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School structure


The Calgary French & International School (CFIS) is an independent school, operated by the Calgary French & International School Society, which is a non-profit, charitable organization. The CFIS Society is governed by a board of directors largely comprised of parents of CFIS students.

The CFIS Society's board of directors sets the school's strategic vision. Day-to-day operations and the practical implementation of the strategic plan are the responsibility of the Head of School.

If you would like to contact the Society Board Chair, please do so by emailing or by contacting Board Secretary Julie Figures at 

The Head of School supervises a senior leadership team of three division principals and four directors, who lead the school's over 120 faculty and staff. Each member of the senior leadership team is associated with an academic division or an administrative department:

  • Early Childhood
  • Elementary Division
  • Secondary Division
  • Educational Technology & Innovation
  • Enrolment
  • Finance
  • Operations
To read more about the senior leadership team and the members of the CFIS Society's board of directors, please click on the drop-down links for their biographies below. 

Biographies of our school leadership team

Click on one of the links below to read about our Head of School, principals and directors. 

Mme Nicola Abrioux-Camirand, Principal of Elementary

Mme Nicola Abrioux-Camirand is our Principal of Elementary. Recognized for her ongoing academic work in second language instruction and the benefit of early introduction into French immersion environments, Nicola completed her Masters in Education degree in 2008. 

Nicola accepted her current role as the Calgary French & International School’s Principal of Elementary in 2014, but she has worked tirelessly at CFIS since 2009, making innovative improvements to our early childhood department and primary division as CFIS’s primary division principal. 

Before coming to CFIS, Nicola worked for 15 years in the public school sector. 

After completion of a bachelor’s degree in education with distinction at the Faculté Saint Jean, University of Alberta, Nicola received the Edwin Parr Award for excellence in her first year of teaching. Soon after, she held her first leadership position as curriculum coordinator for her division. 

In 1998, Nicola continued her post-secondary studies exploring and refining her focus on developing the whole child through a Diploma in Guidance Counselling. 

Her history as an educator includes teaching English and French language arts to students from early childhood to Grade 10. Nicola has also held a variety of leadership positions in advance of her term at CFIS. She has been an International Baccalaureate school coordinator as well as an English language arts coordinator for various schools and districts. 

Nicola completed her diploma in Independent School Leadership with the Canadian Association of Independent Schools in 2015. 



Mme Alex Lianne Carter, Director of Educational Technology & Innovation

Mme Alex Lianne Carter came to the Calgary French & International School in 2015 as our Director of Educational Technology and Innovation eager to share her energy and enthusiasm for the use of technology tools to engage and enhance student learning.

Before being awarded her position at CFIS, Mme. Carter completed her Masters in Educational Technology, with honours, and a graduate certificate in online teaching for adult learners, in 2014 from Boise State University. 

Born in England and an immigrant to Canada, Mme. Carter is a proud French immersion graduate who completed a bilingual Bachelor of Education the University of Alberta’s Campus St-Jean. After obtaining her BEd, she taught for nearly a decade in both French immersion and bilingual public and independent schools in Canada, England and the British Virgin Islands.

In addition to being a French immersion and technology educator, Mme. Carter has fulfilled many leadership roles including technology representative, curriculum technology coordinator, technology integration and support specialist, IB Middle Years Programme coordinator and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma coordinator.  

Having worked several years for schools authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate programme, she has been involved in an innovative academic setting that embraces global perspective, creative thinking, risk taking and open mindedness. In these roles, she has helped design curriculum that adapts its programs for personalized learning and to offer real world experiences that develops the child learner as a whole.



Mme Margaret Dorrance, Head of School

Mme. Margaret Dorrance has been the Head of School at the Calgary French & International School since April 2012. Since accepting the position, Mme. Dorrance has applied her collaborative and visionary leadership towards making the school the national leader in French immersion and international education. 

Mme. Dorrance has a more than 30-year history of leadership, academic and professional development excellence in the independent and public school community. 

