Head of School
Kenneth Noster and his wife, Marlane, were compelled by their firstborn child to begin home schooling in the late 1980’s. They began with no support network, and their home schooling mirrored the institutional learning they had themselves experienced. They soon recognized that learning is much bigger than schools.
Within a year, Ken was helping neighbours begin home schooling, and in 1992, he was hired by a nearby school board to organize a home schooling administration. Recognizing that support for home schooling families requires a very special approach to administration, Ken and Marlane began WISDOM Home Schooling in 1995.
Vic Wiens first became acquainted with home schooling in Alberta when he moved to this province in 1998 to take on the role of principal at Newell Christian School in Brooks, the associate private school for a fairly large homeschool organization. It did not take long for him to appreciate the good work that parents were doing in educating their children. Since that time he has been the principal of three other schools with homeschool administrations, and also homeschooled one of his own children.
Principal of Home Education
Simon grew up on a farm in rural Alberta where he was home schooled from kindergarten through grade 12. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in California, followed by a Bachelor of Education from Concordia University of Edmonton. Simon taught in the separate school system in Cold Lake before joining the WISDOM family as a facilitator in 2014. Having worked in several capacities with WISDOM over the years, Simon now enjoys facilitating, along with the responsibility of Principal of Home Education for Gilbertine Institute, administrating WISDOM Home Schooling. Simon and his wife, Nicole, are the proud home schooling parents of four beautiful children, and feel blessed to experience the joys of their life in rural Alberta.
"There are no teachers, only learners - it is my job as a teacher to create a learning environment." - Monty Roberts
Born to a home where 'baby talk' was never practised and learning was encouraged, TobyLauren was an avid reader and eager adventurer by the age of four. Her first day of school was a much anticipated event, but after continually being given colouring pages to do while classmates completed their lessons, she soon lost interest in formal 'learning'. She began home schooling in the middle of grade 3, and continued at home through high school, making the most of her time to include training horses and helping on the family farm, learning piano and violin, painting and writing.
Alberta Education requires two evaluations of each home education student, per year, by an Alberta certificated teacher in the employ of your associate board or associate private school. The policy for WISDOM facilitators is that The Gilbertine Institute hires Alberta certificated teachers who also home school their own children or have home education experience themselves. Your facilitator is there to help you reach your goals in educating your children, while at the same time satisfying government requirements.
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Michele has been married to Mike since 1985 (30 years and counting) and has come to WISDOM with an array of family life experiences given the children with which they have been blessed.
Their home schooling adventure began in 1994, having 'bumped' into some home schooling families both at church and in the community. An introductory meeting at a Homeschooling presentation ignited their openness to embarking on the adventure. Upon moving to Lamont, 40 minutes east of Edmonton, the Barters slipped quietly into town and began to homeschool their 4 children. Michele was thrilled (most of the time) to be able to have her children home with her.
"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
– St. Catherine of Siena
Home education has allowed Nicole to do just that, and prepared her for the journey that God wants to lead her on. Nicole grew up in Central Alberta. She was home schooled with WISDOM Home Schooling from birth to grade 12 and if she could have continued home schooling through university, she would have done that too. After graduating, Nicole completed a Certificate in Canadian Youth Ministry Studies, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and a Bachelor of Elementary Education Degree. Nicole has taught private piano lessons, served a year with Pure Witness Ministries, worked as a Team Member at Our Lady of Victory Camp, and worked as a Youth Ministry Coordinator. She has spent the last year teaching K-4 Elementary Music in Sherwood Park and is very excited to begin her journey with the WISDOM family. She enjoys playing piano, writing, gardening, reading about the lives of the saints and teachings of the church, being involved in family/youth ministry within her church community, and enjoys the peacefulness of country life (including the simplicity and hard but very rewarding work).
Joan Bishop has been a WISDOM facilitator since 2011. She feels very privileged to meet with home schooling families, coming alongside parents with support and encouragement. She is a strong homeschooling advocate who firmly believes that this is the way to raise children from within close, caring families. She believes that educating children within family is of God's ancient paths; the way of the past that works.
Carrie knew she wanted to be a teacher for most of her life. She had a very impactful relationship with her second grade teacher. She was a good teacher, but she was great at caring for Carrie, even outside of tbe classroom. That's how Carrie wanted to be for her students. After high school she went to Concordia and the University of Alberta. She graduated with her BEd and taught kindergarten-to-grade-six for over 10 years in Calgary, La Crete and Sherwood Park, AB. As she was winding down with teaching, she worked at church as the part time Children's Ministry Director for six years. It was a great experience that helped her to do two things she loves: working with kids and serving God.
