Victoria Staff

Jason Cruickshank, B.Ed., Principal

Over the past five years, I have seen how the Arrowsmith Program benefits children, youth, youngadults, and their families and I am thrilled to be starting our second year in Victoria. Witnessing cognitive change and seeing the remarkable increases in our students’ cognitive capacities is a truly rewarding experience. I realized my passion for teaching while working as a staff manager and corporate trainer in a large retail company. I went on to complete my Bachelor of Education at UBC with a specialization in diversity education and accepted a position at EAS Vancouver as an Academic Teacher in our inaugural year (2005). I received my Arrowsmith Program Teacher Certification in 2006 and I have been teaching the cognitive program in a variety of capacities – in addition to serving as Vice Principal of Staff in Vancouver – ever since. As Principal, I am able to apply my over ten years of management and human resources experience to support our students as they strengthen their capacity for learning and to look ahead to a successful year at Eaton Arrowsmith Learning Centre in Victoria.

Jennifer Poole, B.Ed., M.Sc., Head Cognitive Teacher

I began teaching in 2001 at a public charter school in Calgary, Alberta. There, I was fortunate to work with a staff dedicated to student learning, and to use methods proven to be effective with the greatest number of students. During this time, I was always looking for ways to improve my teaching to benefit my students and felt very rewarded when my efforts paid off. After three years of teaching Grade 2, I took on the role of Technology Integration Coordinator, and worked with teachers and students at all six of our campuses (K-12) to infuse technology into the curriculum in meaningful ways. After this contract ended, I decided to pursue graduate studies in the area of most interest to me: helping children learn better. I began my Master’s in School and Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary in the fall of 2006, and have since learned many valuable strategies to improve teaching and learning. Throughout my program, I was able to maintain ties with the classroom through part-time and temporary contracts at the campus where I had previously taught Grade 2. I am very pleased to be taking on the role of Head Teacher at EAS Victoria, where I hope my love of teaching and knowledge of child psychology will combine to provide students with the best possible learning opportunities.

Elisa Nightingale, B.A., B. Ed., Cognitive Teacher

Ever since I was little I have always wanted to be a teacher.  I was fortunate to have some fabulous teachers growing up and I spent a couple of years volunteering with my own grade one teacher while I studied at Simon Fraser University. After completing my BA in English and Education at SFU, I decided to move to Victoria.  For the next couple of years, I spent time exploring Vancouver Island, travelling the Caribbean while I worked aboard cruise ships, working at an Out of School Care in Saanich and travelling throughout Europe. I picked up my studies once again in 2008 when I started my Bachelor of Education at Vancouver Island University.  After graduating, I began working as an Educational Assistant with students in SD 63 before my husband and I moved to Guatemala City in July to teach at a prestigious international school called Colegio Interamericano.  There my passion for teaching and working with students of diverse abilities continued to grow.  I still keep in touch with my Grade 1 students and their families today!  This past June, we returned home to Victoria and I am so excited and honoured to begin my role as Cognitive Teacher here at Eaton Arrowsmith Learning Centre.  I am looking forward to the new school year, getting to know my students and celebrating in their future successes.  In my spare time I love visiting with my family and friends, running, biking our West Coast trails, camping, reading, playing the piano and travelling.

Lauren Craigmile, B.Ed., Cognitive Teacher

After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with an honours degree in English and Geography, I attended The University of Ottawa and completed a Bachelor of Education.  Shortly thereafter I took a leap of faith and moved from Ontario to BC, never having seen the province.  I quickly fell in love with the active yet laidback lifestyle, the beautiful mountain backdrop and most importantly, the mild weather!  The 2011-2012 school year will be my debut as a classroom teacher and I feel very privileged to be starting my teaching career with Eaton Arrowsmith Learning Centre.  After learning about the EAS program last year I was eager to find out for myself if what they were claiming to accomplish could actually be possible.  During my time as a volunteer with the school I was moved by student testimonials and the passion EAS teachers have for the program.   Having struggled through school with my own set of learning challenges I was inspired by the support and encouragement from teachers, parents and students alike.  I was excited to join the EAS team last year as a Teaching Assistant and I am thrilled to be working as a cognitive teacher this year.

Fiji McAlpine, Academic Teacher

The greatest accomplishment one can make is to help shape a better tomorrow with the actions made today. That philosophy guides my life, my teaching, and empowers my students to find a way they can make a difference in the world around them. After completing a degree in Liberal studies I felt called to continue on for an additional year to complete my teaching credential at Fresno State University in California. During the two years that followed I worked as a third grade teacher specializing in inclusive teaching strategies that met the needs of each of my students. The essential element necessary in the success of all my students was the need to tap into that sense of intrinsic motivation within each child. In order to keep that motivation alive I founded two new programs for the students at my school, Pen Pals: a program connecting a student with a senior in the community and Yoga for Kids: This program gave students the ability to establish a solid connection between their mind and their body. Both programs were so successful they were featured in the local News Paper. Living in Victoria for the last few years I have been given the opportunity to develop new skills while working in the education system as an Educational Assistant for students with special needs. My diverse experience has well equipped me to serve the diverse needs of my students enabling me to help them realize their limitless potential.

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