Senior Leadership Team

Head of School

Richard 'Larry' Lamont

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  • Larry studied at Winchester College, one of England's oldest boarding schools, and holds qualifications from the universities of London, Cambridge and Oxford and is a teacher of English Literature.

    He was Head of the English Department and then Head of Upper School and a member of the Senior Management Team at Marlborough College (one of the foremost co-educational boarding schools in England). During this time and as part of a teacher exchange, he worked for a term (2009) in the English Department at UWC Waterford Kamhlaba (Swaziland), which gave him his first insight into the educational model and philosophy of the United World Colleges.

    From 2012 to 2018, Larry was Rektor (Head) of UWC Red Cross Nordic (Norway), a co-educational boarding school in the fjords with students from over 85 countries.

    Larry has a background in experiential and expeditionary learning, and has co-led school expeditions to many parts of the world—from cultural tours of Cuba to wilderness trails in the iMfolozi and Drakensberg reserves in South Africa. He is a keen team sportsman, skier and fly fisherman and an experienced cricket and field hockey coach. 

    Larry was appointed to the position of Head of School at Shawnigan Lake School in August 2017 and moved with his family—Kathini, Poppy, Phoebe and two whippets—in July 2018.

    When not on campus, he can be found exploring and fishing rivers on Vancouver Island.

Deputy Head


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  • Bill Nicholas completed his schooling at Loretto School, Musselburgh, Scotland, before spending a year in the North Island of New Zealand, working in a boarding school.

    He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Materials Science from the University of Bath in the UK, and subsequently completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the same university.
    Bill's first teaching post was at Sir Thomas Rich's Grammar School in Gloucester, where he taught science and chemistry, as well as coaching a number of sports. Bill then moved to Marlborough College, a leading coeducational boarding school in England, as a chemistry teacher. There, Bill was in charge of the rugby program and coached the 1st XV for 10 years, as well as being the Housemaster of a coeducational boarding house for nine years. He was appointed Second Master (Senior Deputy Head) at Marlborough in 2015, a position he held until his move to Shawnigan in 2022. 
    During his time at university and in the early part of his teaching career, Bill played international student rugby, alongside playing for Bath and then Gloucester rugby clubs. He later coached a club side in the English Championship. More recently, he completed a Master of Science in Learning and Teaching at Oxford University.
    Bill took up his position as Deputy Head of School at Shawnigan in April 2022. He is also teaching Grade 11 chemistry. He has been joined at Shawnigan by his wife, Sheryl, who is working in the Advancement Department, and by their son Jonty, who is a Grade 11 student in Lonsdale's. Bill and Sheryl's daughter, Georgie, has remained in the UK, where she is working as a psychologist specializing in adolescent mental health. 

Executive Director

Gaynor Samuel

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  • Gaynor Samuel was brought up in a tiny coal-mining village in Wales. It was here, at the foot of the Black Mountain in Brynaman, where she learned the strong family values and traditions that make her such a natural for Shawnigan.

    Following her childhood dream, to become a teacher, Gaynor received a bachelor’s degree and teacher’s certificate from Cardiff University and took her first job as a biology and math teacher in North Wales in a town called Mold.

    After two years, she moved back to Cardiff and Glantaff School where she taught science for ten years. Gaynor was recognized early in her career as a leader, and was appointed Head of the Glantaff Middle School after several years of teaching. 

    During this time, Gaynor married Rhodri Samuel. Rhod was working in Canada at St. Michael’s University School in Victoria, so Gaynor made the move to SMUS as Head of Girls’ Boarding. After a couple of years, Rhodri and Gaynor moved back to Wales to start a family and worked at Christ College, Brecon. 

    Two years, and two children later, the Samuel family heard of an opportunity at Shawnigan Lake School. Rhodri was appointed Head of Ripley’s and Gaynor settled into her role as “House Mother” and relished the opportunity to spend time with her own growing children in the comfortable setting of Shawnigan. 

    In 2006, Gaynor left teaching to become an Admissions Associate, taking over the role of Admissions Director in 2008. When not at work, Gaynor is a keen interior designer and is highly sought after to assist in the decorations of houses on campus.

Senior Master & Executive Director of Organizational Effectiveness

Wendy Milne

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  • Wendy Milne (neé Woollven) joined the Shawnigan Lake School staff in 1997 after completing her B.Sc. in Mathematics and Geography at Trent University and her B.Ed. at the Intermediate-Senior level through the Trent-Queen’s Concurrent Education Program.

