Shauna has always known she wanted to work with kids. As the oldest child in her entire extended family, she felt like it was laid out for her in childhood to be a caretaker.
Shauna began her career as a Child and Youth Care Counsellor, graduating from the Mount Royal program (of the same name) with honours. She wrote her valedictorian speech on the importance of relationships, not just as counselors but also in life. Even at 19 years old, Shauna knew that connecting with people was the best way to impact their lives for the better.
Shauna has experience in program development and helped pilot a rural Parent Link Centre in 2005. She then continued to build her skills as a counselor while working as a court-mandated support person for children and their families. This gave Shauna the opportunity to work with a diverse population who were experiencing varying degrees of challenges and trauma.
Shauna landed her dream job as a Family-School Liaison Counsellor at the same non-profit organization, spending most of her time helping junior high students navigate areas of major change. She was fortunate enough to come across the work of Gordon Neufeld and Alfie Kohn at this time and worked in the context of relationship development with the student, building rapport and then helping them to see and believe in their unique awesomeness and potential. After 5 years in this role, Shauna decided to return to school and complete her Education degree, graduating with distinction in 2012.
Shauna then worked as an elementary school teacher until 2016 when she decided to stay at home with her own young children. During the first few years of using her B.Ed., Shauna worked at a progressive magnet school where teaching was focused on relationship-building. The educators in this particular institution worked to incorporate the children’s interest into integrated and inquiry-based units of study, finding the intrinsic motivation for each student to help them learn and retain content.
In 2014 Shauna was hired to share this approach at a brand new school, using her expertise to help guide other staff that were coming from more traditional, textbook-based methods, working collaboratively to plan for the incoming students.
“It is this collaboration, as well as the multi-disciplinary approach from my counselling days, that I believe benefited my students best – many brains working together to create the most effective, well-rounded, and personalized plan for those we were charged with teaching and supporting”.
Shauna now homeschools her three children and loves the adventure of getting to learn with them. Her passion for “learning about learning” and the joy she feels watching when something “clicks”, not just for her own kids, but for anyone learning or working on a new skill, is what makes Shauna a tremendous fit for Kaizen.
“Success is not final; failure is not final; it’s the courage to continue that counts”
– Winston Churchill