In her early professional years, Margaret was a teacher, earning her bachelor of arts with honours in French and Spanish as well as a bachelor of education degree at the University of Western Ontario. She applied her passion for languages in the classroom, and began to recognize the impact an individual could have on others as a teacher. 

She taught and trained others within all levels of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme in both French and Spanish and implemented language-centered travel studies cultural trips for her Spanish and French classes. 

Quickly moving into positions as a leader, Margaret held educational leadership postings with the Calgary Board of Education at Western Canada High School and Lester B. Pearson High School.  

Immediately prior to accepting her position as Head of School at the Calgary French & International School, she worked for Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School in Okotoks, Alberta. There, Margaret served as Director of Academics and then as Director of Curriculum and Instruction, implementing many forward-thinking professional development initiatives and spearheading the school’s Leadership Institute project. 

She recently completed the Leadership Diploma through the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools Leadership Institute, and was a participant in the inaugural year of the Next Steps program. She has provided leadership and expertise to local, provincial and national educational initiatives, and has participated on CAIS review teams. 

Margaret is committed to life-long learning and thrives in the dynamic professional education environment within the Calgary French & International School, which provides opportunity for growth and challenge for her and her staff.



M. Trevor Edgar, Director of Finance

M. Trevor Edgar CPA, ACMA, CGMA, B.Sc. (Accounting) is a management accountant with extensive knowledge of financial, management, and cost accounting, internal and external auditing, and compliance. His experience extends to full-cycle accounting, including budget planning and reporting, variance analysis, and financial statements. Risk management is another area of Mr. Edgar’s expertise – he has consulted on risk management strategies for various organizations, and was awarded a medal by the Duke of York for his work in risk management.

Following a 24-year career in the British military, focusing on human resources and accountancy roles, Mr. Edgar worked for the next ten years as an accountant with the Government of the United Kingdom. After moving to Canada in 2017, he began working for the City of Calgary as a Tangible Assets accountant. He has extensive experience in the non-rofit sector, previously managing five charities in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Edgar obtained his B.Sc. (Accounting) at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.


M. Dennis Falconer, Director of Operations

M. Dennis Falconer is a dynamic, versatile manager with over 20 years experience in all aspects of general management and team leadership. Throughout his working life, Dennis has built on existing team strengths and developed each member to reach their maximum potential, focusing on getting things done, on time and within budget. 

During his 25-year career in the British army, Dennis had the opportunity to travel all over the world seeing and experiencing different cultures, languages and landscapes.  It was during a posting to Medicine Hat that he decided that once life in the armed forces came to an end, he and his family would emigrate to Canada.

This came to pass in 2010 when Dennis and his family started a new chapter in in Calgary. Here, Dennis worked at the University of Calgary as an Associate Director of Business Operations before moving into a joint venture as the General Manager for four years, and then to CFIS. 



Mme Kathy Marinakos, Director of Enrolment

Mme Kathy Marinakos brings over 25 years of administrative, leadership and teaching experience to her position as Director of Enrolment at CFIS. Her strong leadership skills, exceptional communication and organization skills, and ability to work successfully with varied and diverse groups of people has afforded her a track record of excellence in implementing and leading change. 

Kathy's deep understanding of the development and implementation of instructional best practices, admissions practices and assessment practices along with the importance of adhering to a school’s vision, mission and values go hand-in-hand with her dedication to an academically excellent and internationally focused education. She looks forward to continuing to deepen her wealth of experience in independent schools through certification in the CAIS Leadership Institute, which she began in 2014.

Along with her work assessing prospective students for which she holds a Level B certification, during her decades at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS), Kathy supported the admissions department to modify and implement their admissions processes, assessment standards, records processes and communications. Throughout this time, and in addition to her roles as a classroom teacher, specialist teacher and learning strategist, Kathy also held numerous leadership roles, training faculty and leading her colleagues in the development of program and curriculum. As the Primary Years Programme Coordinator at STS, she went above and beyond spearheading many initiatives to increase the profile of the Primary Years Programme, including holding open houses, giving tours, increasing signage and branding various programs as well as using technology and media as tools for informing and educating. 

