Dave Pontich was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He earned a Business degree with Honours before moving to Australia where he completed his teaching qualification and worked at an independent school in Melbourne. Afterward, Dave taught for nearly three years in the UK before returning to Canada to return to his studies where he completed an MA Economics.
After intending to complete his Ph.D., he took a short hiatus from his studies and accepted a two-term teaching contract at a top international school in Egypt. Eight months turned into thirteen years and during this time Dave met and married Nadine, an Egyptian who is also a Teacher. After being a successful member of the Secondary Leadership Team, he was appointed as the Head of Secondary, a position which he held for ten years. The school developed a reputation as being the best school in Cairo due to its outstanding care for students and exceptional examination results in external examinations.
After several happy years in Cairo, Dave and Nadine decided to take a sabbatical for one year and drive across Africa. During their travels, Dave was appointed as the Vice-Principal at the Amman Baccalaureate School (ABS) in Jordan where he spent two years. Whilst in Jordan, Dave worked with the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and World Academy of Sport ensuring ABS was one of the first three schools in the world to be granted the unique status of Athlete Friendly Education Centre.
Most recently, Dave has been Head of School at a 3-18 international school in Qatar, which is part of the world’s leading premier family of schools. During his time in Qatar, the school experienced rapid growth whilst reconsidering their vision and curricula. They adopted an inquiry-based approach to learning with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) education across the entire school.
Self-reflection is central to Dave’s educational philosophy and a key aspect for school improvement.He has gained a lot of experience in taking part in accreditation visits and inspections both as Chair of a Steering Committee and as a Visiting Team member.
Dave has always maintained that Vancouver Island is the most beautiful place on earth and is delighted to be returning to Canada. He has already began working with the team that is being formed at St. John’s Academy Shawnigan Lake. He is looking forward to ensuring a smooth and unforgettable start to the new school year.
After graduating from university with a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts, Bradley began his teaching career in Alberta, Canada. He then went on to teach within the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, beginning in Kuwait, then moving onto an IB pioneer school in Jordan, and eventually moving to Vancouver Island. Bradley also has a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Victoria which specializes in education development. While working on his MPA he had the opportunity to work with the Government of Canada and the Government of Tanzania in aiming to improve the quality of education and the effectiveness of education spending within the Tanzanian education sector. This background in administration has also influenced how Bradley approaches stakeholder engagement, program evaluation, and data analysis.
While teaching with the IB, Bradley has taught the Diploma Programme (DP) Language and Literature and Literature courses and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) Language and Literature course from grades 7-10. He has also coordinated the MYP as an MYP co-coordinator, Global Contexts coordinator, Personal Project coordinator and Approaches to Learning (21st-century skills) coordinator. Working directly for the IB, Bradley is also a Workshop Leader, School Visit Team Member, Examiner and Examiner Team Leader.
Bradley and his wife, Serena, have been living and thriving in the Cowichan Valley with their two little girls for nearly 6 years. Previously, they lived and taught overseas while traveling the world. In fact, together they have visited over 60 countries and have continued traveling with their children. Aside from traveling, Bradley enjoys learning, hiking, camping, reading and spending time with his family.
Nick started his teaching career at Brentwood College School in 2002 and, after five great years, he needed to take his love of geography and travel further afield than Vancouver Island; hence, along with his wife Gina, who is an Art Educator, and his daughters Sienna and Savanna, the family spent six years overseas in Trinidad & Tobago and in Argentina challenging their adaptability and finding themselves as teachers, as a family, and as people.
All families need a home, so Nick returned to Vancouver Island to settle down in 2013. Needing a change from education, he decided the challenge of business was a necessary chapter and he started up a commercial property business and an IT business; success was found, but his heart wasn’t full. The need for fulfillment brought him back to the classroom at Brookes Shawnigan Lake and then at Brookes Westshore but he still didn’t feel like he was part of something great.
The Shawnigan Lake campus has always held a special place in Nick’s heart, and when his colleagues started to speak of a promising new school, he listened. The talk was of an outdoor education and an IB school that would finally be the right fit for the site on the shores of the lake and in the shadow of a mountain. He was inspired by David Brooks, who was helping the start-up and, after meeting Dave Pontich and hearing about the vision of the owner, he jumped ship and joined St. John’s Academy Shawnigan Lake.
Nick has gratefully accepted the leadership position of Director of Students and he loves teaching MYP Design. A strong believer in Positive Discipline, Mr. Nick hopes to guide and assist the pioneers and new students at our school.