What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

Rainbow Schools welcome new Principals

Some of the Rainbow District School Board’s schools will welcome new Principals when classes resume on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

Brenda Carr is the proud Principal of Valley View Public School. Brenda Carr taught in Southern Ontario before joining Rainbow Schools in 2006. Her teaching experience extends across all grades in the elementary panel, including Core French and French Immersion. Brenda Carr was promoted to Vice-Principal in 2015, serving at Northeastern Elementary School, Walden Public School, Ernie Checkeris Public School and Carl A. Nesbitt Public School. Most recently, she was the Principal of Alexander Public School. Brenda Carr looks forward to working with students, parents/guardians and staff at Valley View Public School – en Français.

Christine Chisholm has been appointed Principal of Alexander Public School. Christine Chisholm began her career in Timmins in 1996 and moved to Sudbury in 2006. She has taught all grades in the French Immersion and English Programs from Kindergarten to Grade 8, as well as special education. Principal Chisholm served as Vice-Principal at a number of elementary schools before becoming Principal of Larchwood Public School, and has spent the last five years as Principal of Valley View Public School. Christine Chisholm looks forward to her new appointment working alongside the entire Alexander Public School family.

Cori Pitre is the new Principal of Queen Elizabeth II Public School. Cori Pitre began her career with Rainbow District School Board in 1992 and has taught in both the elementary and secondary panels. In 2015, Cori Pitre was appointed Principal of Webbwood Public School and S. Geiger Public School. Prior to becoming a Principal, she served as Vice-Principal of Little Current Public School, Webbwood Public School, S. Geiger Public School and Northeastern Elementary School. She is a long-serving member of the Rainbow District School Board’s Equity and Inclusive Education Committee. Cori Pitre looks forward to her new role at Queen Elizabeth II Public School.

Dave St. Amour will serve as Principal at the Rainbow Elementary and Secondary Virtual School. Dave St. Amour began his career with the Board as a teacher at Lockerby Composite School before transferring to Sudbury Secondary School, where he was later promoted to Vice-Principal. Dave St. Amour has served as Vice-Principal of Lasalle Secondary School and Confederation Secondary School, and, most recently, Principal of A.B. Ellis Public School in Espanola. He has also served for many years as Principal of the Board’s secondary summer programs. Principal St. Amour brings extensive experience to his new role at Rainbow’s Virtual School, and looks forward to helping students succeed in the remote learning environment.

David Bertrim is the new Principal of Confederation Secondary School. David Bertrim joined Rainbow Schools in 1998, and spent a decade teaching various grades and subjects at Lockerby Composite School until he was promoted to Vice-Principal in 2008. He also served as Vice-Principal at Chelmsford Valley District Composite School, Lively District Secondary School, Churchill Public School and Sudbury Secondary School, where he was promoted to Principal. Most recently, he served as Principal at Valley View Public School. David Bertrim looks forward to starting a new adventure with staff, students and families at Confederation Secondary School.

Jodie Pakkala becomes Principal of Northeastern Elementary School. Jodie Pakkala was previously the Principal of Adamsdale Public School and Princess Anne Public School, where she also served as Vice-Principal. Prior to becoming an administrator, she taught a variety of grades at Churchill Public School since joining the Board in 2000. Principal Pakkala believes in building strong relationships with staff, students, families and the school community to ensure success for students. She looks forward to serving as Principal of Northeastern Elementary School.

Kendra Mihell has been appointed Principal of A.B. Ellis Public School. Kendra Mihell became an administrator with Rainbow District School Board in 2008 at S. Geiger Public School. She also served as Principal of Webbwood Public School, Copper Cliff Public School, and, most recently, Cyril Varney Public School. Prior to joining the Board, Kendra Mihell taught with the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board where she also served as an administrator. Principal Mihell looks forward to supporting students, staff and families at A.B. Ellis Public School in Espanola.

Kristina Rivard Gobbo is the new Principal of Lasalle Secondary School. A classroom teacher since 2006, Kristina Rivard Gobbo has taught French, Italian and Science at Lasalle Secondary School where she served as the Program Leader of Modern Languages. Prior to her appointment as Principal, she was Vice-Principal of Lockerby Composite School. Most recently, Kristina Rivard Gobbo served four years as Principal of Espanola High School and, prior to that, three years as Principal of Barrydowne College. She is currently working on her PhD with a focus on poverty, retention and pass rates, and teaches the Principal Qualification Program. Kristina Rivard Gobbo is thrilled to welcome Lasalle Secondary School students to class this fall.

