Aileen Najduch H.B.O.R., B.Sc., B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. was born and raised in Winnipeg. Aileen has undergraduate degrees from Lakehead University and Queens University and an M.Ed. from University of Manitoba. Aileen spent the early part of her career in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, starting as a classroom teacher in remote Arctic communities and progressing to the position of Territorial Curriculum Consultant for Math and Science. Aileen’s early experience working with youth in Northern Manitoba and teaching experiences in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories has provided a grounding in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) perspectives and an understanding of the critical role education plays in the success of FNMI youth
In 1995 Aileen returned to Manitoba to work for the Department of Education developing the Kindergarten to grade 12 provincial science curriculum. Over her 21 years with the Department of Education she was promoted from consultant, to coordinator, to director, and after 12 years with the department, to Assistant Deputy Minister for the School Programs Division. Serving as Assistant Deputy Minister for the past eight years, Aileen has provided strategic leadership in this broad portfolio, responsible for everything from curriculum development, provincial assessments, supporting students with diverse learning needs, to the delivery of distance learning opportunities.
Aileen’s skill in establishing collaborative partnerships with educational stakeholders has been crucial to the success of the Task Force of Special Needs Funding as well as earlier work on the development of the first ever-provincial report card. Most recently, in response to a large influx of refugees from countries such as Syria, Aileen led the efforts to facilitate the establishment of supports and services in local schools that made the successful transition of these students into Manitoba classrooms possible. Aileen has served as the Manitoba representative to the Council of Minister of Education on numerous projects, including a recent initiative focussed on Student Transitions.
Outside of work, Aileen demonstrates her commitment to the community by volunteering for numerous charities including serving as Board Chair of Community Living Interlake and previously, as chair of the Manitoba Children’s Museum. Aileen is an enthusiastic and active canoe tripper and holds a black belt in Shotokan Karate.