SelfDesign Learning Foundation

The SelfDesign Learning Foundation (SDLF) is a non-profit society incorporated under the laws of British Columbia, with charitable tax status under the jurisdiction of Revenue Canada and federal law.

The purposes of the society are:

1.   to offer educational services that are consistent with SelfDesign
2.   to research and develop the praxis of SelfDesign

The mission of the SelfDesign Learning Foundation is to empower 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 educational methods.

The Board of SDLF serves as a Policy Board.

The Board of Directors creates and reviews policy that supports the mission of the Foundation, hires and evaluates the Executive Director, and acts as needed to insure the health and long-term success of the Foundation. This includes the provision of strategic support and expertise, ensuring continuity for the vision, legacy, and succession of leadership for the Foundation, and advocacy for SelfDesign both as an organization and as a praxis for learning. The Board also has fiduciary responsibility for the organization as stipulated in its incorporation under the laws of British Columbia.

Directors serve as volunteers and cannot be remunerated for their services as such.

SelfDesign, as an educational methodology and philosophy, was founded by Brent Cameron (1947-2012). What is now known as SelfDesign first began as the Wondertree Learning Centre in 1983 and then Virtual High in 1993. SelfDesign Learning Community started operations as an independent distributed learning school serving learners from grades K-9 in 2002. Today SelfDesign serves learners from Kindergarten through grade 12, and has one of the province’s largest distributed learning Special Education programs. The philosophy behind SelfDesign has inspired other educators and free-thinkers, and in recent years the SelfDesign Graduate Institute and SelfDesign Global have been born to serve additional lifelong learners and further 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.

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.

David is a returning board member to the SelfDesign Learning Foundation (SDLF). His prior role on the board was in the early 90’s, with Virtual High, when the organization was still known as the Wondertree Education Society. Although not actively on the board, he has closely followed the organization’s path of development over the last 25 years. He brings a grandfather’s perspective and the experience of a family whose son graduated from Virtual High. David is a Professor Emeritus in Forestry at UBC with a background in math, physics, computer science, and statistics. His academic interest  is in understanding complex dynamic systems, with a focus on ecological modelling.

However, his contribution to the board lies in his eclectic range of interest and his propensity to reconsider assumptions from alternative perspectives.