Leadership Bios

Learn more about our Leaders

Bio - Peter Gamwell


Born in Liverpool, England, Peter is the co-author of The Wonder Wall: Leading Creative Schools and Organizations in an Age of Complexity, 2017, Corwin Press; and Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer: Innovative Pedagogies for Cultivating Every Student’s Potential (Corwin, Press, April, 2022 As an author, presenter and consultant, he explores learning, leadership, and innovation, and their impacts on individual and organizational health and culture.
Peter’s philosophy is simple: the health and prosperity of any organization is directly proportional to the manner in which it values its people, affords them autonomy to make decisions, and gives them creative rein. This vision and practice of leadership and learning is important for all ages and all organizations: the more success we have inspiring learning in schools, businesses, and communities, the more we unleash potential. Peter works with a variety of groups, including students, educators, administrators, schools, districts, companies, and policy makers, to help them foster this vibrancy and creative potential in their learning cultures. Many of these stories are told in the pages of his books, to help others in their journey to awaken that culture in their own spheres.
The power of the story
Through the course of his work and research, Peter has captured the voices of hundreds of students and adults alike, video clips that provide unique and insightful glimpses into the lived world of our classrooms, schools, and organizations. These clips also provide critical insight as to how we might imagine our learning cultures in a way that reawakens the brilliance that lies in all of us, with a central focus on individual, group, and organizational wellbeing. You can see many of these stories on his new Youtube channel, Cultivating Innovation.
An adjunct professor with the University of Ottawa, Peter has been the recipient of many awards throughout his 40-year career. In 2013, he was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association for the work he led in Learning, Leadership and Creativity with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. In 2015 he was awarded the Global Distinguished Leadership Award by the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

Bio - Dianne McConnell


Dianne McConnell has worked as a registered psychologist and educator for over 35 years.  She has a Ph.D in educational psychology and has a broad experience with increasingly complex and multi-dimensional aspects of serving children, students and their families from a variety of perspectives, that include: parent, classroom teacher, consultant, central office administrator, senior leader within government and board member within a national service organization. She is highly motivated and capable of providing leadership and direction in the strategic development of plans and policy support to champion the voice and engagement of children and their families. Her underlying beliefs, values and commitment toward success for children and their families is foundational to her work. Throughout her career, training and experience she has learned that building effective, trusting and strong relationships, embracing diversity and establishing high expectations are necessary building blocks for success. Dianne believes work environments that promote an aspect of shared responsibility and reinforce the establishment of teams are essential in supporting children with diverse needs

Bio - Caroline Picard


Caroline is an education consultant, a certified master practitioner in compassionate systems, a leadership coach, and a former assistant superintendent with over 35 years of experience in K-12 education. Her work focuses on building capacity within the organisation to drive lasting and systemic change. As individuals, organizations, and teams navigate through a profound change in education, strengthening mental health and wellness, Caroline inspires transformation with strategies that focus on sustaining ourselves, enhancing our relationships, and strategically improving our systems.

Bio - Pam Rannelli


Pam has been involved in K-12 education for over 40 years. She has been a classroom teacher, itinerant teacher for children who are blind or visually impaired, a principal, Director of Inclusive Learning, Assistant Superintendent of Learning and a Senior Manager with Alberta Education. She retired as Superintendent of Foothills School Division in Alberta in 2019.
Pam holds a B.A. and BEd from St. Francis Xavier University, a Graduate Certificate in Education Psychology from the University of Calgary and a Masters in Education from Dalhousie University. In addition, she recently completed a Change Management Certificate from Cornell University.
Known as an inspiring leader, with outstanding communication skills and the ability to develop effective, motivated, and collaborative teams. Pam is excited to now be consulting with school districts across Western Canada as part of the Well at Work Advisor team with the EdCan Network. Pam is a champion for inclusive systems that bring out the best in kids, teachers and other important education staff that support them!

Bio - Ainsley Rose


Ainsley Rose retired after 35 years in education. As the former Director of Education and Curriculum for the Western Quebec School Board in Gatineau, Quebec, he has presented to small and large audiences across Canada, the United States, Bermuda, Hawaii and Lusaka Zambia, as well as, at the International Effective Schools Conference in Rotterdam. Ainsley is a contributing author for several recent publications; The Teacher as Assessment Leader, The Principal as Assessment Leader, The Collaborative Teacher, all with Solution Tree publishing. Ainsley works as a senior professional development associate for the Leadership and Learning Centre, the Marzano Research Laboratory, Solution Tree, and the Wayne Hulley School Improvement Model. He is also the lead trainer for Visible Learning, the work of Dr. John Hattie, from Auckland, New Zealand.

Bio - Kara Vandas


As a consultant, Kara Vandas works with districts and schools to implement processes and practices that best support student learning. Her areas of focus include Visible Learning Plus, Clarity for Learning, Co-constructing Success Criteria, and Partnering with Students: Building Ownership of Learning.