Our Team

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.  Having graduated with an honours degree in Economics before she got married, Maria finished her Masters in Economics while her children were young and chose to spend the majority of their school years with them. Maria has been mostly home-educating her eight children for the last twenty years. She is grateful that she can closely accompany her children's education 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] 


PCE Board of Directors

Darlene Clarke is a champion of parent’s rights. While raising three children, education was always of the utmost importance and accordingly Darlene was always heavily involved.  She has spent 13 years on school councils and various subcommittees, largely in executive roles, continually fostering strong parent-teacher relationships.  Elected as a trustee for Parkland School Division in 2017, Darlene has concluded a full term as a public school board trustee.  During her time as a trustee, Darlene was a fervent proponent for a parent’s right to direct their children’s education, as well as advocating the importance of fully informed and involved parents in all aspects of their children’s education. Darlene also brings with her 22 years of business management experience specializing in sales, promotion and organizing national retail operations.  Darlene is excited to continue advancing the full recognition and appreciation of parent’s rights and choice in their children’s education.

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.

Mark Smith is a retired school teacher who taught for 30 years in the public school system and the former MLA for Drayton Valley-Devon (2015-2023). As the Critic for Education for the Official Opposition (Wildrose and UCP) Mark worked to protect and promote parental choice and parental authority in the delivery of education in Alberta. Educational Choice, funding and parental authority will continue to be important discussions in Alberta. As a newly appointed member of the PCE Board Mark looks forward to working with the many educational leaders across the province, parents and the provincial government in order to ensure that Alberta continues to provide the best educational opportunities possible for Alberta families.


PCE Advisory Council

Donna Trimble 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 adult children graduated after attending a variety of public, Catholic and online schools, as well as home educating. Donna has a deep understanding of and passion for the benefits of education choice. Donna worked in the role of PCE Executive Director from January 2015 until August 2020, and remains an engaged advisor for PCE.

Theresa Ng worked as a public school teacher in Edmonton for nearly a decade and was also employed by PCE as a Communications Advisor from 2017 to 2021, at which time she stepped down to focus on homeschooling her three school-aged children. Theresa is passionate about ensuring the integrity of Alberta’s education system, as well as building strong families and now volunteers in an advisory capacity with PCE.


Contact PCE

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