I have been a resident of James Bay for the past 20 years, and for seven of those I was fortunate to have been the principal of James Bay Community School. I believe that the strength of any community lies in its ability to provide its residents with opportunities to interact, whether through education, recreation or social gatherings, and I am a strong advocate of the community school concept, which lends itself perfectly to the development of strong and resilient communities.
I have been involved with the James Bay Community School since I moved to Victoria in 2007. Both my sons attended the school. I joined the Society Board in 2011 and am currently vice chair. I am a strong believer in the benefits of community schools for the entire community and work to support the people of James Bay to live in a vibrant, multicultural and intergenerational neighbourhood.
James Bay Community School Principal
My roots are deep in the James Bay community. My connection with James Bay goes back to 1979 when I began to work in (literally) James Bay, on a boat. At that time I was working with the SALT Society and later began university while living at a dock on Kingston Street. I returned to the community of James Bay in 1998 as the vice principal of JBCS for four years. In 2006, my journey through School District 61 again returned me to the James Bay community as Principal of South Park for nine years. I have now been principal at James Bay for three years and am deeply committed to community involved education and the concept of a community school.
Marlene Marcon and Alex Marcon
It was August 2016 when we arrived in James Bay. We headed straight to JBCS to explore volunteer and community opportunities. To our delight, we learned about the SAR program and signed up. We committed to Tuesdays and sometimes read with students three times per week.
I (Marlene) consider myself fortunate to have loved my career as a teacher and Reading Specialist. I (Alex) loved both of my careers as a data base analyst and later a math teacher. Together with our two children we lived in many countries in the world, and also a very interesting community in Deep River, Ontario. In all of our homes we have pursued community involvement, the latest being at Familia Sagrada (a foster home for children) in Arequipa, Peru.
When Janice asked both of us to be on this Board we felt it was a perfect learning opportunity, and we could contribute from our varied experiences.
I have been involved with the James Bay Community School for the past five years. I worked as an Educational Assistant and Library Clerk, and am currently supporting children and families as the Facilitator of the James Bay Strong Start Program. My family has lived in James Bay for the past 23 years and I feel very much part of this vibrant and inclusive community. I joined the Board in the spring of 2017 and am thrilled to connect with the families of James Bay through events such as the Community Picnic.
I am a graduate of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria and have an MA in Administration and Curriculum in Education from Gonzaga University. I developed and managed the Child Life Program at Lethbridge Regional Hospital and worked in Mental Health services with adolescents, adults, and families. I later joined Camosun College to develop and teach the first offerings of the Mental Health and Addiction (MHA) Certificate and the Interprofessional Mental Health & Addition (IMHA) post-graduate Diploma.
In addition to mental health and addiction coursework, I have been an instructor of other post-secondary courses including Family Studies, Therapeutic Recreation, Early Childhood Education, Special Needs Educational Assistant, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. My academic interests include play & expressive therapies, mental health education for youth and families, and using educational technology to engage students in online learning environments.
I was born in Toronto in 1974 and moved to Victoria when I was 20. I currently work for the township of Esquimalt as the parks Arborist. I live in James Bay with my common-law wife, Melaina and our two daughters, Bella and Roxy. Both my daughters attend the James Bay Community School. Our family enjoys living in James Bay because of the strong community feeling and spirit.