Amanda Lamberti

Communications Specialist



Amanda began working at the Okanagan School of Education, UBC, in 2019. Previously she worked at the City of Kelowna where she was responsible  for developing strategic communications plan and delivering tactics for the Active Living and Culture Division as their Communications Advisor. Prior to that she was the Digital Communications Consultant where she was one of the project managers for the City of Kelowna website redesign launched in 2016.

She has an Advanced Social Media Strategy Certificate from Hootsuite Academy.

She was a volunteer English Teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from August 2013 to January 2014.


Corporate Communications, Media Relations, Social Media, Student Engagement, Student Recruitment and Marketing.


Alyssa Koziol is this year’s recipient of the Kelowna Kiwanis Legacy Major Entrance Award in Education – an award accompanied by $11,450.  Established by the Central Okanagan Kiwanis Community Service Society, the award is presented to a student pursuing the Teaching Children (Kindergarten to Grade 5+) pathway.

“I’m very happy and grateful to receive this award,” says Alyssa. “It is such an honor to be recognized by an organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time.”


Alyssa grew up in Whitby, Ontario. As an active individual with a passion for sports and getting outdoors, she knew she wanted to pursue a degree in health sciences, but hadn’t decided on a university yet.

“I came to Kelowna for the first time with Destination UBC. They offered a travel subsidy to fly potential students out, so I thought why not check out the campus – basically a free trip to BC, how could I turn that down?” she joked. “Then of course, I just fell in love with the city and the campus.”

The summer before she began her Bachelor of Human Kinetics, she lived with family in Edmonton and worked in the city’s Parks and Recreation department.

“I was a program leader for Green Shacks – it’s a full-day program where children and youth can come to their local park to play games and activities. It was such a fun summer job I came back the next four years!”

During the fourth year of her undergraduate degree, Alyssa decided to start working in the City of Kelowna’s recreation department – teaching and coaching toddlers to teens in hockey, t-ball, soccer and basketball. At the same time, as part of her degree, she began volunteering with Dr. Ali McManus in the Pediatric Exercise Research Laboratory.  She volunteered in the lab throughout her last year, and when the opportunity to pursue her Master of Health and Exercise Science under the supervision of Dr. McManus presented itself, she jumped at the challenge.

“The research focused on how children were growing up in Kelowna, both mentally, digitally, and physically. We partnered with the Psychology department to assess elementary and middle school students within the Central Okanagan School District, and in total we gathered data from 346 youth.”

An outcome from this research was the launch of the website, “Young Kelowna,” which offers a collection of resources for youth, parents, and community members to learn about themselves.

While Alyssa enjoyed the research and the interaction with youth, it was her experience as a teaching assistant and mentor that ignited her interest in pursuing her Bachelor of Education.

“I really enjoyed my time as a teaching assistant, and initially I was thinking about becoming a professor,” says Alyssa. “But then I thought about my time coaching young children in sport development, and pursuing my B.Ed seemed like a natural fit.”

In recognition of her teaching support contributions, she received the Provost Award for Teaching Assistants & Tutors during the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years.

Alyssa is looking forward to being in the classroom and starting to help guide elementary students as they navigate their early years through school.

“Elementary school is where students start to build their foundations, and are introduced to all these new subjects and topics,” says Alyssa. “There can be this look of confusion on a kids’ faces when you present them with a new concept, and then as you teach and guide them, you can see that spark in their eyes like, ‘oh I actually understand this!’ and seeing that spark is so rewarding.”

Congratulations Alyssa!

The Okanagan School of Education is pleased to welcome Dr. Jessica Chan (Pronouns: she/her/hers) to the faculty in the position of Assistant Professor in Language Arts and Literacy Education.

Dr. Chan is a reading researcher and teacher educator committed to advancing the science of reading for language diverse learners. The goal of her research program is to understand how language and literacy develops in diverse learners including children from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and children with and without learning disabilities. Her current research investigates the relationship between language, reading, and mathematics development in school-aged children.

