Board of Directors

Sara Baril is a mother of five and a long time resident of southern Alberta. She has an interest in issues which affect the very basic unit of society – the family – and a desire to inform others about issues which threaten the sanctity of marriage and family. Sara has taken a leading role in informing others and has been a great force in gathering parents and families to rally in the cause of parental choice in education. Sara’s other interests include involvement in her church, and an ongoing song writing career which includes two professional albums of sacred music, singles and numerous pieces of published sheet music. Her songs are performed locally within Alberta as well as internationally.

Rev. Brian Coldwell is the Pastor of New Testament Baptist Church of Edmonton and Chairman of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society. This nonprofit society and charity operates two accredited private Christian schools grades K-12  (Harvest Baptist Academy & Meadows Baptist Academy) in the Edmonton area, including a large Home Education Program with students throughout Alberta. Brian studied and trained at Victory Baptist Bible College and was ordained in 1985.  He and his  wife Kathy have served in  Christian Ministry and Education for 35 years.

Peter Downing is a former police officer turned private sector consultant, who has instructed school age children in Drug Abuse Resistance Education, and has managed government projects at both the Provincial and Federal levels.  As a married father of 3, with a school aged child in Alberta’s Public School System, Peter is a strong proponent of promoting fiscal responsibility and accountability in the administration of parent’s educational tax dollars; ensuring children receive the tools to achieve academic and personal excellence; and that objective science and economic education are not disregarded in favour of political ideology or expediency.  Peter holds a Bachelors Degree in Communications, Masters Certificates in Process Improvement and Management, and is currently completing his Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

James Kitchen is an articling student who works in the areas of constitutional law, human rights, administrative law, and education law. James earned a BA in History and Philosophy at the University of New Brunswick and received his law degree from the University of New Brunswick in 2016. While in law school, James interned at the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission and the New Brunswick Court of Appeal where he worked in the areas of human rights, constitutional law, and administrative law. James is the father of two school-aged children and lives in Calgary.

John Hilton-O’Brien is a native Albertan.  He holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Marquette University in Milwaukee, and a Diploma in Social Work from Mount Royal College in Calgary.  He has extensive experience working with the homeless, and persons with developmental disabilities.  He was a  founder and past President of Alberta’s Wildrose Party. He and his wife Nathalie are the proprietors of HOB’s Hobbies in Strathmore, Alberta.

Jojo Ruba  is the executive director of Faith Beyond Belief. Faith Beyond Belief equips effective ambassadors for Christ for everyday conversations. Jojo focuses on practical ways to defend the faith. He teaches Christians how to explain their worldview using tools that others can understand. For example, he helps audiences think of the right questions to ask non-believers not just the right answers they ought to give. Jojo speaks at venues across Canada including at Sunday morning services, secular debates on universities and morning chapels at Christian schools. Jojo earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa. He is based in Calgary, AB, Canada.

Stuart Wachowicz is an educator with 44 years experience.   B.Ed (1971- U of Alberta)  B.Sc (1975 – U of Alberta), M.Ed (1991- U of Calgary). ) He taught for 25 years in rural Alberta, where he primarily taught mathematics and served as a school administrator. In 1997 he became Director of Curriculum for Edmonton Public Schools. It was during this period that the Curriculum Department became one of the largest curriculum contractors in western Canada. Upon retirement from EPSB in 2009, Mr. Wachowicz became Director of the Confucius Institute in Edmonton, of which he is presently Chairman of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Mr. Wachowiczhas been invited to present on second language education and credentialing nationally and internationally including the Public Service Commission of Canada, Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Ministry of Education of Spain (University of Seville, University of Valencia, Department of Education, Asturias), University of Cambridge (International Language Testers of Europe), Ministry of Education of China, Beijing and Kunming.  Mr. Wachowicz has been awarded, the Qilu Friendship Award from the Governor of Shandong Province, China for contributions to Shandong, and has been made an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Canadian Association of Second language Teachers, in addition to other international awards.