Please email your questions to: Sheri Wakefield at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Program Team:
International Program Manager
Sheri always puts students first and has been working in the International Education program for the Gulf Island School District since the program began in 1999. As Managing Director, she is responsible for the program administration, student enrolment, reporting, programming, and advisement.
She also works closely with the homestay relationship manager, as well as the program marketing and student recruitment consultant. Sheri is a Certified Executive Coach and has earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration of International Communication and Business from Royal Roads University.
Lyall Ruehlen has been involved with the International Program since 2004. He has played an integral role as the school based Administrator and recently been responsible for developing student and teacher exchanges with China.
Lyall works with other educators to gain from their experiences and expertise in order to strengthen this top notch International Program. Lyall enjoys time with his family on their boat cruising the waters of the Gulf Islands and has a deep passion for coaching basketball.
International Program Counsellor
Nia Williams is a counsellor working with The Gulf Islands International Program. She received a Bachelor in Education from University of Victoria and a Masters in Leadership and Counselling from San Diego State University. Nia loves the West Coast lifestyle and particularly enjoys the wilderness with her family.
She has worked with School District 64 for over fifteen years, and greatly appreciates working in such a vibrant, welcoming learning community. Nia values the curricular and social growth that develops in International students, as they experience new adventures and create new friendships while studying abroad in Canada.
International Student Support Teacher
Nikita was once a student at GISS and is now proud to be a member of the GISS faculty. She received a Bachelor in Education from the University of Victoria and a Masters in Education from the University of British Columbia. She teaches Physical & Health Education (PE), Science, ELL and Leadership.
Her varied teaching responsibilities are aligned with her aim to find balance in life ~ an endeavour she hopes to inspire within her students. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, travelling and spending quality time with her family.
She understands the intricacies involved in ensuring a positive relationship between student and host and the lasting impact that a successful homestay has for everyone. Chantal looks forward to welcoming our international students to Salt Spring Island and supporting them throughout their homestay experience.
International Student Program Assistant
Lina has been with the Gulf Islands School District since 2011. She and her family have hosted numerous students over the years for the Gulf Islands International Program. As the ISP Assistant, Lina helps with the ongoing communication between the school and the students, their homestay parents, parents and agents.
She keeps the program organized! She also helps Nikita to organize trips and activities for our students.
In addition to working within the school district, Lina also runs an organic farm and plant nursery. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking and walking her dog.