Kimberley Independent School

Administration Staff


Ms. Kari, Principal

I am proud to be the principal of the Kimberley Independent School.  This is my  25th year in the education field.  These years have been very formative in my growth as an educator as it provided a solid foundation of quality leadership in both elementary curriculum and decision making.  In 2018 I was honored with the opportunity to become the principal of KIS which is a school that aligns with all my educational beliefs and passions. I enjoy my role as principal and  helping KIS grow as a whole.  The students and families of our school community are very important and I continue to enjoy getting each and every one better. When not at the school you will find me spending quality time with my family.

Ms. Ash, Operations Manager

I immigrated to Canada in 2005 from Scotland, where I worked as an Electrical Engineering Draughtsman and GIS Mapping Services Manager for Scottish Hydro Electric for 14 years. Once here, I built, owned and operated a licensed restaurant for 5 years. In the fall of 2013 I moved south to Kimberley for a lifestyle change and I've never looked back! This is my 8th school year year as Manager at KIS. I'm enthusiastic for the future, as I know that this town and school is growing and moving in the right direction.

Ms. Jennie, Admin

I was born & raised in small town Newfoundland.  I moved to Kimberley in 1993 with my two children.  I’ve been working in the accounting field for many years.  I worked with a Chartered Accountant for 10 years before opening my bookkeeping business 15 years ago.  My main focus has been on small business accounting.  I’ve been involved with KIS as a contract bookkeeper for 2 years and jumped at the opportunity to join the administrative team on a regular basis.  When not at work you’ll find me enjoying the many outdoor activities that our area offers or cozied at home in my sewing room


Childcare Staff

Ms. Baylie E.C.E.

Hello, my name is Baylie and I was born and raised in Kimberley, BC.  As a certified ECE, it will be a pleasure to contribute with enthusiasm, dedication, and kindness to the KIS team and Foxes Hollow.

Over the past 5 years, I have been blessed to work with children in Kimberley, Cranbrook, Calgary, and Victoria as:

a nanny in private homes, an educator in afterschool care programs, a caregiver in an infant toddler room and a babysitter

My ECE certificate was completed in 2018 through the ‘Pacific Rim Early Childhood Institute’. I expect to complete my diploma in 2021. I believe play is a wonderful opportunity for early learning.  Through play, each child actively initiates development.  My focus is to observe and follow their initiative to create positive, constructive lessons.  Children are full of curiosity and imagination.  Few things are as fulfilling as capturing that curiosity or imagination to spark a lifelong thirst for learning. I am looking forward to helping your child flourish.  I also look forward to creating a meaningful relationship with you.

Outside of my work with children, I use play as an opportunity for my own development.  I live an active lifestyle as an avid gym-goer and playing sports of almost any kind. Travel recently became a part of my thirst for learning.  The winter of 2020 was spent exploring SE Asia, where I visited Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Life is full of wonder.  I look forward to sharing this chapter of mine with you.

Ms. Donna, E.C.E.

I am an educator and mother of two children. I have been working in the ECE field on and off since 2000 in Alberta and in BC.  I believe children and people in general grow and learn best through play. Play can happen anywhere, however, I feel when play happens out in nature we grow and learn the most. I also believe children will only play when they feel secure and safe. I will provide that safe and secure environment for your children through kindness and respect.
I am looking forward to growing and learning with your children through safe, secure and respectful play, especially in the Kimberley great out door.

Ms. Mackenzie, E.C.E.

Hello! My name is Mackenzie, and I am excited to join the Kimberly Independent school family. I am a licensed early childhood educator, Special Needs Educator and Infant Toddler Educator. I am excited to explore and experience new discoveries with the children inside and outside of the classroom!

I have always believed that children deserve a fun, educational and hands on learning environment. My philosophy includes child lead activities, and supporting their individual strengths in the learning space. Being a young child can be stressful when major changes are going on in life, and communication towards other on what you need may be difficult. I have always had a strong pull to supporting a child’s social and emotional needs.

When I am not in the child care setting I enjoy spending time in the outdoors going on hikes, exploring lakes, hunting, trapping, and enjoying board games. I have recently moved to Cranbrook this summer from the Invermere area.

I look forward to meeting all of you!

Mr. Greg, E.C.E.

Hi my name is Greg, I’m originally from Australia but have spent the last 20 years living in Canada, including the past 2 and a half years here in BC. My background includes studying Social Work, community organizing, and freelance writing, and I have recently completed a Diploma of Early Childhood Education. I’m passionate about inclusion, play-based

learning, outdoor education, and finding creative ways to support holistic child development.

I’m an avid reader, loves getting crafty and creative, and likes to get outside any chance I get. My hobbies also include hiking, camping, snowshoeing, cooking, and collecting rocks

Ms. Emily, E.C.E.A.

I’ve been living in Kimberley with my husband for the past 20 years. I first started at K.I.S in 2012 covering a maternity leave for about 2 years. I joined the team again in February, 2019 and was very excited to be a part of opening a 3rd room, The Owl’s Nest, in September, 2019. I love the warm welcome and feel you get from K.I.S. Their philosophy of embracing & teaching the “whole child” spoke to the way I think children should be taught. My background has been with Special Needs for 32 years as well as the field of early childhood education for about 15years. I’ve worked in several daycare/infant toddler centers, supported child development, and facilitated Strong Start. I love working with young children. Their energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and I’m always eager to learn from them and share our thoughts and idea together. In my spare time, I play the guitar & mandolin, enjoy walks with our bull dog, and create stained glass/mosaic projects.

