About Us


Students First Nova Scotia is an independent education reform movement seeking to transform Nova Scotia's public schools.
On March 28, 2011, concerned parents and citizens from across Nova Scotia gathered at a Public Forum in Halifax to hear Michael Zwaagstra, author of What’s Wrong with our Schools (2010) and to discuss the formation of a new school reform organization, Students First Nova Scotia.

The Forum was moderated by Dr. Paul W. Bennett, Director of the Schoolhouse Institute. Manitoba high school teacher Michael Zwaagstra was the featured speaker and he shared the platform with a reaction panel of prominent citizens and parent activists, including Doretta Wilson (Society for Quality Education, Toronto), Charles Cirtwill (President of AIMS), and Denise Delorey (Save Community Schools, Antigonish)

Following introductory talks, the audience participated in a frank, open discussion of the state of public education. It ended with the unveiling of a bold Statement of Principles, entitled "Students First Nova Scotia."

Drafted by a group of 16 Nova Scotians, the Statement proclaims that "students should come first" in education, "not adults in the system." It calls upon concerned citizens to rally behind a reform agenda exhorting education authorities to "elevate teaching, empower parents, raise standards, and spend wisely."

We call upon Nova Scotians concerned about the state of public education to join us.


Co-Chairs: Paul W. Bennett Schoolhouse Institute
  Charles Cirtwill AIMS
Committee Tim Brennan Halifax
   Members: Rhonda Brown Hammonds Plains
  Peggy Chisholm Fall River
  Juanita Cirtwill Halifax
  Denise Delorey Heatherton, Antigonish County
  Catherine Levy Choice Words, HRM
  Catherine Moxsom Porter’s Lake
  Kerry Munro Muise Yarmouth
  Jim Mustard Inverness County
  Lori Peddle AIMS, Halifax
  Kirby Putnam Halifax
  Maurice Rees Bass River
  Steven Rhude Lunenburg
  Ana Santos Clayton Park, Halifax
  Paul Taylor New Glasgow

Choice Words NS
Fixing Our Schools
School for Thought