Meet the Executive

Carrie Froese
Provincial Coordinator

Carrie is a mother of two and has taught students from Kindergarten - Grade 2.  She first joined the International Reading Association at her first LOMCIRA Meeting  during her first year of teaching in SD#34 (Abbotsford).  The commitment to excellence in literacy teaching has endured through her career as a teacher in SD #34, SD#43, SD#39 (Vancouver) and at Simon Fraser University.    

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Michael Bowden

Mike Bowden is a principal in the Kamloops school district and a past principal in the Nechako school district. He is a long-time member of the International Literacy Association and has been actively involved in giving presentations and organizing professional development in literacy. He is a past president of the Canadian Special Interest Group on Literacy and founder and chair of the Indigenous Peoples Special Interest Group of the International Literacy Association. He has also been actively involved with the Canadian Network of ILA Councils for many years and remains committed to Literacy and education.

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Garth Brooks
Vice President

C Garth Brooks taught in elementary schools for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board for 35 years before retiring in 1999. Following his career in teaching, Garth joined an international non-government organization, CODE, managing Project Love for 10years and presenting workshops to students and teachers on global education and social justice.

Garth brings extensive experienceserving on the Ottawa-Carleton Local Reading Council and the Ontario Reading Association.  Garth is currently the membership director and newsletter editor for the Canadian Special Interest Group on Literacy (C SIG-L) and organizes the Canadian Reception at the annual conference of the International Reading Association.  Garth is looking forward to working with BCLCILA upon his return to Vancouver and providing its members with valuable, professional programs.

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Shirley Choo

Shirley Choo taught in North Vancouver School District, in B.C. for 32 years before she retired. She has been a Learning Assistance, ESL and district resource teacher. In addition, she is an experienced classroom teacher of grades 3-7. She is also a trained Reading Recovery teacher.

While she was a university student, she joined the International Reading Association and attended workshops sponsored by the local IRA council, because she felt it was the best way to keep in touch with best practice. Since she was a regular attendee at the meetings, the Lower Mainland Council of IRA invited her to be the membership chair on the executive. She served in many positions on the council and eventually became the Provincial Coordinator for three terms. In that position, she successfully lobbied for members to form the provincial council, the British Columbia Literacy Council of IRA. A strong supporter of IRA, she has served on many committees and chaired two regional conferences: the Seventh Transmountain and the Canadian IRA Regional. These two regionals are the most successful Canadian IRA regional conferences both in attendees and profit. Among her accomplishments as a leader in the IRA, she is a founding member of the Canadian Special Interest Group in Literacy and the Canadian Network of IRA Councils which celebrated their 20th and 10th anniversaries in 2009. Shirley is a recipient of the IRA Maryann Manning Service Award.

Shirley encourages all teachers who are interested in literacy instruction and development to get involved with their local councils and know the joy and rewards volunteerism in professional development brings. It will greatly enhance a teacher's job satisfaction and personal life through the knowledge you gain and friendships you make.

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Caroline Lay

Caroline Lay is a long time International Literacy Association member and teacher in the Vancouver School Board.  She was active in the Lower Mainland Council of the International Reading Association (LOMCIRA) for many years and a welcome addition to the BCLCILA executive.

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Honey Halpern

Dr. Honey Halpern is a sessional lecturer in Language and Literacy Education at UBC as well as works as  a literacy consultant in the Vancouver area. She is on the editorial board of The Reading Teacher  and the author of Manual for Teaching Adolescent Non-Readers. Honey is a member-at-large on the Executive of the British Columbia Literacy Council of the International Reading Association and chairs the BC Exemplary Reading Award Program.

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