Challenge @ SD61 – Faculty

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Ted Meldrum – Challenge Coordinator – Social Studies – Mount Douglas

Ted Meldrum attained his Bachelor of Arts in Geography and History in 1994, finishing his degree during the evenings while working full time as a land surveyor assistant. Five years after graduating from the University of Victoria, Mr. Meldrum returned there and completed his post degree program, earning his teacher certification, finishing in the top 5% of his classes. Wherever Mr. Meldrum has taught, he has created innovative programs and revitalized existing ones. Mr. Meldrum has continued to hone all aspects of his teaching practices, connecting with youth at risk, improving student connections to learning and enhancing interactions with gifted students. Ted has developed a holistic approach to teaching, with an emphasis on students’ skills, cognition and mental well-being.  Along with Carrie Ann Taylor, winner of the Government of Canada History Award.

Neal Johnson – Science & Math – Mount Douglas

johnsonNeal Johnson received a Bachelor of Education in General Sciences (Expanded) with Distinction in 1996 from the University of Victoria. This specialized degree allowed him to focus on Physics integration with Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy and Earth Sciences. Mr. Johnson has been teaching Challenge since 1998 and coordinated the Challenge Program from 1999-2009. Recently, Mr. Johnson won an Outstanding Educator award from the University of Chicago. Mr. Johnson was himself designated “Gifted” as a child, and now has one of his own children with this designation. His interests outside school include construction and renovation work. Mr. Johnson teaches Science, Mathematics and Physics.

Carrie Ann Taylor – Social Studies – Mount Douglas

Carrie Ann Taylor is a Social Studies teacher at Mount Doug. She received her Bachelor of History from the University of Victoria in 2001, and then a Bachelor of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in 2003. In her education studies, she was part of a cohort focused on global and community connections. After a few years in Toronto, Ms. Taylor returned home to Victoria. In addition to classroom teacher, she has worked as a curriculum developer for nationally- distributed curriculum related to social responsibility in the areas of multiculturalism, diversity, global issues, environmental issues, and peace/conflict studies. Ms. Taylor is currently working on her Masters in Leadership at U Vic. She has been teaching in SD61 since 2007, and this is her second year in the Mount Doug Challenge program.  Along with Ted Meldrum, winner of the Government of Canada History Award.

Ben Greene – English & Ideas – Mount Douglas

greeneAt the age of 23, Ben Greene received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has published original work in International Poetry Review, The Denver Quarterly, Prism International, The Southern Reader and several other literary journals. He is a member and principal songwriter for the semi-popular, quasi-legendary band, The Near Myths, whose third CD should be available in 2013. Mr. Greene is the Head of the English Department. Among the classes he teaches are English Challenge 10, Writing 12, Ideas 11, English 12 Challenge and Advanced Placement English Literature.

Amelita Kucher – Science – Mount Douglas

kucherAfter a decade spent exploring the world and its cultures, Amelita Kucher immersed herself at the University of Victoria earning a Co-op degree in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. Her work as a university TA and as a Parks naturalist and interpreter led her into a teaching career. Now head of the Science Department, Ms. Kucher brings experiential learning into her Science, Biology and Earth Science classes with explorations, yoga stretches and hands-on laboratory work. Fluent in French, she takes Mount Doug students to France every two years as the coordinator of our France Exchange. Ms. Kucher enjoys engaging deeply with students as a leadership adviser. She documents many of the school’s activities as an experienced photographer. She spends her leisure hours hiking, biking and enjoying Victoria’s culture.

Lisa Hill – English – Mount Douglas

millerAfter earning a Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) in English Literature in 1988 from the University of British Columbia, Lisa Hill was offered a place in the University of Victoria’s Internship Program, and completed her teaching certificate in 1989. Mrs. Hill finished a post-degree diploma in Teacher Inquiry through Simon Fraser University in 2013, and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership through Vancouver Island University in 2015.  An avid athlete, she was a competitive runner and triathlete for many years, and has her students “physicalize” Shakespear’s poetry in order to appreciate the rhythm of his language.  Mrs. Hill has never met a piece of chocolate she didn’t like.  She teaches English 9 and 10 Honours, English 11, English 12 and English 12 Challenge.

Allan Williams – English – Mount Douglas

williamsA graduate of the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, Alan Williams moved to Victoria for love, and began teaching at Mount Douglas in 2003. His first experience working with gifted students, was when he helped create the Mini School at Killarney Secondary in Vancouver. He has taught French, ESL, PE and Social Studies, but for the last five years has focused on teaching English in the Challenge Program, as well as Drama. An accomplished field hockey player, he played on the Canadian Men’s National Squad for three years, and coached the UVic Vikes for six years. Denying a mid-life crisis, Alan has morphed into the loud singer of a teacher rock band, hoping to tour portables everywhere.