Introduction to Kim Ondrik – Head Learner, Mill Bay Nature School


Kim Dell Ondrik was born with a heart for social justice; a passion for understanding people, relationships and community; and a designer’s thirst for creating safe places for people to grow. Her quarter century of teaching has been honoured with the Outstanding Thesis Award at U.B.C. Okanagan and the U.B.C. Top 100 Alumni Award, as well as shortlisted for the Cmolik Prize for the enhancement of public education in B.C., and the Ken Spencer Award for innovation in teaching and learning in Canada. Kim’s Master’s thesis explored the first year of co-creating Vernon Community School.  Click here to read more:  k-ondrik-thesis

Kim is a daughter of Don Dell from Scotland and England and Nini Theilade from Ireland and Denmark growing up in Tsawwassen. She was a wife to Doug Ondrik for 33 years (before Doug passed in 2022), a sister to 2 brothers, a mother to 4 sons, an aunt to 5 nieces, a cousin to a hundred, and a friend to many.  Oh, and she loves to dance !

Kim has been a co-creator of several innovative and inclusive learning communities in British Columbia over 25 years – The Friendship Company,The Garden,The O-Zone, and Vernon Community School. She has an undergraduate degree in special education and a master’s of arts degree in curriculum and diversity. A mermaid at heart, Kim is very grateful to have found herself back to the sea again after 17 years in the Okanagan – I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living (Anais Nin) – taking up the new and very exciting challenge of co-creating an innovative place of learning and growth for all members of the Cowichan Valley community inspired by the transformative ideas embedded in pedagogical caring/love, Servant Leadership, First Peoples principles of teaching and learning, inclusion, equity, and inspirited curriculum-as-lived.