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Northwest Community College Appoints New Director of Education for Haida Gwaii

Sarah Loewen has been hired as the new Director of Education, Haida Gwaii for Northwest Community College (NWCC). Based in the Qay'llnagaay Heritage Centre, Loewen is responsible for campus/facility operation and educational planning & development for all three College locations; Queen Charlotte campus, Masset, and the Heritage Centre. "The Director of Education for Haida Gwaii will be key in helping us to better plan and coordinate the post-secondary initiatives of all our centres on the Islands," states NWCC President Stephanie Forsyth. "Sarah will be instrumental in working with local community organizations, the Haida and other educational players to explore and develop new programs specific to the needs of Haida Gwaii. As a member of our management team, Sarah will be able to bring opportunities and issues directly to the management table." "It is a time of great change here on Haida Gwaii, and I believe relevant education here at home is essential to building and developing the capacity of our communities," explains Loewen. "I am excited by NWCC's vision and commitment to community, which I feel are well aligned with the needs of the Islands, and I look forward to working with the College and the Communities, to create and deliver increased post secondary educational opportunities." Plans are underway to offer a number of programs on Haida Gwaii early in 2008, for example: -Aboriginal Health Access at Qay'llnagaay -Career and College preparation courses at Qay'llnagaay and Masset; -Carpentry in Old Massett, -Essential Skills for Work in Masset, -Home Support/Resident Care Attendant in Masset, -University Credit Courses at Qay'llnagaay. The College is also working on bringing the Coastal Guardian Watchman program to Haida Gwaii in the Spring of 2008. Loewen, who has resided on the Islands for most of her life, has recently completed a Masters Degree in Business from Royal Roads University. Prior to assuming this role, she had been working for the College as a Business Administration Instructor. Her previous experiences on Haida Gwaii as an entrepreneur, Recreation Director, educator and student help her to appreciate many of the unique educational needs and challenges faced by Islanders. She can be reached at 250.559.7885 ext. 238 or sloewen@nwcc.bc.ca

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