“I am excited to join the Okanagan School of Education because of the faculty’s commitment to building and fostering community-based partnerships in diverse educational contexts,” says Dr. Chan. “I look forward to contributing to the development of scholar-practitioners in the areas of language and literacy development. Specifically, my program in reading research leverages interdisciplinary approaches to improve educational outcomes for all learners.”

Dr. Chan earned her Ph.D. and M.Ed. in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University at Kingston in the areas of language and literacy education, and cognition and learning, and a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Psychology and Employment Relations at the University of Toronto.

She is joining us from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Dr. Chan is eager to learn about the histories and traditions of the Syilx Okanagan Peoples, and the history of Kelowna. She looks forward to creating community connections, and getting outside to enjoy the natural beauty of the Okanagan by exploring new hiking trails.

She will be teaching in our Bachelor of Education program starting in January, and will be teaching a graduate-level winter term 2 course. Her graduate course, EDUC 517: Perspectives on Reading Foundations, focuses on the role of the educator in supporting language and literacy development for learners across educational contexts.

Dr. Christopher Martin, Associate Professor, is hosting a Canadian Philosophy of Education Society seminar. 

Dr. David Bakhurst, Queen’s University will be presenting on Après le déluge: Teaching and learning in the age of COVID. In his 2020 paper ‘Teaching, telling and technology’, Bakhurst explored the essentially second-personal, I-thou, relation between teacher and student—a relation he takes to be essential to teaching at its most effective and inspiring. He concluded that essay with a critique of web-based instruction in universities, arguing that there are features of online courses that undermine dimensions of the teacher-student relation that are profoundly valuable. ‘Teaching, telling and technology’ appeared just as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the completion of the 2019–20 academic year and forced many schools and colleges around the world to teach part or all of the 2020–21 academic year online. In this paper, Bakhurst considers whether the experience of teaching remotely during the pandemic vindicates or refutes the position he took in his earlier paper. He finds that, while we all have reason to be grateful that remote learning platforms made it possible for formal education to continue during the pandemic, there remain reasons to be wary of online courses, particularly when taught asynchronously. This, he argues, is particularly, though not exclusively, true of teaching in the humanities. More concerning still is that many problematic features of web-based instruction are symptoms of deleterious trends in higher education in general. Drawing on such diverse thinkers as Oakeshott, Kant and Coetzee, Bakhurst maintains that, if we are to initiate pupils into the conversation of humanity, enable them to think for themselves, and to understand what learning is and how it occurs, then educational encounters must foster and exhibit the creative movement of thought in conditions of uncertainty and controversy, and that the ideal medium for this is real-time, in-person intellectual engagement between embodied beings in shared physical space.

Thursday, October 7
9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Via Zoom

The event is open for all to attend. While attendance is free, you still need to register to receive the Zoom link.


About the Speaker

Dr. David Bakhurst is George Whalley Distinguished University Professor and John and Ella G. Charlton Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s University, Ontario.  His book, Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy (Cambridge, 1991), represents the first critical history of Soviet philosophical culture. The primary research was conducted in Moscow under the mentorship of Felix Mikhailov. Since then, in addition to continuing his work on Russian thought, Bakhurst has written on epistemology, metaphysics, Wittgenstein, ethics and philosophy of education. Recent publications include The Formation of Reason (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and the edited collection, Teaching and Learning: Epistemic, Metaphysical and Ethical Dimensions (2020), which appeared as a special issue of Journal of Philosophy of Education. He has held visiting positions at All Souls College, Oxford; Exeter College, Oxford; UCL Institute of Education; the Australian National University. He is presently a participant in an international research project on the philosophy of Kant, based at the Akademia Kantiana of the Baltic Federal University in Kaliningrad. Bakhurst is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

About the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society Seminar Series

The Canadian Philosophy of Education Seminar Series aims to create a space to support in-progress work in the philosophy of education, provide opportunities for pre-tenure/early career and graduate students, and contribute to the cultivation of scholarly community. Anyone working at the intersections of philosophy and education are welcome to contribute to the series.

If you are interested in presenting a paper in future events, contact Dr. Christopher Martin at

Whether you’re interested in applying for one of our graduate degrees this year or in the future, here are a few tips to guide you along the way! We recommend starting your application two months in advance of the application deadline to ensure you have time to submit all the requirements documents.

  1. Admission Requirements

Master of Education

Applicants to the MEd program normally hold a bachelor’s degree in Education or related field, with a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76-79%) in third- and fourth-year courses, academic standing with at least 12 credits of third-or fourth-year courses in the A- grade range (80% or higher at UBC) in a four-year baccalaureate degree or its academic equivalent.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience to offset such deficiencies, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the Director of Graduate Programs in Education.

Master of Arts in Education

Applicants to the MA program must have a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76-79%) in third- and fourth-year courses, academic standing with at least 12 credits of third-or fourth-year courses in the A- grade range (80% or higher at UBC) in a four-year baccalaureate degree or its academic equivalent. Background training and previous experience must be sufficient to demonstrate ability or potential for advanced research in the chosen field.

In exceptional cases, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the Education Graduate Program Committee.

 TIP: Not sure if you want to pursue your Master of Arts in Education or Master of Education? Read this story.


  1. Find a Supervisor (MA students only)

Prospective MA students are required to find a supervisor before starting their application. Admission to the program requires the support of a faculty supervisor as well as satisfying program-specific criteria.

MEd applicants can indicate on their application a preference for a supervisor (optional). The review committee will take this under advisement, but it is not a guarantee.


  1. Select and ask your references

Three academic references are requested for all applicants; however, professional references will be allowed in place of academic references if your credential was received:

  • less than five years ago: up to one professional reference letter
  • between five and 10 years ago: up to two professional reference letters
  • more than 10 years ago: up to three professional reference letters

An academic reference is provided by a college or university instructor, usually holding a PhD. The academic referee will have instructed or supervised you during your academic studies. The academic referee will be asked to comment, where applicable, on your academic preparation, originality, skill at research, industry, intellectual capacity, and teaching ability.

A professional reference is provided by an individual who has worked with you in the field of your intended graduate study in a supervisory capacity. The professional referee will be asked to comment, where applicable, on your academic preparation, practice competence, creativity, working relationships, work ethic, critical thinking skills, research skills, intellectual capacity, and teaching ability.

All other references are considered “personal” and are not accepted.

You will provide the College of Graduate Studies with your references email addresses, please ensure you provide their professional email from an institution or organization. We recommend asking your reference to be your reference prior to submitting their email.

References will be sent an email with instructions as to how to submit their reference form or letter.

For more information, including what to do if your reference is retired, please visit

  1. Required Documents Check List

A complete application package will contain:

Review our graduate programs page for more details.


Dr. Karen Ragoonaden was honoured with a blanket wrapping ceremony, facilitated by Jordan Coble, Westbank First Nations (WFN) Councilor, in recognition of her efforts to support Indigenous teacher education and the Indigenization of post-secondary education as well as strengthen ties between WFN and the Okanagan School of Education.

“This ceremony was held in recognition of Karen and her commitment to bettering our community ties through education, specifically her commitment to interconnecting indigenous education in meaningful and transformative ways,” says Jordan Coble, WFN Councilor, “The program introduces localized indigenous teachings early and throughout the journey and this is largely due to Karen’s excitement for working with all involved. The ceremony itself is a binding agreement between our community and those in attendance to continue her legacy through education with respect, energy and inclusiveness.”

Dr. Karen Ragoonaden, with her daughters and nephew behind her, Terry-Lee Beaudry (left) and Rachel Marchand (right).

The ceremony was held in late June on Westbank First Nation beach with a small group of Dr. Ragoonaden ‘s colleagues and family. The event was filled with emotional speeches as it provided an opportunity to reflect on Dr. Ragoonaden ‘s accomplishments and impact during her time in the Okanagan. On July 1, she transitioned to the role of Dean for the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.

“I am so very humbled by this recognition, especially now, as the truth in the TRC Calls to Action have become so very significant,” says Dr. Karen Ragoonaden. “I continue to listen, to learn and to unlearn.  Thank you to Jordan Coble, Terry Beaudry and Bill Cohen.”

The blanket presented to Dr. Ragoonaden portrays a coyote howling at the sky, a grizzly fishing and incorporates pictographs of an eagle and a kokanee skeleton symbolizing the cycle of life and death. In each corner of the blanket is a WFN logo, which features a grizzly pawprint with a coyote silhouette in the middle and a serpent in the waves underneath, representing n’haitik (Ogopogo).

Special thanks to Jordan Coble, Terry-Lee Beaudry, Bill Cohen and members of the Indigenous Education Council for organizing this event.

Please join us in warmly welcoming our newest colleagues to the Okanagan School of Education.

Jennifer Laminger, Field Experience Coordinator

Jenny Laminger has been a teacher for more than 25 years, teaching grades 2-7. She has always been interested in the connection between numeracy and literacy and loves bringing the two together. Over the years, she has worked with teachers across the province in order to assist the development of their mathematics instruction. In 2013, she was part of the BC Ministry of Education’s curriculum development team for the new BC Mathematics Curriculum.

In 2019, she joined the OSE as a field advisor and this summer she is honoured to be stepping into the role of field experience coordinator. In her free time, she loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family.




Carl Ruest, Field Experience Coordinator, French

Carl Ruest has enjoyed his career as an educator in both university and public school contexts. Before joining the Okanagan School of Education, Carl worked at UBC-V where he taught in the B.Ed., as well as in the M.Ed. in French Education. He was also a teacher and a coordinator of the French Immersion program in a Richmond secondary school. Carl is interested in intercultural education and in the learning of French as a second language in authentic contexts using innovative practices. He is currently finishing his Ph.D. which explores adolescents’ development of intercultural competence during interprovincial exchanges. His research highlights the importance helping students make sense of their varied experiences while they live and study in a second language.

Besides his passion for education, Carl loves swimming, cross-country skiing, traveling and visiting his family in Mont-Joli, Québec.



April Cutler, Field Advisor

April Cutler is a teacher and educational consultant in Kelowna, B.C., and is currently working as both a classroom and support teacher. During her 19 years as an educator, she taught in a variety of capacities as well as at a variety of grade levels. She is passionate about holistic education, quality assessment for learning practices and learner-centered pedagogy. She recently co-authored a research article published in the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education. The article examined how outdoor play pedagogy is positioned within publicly funded Early Childhood Education programs throughout Canada.

When she’s not thinking deeply about educational theory and curriculum, she enjoys exploring all the Okanagan has to offer with her husband and five children.



Lynne Gibson, Field Advisor

Lynne Gibson has just returned from some international experiences where she was the head of school in the Dominican Republic and previously in South Korea. She has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and head of school for over 30 years. She has also been involved with accreditation reviews for a variety of institutions over the past few years. Lynne has four grown children and nine grandchildren whom she is immensely proud of.

Lynne’s passion in education revolves around ensuring all learners are engaged participants in their own learning, using their interests and curiosities to drive that learning. She believes the recent pandemic offers an opportunity for education to look different for our students … something educators have been working on for years. It is an exciting time to be an educator. She is very excited to be part of the OSE team and looks forward to the opportunity to serve future educators.



Kyle Hamilton, Field Advisor

Kyle Hamilton is a passionate educator having taught at the middle, secondary and post-secondary levels. He values complex teaching and learning environments that seek to initiate “complicated conversations” (Pinar, 2011) at the confluence of the “lived” and “planned” curriculum (Aoki, 1986/1991)—grappling with human well-being, agency, diverse knowledges, reflection, subjective reconstruction and democratization. His masters’ work explored the philosophy of cosmopolitanism in relation to K-12 settings and his PhD work focuses on foregrounding K-12 classrooms and schools as sites for developing more democratic and more just societies. Hamilton has served in several roles at the Okanagan School of Education including as a faculty advisor, intern observer and intern advisor. He has also served as a SD23 district human rights committee member, Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association (COTA) social justice chairperson, Social Studies department head. He loves mountain biking, hockey, soccer and travel.



