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The Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society promotes literacy in the North Okanagan-Shuswap area through awareness, collaborative partnerships, and education in order to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and the community.

Staff and Board

Board of Directors 2017-2018

June Stewart President
Christine Martiensson Vice President
Janet McClean Senft Treasurer
Jennifer Kelly Secretary
Leslie Kiehlbauch Director
James Laitinen Director


LASS Employees

darcy_calkinsDarcy Calkins, Literacy Outreach Coordinator
Darcy is a busy, active mum of four who loves to cook yet still finds time to curl up with a good book. Originally from Salmon Arm, Darcy went farther afield to the University of Victoria where she earned a B.Eng before heading to the University of Calgary to earn her B.Ed. She travelled farther still to Bangladesh to teach for a year before landing in the Sooke School District where she taught high school mathematics. In 2012 (20 years after she graduated from high school in Salmon Arm) Darcy returned to her hometown with her young family and now works as the Literacy Outreach Coordinator for the North Okanagan-Shuswap area, where she oversees all of the LASS literacy programs and initiatives.



Sierre Allison, Assistant Literacy Outreach Coordinator 

Sierre loves exploring the outdoors with her family and discovering the fantastic hiking and cross country skiing options in the Shuswap. On days when the weather is uncooperative Sierre can be found with a stack of books, rediscovering favourite childhood authors with her son. Having worked in the advertising and creative departments of community newspapers for over ten years, Sierre enjoys creating marketing material for LASS, and spreading the word about programs and volunteer opportunities that LASS offers.



Kyla Sherman, One to One District Coordinator
Kyla has been a volunteering with the One to One program as a school coordinator since 2011 and has had the chance to see firsthand the benefits this amazing program has to offer—not only to the students but also to the volunteers that work with them. Kyla is kept busy with raising her four children, helping to run the family business, organizing and facilitating numerous non-profit fundraisers, and volunteering at her children’s schools and various sporting events. In her free time, if she isn’t in her garden, Kyla can be found having adventures traveling, mountain biking, and hiking with her family and friends. As the One to One District Coordinator for LASS, Kyla coordinates all One to One programs within School District #83.


darlene_kossDarlene Koss, Cyber Seniors Facilitator Blind Bay
Darlene Koss has been facilitating programs for over 15 years. She has her Provincial Instructors Diploma in Adult Education and has taught in many settings, from small-town community halls to full-scale universities. Darlene has extensive background and expertise in hosting workshops and seminars, teaching Nifty Fifty computer classes, project coordination and management, fundraising, volunteering, and client and employee coaching. As the new Cyber Seniors Facilitator in Blind Bay, Darlene is looking forward to the satisfaction of knowing her learners are going away from the centre having learned something new.


shirleyShirley Stuart, Cyber Seniors Facilitator Salmon Arm

Shirley comes to LASS after retiring from a career with the Okanagan Regional Library. The Shuswap is her home, and she graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary. One of her main passions while she worked at the Blind Bay library branch had been to enhance the computer literacy of library patrons, and you would often find her spending countless hours assisting them with new devices. As the new Cyber Seniors Facilitator in Salmon Arm, Shirley hopes to continue her love of making computers easier to understand. When not helping people with their computer problems you will find Shirley traveling across Canada coast to coast as well as throughout the Yukon, Alaska, and into Inuvik riding with her husband on their motorcycle.


Ellen Zilkie, Spread the Word Book Bin Assistant

Ellen enjoys gardening. She works hard to keep all of the Spread the Word Book & Magazine Exchange bins cleaned, filled, and organized every month. Ellen also enjoys finding special children’s books to put in the bins at the various family programs.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.