    After 15 summers attending and working at YMCA Camp PineCrest in Muskoka, Ontario, making the move to the boarding environment was a quick transition, and the best decision she could have made for her career. Her move to BC was supposed to be for only one year, but when she settled into the School, she quickly wanted to stay. In addition to continuing with her passion as a mathematics teacher, Wendy has been a House Director, the Registrar, and the Dean of Academics. Since her arrival 22 years ago, Wendy has also been able to be involved with rowing, outdoors, the Yearbook, and organized the School’s annual Ski Week for 15 years. Her latest projects have been to finish her Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and the CAIS Advanced Leadership Institute Diploma – two programs that she draws from in current her role as Assistant Head - Academics. Now living just off campus with her husband, Wendy’s life and career have been significantly impacted by Shawnigan. She finds being able to work with such an amazing group of students and staff to be a true privilege, and yes, she has been struck by lightning.


Michael Wolfe

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  • Michael Wolfe was the Head of School from 2005-2023 at Stanstead College, a co-educational English boarding and day school for 265 students in Grades 7 through 12 located in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. 

    Mike’s involvement with Stanstead College began in 1991 when he directed the school’s successful 21st Century Capital Campaign. 

    Working for Ketchum Canada, he then directed the fundraising planning study for Shawnigan Lake School in 1993 before returning to Stanstead College as Director of Development, teacher and coach. 
    In 1995, Mike began a five-year term as vice president at the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, where he was responsible for the national campaign that raised $15 million for the new Canadian War Museum. 

    In 2000, he was appointed executive director of ORBIS Canada, an international charity dedicated to preventing blindness in developing countries using the world’s only flying eye hospital.
    Mike remained an active member of the Stanstead College Board of Trustees, chairing the Development Committee and acting as vice president of the school’s Red & White Foundation. 

    In August 2003, he again returned to Stanstead College as Director of Advancement and was appointed Head of School in 2005. He retired from the position this past June. 
    Mike holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Political Science degrees from Western University, and a Master of Management degree from McGill University, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

    Mike’s wife Amy will continue to live in Stanstead while the youngest of their three children (all lifers at Stanstead College) completes her Grade 12 year. 

    An avid athlete, sports fan, reader and traveller, Mike is greatly looking forward to immersing himself in the Shawnigan Lake School experience. 


Paul Doig

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  • As Dean of Academics, Paul is focussed on delivering academic excellence through creative experiential learning and innovative curriculum.

    Throughout his nine years at the School, he has been building programs that provide skills and life connections for our students’ lives beyond the gates of Shawnigan.  

    Having spent 15 years prior to teaching in the energy tech sector, Paul is especially keen on design thinking, success through iterative failure, and the essential learning that comes from real-world experiences.  

    As a leader of the Shawnigan Robotics program, he relishes in working with passionate roboteers who are provided with ample time, resources, and space to build and design skookum robotic machines. 

    Paul is very passionate about the blending of arts, math, language, science, social studies, and kinaesthetic learning to provide rich interdisciplinary program opportunities. The future of education demands a rethink of our age-old siloed learning models. Students are demanding new opportunities to create, be curious, and curate their own learning to meet their personal goals. The evolution of Shawnigan’s academic program is striving to be a centre of excellence for sparking young minds.

Assistant Head Co-Curricular

Nigel Mayes

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  • Graduating from the University of Victoria’s Chemistry Co-op program, Nigel developed significant industrial experience as a synthetic organic chemist before shifting into education.

    Attracted to the deeply fulfilling work and diversity of opportunities in education, his early career included teaching chemistry and physics in Pemberton and Castlegar, BC. Before returning to Shawnigan in 2001, Nigel helped to build the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program at the Dresden International School.
    The challenges of building a new school in Dresden inspired his work at Shawnigan. He has been a key developer of new Shawnigan programs including: the on-campus Montessori preschool, World Champion robotics program, astronomical observatory and international science fair opportunities. For 20 years, he has been a key organizer of the School’s annual Ski Week. Sharing the Manning Park Ski Week experience with students is Nigel’s favorite part of Shawnigan.
    Nigel’s current role includes leading the co-curricular programs at the School. This includes our sport and 360 (arts and activities) programs as well as overseeing all trips and tours, including Shawnigan’s EDGE program – our unique set of national and international service-learning opportunities.
    With an insatiable desire to be in the outdoors, Nigel’s mission is to ensure that all Shawnigan students experience the natural wonders of Vancouver Island.

Assistant Head - Student Life

Matthew Clinton-Baker

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We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.