Murray Sasges, Field Advisor

Murray Sasges was born and raised in Vernon B.C. along with nine siblings. He owned and operated a Gravel Quarry before taking up teaching at the age of 40. His second year of teaching was at an international school in Shenzhen, China. Always having a keen interest in community engagement he brought this passion to his teaching. He co-created a 5-month full-time Global Ed program for grade 11’s based on sustainability and social justice issues which included a 3-week field study in Nicaragua. More recently he co-founded with Kim Ondrik an innovative school within School District #22 called the Academy of Inquiry and Adventure Okanagan ( which is grounded in the new B.C. curriculum and the core competencies from grades 7-12.

He loves to fix up old bicycles and is currently restoring an old farm to honor its productive and cultural heritage.

Today we say “until we see each other again” to Dr. Karen Ragoonaden, Dr. Greg Wetterstrand and Anne MacLean, because as members of our Scholar-Practitioner community, it’s never truly “goodbye.”

Please join us in congratulating and sending best wishes to our colleagues.

Dr. Karen Ragoonaden, on-leave

Dr. Ragoonaden will be joining the University of Manitoba, Faculty Education as their new Dean.

Dr. Ragoonaden has lived, studied and worked in North America, Europe and Africa. Dr. Ragoonaden started with Okanagan University College in the Faculty of Education in 2004 as an Assistant Professor. She has been the Director of Professional Development, the Centre for Mindful Engagement and SMARTEducation.

Her publications and research interests lie in the area of mindfulness and well-being, culturally responsive pedagogy and conceptions of teaching and learning. As a qualified Yoga instructor, the concept of Mindful Educational Practices is an integral component of her research and her practice. As a university teacher and researcher, her focus and commitment to educational leadership and curricular innovation have been recognized by virtue of her on campus, professional and community work relating to equity, diversity and inclusion.

In 2020, in recognition of her dedication to making a significant impact on the culture of teaching and learning, she received the Provost Office’s Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award. In 2021 she received the Killiam Teaching Prize.

Congratulations on your new position!


Dr. Greg Wetterstrand, retired

Dr. Wetterstrand started with the Faculty of Education in the Okanagan before it was even UBC. He began as a college professor in the Education in the Division of the Arts in the summer of 1992 when the institution was known as Okanagan University College (OUC). Prior to joining OUC, he taught in the K-12 public school system, and the 9-12 independent school system. He also taught at the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Wetterstrand has served on several Faculty of Education committees. He also served on Senate and was the Vice-Chair of the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. Throughout his career, Dr. Wetterstrand has been actively involved with elementary schools assisting with science fairs, spelling bees and professional development. He has written about educational drama, the connections between educational drama and critical thinking, educational drama as a learning medium especially where a balance of interdisciplinary or syntegration occurs among subject areas, notions of guerilla curriculum, tensions and stresses in the practicum, improvisation/role-play pedagogy in the academe, play, moral/character education, social and emotional learning/health, and issues of social justice.

Congratulations on a wonderful career! We hope you enjoy retirement.


Anne MacLean, retired

Anne has been an educator and mentor for more than 25 years. For the last 12 years, Anne has been the Field Experience Coordinator with the Okanagan School of Education – and she has made quite the impact within the Okanagan School of Education and Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) program.

She was integral to the successful start-up of the revitalized B.Ed program in 2018. She envisioned the term INSPIRE which has become the core theme for the program. Her mantra of “bloom where you’re planted” has left a long-lasting influence on all our B.Ed students, but her guidance during 2020 impacted candidates even across the province. Her willingness and expertise to initiate a collective and collaborative response by all B.C. university Teacher Education programs to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic was critical to ensuring the graduation of teacher candidate cohorts.

Earlier this year, Anne received an Association of British Columbia Deans of Education (ABCDE) Teacher Education Award. The award is presented to someone at the school or university level who has distinguished themselves in partnering with a teacher education program in B.C.

Congratulations on a wonderful career! We hope you enjoy retirement.

Today we held our Celebration of Learning. The event is a time for our teacher candidates to share their significant learning to date and incite conversations about educational issues and concerns.

It’s also an opportunity to celebrate as our teacher candidates move from candidacy to interns!

Congratulations to all of our new interns!

Thank you to our hosts for making the event extra special!

