The Winning Combination – Education + Experience

With over 25 years of experience working with Indigenous communities and organizations, school districts, provincial and federal governments, Dawna is a highly successful and innovative leader with a proven record in empowering individuals and organizations to meet their unique goals and aspirations.

As a former School District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Manager of Education Services and Ministry of Education Senior Manager, Dawna has a very rare and unique ability to understand the complex relationships between various governments and organizations.

With superior strategic planning, human resource, policy development and capacity building skill sets, Dawna creates opportunities for leaders and staff to feel confident in their abilities to meet the many demands of their respective roles and responsibilities.

Dawna’s skill set is exemplified in her many accomplishments. Leading a province-wide initiative to create organizational structures to enhance student success, Dawna received the highly prestigious REALM Award (Recognizing Excellence and Achievement in the Learning Ministries) in Ontario.

Dawna greatly values the concept of “teamwork” to help organizations meet their goals. An organization’s greatest resource is its people. Her greatest successes come from seeing people learn, grow and be empowered.

When asked who has influenced her, she readily states that this was her grandmother who taught her the value of respect and the importance of listening before doing.


Master of Education (Administration), Bachelor of Education, and Honors Bachelor of Science (Forestry) Degrees

Chartered Professional in Human Resources, BC & Yukon

Member of the British Columbia School Superintendents’ Association (BCSSA)

Certified teacher in BC and Ontario

Harvard and University of Windsor: Certificates in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Negotiation

Justice Institute of BC: Partial completion – Certificate in conflict resolution: specialization in Mediation and Third-Party Intervention

Specialized training: 2 year Ontario Supervisory Officer Qualifications Program

Personal Leadership Perspectives: Professional ethics, building organizations mission, vision, and goals

Leadership and Organizational Change: Creating system coherence, building staff capacity for evidence informed decision making, providing job embedded professional development and nurturing working relationships with staff and stakeholders

Leadership Perspectives: Understanding legislation, policies, structures and applying this knowledge to complex issues that give rise to organizational successes

System Leadership: Policy governance, developing Human Resource capacity to realize system goals

Former Associations: Ontario Professional Foresters Association; Registered Professional Forester