Our core team of Program Coordinators are professionally certified teachers, outdoor experiential educators and social change leaders. Each year, they come together to design PSYL, and then facilitate activities and workshops throughout the program. They offer resources and mentorship to participants in developing their own incredible ideas and projects.
Below are detailed descriptions about our PSYL 2016 Coordinators.
Michelle Clarke has taught in many different settings from a classroom to a canoe. Michelle coordinated the Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club, while concurrently holding the director role at Camp McDougall during the summers. She holds a B.A. in Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Tourism as well as a BSc in Natural Science. Michelle recently completingher M.Ed at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, exploring how educators can Indigenize environmental education through participation in land-based outdoor activities. Since completing her graduate studies, she has been working at the Forest School and Lakehead University helping students connect with the more than human world. She loves to travel and spend time in the outdoors, and can even throw a mean frisbee!
brad davis has spent many years travelling and teaching leadership, diversity work, and global and social justice. Internationally, he has taught high school in Nigeria, created community-based theatre in the Philippines, and facilitated a university study-abroad program in India. Brad worked with both undergraduate and graduate students in the unique travelling university ecological leadership program Audubon Expedition Institute (now Expedition Education Institute).
Since making his home on Vancouver Island beside the Salish Sea in 2010, Brad has integrated working at PSYL each summer. He sees PSYL to be one of the most innovative international youth leadership programs, with its integration of diversity work, its focus on global environmental and social justice work focused on creating a more equitable and just society, and its celebration of learning how to love more gracefully and caringly together within community. And all in a way that emphasizes collaboration and learning to work with difference, playing and laughing together, and supporting each person's unique journey of becoming more of who they wish to be. Nowadays, Brad has expanded his transformative work to include teaching yoga and meditation while continuing a life-long practice of biking to most places, paddling his canoe when he can, and caring for gardens both literal and metaphoric.
Jon McPhedran Waitzer attended PSYL way back in 2000, and it changed his life. Since then he's build a career working on social justice issues with diverse communities of youth. He has worked on international project management, organizational consulting, and education programs across government, business, and civil society. He recently spent four years leading Head & Hands, a Montreal youth empowerment organization that has operated since 1970 within a collective, consensus-based governance model... and he can't wait to return to his PSYL roots this summer as a first-time program coordinator.
Kim Meredith is a lover of dance, educator of peace, and researcher of multilingual inclusion. She was a coordinator at PSYL for five years from 2008-2012 and completed her PhD research in the PSYL community looking at innovative ways to include linguistic diversity such as the formation of a “Communication Crew.” She has taught English and Muglish (a language with no words—you’ll know it when you learn it!) in Japan, in Richmond, and around the world three times on the Peace Boat. She is also a dance educator who uses dance to help youth heal the whole self, build deep empathy, and explore issues of inclusion of all kinds but especially related to gender and sexual diversity. She is currently a global English educator at Pearson College’s IB program that brings together students from 80 different countries to use education as a force for peace.
Nick Townley is an active BC certified teacher who lives, works and adventures on the shores of the Salish Sea. He holds a BA in Classics from the University of King’s College, a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Otago University and a Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Education from the University of British Columbia.
Nick has worked with PSYL as a program assistant and curriculum coordinator for five years. During the school year, he teaches outdoor education with the TREK Outdoor Education Program at Prince of Wales Secondary, in Vancouver. For seven years, he taught with Sea to Sky Outdoor School for Sustainability Education, where he was a Program Director and well known for his bioregional comedy routines. In the winter of 2015, Nick spent two months on Race Rocks Ecological Reserve as the Eco Guardian. He is currently a Board Member with the Outdoor Council of Canada, a national organization promoting safe travel in the outdoors.
Tobias Lemay lives on Coast Salish Territory with his lovely wife, their two old-lady dogs, and baby, Billie Hope, who is so very loved! Tobias is thrilled to be joining the PSYL coordinator team for the third time in 2016. He loves learning, creating, and working with youth. In 2015, Tobias founded the non-profit, Hammer and Saw:Youth Building Community. He completed the Technology Teacher Education program at BCIT and, in August 2015, he graduated with a Bachelors of Education and teaching certificate from the University of British Columbia. Tobias is committed to social justice and has completed training in Next Up, Creative Facilitation, and Mental Health First Aid, Tobias has led workshops for the Vancouver Tool Library, at an Inward Bound Mindfulness Education teen retreat, and volunteered as a community educator for the Crisis Centre in Vancouver for three years. Tobias is delighted to have the opportunity to again experience the magic that is PSYL!
Rebekah Parker is a PSYL alumnus with a love for the beautiful, unceded Coast Salish territories she lives, works, and plays on. She is thrilled to return for her second year as the program assistant.
Recently she has divided her work life pairing community projects with undergraduate engineering courses at UBC, and teaching bicycle safety to Gr. 4 & 5 students. Before, she worked with Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWEST) as the Education & Outreach Coordinator, engaging hundreds of high school students in hands-on engineering activities and developing one-page infographics on gender diversity issues.
She loves practicing her facilitation skills as a volunteer with Check Your Head and has developed curriculum with the Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) program. Last year she worked with PSYL participants to research ecojustice learning as part of her Master's in Ecojustice and Sustainability Education at UBC. When not in school or at work, she is often found on her bicycle exploring the Pacific Northwest, or photographing the world around her.