Paul and I have been married for 23 years and we have 9 children: Julie (22), Rolland (20), Danielle (18), Natalie (16), Mario (13), Adam (11), Kateri (9), John Paul (6), and Rose (3). We began homeschooling in 1999 and have cherished every moment on the journey. We began homeschooling so we could have the freedom to pass on our beliefs and values to our children. We felt that homeschooling was the best way to do so, because we would simply have more time with them. Homeschooling has been everything we hoped it would be and more. God is so good! Thankfully, our journey is not over and we have many more adventures yet to be had with our younger children. Recently we moved to the farm in Westlock and my husband is now a full-time farmer, enabling him to be even more involved in homeschooling and family life.
Deanna is honoured to be joining the WISDOM team as a home school facilitator. She was working in a Catholic school teaching grade 1 and although she adored teaching the children in a classroom, her favourite time to see the children was on field trips and activity days because they were so alive! Watching them learn and grow in their natural element of play, curiosity, and exploration inspired Deanna to search for a teaching job that would allow for them to be in this environment full-time. She feels blessed to have this opportunity to support parents in home education, where children are encouraged to learn in the love, support, and encouragement of their families.
While new to WISDOM this year, Sherri is no stranger to homeschool families. Born in Alberta, Sherri was raised as a missionary kid in West Africa, where her parents home schooled her and her siblings through Grade 12. After high school, she obtained a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a minor in French as a Second Language at the University of Alberta. Her first year of teaching was back in West Africa, serving missionary families as coordinator/consultant/itinerant teacher in a small homeschool co-op.
Nola and her husband Don have two adult daughters whom they homeschooled all the way through high school. Nola was a teacher for several years before their first daughter was born. Homeschooling wasn’t initially the plan for their family, but because their children needed to be with them a little longer, and because of observing such good fruit in the lives of other homeschooling families, the Hutchinsons made the decision to try it for a year. It wasn’t always easy, but once they experienced the benefit for their girls and their family life, they were convinced they were on the right path.
Randy has served with WISDOM for the past eighteen years. Randy and Catie are now empty nesters with special privileges: getting to lick the beaters yourself, have dessert any night of the week, sleep in until any hour of the day and have pie for breakfast! For the past 29 years near Edson, Randy and Catie have raised and educated their four children, Nathan, Joshua, Esther and Reuben, who are now all flapping their wings.
Gordon, and his wife, Leandra, have been homeschooling their seven children for the past 24 years. In 2004, Gordon graduated from UBC with his Bachelor of Education and subsequently worked as a facilitator in Chilliwack, BC, where he and Leandra raised their family. In 2013, they moved to an acreage outside of Grande Prairie where Gordon worked in carpentry and construction until the Fall of 2020. Gordon and Leandra are working as a team with Gordon as a facilitator and Leandra as his assistant and curriculum advisor. Although Leandra was initially a nurse, she has spent the past 24 years homeschooling, being a part of homeschool groups, and encouraging homeschooling moms and families. Gordon and Leandra have graduated four of their children from home. Two have gone on to get degrees in engineering and teaching, one son is currently in medical school and the next son is starting pre-med. The Loewens are currently homeschooling their youngest three children and are genuinely excited to support other homeschooling families in their educational journeys.
Taylore grew up just east of Edmonton. As the oldest of four children, the family was going to try home schooling “one year at a time”. Taylore is a kindergarten through grade twelve WISDOM graduate and is passionate about home education and supporting the next generation of home schooling families. As a traditional home schooling high school student, Taylore did countless WISDOM online courses to round out her high school education. She was first accepted to Concordia University of Edmonton before transferring to the University of Alberta Bachelor of Arts program. During her time at the U of A, Taylore competed as a Varisty athlete in curling earning two CIS gold medals, a Universiade gold medal and Academic All Canadian recognition. Taylore then returned to Concordia University of Edmonton to complete her After-Degree in Education.
Taylore and her husband Kenton welcomed their first child in 2019. Kenton works on the family grain and cattle farm. The family enjoys camping and trips to the lake together during the summer months.
Mark began as a facilitator with WISDOM in 1998. He has journeyed with so many beautiful families in the years since. He and his wife, Lorena, have four children. They live with their two youngest children, Tamara and Daniel, in the beautiful lake community of Sundance in Calgary. They enjoy the many activities of both rural and urban life. They are blessed to have their two older children and their spouses living nearby. Sarah and her husband Ben live in Red Deer. Scott and his wife Mariela live in Calgary.
Sue and her husband Dean have been married more than 30 years, and have four sons whom they educated at home through high school and beyond. Sue loved the time spent at home as a family, learning and growing together. The kitchen table became the center of numerous discussions, debates, questions, and discoveries. “Why?” was always encouraged and truth was mined from readings, studies, conversations, and more questions.
Diane and I met in high school and were married in 1981 in Calgary. Before our children were born, Diane taught English and French in senior and junior high school. I was formerly a Financial Analyst, then made a career change and became a high school Physics and Chemistry teacher. I was blessed to be offered a position with WISDOM in the fall of 1997 and am now in my 18th year of facilitating. Diane and I have also volunteered together in our church in the marriage preparation ministry for many years.