Patricia Shields, BEd ’76, MEd ’87

Educator, librarian, administrator, and consultant, Patricia Shields is known for her leadership and dedication to public education during her 30-year career with the Vancouver School Board.

Shields received her Bachelor of Education in 1976 and her Master of Education in 1987 from the University of British Columbia. She pioneered a leadership development program for the Vancouver School Board that became a model for BC school districts.

As the provincial manager of The Learning Partnership’s Welcome to Kindergarten program, Shields supports kindergarten children on their path to educational success. The program engages parents to make early learning a priority in the home to prepare children for their first year of school. With her guidance, the program has grown from a Vancouver pilot project to an established program in 29 school districts in the province.

Her commitment to supporting youth and literacy extends far into the community. As a founding member and chair of the Big Sisters Educational Advisory Committee, she assisted in the initiation of the Study Buddy program to match girls with tutors and mentors. Approximately 200 girls are currently building skills and gaining self-esteem with more on a waiting list for matches. For her contributions, Shields was made an honorary board member of Big Sisters of the BC Lower Mainland.

Shields has also made a contribution to the YMCA, setting up their Education Advisory Committee and collaborating to create their Grade 7 after-school programs Welcome to My Life and Boys 4 Real programs.

Blending her passion for education and music, she serves as chair of the Education Advisory Committee for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) and sits on the board of the VSO School of Music. She spearheaded the Vancouver Opera Society’s “Music! Words! Opera!”, an education program that has since expanded to six school districts. Shields is also a member of the education sub-committee of the Telus Vancouver Community Board which provides grants to grassroots charities that support local youth.