Jodi Eskelin, E.C.E.A.

For over 15 years, I have worked with children and youth in a variety of capacities. I joined the KIS team 6 years ago and have appreciated the ample opportunities to share rich educational experiences with children. My passion for learning and love of the outdoors is shared with the students here at KIS, where curiosity begins when we step out our back door.  That love of being active in nature carries on in time spent with family and friends hiking, skiing, forest walks and river adventures! 

Ms. Heather E.C.E.A.

Heather is excited to join the KIS staff and to continue her love of lifelong learning. Heather and her husband moved from High River six years ago to be closer to nature.  Their daughters are in their mid-twenties, living in Alberta and exploring their own careers. Heather believes in living a passionate creative life and has shared that for over 30 years in her work as an educational assistant, camp counsellor, recreation leader, arts and dance instructor. Books are Heathers best friend with creative writing and potlucks in hot pursuit. Heather is looking forward to this new adventure!

Charity Ashby E.C.E. Extended Care

Bio Coming Soon.


Teaching Staff

The KIS Board


As a not-for profit charitable society, The Kimberley Independent School has a Board of Directors that oversees the governance of the school organization.  This group of volunteers is an essential part of the KIS team and is responsible for overseeing the school vision and ensuring the future of the school through solid strategic planning for the KIS community. 


Chair - Monica Baranski

Vice Chair -

Secretary - Lindsay Cuff

Treasurer - Bonnie Magbanua

Members at Large

Lisa Stemo

Lenka Broda

Leigh Anne Isaac

Ms. Katie, Kindergarten

Bio coming soon.

Ms. Martha, Grade 1/2

Hi, my name is Martha but you might know me as Ms Dippo.  I’m a Lakehead graduate who studied fine arts and education.  I lived on Vancouver Island as a child and spent my summers tree planting while I attended university.  My career started while I was living and working as a teacher in two British Columbia First Nations communities, Lelawagila in Kingcome Inlet and Nlakapamux in Lytton. These experiences taught me to focus on cultural values, connections with the land and traditional knowledge keepers. I believe that through the arts students can experience a sense of empowerment that can give voice and meaning to their lives. I am committed to fostering a caring atmosphere that supports students in their creativity, and promotes students in becoming innovative thinkers.

Mr. Charlie, Grade 2/3

Bio coming soon

Ms. Brooke, Grade 4/5

Coming Soon

Ms. Ronalea, Grade 6/7

I am currently entering my eleventh year of teaching.  I have had a variety of experiences in my career, Literacy Specialist Teacher, Prekindergarten Teacher, Program Director/Special Ed. Teacher, and now an Elementary/Middle school Teacher at KIS. I am passionate about exploring the outdoors, this is what sparked my move from Saskatchewan to Kimberley in August 2018. In my spare time, I am involved in performance arts and Search and Rescue and I enjoy any activity that can get me outside, specifically snowboarding, hiking and paddling on the beautiful lakes in the area.  I look forward to enhancing my knowledge of inquiry-based learning and applying it throughout the entire curriculum, and I am at the right school and community for that!

Mme. Lorenza, French Teacher

I am the French teacher at KIS. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Language with a minor in Italian Literature and Language; a Bachelor of Education in English and Italian from the University of Windsor, Ontario, and another Bachelor of Education (Continuing Education) from the York University in Toronto. I have been teaching for over 35 years in Ontario, B.C., and overseas in Turkey, Jordan, Scotland, and Saudi Arabia. I enjoy walking, hiking, snowshoeing, swimming, doing crafts, travelling, and reading lots of good books.

Education Assistants


Ms. Allie, Education Assistant

I have been supporting elementary aged children in a variety of capacities over the past 6 years. I have training in therapeutic modalities and behaviour intervention and am passionate about my work as an EA. In my spare time you can find me on the ski hill or enjoying a hike nearby! 

Ms. Kerrieann, Education Assistant

I moved to the Kootenays from Calgary in 2008 and I began operating my day home. I am now in my fifth year at KIS and fourth year as an EA. I have a passion for early literacy and my training in Literacy Links has offered me the opportunity to empower children on their learning journey. My experience also includes training in early childhood, challenging behaviors, ODD as well as Fun and Fitness for children. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, biking, crocheting and spending quality time with my family.

Ms. Aundrea, Education Assistant

Bio coming soon.

Ms. Lisa, Education Assistant

This is my second year at KIS and I bring with me 7 years experience in the education field. I believe all children have the right to succeed and I hope with my help they can better express themselves and be heard. I enjoy finding each child’s strengths and building them up. I love the outdoors and wish to share my knowledge and experiences with your children.


Board of Directors

As a not-for profit charitable society, The Kimberley Independent School has a Board of Directors that oversees the governance of the school organization.  This group of volunteers is an essential part of the KIS team and is responsible for overseeing the school vision and ensuring the future of the school through solid strategic planning for the KIS community. 


Chair - Monica Baranski

Vice Chair - TBD

Secretary - TBD

Treasurer - Bonnie Magbanua

Members at Large

Leigh Anne Isaac


© 2020 by

73 101 Champman Camp

Kimberley, BC, V1A 1A5


Kari Johnston - Principal

Ash Strachan - Office Manager

Location Map.

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