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Dr. Sharon Friesen

Founding partner and President
Professor, Werklund School of Education, Univeristy of Calgary

Sharon’s experience as a teacher includes kindergarten, elementary, junior high, high school and post secondary. Her research interests include the ways in which K-12 educational structures, curriculum, learning and leading need to be reinvented for a knowledge/learning society.   She has specific interests in: (i) the promotion of deep intellectual engagement, (ii) the ability to create learning environments that require sustained work with ideas and (iii) the pervasiveness of networked digital technologies that open up new ways of thinking, ways of working and tools for working and living in the world.

She has co-authored three books: Back to the Basics of Teaching and Learning: Thinking the World Together, winner of the 2004 AERA Division B Book Award; Curriculum in Abundance; and Back to the Basics of Teaching and Learning: Thinking the World Together Second Edition. She has also assisted schools to assess their technology requirements to enhance teaching and learning environments.

Sharon is a recipient of numerous awards for both research and teaching practice:

– 2011 University of Calgary, You Make A Difference Award
– 2007 Pacific Institute of Mathematical Sciences Math Educator of the Year;
– 2005 AERA Book Award for Curriculum Studies;
– 1999 The Alberta Teachers’ Association, Educational Research Award;
– 1999 Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence;
– 1997 Aoki Award for educational research;
– 1996 ASCD Celebrating Educational Successes in Alberta award;
– 1994 National Institute Award for Technology Integration;
– 1991 Alberta Excellence in Teaching finalist.

Brenda Gladstone

Co-founder and COO

Brenda has collaborated with a number of Fine Arts organizations, artists and education authorities in Alberta to engage students in meaningful worthwhile work now published online at

Brenda has a proven track record of initiating and managing a variety of education initiatives in collaboration with the business community, but she is proudest of Galileo. Brenda has a passion for supporting innovation in education so that students and their teachers have opportunities to engage in personally relevant, research-informed and evidence-based teaching and learning. Brenda holds an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Project Management and a Masters in Business Administration from Athabasca University.

Brenda is married to Doug and they have three adult children. Jeff is an actor, musician, writer and producer out of Vancouver, Ryan (Michelle Field) is a director, actor, writer and producer also out of Vancouver, and Michael (Michelle Chidley) is a businessman in Calgary.

Candace Saar, MA

Director of Professional Learning

Candace’s experience and expertise is in humanities, leadership, fundamental restructuring and reform, and teacher practice in K-12 and post secondary settings.

Under her mentorship teachers and students are invited to teach and learn in environments that are intellectually stimulating and demanding, provide ongoing feedback for improved performance and build knowledge.   As a result of such an approach teachers and students emerge as confident, responsible and innovative learners and leaders.

Candace holds an MA from the University of Calgary.  Her research interests continue in the area of high school reform and restructuring with a particular focus on changing and improving teacher practice.

Dr. Lori Pamplin

Project Lead, Leadership Curriculum Development