Livingstone Range School Division is pleased to announce the appointment of two new and innovative Place-Based learning positions: Jason Clifton (pictured, left) and Joel Gamache (pictured, right) will actively champion LRSD’s core value of “Place-Based” in guiding schools and supporting individuals in accessing outdoor experiential opportunities that address the needs of all students.
“We are so excited to have two strong individuals with proven experience in place-based programming fill these positions,” says Chad Kuzyk, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum & Innovation. “Both Joel and Jason have the experience, skills, and passion to develop and deliver innovative outdoor educational experiences.”
Jason Clifton has been with LRSD since he started his teaching career in 2009, and has taught grades 2 to 12, been a group leader at FACES, coached a variety of school sports teams, ran the Fresh Start program, served as both a Principal and Assistant Principal, and had the opportunity to help start the Livingstone Ski Academy. Jason holds three degrees from the University of Lethbridge including a Master's degree in Education with a focus on school improvement and program implementation. Jason is an avid outdoor enthusiast and holds several certifications related to outdoor education and sport.
“I am extremely excited to work with other educators in Livingstone Range School Division to design and implement programs that will connect student learning to outdoor experiences,” says Jason. “The opportunity to bring learning outside of the classroom and into a variety of outdoor environments will promote the development of skills, foster a love of nature, increase environmental awareness and create lasting memories for our students. I feel extremely fortunate to have been given this opportunity!”
Joel is a Métis individual who holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Winnipeg and is pursuing a Masters Degree in Outdoor Educational Leadership St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. He is currently the Assistant Principal at J.T. Foster School in Nanton and Principal for FACES Summer Education Program. He has worked as a teacher with LRSD since 2017 and has passion for outdoor education. Joel is an active volunteer with the Alpine Club of Canada, an International Bow Hunter Education instructor, Alberta Conservation Hunter & Fishing Education instructor, canoe instructor, water safety instructor, lifeguard, and recent Duke of Edinburgh International Award Gold recipient. As an educator, Joel believes that adding components of outdoor education provides children the opportunity to foster awareness, find value, choose and grow attributes of good character, boost self-esteem, and make meaningful connections.
“Placed-Based and outdoor learning creates an avenue to help students form connections, engage and develop a sense of self,” says Joel. “The shared vulnerability that results from outdoor education is grounds for growth and mentorship. Students learn that it’s the effort that matters. They come to understand that it’s okay if they don’t have all the answers yet; it’s about the journey.”
Chad Kuzyk is confident that these two new Place-Based Coordinators will be an incredible benefit to students in our Division. “With Jason and Joel’s backgrounds and commitment to our vision of Every student, every day,” Chad says, “we are confident that students’ place-based learning opportunities are going to be taken to the next level in Livingstone Range School Division.”
The home base for these exciting new positions will be the LRSD Crowsnest Pass Learning Centre. This unique facility is perfect for LRSD students to authentically experience outdoor experiential education, environmental education, land-based and other indigenous programming, FACES programming, as well as participate in arts experiences, student leadership retreats, pre-employment programming, and international student educational experiences.
Congratulations to Joel and Jason on their exciting new roles.