Kathy accepted the role of Calgary Greek School’s Assistant Principal in 2010. During that time she was enacted by the Society Board to work with stakeholders, students, parents, faculty and Alberta Education to design and implement an exhaustive and accredited curriculum from kindergarten to Greek 35, which continues today. Additionally, she fostered the school's parent volunteer program, a great fit with her natural spirit of involvement and community. 

In her life outside of school, Kathy is the mother of three boys who attend independent and charter schools, which affords her the valuable perspective of both an educator and an independent-school parent. Kathy and her husband also operate their own business.  

Kathy is passionate about contributing meaningfully to the success of all endeavors in which she is involved and bringing the school’s enrolment and retention program forward to a ever-more successful future for our school. 



M. Malcolm Mousseau, Principal of Secondary

M. Malcolm Mousseau​, Principal of Secondary, brings his extensive educational leadership experience to CFIS. His last position was as the Assistant Head of Student Services at Ottawa’s Ashbury College, where he oversaw Ashbury's Senior School academic programs. M. Mousseau taught at Ashbury College for 29 years. He also taught International Baccalaureate (IB) French at Upper Canada College and worked as an IB teacher trainer and examiner.

M. Mousseau is fluently bilingual and has a Master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of Ottawa. 



Mme Amy Murray, Principal of Early Childhood

Mme. Amy Murray brings a wealth of knowledge regarding early childhood education and leading-edge curriculum development to the Calgary French & International School. 

Before coming to the school in 2009 as a kindergarten teacher, she completed her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Alberta’s Faculté St. Jean as well as a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences with a concentration in early childhood development.  She has worked for independent schools throughout Alberta. 

Building on a career working with children for over two decades, she quickly took on the responsibility of grade-level coordinator and curriculum leader at CFIS, becoming director of our bustling early childhood department in 2013. 

Known as an innovator in her field for developing international connections in the classroom through Twitter and other forms of technology, Amy continues to be a driving force for the adoption and complete integration of an emergent curriculum program in the early childhood and elementary divisions. 

A significant part of Amy’s work is as part of the admissions assessment team for our entry-level years, something she has written and presented on nationally. She is also a sought after speaker and trainer on learning through play, differentiated learning and the use of technology within the classroom. 

Her ongoing academic work on the acquisition of language in preschool and junior kindergarten informs not only programming within our school, but nationally through her publications and conference presentations. 


Biographies of our governing board of directors

Click on one of the links below to read the biographies of the Calgary French & International School's board of directors. 

Kate Bilson

Kate Bilson is Chief Privacy Officer and Senior Legal Counsel – Litigation & Employment Law for TransCanada PipeLines Limited before which she worked for Canadian Pacific and in private practice.   Kate specializes in the areas of employment and labour law, pension law, and privacy law.   

Currently, Kate is chairing a provincial task force on volunteer engagement for the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA AB) and is a member of the CBA AB’s Equality Committee.  She is also a past South Section Coordinator for the CBA AB and Past Chair of the Privacy and Access to Information Law south section. Kate has also been involved in the CBA Mentorship Program, which matches law students with mentor lawyers.

In addition to her professional involvement, Kate has been involved in her community.  While in private practice in Saskatchewan, she sat on the Board of Directors for the Saskatoon Co-Operative Association, a large retailer with grocery, petroleum, home hardware, and agricultural divisions, as well as on the boards for two non-profit organizations, the Saskatchewan Action Committee on the Status of Women and the Global Gathering Place, an agency devoted to assisting immigrants and refugees.   Since moving to Calgary, she has enjoyed roles with the Children’s Legal and Educational Resource Centre (CLERC) on its Legal Advisory Committee and Human Resources Committee, and with Scouts Canada as a volunteer leader.  Kate has participated in the Spring Benefit Committee and Administrative Procedures Committee at the Calgary French and International School (CFIS) and is currently the parent representative for her son’s class, as well as a pizza lunch volunteer.  
Over the last few years, Kate has taught labour relations in the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension at Mount Royal University, where she also sits on the advisory committee for the Human Resource Management Extension Certificate Program.  In addition, Kate has presented on privacy law, pension law, and human rights law topics at a variety of legal conferences and seminars.     
Kate is a graduate of the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, London, England where she earned a Certificate of Dance Studies in 1991, and the University of Saskatchewan, where she received a Bachelor of Arts with High Honours in Psychology in 1995 and a Bachelor of Laws in 2000.  In 2008, Kate earned a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto.  She is a member of the Bar in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.  

