Having taught Science and Math in independent schools in Vancouver and Whistler for the last 12 years, my family made the move to the Cowichan Valley. I have a passion for teaching and learning, including Inclusive Education practices. This school has incredible teachers, EAs and leadership that makes working here a joy. The sense of community and strong relationships between students and staff aligns with my pedagogical values.
Cedar (Junior Kindergarten and Explorers)
I left my home in New Zealand when I was 22 and came to Canada. I worked as a nanny for a couple of years and then became a permanent resident. 30 plus years on Vancouver Island, I think I can call myself a local! I completed my ECE in Victoria in 1997 and I have worked as an Early Childhood Educator or an Educational assistant for the last 20 years. In 2018 I moved up to the Cowichan Valley and started working part time at Evergreen School as an Educational Assistant. I am now the teacher for Cedar class. I enjoy providing an environment for young children where they can play, learn, and begin to develop their social and emotional skills in a safe way as they connect with other children their age.
I have two adult sons. When not hanging out with 3 and 4 year olds, you will find me on a mountain or maybe on one of the beautiful nature trails we have around here. I also enjoy paddle-boarding, swimming, and bike riding.
Pine (Kindergarten and Grade 1)
I am the Pine teacher at Evergreen, teaching Kindergarten and Grade 1 this year where the students’ favourite activities in the classroom include time on the indoor swing and rings! I have a Bachelor of Education from Vancouver Island University and am certified to teach K-12. I’ve taught locally and abroad, and continuously recognize how unique Evergreen is. So much so that both of my own children attend the school!
When not at work I love reading, board games, and trying to keep our kittens from following us on walks to the lake.
Arbutus (Grades 2, 3, 4)
I started teaching at Evergreen in the fall of 2021. I was attracted to the school because of its focus on community and educating the whole child. I value the leadership and social skills our students develop as they interact with students of all grade levels. I have a Bachelors of Education from the University of Victoria and I am thrilled to have found a school to teach which matches my educational philosophy.
When I'm not at work I can usually be found driving one of my children to their various activities, walking my dog, Gus, or singing songs around a campfire.
Spruce (Grades 5, 6, 7)
I was drawn to Evergreen Independent School's community focus, engaging environment and inclusive nature. I am looking forward to being part of this close knit community.
Prior to moving back to the Cowichan Valley, I spent 35 years teaching in the Similkameen Valley. During this time, I taught students in grades K-7 French and provided support services. I raised my family, skied, boated, traveled, had a farm and "wrestled" with the occasional rattlesnake and cactus patch. I even took a year off to immerse myself in French.
Now that I am back home, I enjoy forest walks, time by the sea and visits with family and friends.
Spruce (Grades 5, 6, 7)
Evergreen Independent School is a wonderful place to teach and learn. As a staff and community we strive to celebrate and nurture each student to see the gifts within themselves; to support and honour their individual educational journey. As a teacher, I feel inspired to work at Evergreen, a place that provides students with the confidence to know themselves and the skills to be future leaders.
I have been teaching at Evergreen Independent School for nine years and have had opportunities to work in a variety of classrooms. While I enjoy teaching all subjects my passions lie in Outdoor Education, Art Education and Physical Education.
Around the community I am usually out in nature, exploring all the wonderful places the Cowichan Valley has to offer.
Inclusive Education Coordinator
My name is Tamara Service, I have been a teacher at Evergreen school for the past 5 years and this year I am currently teaching grade 5, 6, 7 students in the Spruce classroom. I have worked with children for over 25 years in varying capacities, though teaching is my truest vocation. I value my role as a teacher because it offers me the privilege to support students' growth and develop holistically. Evergreen's whole child philosophy is one huge reason I love teaching at our school as it honours and celebrates each student's individuality.
I also have the privilege of being a part of our Inclusive Ed and Learning Assistance team. Supporting the inclusion of all students in an environment that honours their unique gifts, and offering a program that supports alternative ways of learning, deeply connects to my passion for supporting neuro diverse learners.
When I’m not teaching, I spend time with my husband, and two daughters who both attended Evergreen since preschool and they are now thriving happy teenagers. I love my animals, 3 dogs and 4 cats to be precise, and when I’m not teaching I enjoy photography, travelling, designing, and being near the ocean.
Our Board Members
Rachel Miles Pickup
Evergreen Independent School Society
Society members - The parents, caregivers, and guardians who make up the diverse families at EIS represent the roots, reaching out for nutrients to sustain the tree (organisation). Elected board - executive and at large - Represent the main themes and ideas brought by the society. The deep, strong roots to feed the trunk and ground the tree. They keep us connected to the past, our school biography, while striving to support the school as it moves into the future. The board holds the responsibility for the financial plan, policy and processes, and the vision & values of the school. Board chair - Guides the board and is the link between the society and the educational realm via the Principal. Oversees the board work, creating a safe space for our society to create the vision & values for our students. Principal & Admin - Oversees the educational realm of the school with close links to the board and chair. Provides for the needs of the staff and students while upholding the requirements of the Independent School act, and MECC policy. Teachers and EAs - Are the connection to the student life, bringing the vision & values, BC curriculum, our themes, virtues and school culture to life. Students - Are the reason we are all here - to enliven and draw out from within them their innate gifts, guided by the vision & values as set out by the society and board.