BC School Counsellors Association


Click here to edit subtitle

Executive Member Profiles

Dave MacKenzie,


Dave was born and raised in Winnipeg  and graduated from the University of Manitoba .  He moved to BC in 1991 to accept his 1st teaching job in Quesnel.

Dave is a father of 2 teenagers and husband to a beautiful school counsellor from Vernon Secondary school.  He began his career as an elementary school teacher, and then moved into alternate education and now is the school counsellor at Clarence Fulton Secondary.  He has taught in Winnipeg, Quesnsel, Mission and now Vernon.

Dave is an active member of the mental health community in BC…where he is  a member of the BC School Centered Mental Health Coalition, BC School Counsellors Association, Board of Directors of the Canadian Mental Health Association-Vernon branch and member of the steering and faculty of the Interior Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative.

Dave experiences everyday how the a young person’s mental health challenge impacts their academic achievement, attention to their studies and their overall sense of self. 

Lorrie Ann Riedel

Vice President

Lorrie Ann was born in Kimberley B.C. during Christmas vacation while her family lived at Kootenay Bay.  She spent time in Nelson, Burnaby and finally graduated from high school in Williams Lake.  UBC granted her a BA in Psychology and a B ED in Elementary education which was useful some of the time while working with learners in grades 1 to 4 in a small community called Tache B.C.  From there she spent 14 years supporting learners and their families on the district’s distance education program called Ebus.   Deciding it was time to broaden her learning she returned to school in Vermont where she was granted a MA in Psychology and Counselling.   She is currently a District Elementary Counsellor living in Vanderhoof B.C. while traveling to Fort St. James and Mapes during the week.

Lorrie Ann is the proud parent of a daughter, Alex, who has demonstrated her great social skills and found herself a fabulous partner, Nolan, and they have created my beautiful granddaughter Cecily who came to us on Christmas Eve when we were working so hard to be brave for the season after losing a well loved family member.   It is amazing how such joy can come out of such sorrow. 

Lorrie Ann has two very large dogs that help motivate her running which helps keep the stress to a good level. 

She became a member of the PSA executive after a colleague who was the past president talked about the need for executive members on the BCSCA executive at one of the weekly meetings.   She has been the Pro D member, the conference chair and currently is the Vice President.  

She would love to hear from other elementary counsellors.

Brenda Blaschuk,
Professional Development

Brenda was born and raised in southern Ontario and completed her undergraduate degree from McMaster University. She has three young adult children who are launching their careers and living the life they have imagined in technology and organic farming.


Brenda attended Niagara University in New York state and graduated with a Master's degree in Secondary Education and a Master's degree in School Counselling. She started her career as a college professor and life-skills coach at Mohawk College and also worked as a Disability Counsellor/professor at Niagara College. At Fleming College, Brenda worked as a Personal Counsellor and taught post-secondary courses. She taught in both elementary and secondary school settings before accepting a full time District School Counselling position with Nechako Lakes. The far north keeps calling her and she currently works as a District Elementary School Counsellor in Fort Nelson.


Brenda has worked on the BCSCA executive for the past three years in Advocacy and as PD Chair.


Brenda believes that well crafted and delivered continuing professional development is important because it keeps us up to date on both a personal and professiona level. She invites all members to share their feedback and suggestions. 

Barbara Zang,
Conference Chair

Barbara was born in Vancouver and raised in Victoria where she was the last class to graduate from her high school. She is the mother of two children who were both raised in Quesnel but moved to Vancouver Island as adults, where they live with their families. When her children moved south, Barbara moved north and now lives outside of Fraser Lake on beautiful Francois Lake. Her husband is a bowyer and Barbara is a quilter so they both understand the creative drive in each other.


Barbara came later to her career in education, earning a B.Ed. in 1996 while living in Quesnel. She worked in a variety of teaching and special education positions in Quesnel before completing a M.Ed. through UNBC and making a move to Fraser Lake. There, she developed a specialty in working with young people with challenging behaviour at the grades 4-12 local school. In 2004, she attended a workshop by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and has been working under his tutelage since then, promoting the development of relationships between young people and adults. She took a position with School District 91 as a district special education support teacher which took her into every corner of the huge district and solidified her desire to train in counselling. In 2012, Barbara completed her MA in Counselling Psychology and worked for a brief period as a district counsellor for elementary students before finding a home in Fraser Lake Secondary School.


