Marisa Orfei Etmanski joins APPLE Schools as the interim executive director. She brings a wealth of experience as a senior executive professional with extensive communications, marketing, public relations, government relations, project management, and policy management experience.
Prior to joining APPLE Schools, Marisa worked for the Palix Foundation in strategic and management capacities and supported the Premier’s office providing communications counsel to government representatives. She currently sits on the board of directors for Boyle McCauley Health Centre and has also served on the boards for Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and the Mayor’s task force on safe communities.
Marisa is excited to work for a research-driven organization with evidence and data demonstrating positive outcomes for the health of children and their school communities. In her spare time, Marisa loves to garden and cook. When she needs to slow down, she practices yoga, listens to music, and travels as much as she can.
Landra Walker completed her bachelor of physical education in 2013 at the University of Alberta. She has been with APPLE Schools in varying capacities since 2012, and is now an implementation manager where she applies her passion for health by supporting 2018 and 2019 expansion schools in and outside of Alberta. The highlight of her job is hearing stories from school health facilitators and health champions about how they successfully implemented an activity or initiative in their school community and its positive impact, and celebrating their successes. She believes that working to improve the lives of students through healthy eating, active living, and mental wellbeing creates balance in her own life. Landra loves to spend her spare time outdoors, travelling, and hanging out with Max, her rambunctious beagle.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.