School Faculty - Purcell Collegiate School
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PURCELL COLLEGIATE SCHOOL

SCHOOL FACULTY

Meet our amazing team of educators! These individuals are the heart and soul of Purcell Collegiate School (PCS). They lead and inspire us a learning community dedicated to making PCS a lighthouse opportunity for students to pursue their passions, achieve their goals, and find their way. These are the people at the core of the hashtag, #ThisIsPCS.

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B.Ed/M.Ed, University of Calgary

Mark McWhinnie

Deputy Head of School

Mark brings over 25 years of experience to Purcell Collegiate serving in the educational sector as a teacher, principal, director and assistant superintendent of technology and learning services. Through his career he has been involved in many new innovative school building projects as well as designing new educational programs from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 to benefit student learning.

Mark has served on many technology and curriculum design committees and innovative initiatives as well as leading numerous teams of educators across the educational sector. In his most recent years in education, he was involved in establishing ongoing reciprocal international education exchanges with students coming to Canada and going abroad. Mark brings to his role a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education specializing in Educational Leadership from the University of Calgary.

As a life-long learner, Mark’s focus has remained on creating successful learning experiences for students which has also extended to international students coming to Canada from Europe, South America and Asia in his recent international program leadership.

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BA/B.Ed, University of Alberta
M.Ed, Simon Fraser University

Liam Fitzpatrick

Teaching Principal (Social Sciences)

Liam is an experienced educator and leader with a decade of international and domestic teaching experience, eager to contribute his expertise to the Purcell Collegiate team. His diverse background includes teaching in Colombia, China, and British Columbia, where he has made significant contributions to schools by enriching both the academic and extracurricular environments.

With a passion for innovative curriculum development, Liam has successfully designed and delivered engaging courses within the BC and International Baccalaureate programs, creating dynamic learning experiences for his students. Fluent in both French and English, he holds bachelor’s degrees in arts and education from the University of Alberta and, he will soon complete his Master of Education degree from Simon Fraser University. Liam’s teaching philosophy centres on the evolution of educational technology, experiential learning, and the transformative power of language and literature.

Beyond the classroom, Liam finds inspiration in outdoor activities like rock-climbing, hiking, skiing, and golf, and he is enthusiastic about sharing these interests with the students at Purcell Collegiate. Moreover, Liam is equally comfortable with team sports, having played basketball most of his life and coached teams around the world.

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BA, TRU

Dawn Hildebrandt

Teacher (Math/Science)

Dawn Hildebrandt, better known as Ms. H throughout her 17 years of teaching across Grade 7-12 within the Kootenays, brings a contagious joy of learning into the school environment. Dawn began her post-secondary and university experience with a Business Diploma before coming back to her true passion of teaching students and completed her credentials through Thompson Rivers University. A lifelong learner, she has been able to utilize all of her formal education and life experiences to create a diverse learning experience in the classroom.  Her specialties include mathematics and science, taking every opportunity to engage students in hands-on activities and outdoor adventures. Dawn is a nationally certified gymnastic coach for more than 30 years and enjoys empowering students to explore their passions and interests. Dawn enjoys supporting students with their goal setting, university preparation plans and actively cheers on their achievements.

In addition to direct classroom teaching, Dawn has enjoyed years of engaging activities with international students and is looking forward to building strong new relationships in the coming school year. Within the classroom she has fostered connections with students as far away as Uganda, and amongst her global adventures she recently led a team to Mexico to build a complete house in less than a week. This was an amazing opportunity to serve others and watch her students be stretched by the experience.

Dawn embraces her Metis heritage and utilizes traditional knowledge as an aspect of the day-to-day learning culture. She is delighted to be able to provide students with a multitude of unique experiences as they explore this extensive Ktunaxa Territory. Whether it is on the disc golf course, paddling on the lake, or hiking some local terrain, you will easily identify her brilliant smile and joyful spirit, and will be met with a warm welcome on every encounter. She can’t wait to meet all the new students!

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BA, UBC/B.Ed, University of Alberta
M.Ed, Athabasca University

Jennifer Shaw

Teacher (Humanities)

Jennifer has over twenty years teaching experience both in Canada and abroad. Her background includes teaching a variety of subjects from English Language and Creative Writing to Social Studies and Art courses at a high school and college level in both Canada and Japan. She is very excited to be a part of the Purcell Collegiate team.

Jennifer has a passion for connecting with learners and finding what motivates them in order to create dynamic learning experiences for all her students. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia, an Education degree from the University of Alberta, and she is currently working on her Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies at Athabasca University. Jennifer’s teaching philosophy centres on individualized and place based learning. She enjoys supporting learners reach their goals in ways that work best for them.

Beyond the classroom, Jennifer enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, cross country skiing, alpine skiing and landscape photography. In her free time you can see her cross country skiing or even coaching one of the cross country ski programs for kids at the Kimberley Nordic centre as well as hiking and biking the many beautiful trails in Kimberley with her family. She is excited about sharing these interests with all students at Purcell Collegiate and learning what activities and passions bring them to the traditional land of the Ktunaxa People that we are so fortunate to work and play on.

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