Barbara strongly believes in belonging to the provincial specialist association relevant to her position, and immediately joined the BCSCA when she became a counsellor. When the position of publications advisor became available, it seemed a perfect fit for Barbara to bring her skills of working in the print industry prior to becoming a teacher. In the community, Barbara has been active promoting child and youth mental health through community partnerships and developing healthy families.

Jenna Ewert,

Local Liason


Shannon Confortin,

Shannon was born in a small town in Manitoba but her family soon moved to the west coast.  She grew up moving around Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, San Francisco and Minnesota.  All this moving helped her to be adaptable to change.  She met her husband in Squamish and had 2 children before moving to Parksville 15 years ago. She loves the laid back nature of the island and can be found paddling out on the water when the weather is warmer.

Shannon earned her Masters in Counselling in 2006 and started her school counselling career at Vanier Secondary in Courtney, BC before settling at Ballenas Secondary in Parksville.  She has additional training in Solution Focused therapy and intensive CBT anxiety training with Dr. David Burns. Shannon likes to ensure new students feel welcome at school and is a strong advocate for mental health.  

Shannon joined the School Counsellor Association originally in 2007 as the Advocacy Chair before moving into the Conference Chair and worked on several of our conferences.  She took a break from the executive to focus on her children’s sports and extracurricular activities.  Shannon is excited to be back on our executive team as the membership chair.  She enjoys interacting with counsellors from all over the Province and learning from them and is looking forward to the future of school counselling in BC.

Norberta Heinrichs,

Norberta has been a resident of Vancouver Island since birth. She grew up in Victoria and after her studies in UVIC, she took her first teaching job in 1990 in Tahsis, BC. Her second home was Captain Meares Elementary Secondary School, where she taught intermediate grades. She met her partner and started their family in Tahsis before moving to French Creek in 2001. 

The move provided many opportunities for Norberta to stretch her learning edges in diverse roles such as: a TTOC,  a teacher of second languages,a middle school humanities, math and science teacher and a distributed learning teacher and advisor. She became more actively involved in her local union, holding various executive positions, including local president for the Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association (2015-2017).

Norberta completed her Masters in Counselling Psychology in 2016, while working on her certification in Somatic Experiencing® and has returned to École Ballenas Secondary, in Parksville, as the Grade 8/9 Counsellor. She also is an counselling associate of Stephanie Peter Counselling.

Norberta enjoys working with younger adolescents, helping them find ways to expand their capacity to self-regulate and tools to tap into their inherent ability to be resilient. As a learner, Norberta is grateful to have joined the BCSCA Executive in 2018 and is appreciative of the mentorship provided by this group. 

Technology Chair (vacant)


Katherine Brach,  Advocacy

Katherine started her teaching career in Nunavut & the Northwest Territories in K-12 schools. It was there that she learned first hand about high-suicide rates and mental health struggles of young people. However, it wasn’t until a student disclosed a traumatic event, and she didn’t know how to respond, that she made the decision to enroll in the University of Lethbridge’s Master of Counselling program.

In 2013, after 7 years in the Arctic, Katherine, along with her teacher husband and 2 (soon to be 3) kids, settled in Smithers where she works full-time as a high school counsellor. She is passionate about helping young people express themselves and face their fears. She also gets a lot of satisfaction out of creating a perfectly balanced timetable and learning shortcuts in MYED.  What Katherine loves most about being a school counsellor is that there is no waitlist & few barriers. Youth who want mental health support, get it.  Every September she feels grateful and excited that she has the opportunity to start fresh and do it all again!  

 Katherine has a love of everything that grows, she keeps bees and chickens along with a big garden. Katherine is a mental health advisor for the Bulkley Valley Critical Incident Response Training (CIRT) which provides emergency first aid and debriefing to First Responders and others who have experienced an acute traumatic event. She is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC).