Trustee Profiles

The Board of Yellowknife Education District No. 1 is the longest serving publicly elected school board in the Northwest Territories. Current board members continue a 65 year tradition which recognizes excellence and the critical importance of public education in Yellowknife .

Seven publicly elected officials serve as YK1 Trustees. The Board plays a key role in the continued success of the district and the 1900 students it serves. Accountability, strategic thinking, financial responsibility, and commitment are among the strengths of this dedicated group.

Strategic thinking, commitment and financial accountability are just some of the key ingredients that our Trustees bring to YK1. Today's Trustees serve six unique public schools in Yellowknife and provide quality educational services to 1900 students.

During their time 'in office', Trustees attend monthly board meetings and participate in regularly scheduled board-level committees meetings. In addition, board members make every effort to increase their awareness and understanding of community concerns and school-based issues by attending monthly Parent Advisory Committee meetings, public gatherings and community events.

Yellowknife Education District No. 1 Trustees play a vital role in the continued success of the District. These individuals lead with diligence and sound judgment, always with the best interests of students at heart. YK1 policy makers guide the next generation into the future and do their part to contribute to a strong community and a well-functioning society.

YK1's Strategic Priorities and Key Results 2016-2019

-Academic Achievement

-Inclusive Schooling

-Indigenous Education

-Healthy Lifestyles


 John Stephenson, Chairperson

 Home Telephone:  920-4521

 E-Mail: |


John was elected to the YK1 board in 2009 and brings many years of parental involvement in his children's  schools. John’s volunteer school service included President of Canadian Parents for French, YK1 Chapter and  Parent Advisory Committee Chairperson, Ecole J.H. Sissons.  John has four children, all of whom attend or  have attended YK1 schools. The two older children are graduates of Ecole Sir John Franklin High School  and the University of Alberta.  The two younger children attend Ecole William McDonald Middle School.

 Volunteer community service continues to be a big part of John’s life, including coaching, officiating and trail  development/maintenance with the Yellowknife Ski Club and officiating and coaching with the Yellowknife Speed  Skating Club.  John is currently the Vice President of the Yellowknife Ski Club and was recognized by Cross  Country Canada as Volunteer of the Year.

 A resident of Yellowknife since 1974, John had a 30 year career with the Government of the NWT in  administration and policy areas before retiring in 2010.


    Duff Spence, Vice Chairperson


Home Telephone: 873-8220



Allan Shortt - Trustee

 Home Telephone: 445-1927

 E-Mail: |

 A well-known northerner, Allan moved to Yellowknife in 1978 to work for PCL as a site superintendent.  Over the past  30 years Allan has constructed buildings all over the NWT and Nunavut.  He is presently the senior construction  superintendent for Clark Builders in Yellowknife.  Allan is an active community member, respected leader and  successful businessman.  The proud father of two daughters who attend YK1 schools, Allan has been a long-time  supporter of the YK1 school district.

 Along with his passion to make a difference in education, Allan brings extensive knowledge and experience in the  construction industry to his role as trustee.  Allan is a strong community supporter whose recent volunteer activities  include Logistic Coordinator for the 2008 Arctic Winter Games and past Vice President of the Yellowknife Elks Club.




 Terry Brookes, Trustee

 Home Telephone:  873-8440


 YK1 is fortunate to have Terry serving the School Board once again, in this his 21st year as a Trustee. Terry  personally believes in YK1’s motto, “Educating for Life,” and as a professional engineer sees himself as a life-long learner. Terry is a strong advocate for the District, and keeps himself up to-date on the trends of education,  wanting to move students to new heights. He continually shares ideas and suggestions of how to make things  even better.

 Having four children pass through the YK1 system, Terry has been able to see first-hand the high quality  educational experiences available to Yellowknife students. Terry’s children graduated from Ecole Sir John Franklin High School and went on to complete their university educations. Three of Terry's children have since returned to  Yellowknife where they currently work (and also given him three grandchildren).

 He was president of the Professional Engineers/Geoscientists Association for the NWT and Nunavut, and is recognized nationally as a Fellow of Engineers Canada for his professional engineering work. He is a member of  several professional organizations and community sport groups, and has been awarded several distinctions for  his civic volunteer work. He is an avid amateur magician and loves to share his talents with children and adults alike. And, loves to see children smile. In his spare time, Terry enjoys refereeing both soccer and hockey. Terry wants to hear your thoughts on our education system, and can always be contacted to discuss issues. He’ll even buy the coffee!

Jay Butler, Trustee

Home Telephone:  920-0816




Rajiv Rawat, Trustee

Cell: 446-7267



Rajiv was elected to the YK1 board in 2015 just as his older daughter entered the YK1 school system for the first time. As such, he will be serving as trustee during the formative years of his two daughters’ educational experience.

Rajiv brings a strong academic orientation to his role as trustee, having attended or worked for universities and research institutes for most of his career in Montréal, Ithaca, Boston, Toronto, and Yellowknife. At the same time, he remained an active member of his academic staff and teaching assistant unions, while participating in initiatives in such diverse fields as public health, environmental studies, social justice, political science, cultural survival, and sustainable livelihood strategies.

His own (mostly happy) memory of schooling in Québec recalls a strong emphasis on project-based learning in biological, physical, computer, and social sciences. He likewise hopes to expand similar opportunities for YK1 students while championing greater social inclusion across the increasingly diverse student body in his term as trustee. 

He will occasionally blog his experiences and ideas at

Tina Drew, Trustee

Home Phone: 920-7240


Tina was elected to the YK1 board in 2015, just as her younger son entered Ecole Sir John Franklin High School. She was previously involved in every step of both her and her sons' education as an active member of the Parent's Advisory Committees at NJ Macpherson, Range Lake and William McDonald. 

As an immigrant to Canada in 1995, Tina initially found navigating the Canadian education system a challenge. She is still learning new ways to ensure children receive a successful education. "Education for life" is what drew her to the YK1 system. Tina firmly believes that education is a partnership between parent, educator and student. Teachers are the backbone of the educational system and she considers them artists who work with the greatest of mediums, our children. Tina wants to help grow YK1's commitment to creating a culture of excellence where teachers have every opportunity to excel.

In addition to her duties with YK1, Tina holds the position of secretary for the NWT Soccer Association and is vice-chair of Canadian Parent's for French - NWT branch. She is always researching for that perfect exercise plan so that her daily workout is a joyful experience.

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