Canadian Geographic Education
geographic engagement
among Canadians

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Can Geo Education Executive


Paul VanZant

Paul VanZant is department head of geography and history at Mayfield Secondary School in Caledon, Ont. A geography educator for 29 years, VanZant has been involved in a number of initiatives to promote geographic education at the national, provincial and local levels. From 1999 to 2013, Paul was an executive member of the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education (OAGEE). During his tenure with the OAGEE, VanZant  was a liaison with the Ontario Ministry of Education and played a significant role in reviewing Canadian and world studies and social studies curricula. VanZant was awarded the Geographic Literacy Award by the Canadian Council for Geographic Education in 2006, and in 2013, the Peel District School Board recognized his “unique and exemplary contributions to public education in Peel and the Peel community” with an Excellence in Education Award. In 2017, he received the OAGEE Award of Distinction “recognizing an outstanding contribution in advancing, promoting, and improving the quality of geography education in the Province of Ontario." VanZant is also the author of three geography textbooks currently in use throughout Canadian high schools.


Regional Representatives


Don McLaughlin
Term ends: November 2020

Don McLaughlin is a grade 5 teacher in Calgary with a passion for the outdoors, connecting geographic thinking skills to better understand location, place, human - environment interaction, movement and region.Currently, Don is working with the Global, Environmental and Outdoor Education Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association to help integrate geography into the Council's work and to support the needs of Alberta teachers.

British Columbia

Janet Ruest
Term ends: November 2019

Janet Ruest teaches geography, history and law courses at Chemainus Secondary School on Vancouver Island. She earned her Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria and Master of Arts from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Janet has been an educational leader in her school and district for many years, serving as the head of the geography/history department since 1996. Janet has many professional experiences, serving as a member of Ministry of Education committees, contributing to a set of four social studies textbooks, as well as creating the Geospheres Review Cards developed specifically for the British Columbia curriculum.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon

Michel Emery
Term ends: November 2022

Michel Emery has taught in Northern Canada for more than 21 years. He has been a French Immersion teacher, a consultant for Yukon Education, and now works as a Learning Commons teacher and Ed-Tech coach at FH Collins Secondary School. Emery truly believes that technology can transform learning and provide exciting opportunities to bring the curriculum alive and to inspire youth. You can find him leading sessions with teachers or igniting student learning using 360-degree photography, virtual reality, interactive maps, augmented reality, 3D printing, laser cutting, coding, GIS and more. Emery has completed his Masters of Education Degree in Technology and Learning and enjoys working with teachers and youth from all grade levels.


John Thompson
Term Ends: November 2019

John Thompson is currently in his first term on the executive committee of Canadian Geographic Education. He brings enthusiasm and experience to the group. John Thompson is a high school geography teacher at Kildonan-East Collegiate in Winnipeg, Man., teaching grades 9 to 12. He is also a board member of the Manitoba Social Science Teachers’ Association (MSSTA).


Andrew Kitchen
Term ends: November 2020

Andrew Kitchen holds a BSc in Geography from the University of Regina as well as a BEd from the University of Saskatchewan. He currently teaches at Fairhaven School in Saskatoon. He believes that students should learn about the world as it is becoming more and more accessible. He is a strong advocate for cultural education in his classroom. When not teaching, he spends his time travelling the globe to get new perspectives on education and cultures.


Ewan Geddes
Term ends: October 2021

Ewan Geddes has been a Canadian and world studies teacher in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for the past 20 years. In addition to his classroom work, Geddes also served as his board’s instructional leader of geography and spatial technology. He is a longstanding member and current president of OAGEE, the Ontario Association for Geography and Environmental Education, through which he has facilitated G.I.S. workshops for the TDSB, the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto, and at Ryerson University. He has co-authored several educational resources, including the most recent Grade 9 textbook for Ontario, and has served on various curriculum review and writing teams throughout the years. He embraces problem- and inquiry-based models of teaching and learning, as well as using technology as a learning tool to prepare students for life in the 21st century. Currently, he teaches at York Mills Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ont.


Catherine Boisvert

Term ends: November 2020

Catherine Boisvert teaches history and geography at École secondaire La Frontalière, in Coaticook, Que. She is passionate about promoting geographic literacy through better integration of geography into elementary and secondary school curriculums. She also aims to raise awareness among teachers about the various resources and activities that are currently at the forefront of geography education. Boisvert is a member of the Association québécoise pour l'enseignement de l'univers social (AQEUS) and the Conseil professionnel interdisciplinaire du Québec (CPIQ).


Lise Martin-Keilty  
Term ends: November 2021

Lise Martin-Keilty has been teaching social studies in Fredericton, N.B., for 28 years, most of which she spent at George Street Middle School. She studied at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and graduated with a B.Ed. and a M.Ed. For the past four years, Martin-Keilty has also been teaching a geography course to pre-service teachers at the Faculty of Education at UNB. Her philosophy in teaching is to try and get her students out of the bubble they live in and looking at the bigger picture, to help them understand that we’re all part of a larger community — we’re citizens of the world.

Canadian Assoc. of Geographers representative

Kelley McClinchey

Ms. McClinchey has a PhD in human geography from Wilfrid Laurier University. She holds a Masters of Environmental Studies also from Laurier and a Bachelor of Education with Intermediate-Senior Qualification from Queens University. As an elementary school teacher, Ms. McClinchey teaches grade 7 English, history and geography. In addition, she is currently a part-time faculty member in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and the Department of Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Post Secondary Education representative

Anne Smith
Term ends: October 2021

Anne Smith is looking forward to representing the voice of post-secondary educators and teachers in training through her new role. She has been involved in geography education for more than 30 years, including as a Grade 9-13 geography teacher, a geography department head, and now in pre-service geography education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. She strongly believes that if to have quality geography teachers in the classroom, it is necessary to ensure that new teachers are grounded in the distinctive knowledge base of the discipline, the principles of geographic thinking, inquiry, as well as pedagogical and professional Development. Smith wants to open the eyes of future teachers to what geography is all about and have them be excited about the opportunity to teach it.

RCGS representative (ex-officio)

Mr. John G. Geiger, Ottawa, ON.
Royal Canadian Geographical Society 

RCGS Board liaison

Lynn Moorman
Term November 2021


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