A graduate of Trent University (BA Hons) and Middlebury College (MA) with degrees in English Literature, Jo-Anne Kingstone started her career in independent schools at Ridley College as an English teacher. In the years between that first year at Ridley and today, she has experienced a wide variety of teaching and learning environments, assuming all the traditional roles of a boarding school “triple-threat” teacher, with responsibilities in the classroom, on the playing field and in the dormitories. Throughout her career she has dedicated herself to education and, further, to the ideals and practicalities of living and working in communities such as those created by independent schools.
Jo-Anne’s two most recent posts speak specifically to her professional development journey. After spending eight years at The Webb Schools in California where she was first the Director of Student Life and then Associate Dean, she returned to Canada to assume the role of Deputy Head at Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island. At Webb,
Jo-Anne’s role included the management of girls' school programs and activities, the residential program, co-curricular program development, leadership development and discipline. She sat on the Admissions Committee and the Student Life Committee and worked with various task forces that undertook research around brain and gender based learning, the design and implementation of a new daily schedule, the introduction of technology in the classroom and a review of the honor code and its efficacy in the 21st Century school.
As Deputy Head at Shawnigan, Jo-Anne has matched many of these same areas of responsibility, but has also added oversight of the academic program, the calendar and daily schedule, co-curricular programs and development of the teaching faculty. Most recently, she led a full review of the daily academic timetable and with the Head restructured the faculty evaluation process. She has been through three institutional strategic planning processes, worked on various board committees and sat on visiting teams for accreditation in California, Oregon and in Canada. Six years on The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) Board and four years as a member of the TABS teaching faculty have further broadened her understanding of school cultures and the characteristics of exemplary learning communities.
When asked what attracts her to the role of Director of Programs for CAIS, her answer is as follows:
“I have a great passion for the growth and success of young people. I never cease to marvel at the resilience, kindness, intelligence, talent, determination and compassion I witness in the young men and women I work with each and every day. It is absolutely inspiring. Further, I stand in awe of the commitment and passion independent school teachers and leaders express through their work with these young people. That schools such as ours exist is a testament to the ethical obligations of the teacher that go well beyond communicating a set of mathematical principles or grammatical structures; although these too are integral to our success. It would be a privilege to be involved with CAIS schools across the country, to engage in conversation with those students and those teachers, with their leadership and their governing bodies, to share best practices and to work collaboratively to create pathways to excellence for Canadian independent schools.”
Jo-Anne is married with two grown children. When not running the trails of Vancouver Island, she can be found sitting reading a good book and enjoying a cup of good strong coffee.