Board of Directors
Donald Nikkel an educator with a wide range of educational experiences, spanning from teaching carpentry, running alternative programs to being the superintendent of human resources and policy at Lakeshore School Division. Despite obtaining a Master’s in educational philosophy from McGill, his greatest learning has occurred when he is on the land with his family and students.
Charlene Gulak has served as a Trustee to the Mountain View school division since 2018. She is also the Director of the Manitoba School Boards Association – Region 1. She is a Community developer with 20+ years of experience in the non-profit sector, building capacity in human resources and innovative project development in rural and indigenous communities.
Dawn Sutherland is a science educator and researcher at the University of Manitoba. She is currently the Department Head for the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning where she supports faculty in teaching as well as several Masters level programs.
Leanne Peters has spent her career working in rural contexts. Trained as a High School English teacher, she has also worked as a principal and vice principal in several rural communities. Including as Assistant Superintendent at Sunrise School Division and Assistant Superintendent Learning Support at Lakeshore School Division. Leanne has also served as a principal and teacher in the Rolling River School Division and taught in the Mountain View School Division. She is currently the assistant superintendent at Hanover School Division. Leanne has also done work for the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents (MASS) including serving as the professional learning chair. Leanne earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Western University. She continues to focus on leadership to improve literacy outcomes from a systems perspective.
Mark Rathgeber has been an educator since 2017 and has been an administrator since 2016. He is currently the principal of Roblin Elementary School in Roblin, Manitoba. Mark has experience working in Manitoba schools in rural, urban, and northern settings. He has his Masters in Educational Administration and is committed to working with collaborative Professional Learning Communities to improve instruction and learning. Mark sees great value in the mRLC as he has witnessed first hand the positive impacts its programs have had on teaching and learning.
Tammy Ballantyne has been with the Flin Flon School Division for over 23 years, working as a resource teacher, vice-principal, principal and assistant superintendent prior to her current role as superintendent. She has worked with the Northeast Regional Housing Authority, the board of directors for University College of the North (UCN), as well as the Flin Flon Public Library board. Tammy is passionate about special education.
Marianne Fenn is the assistant superintendent at Western School Division and also acts as the Division’s student services administrator. She has an over 25 year career in education having worked in Manitoba’s remote North as a teacher and school administrator, with Manitoba Education as a consultant and then as school and now divisional administrator at Western School Division. Marianne has a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Victoria. She has appreciated the role that mRLC has had in supporting rich experiences for educators who have been able to learn together. In rural Manitoba, the opportunity to develop a professionally connected learning community and network, is essential. She looks forward to working together to continue supporting learning and the improvement of learning and wellbeing for our students.
Candy Jones is currently an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education (Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy) at Brandon University. She is passionate about teacher education as well as the provision of effective and meaningful teacher professional development, particularly for teachers in rural contexts. As an educator who taught in three different rural Manitoba communities over her 20-year teaching career, Candy both advocated for equity for rural teachers, and worked towards the improvement of professional development opportunities available to educators. Her Ph.D. research, which built on her previous work as a PD committee chair and part-time Numeracy Coach, examined possibilities for developing contextually responsive PD models that mitigate challenges divisions and teachers face with regards to providing and accessing meaningful PD. In her work at Brandon University, Candy teaches courses focused on teacher identity, instructional methods, and mathematics education.
Jon Zilkey has been an educator in Manitoba for 27 years including teacher, principal and senior administrator for the past seven years. He has had the pleasure of working as assistant superintendent at Park West School Division and superintendent at Swan Valley School Division where we worked with the mRLC and their fantastic programming. As assistant superintendent at Brandon School Division we are very excited to be working for the first time with mRLC as I have seen first hand the strength of this organization. I look forward to working with the Board for the next three years.