Congratulations to Adam Lauzé, one of our two Madeline Korfman Memorial Scholarship recipients!

Here is what his nominator had to say:

“Adam showed a passion for teaching and a genuine care for his students when his mentor had to go on leave and Adam continued with the same classes to support them while the mentor was away. He shows so much enthusiasm and energy. He is dynamic and shows a definite love of teaching.”

“Being recognized with this award means a great deal to me because it means my mentors in this faculty recognized my love for teaching despite all obstacles,” says Adam. “I think it is easy for me to focus on the challenges or opportunities I have experienced during difficult periods of my education.  It isn’t natural for me to focus on what went well or how I was successful.  This award encourages me to reflect back upon my practicum with a different lens.  Instead of focusing on the difficulties or shortcomings I experienced, I now hope that I’ve demonstrated to my students that any adversity simply brings about an opportunity to prove to oneself that you can rise above a challenge without sacrificing your passion for the task at hand.”


Adam had long been drawn to the idea of teaching as a career, initially because of time spent in management positions for the hospitality industry.

“During that time I often had the opportunity to provide young people with their first full-time job,” says Adam. “I would have to teach them new skills, being accountable to others, how to set smart self-development goals and taking pride in one’s work. I felt that this translated to teaching in many ways.”

But it wasn’t until returning from India and spending some time reflecting that he decided to pursue education as a career. Adam and his partner were living in India while working with an education-focused non-profit organization, Ashraya Initiative for Children. The organization’s main objective was to remove barriers for accessing education, like arranging for transportation, cleaning uniforms or practicing English.

Adam and his partner were responsible for putting together promotional packages, such as taking photos or video of the organization’s activities or fundraising initiatives.

“When I reflect back on this time, it was a very humbling pedagogical experience. For example, we interviewed this one student, where his father had broken his back, and we were trying to put together a package to send out to potential donors to take care of his medical needs. We went to the student’s home, and we found out that the student and father didn’t speak the same language. The student spoke about five languages, including English, but he and his father didn’t share a language. So the father would speak to a translator, the translator would then speak to the son and then the son would tell us what was said. I had never considered that that could have been a barrier for someone – not being able to ask for help with my homework because my parents don’t speak the same language.”

After returning to the Okanagan, Adam decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English. He began taking courses at Okanagan College and transitioned to UBC Okanagan after two years. While pursuing his undergraduate degree at UBCO, he began to connect with the Okanagan School of Education in various ways – including volunteering with the B.A.R.K. program and assisting with a few research projects and manuscripts.

“I think one of the benefits of pursuing my Bachelor of Arts with the knowledge that it was in the service of becoming an educator led me to interpret my education differently, with my professors, advisors and volunteer programs,” says Adam. “In all of those interactions, I saw through the lens of a future educator. If I had a professor I really liked, I reflected on what they were doing that I enjoyed. On the rare occasion when I had a professor that I didn’t enjoy, I would think how are they teaching that I would do differently. I would question why do I look forward to this class and not others?”

With the Bachelor of Education program nearing its completion (about 22 weeks left!), Adam shares what he is most excited for in his future teaching practice:

“What I am most excited for in this profession is helping young people realize their worth — both intellectually and regarding their individual passions.  My students will be taught in an environment that encourages self-expression and exploration that will hopefully spur on a love for learning that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Many programs and students have been affected by the pandemic and transition to online, and while Adam admits this is not quite what he had envisioned for his Bachelor of Education, he said he has still made the most of his experience.

“The faculty has continually strived to communicate a passion for pedagogy and a love of teaching that encourages my peers and I to pursue excellence in education, despite all obstacles. For all of their hard work and dedication, I celebrate the Okanagan School of Education faculty, and hope that my efforts will continue to embody the pedagogical aspirations of the program.”

For prospective students interested in pursuing their Bachelor of Education, Adam suggests making the decision based on your willingness and desire to dedicate yourself entirely to your students.

“Spend time volunteering for or working with young people and take it further by challenging yourself to create the best possible environment for them to thrive,” says Adam. “I believe this program is most valuable and rewarding to those individuals who put student well-being and success above all else, and if you’re ready and willing to do that, you’ll find like-minded educators right here in this program!”