With a son in the elementary division at CFIS, Kate is truly committed to the school and its central focus on ensuring all students can learn and thrive.


Curtis Cook

Curtis is a strong believer in multilingual education. Curtis has grown up with, and is a product of the French immersion program. He later went on to successfully complete the first dual degree program in Mechanical Engineering, BSc., and a French Literature, BA, from the University of Calgary in 1993.  Later while working in France, he travelled extensively throughout Europe and saw first hand the benefits of a broadened education.

Curtis has two children at CFIS; one in the elementary division and another in junior high. He has seen first hand the excellent education afforded students at CFIS and is excited to see the benefits of Round Square and the IB program.

He is an entrepreneur who has founded three successful oil and gas companies; a heavy oil business, a shallow gas business and a light oil shale business; all within Western Canada.


Mark Dahlman

Mark is a retired executive for an international consulting firm, serving as the lead for multidisciplinary client assignments for many diverse organizations. He was frequently quoted in the media and has been featured on CBC Radio in regards to human resource topical issues such as labor shortages, compensation trends, and costs for employee benefit plans. 

Mark is currently President of Dahlman Human Capital Corp., helping organizations strategize and implement more effective governance and total reward strategies, drawing from his broad Canadian and United States experience.   
Mark has recently been a Senior Partner at Global Governance Advisors Inc., from 2012 to 2015, a board of directors’ advisory consultancy on governance and execute compensation matters, practicing in Canada and the United States. 

In 2011, Mark retired after a career of 27 years as the Managing Consultant in Western Canada for Towers Watson (formerly known as Towers Perrin), an international financial services firm.  He was most recently responsible for all client-facing services provided to that firm’s Western Canadian clients (from Manitoba to British Columbia). 

Mark has served on the CFIS Society Board of Directors since 2015 and is a member of the Strategic Planning and Head of School Support Committees.  In addition, Mark has volunteered with several Calgary-area not-for-profit organizations.  He was on the Cabinet of the Calgary and Area United Way Campaigns in 2002, 2003, and 2004.  He was on the Executive Board of the Calgary Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Campaign in 2012 and 2013.  He also chaired a committee to raise funds for playground equipment for new facilities at École Notre-Dame des Vallées in Cochrane, Alberta in 2012.   

Mark is married and has three children, two of whom are adults. His youngest son is in CFIS’s secondary division. 

Mark has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and is a charter member of the International Society of Employee Benefit Specialists.


Peter J. Forrester

Peter Forrester is part of the leadership team of the Kinder Morgan group of companies. Kinder Morgan is the largest energy midstream company in North America. Peter’s responsibilities include managing the legal and Aboriginal aspects of Kinder Morgan’s Canadian operations. Peter is also part of the leadership team responsible for the proposed $5.4 billion dollar expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Peter has over 20 years of business and leadership experience. He holds a B.A. (Lethbridge), a Juris Doctor (Alberta), an LL.M (Masters Business Law, York) and a Master in Business Administration (University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business). He currently sits on the board of the Calgary French & International School and is Chair of the Risk Committee, and sits on the advisory committee of the Southern Alberta Land Trust Association. He has two young children at CFIS. 

Akhil Garg

Akhil Garg is a Senior Manager of Risk Advisory Services with Ernst and Young in their Energy sector. Ernst & Young is one of the “Big Four” global assurance, business and technical advisory firms. Akhil brings over 17 years of international experience in the areas of I.T. and information governance, risk management, and compliance.

