Ms Nasmith - Teacher, Coach, Houseparent, Hiker

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - By: Emily P, Mack ‘22

Not only is Ms Nasmith a Learning Centre teacher and a Mackenzie Houseparent, but she’s also a close friend and a second mom to many. You should try her lemon squares!

She started her Brentwood career in 2016 working part-time in the Learning Centre and as a Socials 11 teacher while doing duty nights in Rogers House and coaching the junior boys rowing team. She now works full time in the Learning Centre, and it is her ultimate goal to help all students reach their full potential. Another passion of Ms Nasmith’s is getting out in nature whenever she can. She loves hiking and is often accompanied by her favourite other being, her dog, Bella.

Originally born in Vancouver, she started her life journey being adopted by her parents, David and Irene Nasmith. In grade 4, at nine years old, she moved to Prince George with her family. She spent the rest of her teenage years working as a babysitter and finishing up high school until she could move back to Vancouver on her own.

Straight out of high school she did a one-year course to become a dental assistant. After a year, she returned to school, at the University of Victoria, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. While at UVic she was also the coxswain of the Varsity Men’s Eight which included several future Olympians, was coached by Mr Rick Crawley, and defeated Mr Ganley in the Finals at the Royal Canadian Henley in 1985. Afterwards, she went back to work as a dental assistant for a couple of years, until she went back to school for the third time to get her Diploma in Dental Hygiene.

A special experience she had, which will always stay with her, is when she worked in the Nisga’a Territory in Northern BC. She worked in their medical clinic to help provide dental care to the many people who couldn’t travel or get the basic health care they needed. “It was very interesting, living in the Nisga’a community and getting to meet so many First Nations people, as well as being able to attend cultural events that were unique to the Nisga’a people” described Ms Nasmith. “I learned a great deal about how to treat people with respect and dignity, no matter who they are or what their lives are like” she said. While working there she created a volunteer program through the school, teaching students how to brush their teeth, which sparked her interest in becoming a teacher.

After 27 years of working in the dental industry - which helped make wearing a covid mask second nature - she achieved her Bachelor of Education at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, where she later went back to achieve her Master’s Degree in Special Education. She was the only person in the history of Vancouver Island University to be the Valedictorian twice, a fact she is proud of.

A piece of advice that she would like to share that her Grandmother gave her is “Give as much as you can, as often as you can, in as many ways as you can, and that’s the secret to a happy life.” which is something she has gone by ever since. The girls in Mack House experience it every day.

Emily P, Mack ‘22

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