Marty Punkari is the new Principal at Cecil Facer Secondary School. Marty Punkari joined the Board as a secondary teacher in 1995. Since then, he has held various teaching and administrative positions including Vice-Principal of Sudbury Secondary School and Lasalle Secondary School. Principal Punkari spent 11.5 years as Principal of Espanola High School where an extensive renewal project was completed. Most recently, he was the Principal at Confederation Secondary School, where he also served as a Vice-Principal from 2002 to 2006. Principal Punkari looks forward to providing instructional leadership at Cecil Facer Secondary School.

Maureen McNamara has been appointed Principal of Student Success. Maureen McNamara has taught Grades 9 to 12 History and Psychology and, prior to becoming a school administrator, held leadership positions in Literacy, Student Success and Social Sciences. Principal McNamara has a strong background in working with a diverse population of learners. She served as the founding Principal of Barrydowne College from 2011 to 2015, and the very proud Principal of Lasalle Secondary School from 2015 to 2022, where she also served as Vice-Principal from 2007 to 2011. Maureen McNamara’s experience in the secondary panel will serve her well in her role as Principal of Student Success.

Melanie Bertrand becomes Principal of Espanola High School. Melanie Bertrand graduated from Nipissing University in 2003, and joined the Board in 2004 as a teacher at Sudbury Secondary School. After two years, she transferred to Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, where she remained until being promoted to Vice-Principal in 2017. She has been the Lead for the Board’s International student program since its inception in 2015. Melanie Bertrand was promoted to Principal of Restart, O’Connor Park and Cecil Facer Secondary School in 2021. Principal Bertrand is thrilled to share her experience and enthusiasm with the entire Espanola High School community.

Melissa Brandon has been appointed Principal of Central Manitoulin Public School. Melissa Brandon is a graduate of Lakehead University. Prior to joining the Board in 2016, she taught at Montessori, as well as the York Region District School Board, Algoma District School Board and Wikwemikoong Board of Education. Since 2016, she has held a variety of roles including “Ojibwe through the Arts” teacher at Little Current Public School, and an Itinerant Teacher in the Applied Behaviour Analysis program. She also taught at Little Current Public School before her appointment to Vice-Principal in 2021. Melissa Brandon looks forward to working with the entire Central Manitoulin Public School community.

Nadia Berardelli is the new Principal of Jean Hanson Public School. Nadia Berardelli was Principal of Markstay Public School for the past five years. Prior to this appointment, she served as Vice-Principal at Northeastern Elementary School and Queen Elizabeth II Public School, and taught various grades from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Principal Berardelli has a passion for special education and continuing education. She has obtained qualifications for administrators in special education and looks forward to sharing her knowledge of Applied Behaviour Analysis as Principal of Jean Hanson Public School.

Pablo Gil-Alfau has been appointed Principal of Safe Schools, Human Rights, Anti-Bullying and Restart/O’Connor Park. Pablo Gil-Alfau joined the Board in 1997. He has experience as Principal in both the elementary and secondary panels including Princess Anne Public School, Chelmsford Public School, Levack Public School, and Confederation Secondary School – where he taught Science, Biology and Physical Education, and was a Guidance Counselor. During the past school year, he served as the Board’s Principal of Indigenous Education. Pablo Gil-Alfau looks forward to his new role with the Board.

Patrick Hopkin has been appointed Principal of Markstay Public School. Prior to this appointment, Patrick Hopkin served as Vice-Principal of four schools in the elementary and secondary panels. Principal Hopkin strongly believes in equity and inclusion for all, and has been the Chair of the Free To Be Me conference for the past five years. He has also taught students from Kindergarten to Grade 8, including special education. Patrick Hopkin looks forward to working with students, staff, parents/guardians and the community of Markstay Public School.

Paula Mackey has been appointed Principal of Princess Anne Public School. Paula Mackey has served as the Principal of Queen Elizabeth II Public School for the past five years. Prior to this, she was Principal at Markstay Public School and Monetville Public School, as well as Vice-Principal of Northeastern Elementary School and George Vanier Public School. Principal Mackey has worked with many community partners to enhance all aspects of student life. By fostering a strong link between home, school and community, she looks forward to working with students, staff, parents and Princess Anne Public School partners to ensure success for all.

Shelley Tamura is the new Principal of S. Geiger Public School. Shelley Tamura has taught a variety of subjects and grades at Princess Anne Public School, Cyril Varney Public School, Monetville Public School and A.B. Ellis Public School since joining the Board in 2006. She spent three years as an elementary consultant before being promoted to Vice-Principal of Little Current Public School, where she also served as Principal. In 2021, she was appointed Principal of Central Manitoulin Public School. Shelley Tamura is eager to work with the staff, students and members of the S. Geiger Public School community.

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Media Contact:
Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171, ext. 7217.