOR SEMINAR
Growing up on Bowen Island, Adrian developed a deep love for the Island: its community, ocean and forest. He is passionate about the outdoors, horticulture, theatre, music, and history. He is constantly curious about the world and cares deeply about how to make it better.
Adrian started teaching at Island Pacific School in 2009. Since then, he continues to endeavour to build authentic relationships, pique curiosity, and foster fun in and out of the classroom.
LEARNING STRATEGIES LEAD
Amanda moved to Bowen in September of 2000 and started her career in education. Since the turn of the century, Amanda has been a classroom and learning support teacher, run an ESL school, been an instructor at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation and completed a master’s degree in Special Education. She’d also like to mention the three boys (Oliver, Arthur and Leo) that have joined her family since then.
Amanda loves reading, music, theatre and ragdoll cats. In her spare time, she is likely to be watching a soccer game or exploring the trails of Bowen with her boys.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
With a background in sales, distribution and marketing, Barb joined IPS in 2002. She brings a wealth of knowledge to her varied portfolio, with expertise in the insurance, real estate and information technology industries.
Her son Alexander is an IPS alumnus, graduating in 2012.
In her spare time Barb loves cooking and trying out new recipes. She has a small business making Hot B: Jamaican hot pepper sauce and U Jerk: Jamaican jerk seasoning. She and her husband Michael love sailing around Howe Sound, the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Casey James has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in the luxury retail and hospitality sector. Her experience in brand and marketing, digital and community engagement and leadership has led to her professional role as a Marketing and Communications Director for a global luxury brand, Consultant, Podcast Host and Founder of Thryve.
Casey was one of the first thirteen students who joined Island Pacific School in 1998. She shares fond memories from her three year experience which has made a profound impact in her personal growth and educational path. Casey lives in West Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two children, Caiden and Sadie.
Cheryl joined IPS in 2018, with a background in the mining and exploration industry as the CFO for several companies.
Her expertise is in setting up and managing finance systems, together with managing corporate governance.
Cheryl enjoys the outdoors, spending time with her nephews, playing tennis and getting out in the waves at Ambleside on her stand up paddle board.
LANGUAGE & LITERATURE ENGLISH GR 6-9, INDIVIDUALS & SOCIETIES GR 7, HOMEROOM GR 7
MATHEMATICS GR 6 – 9
With a background in wildlife biology and nature interpretation, Jennifer earned her B.Ed. at the University of Calgary. She taught in the middle school program at IPS for three years before taking a break to raise her two children and live internationally. She and her family spent three exciting years in Ghana, West Africa before they happily returned to Bowen Island in 2011.
Jen has taught all of the science and math courses at IPS and both her children have attended IPS and has the exceptional honour of winning the 2019 Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
PHE 6-9 & ULTIMATE COACH
Lisa has deep experience as the Nordic Patrol Director at Cypress Mountain, a Senior Kayak Guide with Bowen Island Sea Kayaking and as the Program Director for Bowen Island Gymnastics.
She brings this wealth of knowledge to Island Pacific School’s Physical Health and Education teacher in this 2023-2024 school year. Full bio to follow.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Described as a connector, Julia’s passion for her community led her to working as a director for both the Caring Circle Health Resource Centre and the Bowen Island Community Foundation. In these roles, she discovered a love of not for profit work, including planning, organizing and directing many fundraising events and initiatives and building and nurturing donor relations.
Julia has extensive experience as an entrepreneur in small business management, communications, marketing and web design, in addition to teaching technology at Capilano University for several years.
LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FRENCH GR. 6-9, INDIVIDUALS & SOCIETIES GR. 6 and HOMEROOM GR. 6
Kari is a lifelong learner who is passionate about teaching the French language. She began learning French in school at age five and hasn’t stopped since! After graduating from Queen’s University, she moved to Australia to teach Grade 7 – 11 French and Science, then made her way to Bowen Island. She is currently working on her Masters of Second Language Education through the University of Ottawa.