Akhil obtained his Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) degree from CCS University in India, and relocated to Calgary in 2009. He also has a number of leading certifications, including Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).

Akhil has served in various roles, including Membership, Treasury, and Communications, for the non-profit group ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), with its New Delhi and then Calgary chapters. He also volunteers to mentor new immigrants to Canada through the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC).


Dr. Dianne Gereluk

Dr. Gereluk is the current CFIS Society Board Chair. She is also the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs in Education at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Prior to this appointment, she was Chair of the Leadership, Policy and Governance specialization in the Faculty of Education. Currently, she sits on the Alberta Education External Advisory Committee and Teacher Education Certification Committee for the province.

Dianne has two young children at CFIS, and has been a member of the CFIS Society Board since November 2011. 


Leann Hackman-Carty

Leader, entrepreneur and connected. Leann’s leadership ability was identified early when she was nominated and selected to participate in the United States International Visitors Program. This program involved future leaders from 20 different countries, 19 from Europe. Its focus was Trade and Economic Development, and included meetings with government, unions, community organizations and corporate America.

Leann worked as an Executive Assistant, Community & Economic Development to the Mayor of Calgary for over 10 years; managed several federal and municipal election campaigns; developed and lead key initiatives in the corporate, public and not-for profit sector; provided business development services to the States of Mississippi and Georgia; provided leadership for the Organization of Women in International Trade; hosted numerous high level international trade delegations; initiated greater working relationships with provincial and international economic development groups; developed business and marketing plans for small-medium sized enterprises; and worked on a number of high profile community investment projects.

In addition to owning and operating her own private consulting firm, she has been the CEO of Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) since 2009. EDA’s members are involved in economic development activities including business retention and expansion, business and investment attraction, opportunity identification, tourism, workforce development, business and economic recovery, and industry sector development. The association has an annual conference each spring and provides community economic development training (CEDTP) throughout the year. It offers a Professional Management Certificate through the University of Calgary, and has three of its CEDTP courses online as part of this program. At the end of 2014, Leann lead an Economic Disaster Recovery Project with 10 Alberta communities and Treaty 7 Community Futures (Siksika/Stoney); in partnership with the International Economic Development Council, The Government of Alberta, Shell, RBC Foundation, the Canadian Red Cross and the US Consulate in Calgary. As part of this project, Leann spearheaded the production of a community toolkit to help them prepare and respond to future economic disruptions. She has just completed setting up and running the Wood Buffalo Business Recovery Hotline and validating businesses for Red Cross emergency relief as part of the overall wildfire response.

Throughout her career, her leadership, entrepreneurial drive and broad network of contacts have enabled her to establish multi-stakeholder partnerships across various sectors, industries and borders; anticipate emerging and ongoing business needs; design new ways of providing goods and/or services; and conceptualize, plan and implement innovative initiatives. Her desire to make a positive impact, whether small or large, is evident in her personal and professional life. In addition to CFIS, she serves as a volunteer on the board of KidSport Alberta and AVENTA.


Wellington Holbrook

ATB Financial’s Chief Transformation Officer Wellington Holbrook has one mandate: lead ATB’s evolution towards becoming a forward-thinking technology company that will transform banking—make it work for people. Leading a team of change agents, Wellington has set ATB on a course of rapid innovation that re-imagines process, enables people and embraces leading edge technology to create out-of-this-world customer experiences.

At ATB he’s previously served as Executive Vice-President of Retail Financial Services and Executive Vice-President of Business Banking. Prior to that, Wellington spent 15 years at the Business Development Bank of Canada, serving in various senior executive roles for areas such as commercial financing, mezzanine and venture capital.

Outside of professional commitments, Wellington is proud to serve as a board member for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Calgary Convention Centre Authority. He also champions ATB’s Teddy for a Toonie fundraising campaign, which has raised more than $4 million for Alberta’s Children’s Hospitals in the last 5 years.

Wellington earned his Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) degree at the University of Manitoba and holds a Master’s with distinction from the University of Oxford. He continues to be a lifelong learner, making the most of every formal and informal opportunity to expand his understanding of the world.

