This page is dedicated to Okanagan School of Education, formally the Faculty of Education, Okanagan Campus, emeriti.

Philip Balcaen, 2018

Dr. Balcaen received the 2016 BC Deans of Education award for his contributions to education in the Province of British Columbia.
He has been involved in education since 1978 at all levels including High School (Thomas Haney Centre), Teacher Education (SFU and UBC) as well as graduate studies as instructor and supervisor of MEd. MA and PhD students. He has also worked with educators in both India and China including a 12 year long research project in Northern India. In addition to his international work, he has had the opportunity to work in the field with many science and mathematics educators across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Dr. Balcaen is passionate about the notion of embedding critical thinking into classroom practice from primary to graduate school.

Susan Crichton, 2018

Dr. Crichton had taught in rural and urban K-12 schools in British Columbia, California, and Australia.  She is a visiting professor with Aga Khan University – Pakistan and a Fellow of the Commonwealth Centre of Education, University of Cambridge. Dr. Crichton has worked on Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) projects in rural western China, as well as educational projects in Bhutan, Chile, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. She was an online mentor for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) project in Afghanistan. Dr. Crichton was named by SCOOL, an innovative Finnish education organization, as one of 100 top thought leaders and change-makers in education and was included in HundrED project, imagining the next 100 years of Finnish education.  Currently, she is the Executive Program Director, Design, Innovation, Creativity, Entrepreneurship at UBC Okanagan and a co-founder of Clayline Pottery Studio.

Nancy Evans, 2015

BEd, MEd, PhD University of Victoria

Ron Goddard, 2015

Vicki Green, 2014

University of British Columbia, 1968 B.Ed. Intermediate Education and Economics.
University of Saskatchewan 1974. Master of Education. Thesis: The Indian in the Western Comic Book.
University of Victoria 1992 Ph.D. Social Studies Education. Dissertation: A Study of Participants’ Historical Imagination in Action and Artifact Within Action.

After 16 years as an Elementary teacher, social studies text book author, teacher in service provider and bargaining chair, Dr. Vicki Green joined the Department of Education for a UVic degree at Okanagan College in 1991 and saw the changes to a UVic degree at Okanagan University College Program, an Okanagan University College Faculty of Education Program, and in 2005, a Faculty of Education Program at University of British Columbia at Okanagan Campus. She taught courses in Social Studies Methods, Social Issues, and Education Beyond the Classroom to undergraduate and graduate students. She supervised student teacher candidates in district classrooms.

Her research engaged children and youth in historical investigations. Vicki also investigated Canadian Comics, particularly Canada Jack and was interviewed by Peter Gzosky. She undertook Financial Literacy research with the International Association for Citizenship, Social and Economics Education. Further, she was the Chair of the International Assembly within the National Council for Social Studies Education. She specialized in Place Based historical construction through imovies, models, artifacts, historical photographs and field work.

Dr. Green retired in 2014 and has spent her time enjoying fly fishing home and abroad with family and friends. As an original faculty member of a formative education program in the Okanagan Valley, Vicki established the Vicki Green Graduate Award in 2010.

Annette LaGrange, 2015

Sharon McCoubrey, 2015

Dr. McCoubrey obtained her Bachelor of Education and Master of Education Degrees from the University of Victoria and her PhD from UBC, all in art education. She has been the recipient of several Excellence in Art Education Awards, and has also been presented with the Order of Lake Country for her work in Public Art, a BC Achievement Award, and the UBC Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in professional and community work. Dr. McCoubrey is Past-President of the Canadian Society for Education through Art and had been on the British Columbia Art Teachers’ Association Executive for over 20 years. Her research work addressed issues within art education, Indigenous teacher education programs, intergenerational learning, and public art. She is a past President of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan and past Chair of the Central Okanagan Foundation.  Upon retirement, Sharon continues her work with community arts by serving as Chair of the Lake Country Public Art Commission, the Lake Country ArtWalk Festival, and is President of the Lake Country Art Gallery.  Providing community support, she serves on the provincial Insight Team for ArtsBC.  In addition to continuing with her professional work, Sharon also now finds time to grow a large garden, keep her e-bike busy, spend some creative time in her studio, and enjoy the peaceful view of Okanagan Lake from her home she shares with her husband Bob, in Lake Country.

Sheila McKenzie-Brown, 2006

John Mitchell, 2006

Dr. John J. Mitchell received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Oregon in 1969.  From 1969 – 1998 he served as Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He served as a Professor in the Faculty of Education at UBCO until 2012.

Dr. Mitchell is acknowledged as one of Canada’s leading authorities on adolescent development, having written seven books on adolescence and issues related to it. His book, The Mental and Emotional Life of Teenagers, was one of the first books to systematically analyze the intellectual limitations inherent to adolescent development. He also writes extensively in the field of child development, having authored four books in this field. His books have been adopted in hundreds of universities and translated into French and Dutch.

Dr. Mitchell received numerous teaching and research awards in his lengthy career as a university professor including the University of Alberta’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the McCalla Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarly Research. He also received the prestigious 3M Teaching Exemplar Award. At UBCO he was a recipient of the Teaching Honour Roll.

Carol Scarff, 2017

BEd, MEd (Alberta), PhD (Simon Fraser)

Dr. Scarff has been continuing her research on ‘Education for Sustainability in Higher Education with two European authors and researchers from France and Finland. She is also a Sessional instructor for Mount St Vincent University, Faculty of Education  Halifax, NS, and teaches two graduate-level online courses per year: Crucial Issues in Education and Evaluation in the Classroom.

She is also the Director and pianist of a small ladies ensemble, Belles of the Okanagan.

Greg Wetterstrand, 2021

Dr. Wetterstrand had taught in the K-12 public school system, and the 9-12 independent school system. He taught at the University of Saskatchewan, Okanagan University College and at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus.

Dr. Wetterstrand has written about educational drama, the connections between educational drama and critical thinking, educational drama as a learning medium especially where a balance of interdisciplinarity 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.

Dr. Wendy Klassen, 2023

BEd University of British Columbia, MA University of British Columbia, PhD University of Toronto

Dr. Klassen began her teaching career more than 40 years ago as an educator at School District 38, Richmond, BC.  For the last 25 years, she has made an impact on the Okanagan campus — inspiring, supporting and mentoring hundreds of pre-service teachers, mentor teachers, graduate students and field advisors. In 2013, she became the Director of Undergraduate Programs, where she was instrumental in the redesign of the Bachelor of Education (BEd) program, and ensured alignment with UBC Senate and the BC Teachers Council.

In 2023, in recognition of her dedication to teacher education, she received the ABCDE’s Teacher Educator Award.

Read her story