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Announcing the Retirement of Charlene Smallwood

May 13, 2022

In April of 2022, Charlene Smallwood, Principal of Nelson McIntyre Collegiate, provided notice of her retirement effective June 30, 2022.

Charlene has worked in the Louis Riel and legacy school divisions for 24 years, serving four highs schools. Over the course of her career, she primarily taught English along with Math, Geography, and Musical Theatre. 

Charlene's professional journey took a right turn in 1994, when after an 8-year career as a professional stage manager, she began her teaching career at Morden Collegiate Institute. After 4 years, Charlene moved to Windsor Park Collegiate and then to Nelson McIntyre Collegiate (NMC). From there, she joined the J.H. Bruns Collegiate team where she worked as a classroom teacher and a Student Services Teacher before being appointed to the vice principalship. She then returned to NMC as a vice principal before being appointed as the principal. 

The final stop on Charlene's school leadership journey would provide her with what she has described as 'the highlight of her career,' the opportunity to reimagine what high school could look like and provide to students. This time spent creating a teaching and learning approach focused on deeper learning, transferable skills (global competencies), experiential learning, authenticity, and student voice and choice was central to the work that she led at NMC.

Charlene is passionate about authenticity and student agency in education and has worked tirelessly to ensure that student choice and voice permeate the learning taking place. 

"When students see the impact they can create, they engage and learn more deeply." 

Charlene believes that adult learners, like youth, learn best when they are empowered, when they can work in a strength-based approach, and when they see the impact of their work. Charlene is thankful for the incredible NMC staff; an amazing group of educators committed to the journey, focused on autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Charlene looks forward to new experiences that will allow her to continue to support experiential, project-based teaching and learning.

We wish Charlene every happiness and know she is looking forward to having more time to support her youngest son in his business ventures and quality time spent with her family.


Darcy Cormack
Assistant Superintendent of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Services 


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RT @pedersen_ingrid: The ⁦@louis_riel_sd⁩ Divisional Treble Choir raising their voices at the first concert in a very long time under the direction of Mr. Justin Odwak https://t.co/NSJxuxF5pL

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