These past leaders have shaped CFIS into what it is today.
Richard was named CFIS Interim Principal in August 2008 and Headmaster in April 2009. He has over 30 years of experience as a teacher, administrator, superintendent, and with the Alberta government in various capacities leading the advancement of French Immersion education. As CFIS Interim Principal (August 2008 - April 2009), he was instrumental in guiding the school through a difficult transition period. Additionally, he very quickly identified a number of key opportunities to further improve CFIS. Richard’s appointment as Headmaster in April 2009 marked the conclusion of an extensive search process that began in September 2008.
Fresh off his role as the Assistant Headmaster at West Island College in Calgary, a position he held since 1988, Darren Forrester joined the ranks of CFIS’s talented staff as Principal in July 2003, a position he held until 2008. Prior to moving to Calgary, Mr. Forrester attended McGill University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Education. He received a Master of Education from the University of Calgary.
Donna S. Finley, B.A., B. Ed., M.B.A.From 1999 to 2004, Donna was President & CEO and Chair for each of the three volunteer Boards of Calgary French & International School. She was the driving force behind CFIS's new vision and transformation that included the financing and construction of a $20 million facility and campus completed in 2005. In recognition of Donna's leadership and contribution, the Donna S. Finley Student Award for Excellence in Leadership was first awarded in June 2005. This award is presented annually to one CFIS graduating student who demonstrates exceptional leadership skills and qualities.
In 1969, lacking an opportunity to provide young children with a French immersion experience, Louise joined Mary Leeds Stapleton and Jane Carrothers in a search to resolve this problem through the very simple and direct approach of creating their own school. Their reasoning for this initiative was along the lines of "if we open such a school, the students will come!" and their vision gave birth to the Calgary French School. For 5 years she and the founding mothers developed and directed the school and its programs during a time when educational and neurological research validated the benefits of early second language development.
In later years, Louise resumed teaching in Immersion programs at the Junior and Senior High levels. Having left the school in the hands of very committed parents and professional staff, the last 40 years has brought great change and evolution for the school into a Centre of Excellence. Observing CFIS as a leader and a model in educational excellence, Louise is very satisfied to have been part of the initial idea to establish such a school. Now retired from the classroom, she continues to hold an interest in following the exciting plans for further growth and expansion at CFIS.