Wellington has two kids at CFIS in grade 7 and 9 and has been very happy with the experience his kids have had at the school over the years.  The opportunity to contribute to the continued advancement of the school is his main motivation for getting involved with the CFIS Board.


Mario Mele

Mario Mele is the father of two children enrolled at CFIS. Mario and his wife Andrea returned to Alberta in late 2014 after 15 years abroad. One of the key reasons that Mario and his family returned to Alberta and Calgary specifically, were for family reasons. Mario has two older brothers who both reside with their families in Calgary.

Since the start of 2015, Mario has been in the role of Vice-President and Controller at TELUS, a leading Canadian Telecommunications Company. Supporting the Executive of the Company, Mario’s principal aim is in providing strategic and financial leadership, including solutions to support business goals that improve business efficiency, grow the business in delivering on commitments to customers as well as providing rigorous financial analysis and recommendations on all new business opportunities. Prior to this role and while abroad, Mario worked at the Executive level for several international Telecommunications providers in Europe.

Dr. Katherine Mueller

Dr. Katherine Mueller is an Instructor at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. She teaches Undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Education program and her specialization is preparing pre-service teachers of French Immersion and other languages, and supervising them as they participate in their Practicum experiences. She was a teacher of secondary French and German with the Calgary Board of Education, and an Instructor of beginner and intermediate French at the university level before coming to the Werklund School of Education.  In addition, she is a Research Associate with the Language Research Centre of the University of Calgary and is co-author of a university beginner-level French textbook. She is a member of the Teaching Academy at the Taylor Institute of Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary, and is the recipient of the University of Calgary Teaching Excellence Award (2017), the University of Calgary Student Union Teaching Excellence Award in 2014-2015, and Honorable Mention for the same award in 2015-2016.

Dr. Mueller’s doctoral research was in the area of French Immersion, and she now conducts research on pedagogical approaches that can support French Immersion, and on the experiences of former French Immersion students who are moving into career paths where they will use French.  She presents frequently at conferences and for teacher organizations and school divisions, and to French Immersion parents on behalf of Canadian Parents for French. She is involved in French education at the provincial level, and works closely with local and regional school boards and jurisdictions to provide professional development for teachers of French as a Second Language and French Immersion.


Simon Rainsbury

Simon Rainsbury is Senior Vice President for Colliers Project Leaders. Simon leads the development and operations across Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia).  Within the Colliers family, Colliers Project Leaders role is as the owner’s representative helping our clients ‘get it ready, get it built and get it performing’ with regards to real estate, facilities and infrastructure. Our role as the owner’s representative project manager is ensuring successful delivery of real estate in infrastructure and facilities to meet client and owner requirements. Success is understanding why and how the facility and building will be used beyond the project. This has included multiple school projects across the Province for Alberta Infrastructure and Education, various school boards, and other private schools in Calgary, as well as the New Central Library in Calgary, and various projects for both the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University.

Simon grew up in London, England and obtained a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, England, is a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and has his Project Management Professional designation from the Project Management Institute. Simon relocated to Calgary with his wife and children in 2008. Simon and his wife currently have two children at CFIS. 

Simon has been on the CFIS Society Board since 2015 and currently chairs the Building and Grounds Committee. Simon’s aim in remaining on the board is to help oversee that the current master plan fits within the strategic vision of the school, sets a long term roadmap with respect to the campus, current and future facilities as well as to lend his expertise as the school develops over the coming years to set a legacy and long term vision.


Marnie Rodgers

Marnie Rodgers is a valuable member of the CFIS community, bringing a wealth of experience ranging from marketing and promotions to entrepreneurism.

The Calgary native has two young girls in CFIS’s Elementary Division and is a familiar face in the school, volunteering countless hours as a class representative, attending field trips, and assisting with the Spring Benefit, which she chaired in the spring of 2016.

Marnie currently chairs the CFIS Society Board’s Advancement Committee and is enthusiastic about fundraising and promoting the profile of CFIS both internally and externally.

