The new Slave Lake Koinonia Christian School principal comes from Jamaica via northern Saskatchewan.
Hillary Hinds has been connected with schools and colleges for over 20 years. Of those, 12 years have been in Canada.
Hinds is both Jamaican and Canadian.
The last few she mentored teachers connected with Meadow Lake Tribal Council. This has nine schools on both Cree and Dene First Nations in northern Saskatchewan.
“I love it (northern Canada),” says Hinds. “I love being in the north, especially in the spring when the bears are coming out. I love seeing the change of the season.”
Hinds had two weeks to pack up and move to Slave Lake. After one week, in Slave Lake she was still looking for a place to rent, but enjoying the town.
“It’s a nice community,” she says. “I like the layout of the town and the people seem nice.”
Hinds went into teaching because her father thought she’d be good at it, because “kids were drawn to me naturally,” she says. “I wanted to be a fashion designer.”
Other than taking clothing and textile in high school, Hinds hasn’t studied fashion.
Hinds focused her education degree on math. She’s taken various courses since then. These include Biblical counselling and educational leadership. She is also the academic dean for the School of Life and Ministry at Bridge Ministry International in Saskatoon.
“I’m a lifelong learner,” says Hinds. “Knowledge is always changing.”
Over the years, Hinds has taught high school math, at a vocational college, and mentored other teachers.
“This is my first principal position,” she says. To start with, her goals are “wellness, mental health, and rebuilding and strengthening relationships.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that many people don’t have a robust support network, says Hinds. However, people need to be in relationships with other people.
“We weren’t created to be an island,” she adds.
Hinds plans to get involved with Slave Lake Crossfit.
She also writes for children, loves to cook for others, and to travel.