Jenn Flynn has been with APPLE Schools from the very beginning, wearing many hats along the way. She has been a school health facilitator at Lee Ridge School, the Fort McMurray regional manager, then APPLE Schools manager until earning the the executive director title in 2016. She studied physical education at the University of Alberta and has a comprehensive understanding of working with children to get them excited about moving. She brings to APPLE Schools a high level of enthusiasm for promoting health and thoughtful leadership that has expanded the organization to a growing number of schools across four provices. In 2017, she was recognized by Alberta Magazine as a Top 40 Under 40 for her ability to take a small research project to a national, award-winning charitable organization. Jenn stays active by spending time outside with her two children, riding her bike, and playing ringette. She loves to read, eat delicious food, travel, and watch sports. Go Oilers!
Lauren Walker joins APPLE Schools with a strong education background. She has a master’s in education from Queen’s University and throughout her career she has worked to impact students’ health behaviours. Her passion for health promotion and education led her to work for APPLE Schools from 2011-14 as a school health facilitator then mentor. Lauren is excited to return to the project after some time away spent teaching, being a mom, and travelling with her family.
Lauren is excited to see healthy kids in healthy schools and has experienced first-hand the difference the APPLE Schools project can make! She loves that the program is backed by research, so we know the changes inspired in the students are long lasting.
When Lauren isn’t working with the APPLE team she is busy as a mom of two young children. She and her family enjoy travelling, going for adventure walks, baking, and spending time at the cottage with family.
Cari Foster joined APPLE Schools as the organization’s first-ever philanthropy and donor relations officer. She comes with ample experience in advancement, alumni relations, and event/project management. Her wealth of experience in donor and stakeholder relations, fund development, and brand awareness will lead and help shape APPLE Schools’ development efforts to meet its ambitious goals.
“Education in health eating, active living, and mental wellbeing for our children and students is crucial to the development of healthy adults and communities. Continuing to build and create new strong relationships with like-minded, supporters and donors to the APPLE Schools mission is a passion for me and I am really excited to join this team.”
In her free time Cari likes to spend time with her family, getting outdoors as much as possible – hikes with their dog Hilton, camping, and kayaking. “The best way to end your day is sitting beside the campfire!”
Magdalena Pawlowski started at APPLE Schools in October 2016. Her journey of work experience includes carpentry, teaching social studies in Edmonton and London, U.K., being a frame tech for a telecom company, then finally, communications! After completing her bachelor of secondary education degree, she pursued the public relations program at Grant MacEwan University. She brings with her a wealth of communications experience from the Edmonton Humane Society and APEGA. She is an avid aerial-artist-in-the-making and loves animals, reading, dancing, cooking, travel, and anything involving the great outdoors.
Nicole Deschner started with APPLE Schools in November 2016 as a Knowledge Exchange Assistant. She comes with solid organizational and planning skills from experience in administration and coordinating and executing various events. At a time when APPLE Schools was expanding, she came on board to help with the increasing administrative duties and event planning across Alberta to better serve APPLE School communities. Nicole graduated in 2017 from the University of Alberta with a bachelor of science in nutrition and food, and a minor in health education – she has always had a passion for healthy eating and exercise, and believes that being part of the APPLE Schools team allows her to use that passion to help kids have a healthier future. In her spare time, Nicole loves running, playing soccer, cooking, dabbling in new exercise classes, and spending time with friends and family.
Donovan Jang joined APPLE Schools in 2019 as a practicum student from the University of Alberta, where he completed his practicum and graduated with a bachelor of kinesiology. With a major in physical activity and health, Donovan has long been drawn to realizing his passion for health promotion with an organization that can affect change on a broad population level. He worked within the University of Alberta's Campus & Community Recreation, and returned to APPLE Schools in 2021 as a knowledge exchange assistant. This passion arises from the integral role that healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise and sport have played in shaping his life, and his desire to give back by empowering others to have similar opportunities. He is excited to continue supporting the project as APPLE Schools continues to expand.
In his free time, Donovan enjoys playing hockey and rock climbing, both indoors and outdoors. He can often be found in the mountains on weekends when the weather permits, the indoor climbing gyms if it doesn't, or the arena when the winter hits!
Katherine Dekker come with vast experience as a previous teacher and administrator where she shared her passion for supporting students to be the best that they can be for over 30 years. In 2010, she joined the APPLE Schools world as a School Health Mentor through her position as principal of the Edmonton catholic school St. Francis of Assisi. She saw first hand how committing to a comprehensive school health approach could change the world for students. She is excited to support school staffs in creating and maintaining environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice. An avid traveler, Katherine enjoys weaving travel tails to anyone who will lend her an ear.
Matthew Shewchuk brings his experience as a previous APPLE school health champion to his new mentor role. He has a degree in social studies and special education from the University of Alberta and has taught junior high school special needs, physical education, and senior high fitness. On top of that, he coached cross country running, badminton, track and field, and implemented an after-school weight training club for all students.
Matthew says he enjoys working in health promotion because he “witnessed the impact of what a healthy lifestyle has on students. Providing students with the knowledge of making healthy choices empowers them throughout their lives. In my experience, students who were active and made healthy choices prospered in multiple aspects of their lives.”
Outside of work, Matthew enjoys a healthy and active lifestyle by power lifting and weight lifting, and travelling.
Tina Skakun brought ample experience as a previous school health facilitator and teacher to her role as school health mentor for several northeast Alberta commuities. She has a degree in elementary education from the University of Alberta with a specialty in inclusive education. She also holds a diploma from Mount Royal College in community rehabilitation services. Tina is a veteran educator with 17 years of experience, working in various areas of elementary education.
Tina says she enjoys working in health promotion because “empowering students, staff, and community to make healthy choices through the comprehensive school health approach positively impacts everyone for life.”
In her spare time, Tina loves spending time with her family camping and fishing. She is also an avid runner, curler, golfer, and coach in her community. If Tina isn’t out on the course or hitting the running trails, you can often find her hiding in her vegetable garden or cooking and canning in her kitchen.
Jenna Power is the school health mentor for Fort McMurray's Catholic school district. She studied sociology and women’s studies at St. Mary’s University in Halifax before recieving her education degree from Presque Isle in Maine. She also has her masters in literacy and inclusion from University of Prince Edward Island. Jenna has taught many grades and has passion for health promotion. She brings her passion to APPLE Schools because she truly believes that education is the driving force behind changing behaviours and instilling healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Jenna was first inspired by her Grade 4 teacher; “I can still remember her interactive health lessons and how she instilled the importance of healthy eating into all of her students.”
Jenna’s hobbies include teaching yoga, running, reading, and facilitating bootcamps for all fitness levels. She is often referred to as the Energizer Bunny around the office because she's always ready and excited to inspire people with her passion for health!