With a BA in communications from the University of Calgary, Marnie worked abroad in corporate communications in both Sydney, Australia and London, England.

After returning to Calgary, Marnie was a contract manager for The Date Group of Companies and then co-owner of a distribution company. A long-time real estate investor, Marnie recently licensed to trade in real estate but maintains her focus on her young family.


Gertrud Schneider Chary

The Chary family has called CFIS home for over a decade. Gertrud’s children started at the school at an early age to experience and benefit from a multilingual and multicultural environment. Her son graduated in 2017, while her daughter is currently completing grade 11. From the very beginning her family tried to be actively involved and support the school and its vibrant community.  

Gertrud has been a member of the Board of Directors at CFIS for the last eight years. She currently serves as the Chair of the Governance & Nomination Committee and as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.  While many positive steps have been taken to ensure a viable and robust school, new challenges await CFIS in 2019, which also happens to be the school’s 50th anniversary. Gertrud is very invested in supporting the secondary division, particularly, the creation and sustainability of a strong and competitive senior high school.

After graduating from high school in 1982, Gertrud left Germany to enjoy a gap year in Canada before attending university back home. However, she decided to stay and complete several degrees in the liberal arts over the next few years, specializing in European Languages and History. During that time she also began work as a business manager and financial controller, eventually owning and operating several businesses. When relocating to Calgary in 2006, Gertrud joined St. Mary’s University as director of bookstore and publication services until her retirement in 2017. 


Jamie Lynne Smith

Jamie is a senior manager with Deloitte, where she works with Chief Financial Officers and finance leaders in the areas of finance effectiveness, finance strategy, transactions, integration, complex accounting and various other areas impacting finance teams. Jamie has experience including reporting and working with various audit committees and boards in her current and previous roles as well as volunteer positions. Jamie works with organizations of all sizes in the areas of governance, strategy and financial matters and it is this skillset along with her accounting and financial expertise and education which will make her a productive member of the CFIS Society Board. Prior career experience includes accounting manager at an international publicly traded organization, controller at a financial institution and payments company as well as over ten years of audit experience at one of the top international audit firms. Jamie’s education includes a Chartered Professional Accountant Designation (CPA, CA), Masters in Professional Accounting and a Bachelor of Administration. Jamie has previously held roles on NPO boards and has also worked with NPO clients including other local private schools. Jamie has been with CFIS as a parent since 2011 and has a son in grade four as well as a son in kindergarten.


Steve Stowkowy

Steve Stowkowy is the Vice-Chair of the CFIS Society’s Board of Directors. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Alberta, followed by a Masters of Business Administration. Since then, he has obtained senior leadership experience in all aspects of consulting engineering business practices, including senior and project management, technical group leadership, corporate and business development, and human resources. He is the leader of the Prairie region for Hatch Mott MacDonald. He is a results-oriented strategic thinker and consensus builder with strong analytical skills. He has extensive Board experience, having been a member of the University of Calgary’s Senate (2003-2009) and Board of Governors (2007 to 2009), and the Board of Directors of the Consulting Engineers of Alberta (2007-2009).

Steve and Bonnie’s son has been at CFIS since 2006 and is part of the graduating class of 2021. Steve has been a member of the Society's Board of Directors since November 2010. He served on the Head of School Search Committee, and currently serves on the Strategic Planning and Personnel Committees.


Joanne Weninger

Joanne currently fulfills the role of the Chief Operating Officer of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation (ACHF) and has primary accountability over the child health funding and visioning investment opportunities, as well as contributes to the key strategic relationships with Alberta Health Services, University of Calgary, community partners and government. Other responsibilities include human resources, information systems and as a member of the Executive Team, contributes to the achievements of the ACHF board and associated committees of the board. Prior to ACHF, Joanne was a management consultant with a clinical background and extensive experience in the health, social services, education/research and justice sectors in Alberta and internationally. Joanne is well networked and highly effective in strategic planning, governance, optimizing operations, project management, and implementing effective change strategies.

Joanne has two children attending CFIS, in grades 10 and 8.