The Principals of École Jasper Elementary School

-Dale Karpluk

The Municipality of Jasper celebrated Homecoming 2023 in August with an interesting scenario that unfolded at École Jasper Elementary School. Seven of the school's eight principals returned for a walk down memory lane in reminiscence of the 60-year history of the school built in 1963.

Dean Tweedle (deceased) was the first principal of the school and was the only one missing in 2023. Dean taught math at the high school while being principal of both Jasper High School and Jasper Elementary School.

Bryn Thomas arrived in 1968 and remained principal for eighteen years. He co-owned and operated Whitewater Rafting, during and after his years at JES. Bryn loves the outdoors and his preferred mode of transportation these days is his e-bike, which he rides at the crack of dawn, while exercising his faithful canine companion. He has been a devoted member of St. Mary and St. George Anglican Church through his many decades in Jasper.

Dale Karpluk arrived in 1967 and spent twenty years at the elementary school before becoming principal of the Jasper High School for twenty-one years. Following retirement, she was the Director of the International Student Program for Grande Yellowhead Public School Division. Today Dale is in her second term as the Jasper trustee and board chair on the GYPSD School Board.

Jill Fenton’s retirement was a short-lived six months, as she and her husband Neil moved to Rwanda where they worked for the next twenty-three years. They developed a small local school, which grew to over a thousand students. They retired from this project and established Tools for Schools, a not-for-profit organization, working in isolated rural areas in Rwanda developing facilities and training teachers.

Steve Carlyle played hockey for the Canadian National Team for two years and for the Edmonton Oilers for four years prior to moving to Jasper Elementary to teach and serve as principal for six years. After leaving Jasper, he coached the Chinese Women’s National Hockey Team. Currently, he works for Careers the Next Generation assisting high school students get into the trades through the RAP (Registered Apprenticeship Program).

Raymond Blanchette Dube started as the band teacher at the Jasper High School and then taught music at the elementary school and was principal there for eleven years. Following his retirement, he was the chair of Friends of Jasper National Park for five years. His creativity is now devoted to stained glass.

Jodie Cambell exchanged her principal hat to go back to the classroom where she is a much-loved kindergarten teacher.

Eric Bouchard, the current principal, started as the assistant principal at Jasper High School.

Thanks for the memories, École Jasper Elementary School!