High School Specialists
Desmond Kilgannon is pleased to step into the role of Credit Advisor to WISDOM families. He thanks Rae LaRocque and Vic Wiens for all their hard work in laying the foundation stones and lighting the path forward for WISDOM High School credit programming. Desmond began working for WISDOM in 2020 as a Facilitator and became the Credit Advisor in 2021.
Desmond and his wife Claudia homeschooled their three children through high school. He also worked for 27 years as a Math, Science and Technology teacher. For the last 12 years of that career, he added school administration to his repertoire, first as a secondary school assistant principal and then as principal. Never once, though, did he stop teaching his favourite subject: senior high Math. As a secondary school administrator, Desmond became very familiar with all aspects of the Alberta High School Diploma and the ways and means of achieving it. Now, he is rapidly learning the many options open to homeschooled students who wish to pursue specific high school courses or the full Alberta High School Diploma.
Desmond looks forward to assisting families as they discern the best path through high school for their children, whether they wish to pursue a Parent Authorized Diploma, a mixture of traditional home schooling with some Alberta Education credits, or the complete Alberta High School Diploma.
WISDOM's High School Subject Specialists are certificated teachers with a particular subject focus. Their primary role is to provide coaching and feedback on high school resource choices, and evaluate the portfolios of students pursuing Alberta credits in core high school courses. To find out more about course challenge, click here.
Fitz and Rhonda met and married while teaching high school in Calgary. When asked if they would send their children to the school they taught at, they both instantly replied, “Not a chance!” They saw honest, hardworking teachers serving lovely, wonderful children who nevertheless ended grade 12 with no sense of passion, direction, or responsibility. They reasoned that since they wanted a different outcome for their own children, they needed a different input. This, combined with a strong sense of responsibility for the formation of their three children, and the particular needs of their oldest child, led them to start homeschooling in 2011.
The family moved to Rocky Mountain House in 2012 when one of Rhonda’s high school teachers retired and Fitz got his job. Fortunately, there is a large and active homeschool community there and they quickly made lasting friendships and connections. In 2018 Rhonda started a Classical Conversations Community and has been involved as a Director ever since. She currently directs Challenge I.
Rhonda credits homeschooling her children with remediating her own education and is deeply grateful that homeschool has allowed her to spend so much time with her daughters and son. She counts it a great honour and privilege to journey with families as a homeschool facilitator and English Specialist.
Three random tidbits: Rhonda is a passionate reader and especially enjoys her Well-Read Mom book club. She is Métis and directs The Métis Heritage Project, a nonprofit that works in partnership with Parks Canada to provide interpretation programs at the National Historic Site in Rocky Mountain House. Rhonda is a certified life coach. After coaching, her clients describe feeling calm, encouraged, and hopeful.
Pierre-Andre grew up in the small town of St. Paul, Alberta with his parents and six siblings. There he went to school from k-12 and played almost all sports but had a strong passion for hockey. After high school Pierre-Andre continued to play Jr. hockey in Lloydminster and St. Paul while attending the U of A, where he was studying to become a teacher. In 2017, Pierre-Andre received his Bachelor of Education majoring in biological sciences and minoring in chemistry. He then went on to work for Edmonton Catholic Schools teaching math and science at the high school level for 5.5 years. It is through this teaching experience and having children of his own that Pierre-Andre realized the necessity for parents to be the primary educators of their children. Pierre-Andre truly feels that he has answered God’s calling in joining WISDOM Home Schooling as a facilitator and the chemistry specialist. He loves supporting, encouraging and working with families in achieving their homeschooling goals.
Peter grew up in Spruce Grove, Alberta, where he was schooled through the institutional model of K-12. He went on to the University of Alberta where he completed a Bachelor of Secondary Education, majoring in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. Upon completion of his first degree, he was called to the Seminary, where he attended the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission, BC, which is conducted by the Benedictines of Westminster Abbey. Peter describes this as, “one of the most fulfilling and most valuable experiences of faith and community formation one could ever ask for.” Peter completed his Pre-Theology degree majoring in Philosophy and he says that he doesn’t know his minor as he had to take equal amounts of minor classes in Ecclesial Latin, Koine Greek, Catholic Religious History. While in Mission, his passion for hockey seemed to be contagious as he also managed to help get a new outdoor asphalt hockey rink built for intramural street hockey, of which he found himself the Commissioner and ran the league. He is proud to have taught Fr. Matthew, the seminary vice-rector, how to enjoy playing roller hockey.
Joy Ronald was born the youngest of ten siblings in Edmonton and grew up in Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario. She went to public school and became a teacher because she wanted to make those schools a better place!
Joy began homeschooling as soon as her first child was born, and was inspired by educating four very different creative learners throughout most of their school careers. Her fourth child graduated last year, and Joy is excited to be a Social Studies Specialist with WISDOM! Joy loves supporting homeschoolers and feels like she has been training for this job for the last thirty years!
Raised in the mesmerizing city of Paris, France, Lydie’s journey commenced with a pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts degree, which allowed her to delve deeply into the treasures of European culture and history. Those formative years were marked by extensive travels across Europe – from the sunny shores of Spain to the artistic wonders of Italy, the picturesque landscapes of the Netherlands, the ancient history of Greece, and the serene beauty of Switzerland. These adventures not only broadened her horizons but also nurtured her fascination with foreign languages and diverse cultures.
James grew up in Westlock County, the home of Herbert Greenfield, the fourth premier of Alberta, where he went to public school from K-12 and thought nothing of it. This all changed when he enrolled in Concordia University College in Edmonton where he met his future wife and WISDOM alumna, Miriam, who introduced him to the wonderful world of homeschooling for the first time. At Concordia, James pursued the liberal arts and was shocked to learn that Miriam had already read many of the books he was studying in his classes throughout her homeschooling career. This realisation made James reconsider the potentials of what an education ought to be. He graduated with distinction from Concordia in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English literature. Although his minor is history, church history to be specific, classics, philosophy, classical languages, and Christian theology could also qualify as he took an equal number or more classes in these disciplines than his actual minor.