Congratulations Adam!

About the Scholarship

This scholarship has been endowed through a bequest by Madeline Betty Korfman to honour her love for teaching. Madeline Korfman taught school in southwestern Saskatchewan before relocating to the Okanagan in the mid-1900s. This scholarship is awarded to two teacher candidates who significantly demonstrate a “love for teaching” based on the recommendation of Okanagan School of Education faculty.

Congratulations to Joy Richardson, one of our two Madeline Korfman Memorial Scholarship recipients!

Here is what her nominator had to say:

“From the very beginning of her time in the program, Joy has demonstrated a love of learning, passion for teaching, and compassion for learners and colleagues. She is deeply reflective on her practice, embraces feedback and seeks out collaboration and innovation. She embodies an inquiry stance, curiosity for learning, and a commitment to create opportunities for everyone to flourish. Her name really suits her… when you enter Ms. Richardson’s classroom, you feel the joy that comes from a teacher with a big heart.”

“I am very honoured and humbled to receive this award,” says Joy. “This has been a difficult year and taking so much of the program online was not what any of us planned or would have chosen. I am grateful that the educators at UBCO were able to see my passion for teaching and my love for students, even through a zoom screen. I am humbled because there are some incredible teacher candidates in my cohort and many who would be equally deserving of this honour. I am grateful for how they have shaped me and helped me become a better teacher.”


Originally, from the United Kingdom, Joy became a Canadian citizen in 2009 and has lived in Kelowna for the past 16 years (with a brief two-year gap where she returned to the UK). Joy has a Bachelor of Biblical Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.

Prior to starting her Bachelor of Education, she worked as a Certified Education Assistant (CEA) in School District 23 for seven years. For as long as she can remember, she has always wanted to be a teacher.

“I was inspired by some incredible teachers in my childhood and have always had a natural affinity for helping people understand things better,” says Joy. “Like all educators, I love those “aha” moments when the lights come on and things suddenly make sense. I love to see young people engaged, inspired and confident in themselves.”

Joy recently completed her Community Field placement at the Academy of Inquiry and Adventure Okanagan (AIAO) in Vernon, where she participated in many land-based practices.

“The excellent teachers and their community partners were very generous in sharing their understanding of the land and it enriched not just my teaching practice but my personal life as well as I fell more in love with this place we call home,” says Joy. “AIAO has a really special family feel – a community that has been intentionally nurtured over many years. The experience left me with much to ponder and take with me into my future teaching practice.”

While AIAO will always bring fond memories as Joy reflects upon the program she finds her experience learning about Syilx culture and language from Dr. Bill Cohen, and the colleagues he has welcomed into their classes, has been the most impactful.

“As a more recent settler, I have felt deeply moved by the welcome and grace of the Syilx people and I am excited to incorporate more Indigenous ways of knowing and being into my teaching practice”

For those considering taking the Bachelor of Education program, Joy recommends wholeheartedly diving in.

“The program is structured in such a way that you gain a good foundation in educational philosophies and principles alongside hands-on experience in schools. So if you are unsure if teaching is for you, this is a great way to find out,” says Joy. “Teaching requires your whole heart and to get the most out of the BEd, commit to it and take in all the different opportunities offered.”

Joy also suggests reading faculty’s published research as it is a great way to understand what is at the forefront of educational theory today.

With the program nearing its completion (about 22 weeks left!), Joy shares what she is most excited about in her future classroom:

“I am excited about building equitable learning communities where each and every student is honoured for who they are and where students can bring their funds of knowledge and learn together as they follow their passions and curiosities. I am excited to learn alongside my future students and see them go on to change the world.”

Congratulations Joy!

About the Scholarship

This scholarship has been endowed through a bequest by Madeline Betty Korfman to honour her love for teaching. Madeline Korfman taught school in southwestern Saskatchewan before relocating to the Okanagan in the mid-1900s. This scholarship is awarded to two teacher candidates who significantly demonstrate a “love for teaching” based on the recommendation of Okanagan School of Education faculty.