CLN Board of Directors

On September 28th, 2023 at Community Learning Network's Annual General Meeting online, elections were held for our Board of Directors. The Board is made up of 6 to 9 volunteer representatives from our membership, from over 80 Community Adult Learning Programs across Alberta. The CLN Board of Directors for 2023-2024 is as follows:

Colleen Thiessen, Chair
Colleen 2020

I am a proud Albertan with rural roots in Central Alberta. I was raised on a mixed farm south west of Ponoka until age eleven, when my family moved south to Calgary.

Upon graduating from high school, I attended the University of Calgary, graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English.

My career path has been an adventure including success in telecommunications and advertising sales, classroom experience in public schools and an ESL contract in South Korea.

[untitled]Jana Thomson, Vice Chair

I am the Executive Director at the Rocky Learning Centre in Rocky Mountain House. We are also a learning centre for our CCC, Campus Alberta Central. I have had an incredible time within the CALP system. I began my journey as a family literacy facilitator in 2008. From there I have been Outreach Support in adult tutoring, Program Coordinator and now Executive Director.

I have been a member of the CLN board in the past, and I am excited to re-enter the board of directors. The relationships built with other CALPs throughout the province, as well as the discussions with the branch are among my favourite parts of being on the CLN Board. I believe my experience within my community, provincial partnerships and past time on the CLN board will provide me with a strong sense of leadership within the board.

I am a wife and mother of 3 wonderful teenagers. We live on an acreage west of Caroline with our cats, dogs, fish and bunny! I am also a member of our local Kinette service club whose mandate is to "serve our community's greatest needs". During my spare time, I can always be found with my nose in a book with a blankie and a cup of hot tea!

Stephanie Brown, Treasurer

[untitled]When I was a child, I despised school.  I was always getting into trouble and sitting in the hallway for  ‘acting out’.  I longed to be outside or partaking in any activity that didn’t require me being quiet and sitting still for any length of time.  School just didn’t work for me, and I ended up ‘dropping out’ at the age of 16.  With the help of my brother, I was able to obtain my GED at the age of 19.

Fast forward roughly 15 years… I was working in the Service industry, and wasn’t loving it anymore.  I knew it was time for growth.  I had a friend recommend that I take Office Administration though Lakeland College.  I remember having to work myself up to the task of applying.  Being out of school for so long, I didn’t feel I had the skills required to enter back into a school system.  I entered the program as a mature student and worked an extra 6 months to finish the program.  This led me to a new realization… I love to learn! 

Many new learning experiences have taken place for me since.  In 2009, I ‘went back to school’ to obtain my upgrading with NorQuest College.  I couldn’t believe how much my mind expanded with all the learning… I actually learned to LOVE Math! 

This led me to where I am today.  I started with Hinton Adult Learning as a tutor for Math, which has evolved into an Essential Skills Coach/GED Coordinator position over the 9 years that I have been with CALP.  Having access to continuous Professional Development with CLN has developed my skills as an Adult Learner, which helps me to provide better for my community with Adult Learning.  I am a firm advocate for lifelong learning… with learning, comes growth in all aspects of our lives.  I choose to see obstacles as a chance for growth to occur.

Chelsey Friedt, Secretary

[untitled]

Chelsey lives in Peace River, Alberta but was born and raised in south-eastern Saskatchewan. She likes reading, snowboarding, singing, and spending time with her family. After working in various fields, for over 15 years, she joined Vision Learning Centre in 2020. She finds that all of the positions leading up to her current role as Executive Director, have given her the skills she needs to succeed.

Chelsey is passionate about the students that come into the centre. She enjoys finding opportunities to help students learn in new ways and have fun while doing so.

She also enjoys continuing to learn as an adult herself and can often be found nose deep in a book taking notes.

[untitled]Tanya Mercredi, Director 

I am nearing my five-year anniversary of being part of CALP! As a Coordinator with Ponoka & Rimbey Adult Learning, I have served both communities and am grateful to be part of a grassroots organization that serves people in such an impactful way. 

A country girl at heart, I can most often be found caring for animals on the farm I work with my husband.

In my CALP role, I have served as a member of the Professional Development Advisory Committee and took part in a focus group working with Advanced Education on developing the CALP Logic Model and Outcomes Measurement Framework. I pride myself on building strong relationships with Learners, Volunteers, Co-workers and the community at large and look forward to contributing to the Community Learning Network Board.

Monica Sczyrba-Davis, Director 

[untitled]I grew up in southern Ontario and moved to Alberta the day after graduation to come and see the mountains.

I spent several years working in Adventure Tourism through Alberta and BC, going to school at Lakeland College. The best part of guiding clients was coaching people through their fears on a river trip, mountain bike or hiking adventure.

In 2010, I began my career with Pincher Creek CALP. Every day is different, there is always a challenge to work through and the learning coaching has continued. Being part of the journey of a student or team member’s growth keeps me coming back each day, looking for innovative and compassionate ways to support learning.

I am grateful to raise my two daughters in Pincher Creek with my husband. It is a gift to be immersed in all the natural beauty, culture, and history of the region.

Over the last 13 years with CALP, I have enjoyed the friendships, community partnerships and opportunity to connect with other CALP’s in the province on shared challenges and successes. 

The opportunity to contribute to the CLN Board is a way for me to continue my professional learning and to share in the task of advocating for CALP’s as a whole, and for the Learners not yet empowered.

Natasha Bozek, Director 

I am originally from Moncton, New Brunswick and moved to Castor, Alberta in the summer of 2015. I am a proud Sports Mom who spends most of my spring, summer and fall weekends on the ball diamonds and I love every minute of it!

Following my first undergraduate degree I moved to Fredericton, NB to complete degrees in Criminology, Education and Counselling. While pursuing my education I did research and taught in the Education Faculty at the University of New Brunswick and taught in the Psychology Faculties at Crandall University and Kingston University.

After having my son, I spent 5 years as the Executive Director of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick. The Coalition did much work with and supported the CALP system in New Brunswick, while also doing research, celebrating learner success, and promoting family literacy. Upon arrival in Alberta, I completed my Counselling practicum with Clearview School Division and worked at the Stettler Outreach Centre. I then moved into recreation as the Recreation Director for the Town of Castor from 2016 to 2021. It was time for a change and the Neutral Hills Community Adult Learning Society needed a new Executive Director, and they asked me to join their team in January 2022.

I am grateful to be back in the literacy field and to be working with an amazing group of individuals and supporting adults eager to learn. In addition to joining the CLN Board, I am also a member of PDAC. I have joined both of these groups so that I can get to better understand our work and contribute to the overall affect our work is having on our province.

To contact the CLN Board of Directors please email board@calp.ca.