The Board of Directors


Avery Acheson [President]

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!”


Linda McKay-Panos [President-Elect]

is 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 wiith 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.

Pamela Dos Ramos, M.A. (Counseling). Ph.D. (Integral Studies) [Secretary]

Co-President, is a Co-Owner of Two Branches Inc., a Training, Counselling, and Consulting company. She has several years’ experience working in the area of Diversity Management and in counselling people affected by issues of discrimination. Pamela is a human rights educator for the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre and is a board member of the Alberta Association for Multicultural Education. She taught Multicultural Counseling for ten years at Gonzaga University’s Calgary Centre, and taught Culture, Diversity and Human Rights to Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and Administration candidates at Gonzaga University’s various centres in Western Canada. She also taught at the University of Calgary and is currently teaching two Continuing Education courses at Mount Royal University. Pamela has worked for many years on issues of social justice, particularly human rights and equality and is very involved in Multicultural/Intercultural community groups and education.

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.

Fran Zaborniak

is a retired ESL teacher who has, in recent years, devoted her professional services to community work, both locally and internationally. She has recently returned from Tanzania, where she conducted workshops on TESL to English teachers. Prior to that she mentored teachers in India. She has been a member of AAME for over 10 years.

Larry Ofner

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

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.

Hissan Syed

Born in Hyderabad, India, Hissan has moved to Canada in 2004 and has been working in various industries as Quality & technical professional. He has graduated from the Visvesvaraya technological University, Belgaum has been involved community activism, cultural development and multicultural education for over 9 years. He is a former board member of Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project and financial advisor for Flemingdon Park Multicultural Association. He has also volunteered for Institute for Canadian Citizenship as a Committee member for Toronto west chapter. He has helped multiple community events and political campaigns for Kathleen Wynne and Rob Oliphant. Presently, is also a member of Amnesty International and supports its work by raising funds. He strongly thinks that multiculturalism policies make important accommodations that allow ethnic-minorities to engage in political, social, and economic activity to the same degree at the majority community. He has been a student leader during his university days and successfully organized many events and sporting tournaments.

Julienne Hendrickson

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 has served on the Board of AAME for over twenty years, and she has worked with the CBE as an ESL assistant. Married with three adult sons she has been ordained Deacon in the Anglican Diocese of Calgary.

Nicholas Spillios

Nicholas is a founding Board member of AAME. He is a retired educator whose major responsibility with the Edmonton Public Schools was the establishment of media services. His major role with AAME is the preparation and circulation of the annual bibliography to Alberta schools. 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. He recently received an award from Scarecrow Press for his contribution to the American Library Association.