Board of Directors & Staff

PCE Board of Directors

Stuart Wachowicz is an educator with 44 years experience.   B.Ed (1971, U of Alberta)  B.Sc (1975, U of Alberta), M.Ed (1991, U of Calgary). ) He taught for 25 years in rural Alberta, where he primarily taught mathematics and served as a school administrator. In 1997 he became Director of Curriculum for Edmonton Public Schools. It was during this period that the Curriculum Department became one of the largest curriculum contractors in western Canada. Upon retirement from EPSB in 2009, Mr. Wachowicz became Director of the Confucius Institute in Edmonton, of which he is presently Chairman of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Mr. Wachowicz has been invited to present on second language education and credentialing nationally and internationally including the Public Service Commission of Canada, Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Ministry of Education of Spain (University of Seville, University of Valencia, Department of Education, Asturias), University of Cambridge (International Language Testers of Europe), Ministry of Education of China, Beijing and Kunming.  Mr. Wachowicz has been awarded, the Qilu Friendship Award from the Governor of Shandong Province, China for contributions to Shandong, and has been made an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Canadian Association of Second language Teachers, in addition to other international awards.

Rev. Brian Coldwell is the Pastor of New Testament Baptist Church of Edmonton and Chairman of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society. This nonprofit society and charity operates two accredited private Christian schools grades K-12  (Harvest Baptist Academy & Meadows Baptist Academy) in the Edmonton area, including a large Home Education Program with students throughout Alberta. Brian studied and trained at Victory Baptist Bible College and was ordained in 1985.  He and his wife Kathy have served in Christian Ministry and Education for 35 years.

Joshua Klopstra is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 10 years public accounting experience. Joshua earned a BCom with a major in accounting and received his CA designation after articling with a leading national accounting firm. Joshua has also previously contracted as an online facilitator with the CA School of Business, volunteered with not-for-profit bodies to deliver financial reports to stakeholders, and is currently partner at a public accounting firm providing accounting and tax services with a focus on small and mid-size private companies. Joshua and his wife are the parents of four children and live near Edmonton.

Donna Trimble graduated on the President’s Honor Roll with a Rehabilitation Diploma from Mount Royal College and worked in community inclusion and employment support for adults living with disabilities prior to coming home to educate and care for her children.  All three of Donna’s children have, at one time or another, attended public, Catholic and online schools, as well as home educated, providing Donna with a deep understanding of the benefits of education choice in meeting the unique needs of each child and maximizing student success. Donna worked in the role of PCE Executive Director from January 2015 until August 2020, and lives in Calgary with her family.

Carla Smiley is a true Westerner. She has experienced a wide variety of educational opportunities including Public, Catholic and Home Education in each of the three Western provinces. She had these opportunities both as a student and also as a parent who was able to choose what was best for her children. Always active in her children's education, she served on school councils representing parents at the local, district and provincial levels before being elected as a Trustee for the Edmonton Catholic School Board in 2017. She completed one full term as a Trustee. Carla has a Bachelor Degree in Social Work from the University of British Columbia. Her work in that field focused on education, employment readiness, career planning, and the future of work. She has an abiding interest in the development of society through nurturing the gifts and talents of each child. Carla sees parental choice in education to be foundational to this vision.


PCE Executive Director

John Hilton-O’Brien is the Executive Director of Parents for Choice in Education and brings a wide variety of skills and experiences to the role. John has a degree in Social Work, as well as a graduate degree in Philosophy with some time teaching university. He has operated businesses, as well as served in various capacities to support the homeless and people with developmental disabilities. John’s political experience includes being a founder and past President of Alberta’s Wildrose Party, and being involved in a number of political campaigns. John has been a PCE Board Director since PCE began in 2012 and was hired to the position of PCE Executive Director in March 2021. John can be reached at [email protected] 


PCE Staff

Maria Cameron works part-time with Parents for Choice in Education in the role of Executive Assistant. Maria has been mostly home-educating her eight children for twenty years. She has been very happy with her and her children's experiences within different school systems in Alberta and abroad, including both public and private schools. Maria finished her Masters in Economics while her children were young and chose to spend the majority of their school years with them. She is grateful that she can accompany her children in the early years of their lives and is committed to helping Parents for Choice Education advocate for all parents to have the same freedom in choosing their children's education. Maria can be reached at [email protected] 


Contact PCE

For details on how to reach PCE, please visit our website contact page.