Staff – Our Administration

Who are our administration staff?

Our administration staff are the people who support our mentor teachers and the students of KiHS. Located mostly in Thunder Bay and Balmertown, each member of the administration staff fulfills a unique role and are an invaluable part of the KiHS team!

Get to know them below!

Angela Batsford, Principal

Booshoo! Waachiye! Aanii!

Angela Batsford nitishinihkaas. Angela Batsford tesenekahsoon. Thunder Bay nitoonciin. Thunder Bay toos chiin.

I am the principal at KiHS. I currently live in Thunder Bay, On. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, cooking, baking, and eating those things! As well, I like running, biking, and sewing. You may see me running around your community at one time too.

I look forward to meeting all of you this year online and I hope to see you in one of my courses. You can reach me anytime at angelabatsford@edu.knet.ca or at Tel. 807-735-1381 ext. 3005.

Angela Batsford, Ed.D.

Lynda Mamakeesic, Guidance Counselor

Hello, my name is Lynda Mamakeesic and I am the Guidance Counsellor at KiHS.

KiHS started in September 2000. The chiefs of Keewaytinook Okimakanak wanted to find a way to have their high school students’ stay in their home communities and with their families back in 1998. Low and behold the internet had just been born. The chiefs decided that the internet could be used for students to earn high school credits and we started with 3 classrooms in September 2000. We have been growing ever since. The teachers and staff are very dedicated to student success and for all to graduate with a high school diploma and reach for higher education. I have worked at KiHS since the beginning.

You can email me if you want to enroll in KiHS courses and be part of something in your community. Youan complete your community involvement hours in your home community and all credits at KiHS. You can email me at lyndamamakeesic@edu.knet.ca

Erin Litwin, Administrative Assistant

Erin is the glue that binds KiHS together. She works out of the head office in Balmertown Ontario. She coordinates staff meetings, travel, expenses and makes everything happen. She can be reached at the Main Office at Extension 1298

Heather Mawakeesic, Financial Clerk

Hello my name is Heather Mawakeesic. I am a proud graduate of the KiHS program. I loved it so much, I now work here! I am also a busy mother of 3 children and 2 cats.

You can find me at the Memorial Ave office in Thunder Bay behind my wall of boxes and supplies. I am the financial clerk for KiHS and I am responsible for ordering and shipping of the teachers supplies, data filing and student OSR’s.

If you have any questions, you can shoot me a message at heathermawakeesic@edu.knet.ca.

Linda Johnson, Student Success Coordinator

Boosoo, my name is Linda Johnson, and I am your Student Success Lead.

As the FNSSP Lead, communicating and tracking students’ progress on an individual basis is my main objective to ensure that all are successful in their courses and achieve their goals to graduate. I visit all our KiHS classrooms and communities. I am always available to help our students, parents, and mentor teachers.

I also teach the following courses: Communications Technology, Visual Arts, Media Arts, Digital Photography, and the Preparation course for the Literacy Test. I love being creative and finding new ways to make things, so using computers, digital cameras, art supplies (ie. painting and printmaking), and exploring new technology are my most favorite things to do!

I’m looking forward to another wonderful school year. Megwetch for having me back.

Lorne Goring, Cooperative Education Coordinator

Boozhoo. My name is Lorne Goring. I work from the Balmertown office overseeing our PLAR and cooperative education programs. I have visited all of our KiHS communities and look forward to seeing many of you this year.

I live in Balmertown/Red Lake. I love the outdoors, specifically fishing, hunting and spending time at the cabin. I also enjoy sports. Football, hockey and golf primarily.

Please talk to your mentor about PLAR and cooperative education. They are both excellent opportunities to earn credits. PLAR is our adult education programs. If you are over 18 years of age, please ask your mentor or myself about PLAR opportunities.

Contact me if you have any questions at lornegoring@edu.knet.ca, or extension 1388. Have a great year at KiHS!

Melissa Black, Special Education

My name is Melissa Black. I was born in Stratford, Ontario.

I started working for KiHS in 2008. For much of that time, I lived in Poplar Hill. Now I am living in Balmertown and working as the Special Education Resource Lead. You will probably see me sometime throughout the school year as I travel to classrooms to help students who learn best in different ways.

I enjoy camping, history, food, and most of all, spending time with friends and family.

If you need to contact me, call me on the IP phone, x1357 or email me at melissablack@edu.knet.ca

Becca Letkeman, Land Based Lead

Hello, Booshoo, Waachiye, my name is Becca and I am the Land-Based Learning Lead. For the past year and a half I’ve been the Graduation Coach. I’m really looking forward to traveling to your Community and having some laughs in the bush! Inside too, I guess 🙂

As the Land-Based Lead I’ll be connecting with Community members, local knowledge keepers, KiHS teachers, and elders to plan lessons and trips outside. I will also be working side-by-side with the Language and Culture Lead, Kathleen Koostachin, and Wellness worker Margarita Quill.

For myself, I have always loved being outside. From a young age I camped with my family and was always busy taking pictures of, and identifying, flowers, mushrooms, and lichen. I currently live in Red Lake where I enjoy adventuring in/on any combination of a prospector tent, canoe, kayak, cross-country skiis, snowshoes, or (most recently), a motor boat!

I look forward to learning from you and with you, and having some fantastic adventures this year!

Kathleen Koostachin, Native Language Lead

Wachiye, booshoo! Aanii! Beindigain! Miikwehc kitch-Manito nookoom kakeshikak. I would like to thank you, First Nations, for welcoming me to your traditional territory and treaty lands, in that I humbly work for your young people through my work with education. I am acknowledging that the lands I work on. The traditional territory of First Nations and the treaty people across Turtle Island.

Kathleen Koostachin nitishinihkaasin. Wasaho, nitoociin.

A little introduction: I have been with KiHS for 12 years. My First Language is Oji-Cree, born and raised in Big Trout Lake, now known as K.I., and I spent time growing up with family in Wunnimun Lake. My husband Chris and I love the land, we feel so humbled to be connected to the ancestral lands and the connection we feel from our ancestors who left their legacy with keeping our spoken language and passing their knowledge to us to enables us to continue practicing our land base traditional activities. We have raised 4 children, John George, Isaiah, Christa, and Christyn, who are basically leading their own lives. We don’t have any grandchildren yet. We love our cats, who are fur babies.

When you have any questions or you want any information. Please, contact me. I would love to talk with you. I am always wanting to learn new things. You learn something new each day.

Nikki Osborne, Graduation Coach

Hello and Booshoo!

My name is Nikki and I am thrilled to be teaching with KiHS this year!

I started teaching in Deer Lake where I was the grade 7 and 9 teacher for four years. I have since spent the last two years teaching at DFC in Thunder Bay.

When I’m not in the classroom, I love camping, hiking, fishing and snowshoeing. I recently got a dog from Deer Lake who I’ve named Bernie. She loves joining me on hikes and boat rides.

I look forward to travelling to your communities as I work as a course instructor and the Grad Coach this year. This is going to be a great school year!

Krystyna Villanueva-Gruszecka, New Teacher Development Lead

In addition to being the mentor teacher for Webequie, Krystyna is the new teacher development lead for Keewaytinook Internet High School.

Jason Clement, Technology Lead

Hello! My name is Jason Clement.

I am the technology lead for KiHS, and this is my first year with KiHS.

I was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Before joining KiHS, I spent two school years working in Webequie as a technology, science, and mathematics teacher. In my spare time I enjoy playing guitar and video games, tinkering with electronics, and travelling. You may see me in your communities from time to time, and I am excited to meet all of you!

You can reach me anytime at jasonclement@edu.knet.ca.