SelfDesign Learning Foundation

Mission Statement:

To support educators, learners and families to create what matters to them in their lives, through effective educational methods in alignment with principles and praxis of SelfDesign.

Under the governance of an elected Board of Directors, the SelfDesign Learning Foundation is a charitable foundation incorporated as a non-profit society under the laws of British Columbia.

SelfDesign, an educational methodology and philosophy, was founded by Brent Cameron (1947-2012) as Wondertree Learning Centre in 1983 and then as Virtual High in 1993, both under the authority of the SelfDesign Learning Foundation.

SelfDesign Learning Community started operations in 2002 as an independent distributed learning school serving learners from grades K-9. Today SelfDesign Learning Community is recognized as one of the leading personalized and independent distributed learning schools in the British Columbia, enrolling learners K-12 and inclusive of one of the province’s largest distributed learning special education programs.

The philosophy behind SelfDesign has been the catalyst for creating the SelfDesign Graduate Institute and SelfDesign Global , both of which serve lifelong learning and foster innovations in personalized learning.

Our Board of Directors

Sandra Bitz comes to the board with a professional background including special education, educational and counseling psychology, and as an executive director of a neurologic social services non-profit. Her formal education includes a Masters Degree in Education – Counselling Psychology from UBC and a Masters Degree in Science – Non-Profit Organizational Development from Johns Hopkins University.

Some of her deepest and most fulfilling work has been as a volunteer on numerous local, regional, provincial and national boards of directors. With over 30 years of committee and board experience she has developed knowledge and expertise related to non-profit governance, policy development, human resources, strategic planning, and budgeting.

Sandra is the mother of two adult daughters, one of whom has complex special needs and whose care requires lifelong advocacy.

Sandra’s recreational and personal interests include quiet outdoor pursuits, travelling, reading, social history and environmental issues.

Tabitha has been a parent with SelfDesign for more than 10 years. As a mother of three children who are currently enrolled with the SelfDesign Learning Community, she is immersed in the program and in supporting natural learning. Tabitha brings to the board a passion for and wealth of experience in supporting families with a developmental, attachment-based approach.

Dr. Debora Linehan’s areas of expertise are in intercultural leadership and in business strategy. Debora is Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University. She also maintains a consulting practice focused on executive education and intercultural relations. As a scholar practitioner, her goal is to continue to advance the study and application of intercultural competencies in leadership and cultural integration in the workplace.

Debora’s career has been primarily in leadership roles within the financial industry. Most recently, she held the position of regional vice president with RBC. Her education includes a Doctor of Social Sciences and a Master of Business Administration in Executive Leadership. Debora has several industry-related certifications in addition to a Certified Management Consultant designation. She has also been active on several boards and as a community volunteer.  Debora is a life-long learner and interested in the transformative power of education.

Verena was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC and feels most at home when nestled between the ocean and the mountains. In 2002, she began her work with Wondertree Learning Centre, first as an educator, then as Vice-Principal. Verena’s Masters of Arts in Integrated Studies allowed her to weave teachings from Indigenous Knowledge, self-directed learning, and living inquiry into her practice. Verena lives on Haida Gwaii with her husband and two daughters, where she is a Principal with School District 50.

Devon has a long and varied history with SelfDesign; he is an alumni of the Wondertree and Virtual High programs, predecessors to SelfDesign, and has roots in natural learning principles and practices. Devon brings 25 years of experience in software development – a curiosity first discovered at Wondertree, continuing into a career. Devon is passionate about the intensifying confluence of knowledge, technology, and culture that is opening so many directions in learning.

David has served on the SDLF Board since 2008. David is the founding president of the SelfDesign Graduate Institute. He earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A.T. from the University of New Hampshire, and an Ed.D. from Harvard University. David helped to found an independent high school, taught in a public high school, developed curriculum for the Unitarian Universalist Association, and helped to lead a public school district in Vermont. He taught at Seattle University for 14 years and is an emeritus professor there. He is the author of many books and articles, including The Common Vision: Parenting and Educating for Wholeness and Evolutionary Parenting.

Vida is a senior consultant specializing in technology marketing and management of large web projects. As an accomplished strategist with over twenty years’ experience, she has launched and positioned products and technologies in local, international, and online markets. Vida is also an experienced educator with 15 years experience teaching marketing and technology to adult learners at UBC, Simon Fraser University and now BCIT.

Vida works with public and private organizations and counts BC Hydro, Nike, Electronic Arts, VISA, Future Shop, and other major corporations among her past and current clients. Prior to establishing her private practice, Vida worked with MacDonald Dettwiler as a territory marketing manager in Northern Europe and South America, and with IBM in technology marketing. Vida is currently faculty at BCIT in the Bachelors of Technology Management program, where she teaches marketing, technology management, and project management, and also oversees capstone/graduation projects.

Vida earned a baccalaureate in music from Collège St Laurent, a bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Economics and Political Science from McGill University, and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. Vida is fluent in English, French, Spanish, German and Lithuanian.