The Board of Directors

Sadia Khan [President]


Sadia Khan is the president for the Alberta Association for Multicultural Education. She is deeply invested in serving the community, and is a strong advocate of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is passionate about connecting people of all backgrounds – women, men, gender nonconforming people, indigenous and immigrants, of diverse faiths, abilities and ages – are all deserving of equality, and inclusion. Sadia continues to embody these principles to amplify voices using education, mobilization, dialogue, engagement and collective action.

Sadia was the co-chair for the Red Deer Welcoming and Inclusive communities, and she sits on the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee.

Sadia recognizes promoting Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion in our communities can be a big task which requires social change and transformative dialogues. She believes this can be done by supporting organizations with ongoing dialogue, education and special events in highlighting the importance of multiculturalism.

Sadia looks forward to creating a lasting change in the community that values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of ALL backgrounds, regardless of their ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Sadia encourages all of us to listen with our heads then move through our hearts and have the courage to change. She believes the work in our personal and professional lives must be to build relationships with someone whom we don’t know and who’s story is different than ours. Acknowledge our privileges and use those privileges to benefit someone else. This is how we can create a ripple effect of change.

Sadia is privileged and humbled to be in this position and looks forward to making relationships and connecting with people. She believes relationships drive our work and we need to extend ourselves, as the heart of racial justice work are relationships.

Avery Acheson [Past President/ President Elect]

Currently serving as AAME president, Avery Acheson is the Intake and Settlement Manager for the Central Alberta Refugee Effort, an Immigrant Serving Agency in Red Deer, Ab. Avery is passionate for building welcoming and inclusive communities where all are welcome and diversity and multiculturalism is celebrated. “I feel so blessed to be able to serve on the board of the Alberta Association for Multicultural Education, this organization, it’s board members and volunteers are all incredibly passionate for the work we do, I’m lucky to work beside them. Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in the work AAME does!”

Don Zyoba [Treasurer]

has been a board member of AAME for the past 22 years. A retired member of the Calgary City Police Service, he is a founding member of the Metis Calgary Family Services in 1992 and is still active in the organization in charge of the Rainbow Lodge Permanent Supportive Housing program for Homeless Metis and Aboriginal families. He volunteers with the Indian Events Committee of the Calgary Stampede and is a member of the Calgary Centre for Culture, Equity and Diversity.

Linda McKay-Panos [Director]

The Executive Director of the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre. She taught Language Arts and Social Studies with the Calgary Board of Education for 7 years before obtaining her law degree. Linda is a sessional instructor in the Faculties of Arts and Law at the University of Calgary. She received her Bachelor of Education, Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees from the University of Calgary. Linda is the Past President of the Public Legal Education Network of Alberta. She is the author of several publications dealing with civil liberties and human rights. Linda received the 2001 Suzanne Mah Award and an Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 for her work in human rights in Alberta.

Larry Ofner [Director]

is a retired teacher and administrator with the Edmonton Catholic Schools. Larry was a principal in one of the original Multicultural Lighthouse Schools. Since retiring in 2000 he has spent 2 years in the missions in Kiribati teaching school, serves on Catholic Charities fundraising board, volunteers at Marian Centre (soup kitchen) and at the Edmonton Christmas Bureau. He is active with the Knights of Columbus. Larry has been a member of AAME’s board of directors since 1996.

Gerda Notacker [Director]

has been involved in ESL and multicultural education for over 30 years. She worked as a teacher for the Calgary Board of Education for 20 years and is now teaching ESL at the University of Calgary, and TEFL teacher training in Calgary and abroad. She has held various positions on the board of AAME, including that of president and secretary.

Julienne Hendrickson [In Memory] August 16,1939 to April 9, 2019

Born in St. Kitts, West Indies, Julienne graduated from the University of Waterloo and completed teacher training at the Ontario College of Education. She taught in St. Kitts and Nevis for several years before returning to Canada in the early eighties. As an immigrant parent she became very interested in working with immigrant parents and doing community work. She volunteered on the Calgary Board of Education Committee for Parents as Partners in Multiculturalism Education. She served on the Board of AAME for over twenty years, and she worked with the CBE as an ESL assistant. She was married with three adult sons and was ordained Deacon in the Anglican Diocese of Calgary.

Nicholas Spillios [Director]

Nicholas is a founding Board member of AAME. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta, and has a Bachelor of Education and a Masters in Education from the University of Southern California. Nicholas is a freelance writer, who, until recently prepared the bibliography for multicultural resources. He is a past chair/president of the Edmonton Public Library Board, the Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation, the Alberta Association For Media Awareness and the Friends of Canadian Libraries. He has received several awards including the City of Edmonton Award of Excellence, the Alberta Achievement Award for Service to the Community.