Please email your questions to: Sheri Wakefield at: email@example.com
The International Program Team:
International Program Managing Director
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 all members of the team, including the homestay manager, the international counsellor and the international coordinator. 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 at Gulf Islands Secondary School and recently moved into a District Principal role overseeing our International Program. He continues to enjoy working with agents and attending student recruitment fairs with a focus on Asia and South America.
Lyall works with other educators to gain from their experiences and expertise in order to strengthen this top-notch International Program. With the expansion of a second high school for our district, Lyall seeks to broaden our offerings for the International Program with students experiencing the Islands of Pender and Saturna.
Lyall enjoys time with his family on their boat cruising the waters of the Gulf Islands and getting out on the golf course any chance he gets.
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 Program Assistant
Chelsa has been with the Gulf Islands School District since 2011. She has worked as both an Elementary and Secondary School Administrative Assistant and spent two years at the School Board Office. As the ISP Assistant, Chelsa helps with communication between the school and students, agents and homestay families. Chelsa assists the ISP team by maintaining documentation,
student files and helps to organize trips and activities for our students.
Chelsa is the proud mother of two GISS Graduates. She enjoys cooking, music, time with her family, being outside and hiking with her lovely yellow Labrador Retriever. Chelsa is thrilled to be a part of the International Student Program.
Chantal Staines has rejoined the Gulf Islands International Student Program (GIISP) as Homestay Coordinator. She comes with vast experience working and supporting students, hosts, agents, clients, and colleagues in the Salt Spring Island community.
Chantal has a passion and heart for homestay. Her family has been hosting international students for over 20 years
and they love the connections and memories they have made with their students.
In her spare time, Chantal can be found in her garden, walking with her three dogs, spending time with family and friends in nature, and volunteering in the community. She is happy to call Salt Spring Island her home and is proud to be part of the Gulf Islands International Program.