Her wide range of interests include rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, skiing, reading, cooking, road trips, playing board games, and planning her next trip. Being passionate about living with intention and being outside, she spends most of her free time exploring this beautiful province.
GRAPHIC DESIGN & COMMUNICATIONS
Kirsten has been in the graphic design industry for over 25 years. Her work can be found around the globe in many major airport retail and food and beverage applications, as well as local retail chains and organic grocers. She has received several awards recognizing her work both locally and internationally. She joined the IPS team in 2021 to assist with the roll out of the new school branding.
Kirsten has called Bowen Island her home for most of her life. Her design is deeply inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds her. She shares this beautiful island with her husband, two children and parents – three generations!
You can see her professional portfolio on her website KirstenDegner.com.
SCIENCE GR 6 – 9, OUTDOOR EXPEDITIONS COORDINATOR
In 1999 Pam Matthews moved to Bowen Island to teach at Island Pacific School. Over the years she has taught Math, Science and PE as well as being the safety and expedition coordinator.
She has a love of nature and the outdoors and hopes to inspire students to develop a lifelong love of science through her teaching.
Sheila is fresh off the ferry as she just moved to Bowen Island in the summer of 2022. As an African mom of 2 boys, she believes it takes a village to raise a child, and has been working with children for the past 8 years.
She started with a full time dayhome in Alberta, called Tinga-Tinga (which means “to move” in Swahili) with 6 littles! Cultivating positive love for culture in children is one of her passions.
Sheila is an advocate of physical and mental health. An avid runner herself, she fosters this passion with her own family and friends and is a junior development (11-15 yrs) coach for track and cross country on the North Shore.
She worked as a Phys-ed teacher in Baie-Comeau, Quebec. She now joins us after a stint as an Educational Assistant in West Vancouver.
Sheila loves exploring other cultures through travel, music and food. Any spare time she has is spent exploring trails in her new playground on Bowen or catching up with friends.
HEAD OF SCHOOL
PRACTICAL REASONING GR 6 & 7
“It is not so much what you learn, rather that you learn to think!” These words have guided Scott throughout his teaching career. As an experiential learning enthusiast, he sees education best serving youth when it provides meaningful, real-life connections and experiences that challenge them to think.
With 30+ years in education, Scott’s career began at the Peace Zone International School in Kathmandu, Nepal (while backpacking through Asia) and then more formally at Crystal Park School in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. The next 16 years were at the American School of Dubai where he taught in the middle school classroom for nine years before taking over the role of Recreation Director for seven years. The KAUST School in Saudi Arabia was his last overseas assignment where he held the roles IB MYP Coordinator, CIS/NEASC Accreditation Officer, and Activities Director.
Scott is married to Susanne (a special education teacher at Island Discovery Learning Centre) and their two sons have graduated from UBC and his daughter is in her fourth year.
Scott is a lifelong learner, an avid ultimate player and loves to travel and explore this amazing planet.
In 2019, Sara returned to counselling, becoming a Registered Professional Counsellor (RPC) with the Canadian Professional Counselling Association (CPCA) after a 12-year hiatus. Her journey began in 2007 when she pursued the path to becoming an RPC-C with CPCA, following prior studies at Rhodes College and Conflict Resolution and Mediation at the Justice Institute.
Sara’s focus shifted towards teaching Yoga and embracing motherhood. She has accumulated over a 1000 hours of Yoga training across Canada, India, and the UK, where she lived with her family for five years.
Upon her return to Canada, Sara decided to merge her counselling passion with her Yoga expertise. She returned to the CPCA and completed a 300-hour Yoga Psychology certification, enriching her holistic approach to well-being and counselling. Her Yoga background is invaluable in aiding clients with nervous system regulation, she also often uses evidence-based practices like CBT, Emotion Focused Therapy, and mindfulness.
Sara’s ability to connect, relate and empathize allows her clients to feel heard and understood. Her approach, firm yet gentle and infused with humour, helps clients view their situations as more manageable. She’s genuine, compassionate, and creative, empowering individuals to access their own resilience when facing challenges.