2020 - 2021 CLN Board of Directors

On September 29th, 2020 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 2020 - 2021 is as follows:


Colleen Thiessen, ChairColleen 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.

Kate Glover, Vice Chairkate 2

I am the Program Director of Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society. I have been involved in many local boards and committees, most recently the Diversity & Inclusion Coalition, and, on the Provincial level, the Professional Development Advisory Committee and the Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta. I spent three years as a Regional Resource leader with the CLN.

I was born in Calgary, and after working for an interior design firm in Toronto, moved to Fort Macleod to raise my daughter Ruby. Now my granddaughter Sawyer will also be getting the small town advantage.

After 17 years with Willow Creek Adult Learning, I am a committed lifelong learner. Much has changed in the CALP program in the last five years and, as a result, I feel compelled to explore my own learning goals and how I can leverage that to the benefit of marginalized groups. The opportunity to be part of the CALP program has influenced me so much that I am eager to ‘pay it forward’ and try to do what little I can to contribute to the adult learning community.

Jana Thomson, TreasurerJana

My background includes 8 years as the Program Coordinator at the Rocky Learning Centre. I began as a Family Literacy Facilitator in 2008, and in 2010, I worked as an Outreach Worker and ran the VTALS satellite sites at the Rocky Native Friendship Centre and Caroline Family Centre. In 2011, I became Program Coordinator, which has given me experience with program planning and project management for various CALP programs. 

My previous board experience includes being a founding member of the Clearwater Early Childhood Coalition and The Friends of the Caroline Library Society. I am currently the Volunteer Director for the 2019 Alberta Masters Games. 

For my past two terms with the CLN Board I have been the Chair of the Governance Committee. I have enjoyed working through policies and bringing useful policy updates into the CLN. The Governance Committee has remained mindful that we want these policies to be usable within the CALP system.

Lois Polege, SecretaryLois Polege

I recently celebrated 18 years in the Community Adult Learning world, which has included experience as a Literacy Coordinator, Learning Coach, LINC instructor and Welcoming Community Project Coordinator. My background includes teaching in public and private schools in Alberta and Papua New Guinea, and volunteering on many community boards.

I am currently the Adult Learning Coordinator for Flagstaff Community Adult Learning, based in Killam. I think I have the best job in the world – I get paid to make a difference in people’s lives, and I get to work with an amazing group of people who are committed to building stronger communities and individuals.

I look forward to contributing to the valuable work of the Community Learning Network in providing leadership and support to our field.

Doray Veno, DirectorDoray

My beliefs, values, and philosophies are strong, real, and community driven. I am passionate for lifelong learning, building capacity within groups and individuals and community development in rural Alberta.

As Executive Director of the Hanna Learning Centre, I bring an enthusiasm and commitment to my chosen career pathway and adventure. My team leadership style brings an innovative perspective to the successful multi program organization offering learning, literacy, career and employment, connecting community, small business and voluntary sector services. I play a regional convening role in citizen engagement, organizational development, and community capacity building.

Born and raised in Hanna Alberta, a small town girl with big ideas, I ventured into the bright lights of Edmonton where I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelors of Arts in Recreation Administration Community Development. Not content with what city life had to offer, I returned to my grass roots of Hanna. In 2010, my quest for knowledge and community involvement took me on a path to train as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). For the last 23 years I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work and volunteer in the government, private and not for profit sectors, as a business owner, board director, municipal councillor, employee and community leader.

Lil Radley, DirectorLil Radley

A love of learning, helping others, and leading a balanced life has always been a fundamental part of my background. As a professional and military wife, moving across Canada and overseas involved furthering my education at several universities, and gaining teaching credentials in several provinces. The experiences gained have been invaluable in helping me in my current position, coordinator of literacy services and the Read On Adult Literacy Program at Lethbridge Public Library. I relate to the joys and the frustrations of moving experienced by many adult learners.

Since 2000 when I became assistant coordinator of the Read On Adult Literacy program at Lethbridge Public Library, leading to the position of literacy coordinator in 2007, my learning journey has continued in the field of adult and family literacy. Maximizing volunteer and community resources, and partnerships has enabled the Read On Program to serve a greater number of learners.

As a member of the Community Learning Network Board of Directors, I look forward to being able to help others by helping CLN continue to provide excellent and innovative professional development, training and supports to the CALP system. While so doing I will continue to balance my busy working life with my leisure life – learning and having fun teaching dog agility classes!

Stephanie Brown, DirectorStephanie Brown

Steph is what I go by, but for introductions it’s Stephanie Brown. I have been dedicated to promoting and supporting meaningful lifelong opportunities as an Essential Skills Coach with Hinton Adult Learning since 2013. I feel honored to be a part of the wonderful team of compassionate and intelligent women that recognize and deliver what is necessitated within the community. I have seen firsthand from this team and from learners how action with their learning brings about growth everywhere in their life. There is a need for balance and practicing Mindfulness for Well-Being in all aspects of learning.

My awareness of my learning journey didn’t begin until later in life. I had a friend encourage me to take an Office Administration course in 2000. This was the beginning of finding my passion of lifelong learning and purpose.

I am a single mum of a loving, kind, and intelligent 19-year old daughter who has learned about the love of learning by watching my growth through learning and adversity. My transformation through learning has made our household become more self-aware and self-directed in all aspects of life.