Submitted by Brian Geary, Director of Communications for Pearson College

Tyrone Pile, brother of MNO Secretary-Treasurer Tim Pile, is helping to pilot a new course for a historic international school

Tyrone Pile (1)
Pearson College Vice-President Operations andAdministration Tyrone Pile (picture courtesy ofPearson College) Click here for larger picture.
Tyrone (Ty) Pile is accustomed to leading, having served in the Royal Canadian Navy for more than 35 years in various capacities, up to and including Rear-Admiral and Commander of Canada’s Pacific Navy. Click here to learn more about Ty’s military career.

Originally from Geraldton, Ty is tackling a new civilian role as part of the leadership team for one of Canada’s most respected international schools, Pearson College near Victoria, British Columbia. As Vice-President Operations and Administration for the historic West Coast campus, located on the traditional territory of the Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation, Pile is experiencing a homecoming of sorts.

“Coming to Pearson is like coming home,” says Pile, whose wife of more than 37 years, Debra, was raised in the area, “but it’s also like reaching out to the world. With up to 200 students from 75 countries at any one time, and with young people from every province and territory, Pearson is a unique pre-university school (grade 12 and ‘gap year’) that wears its commitment to peace, global understanding and sustainability proudly.

“And that,” says the ex-military officer who believes strongly in the strength of education, discussion and diplomacy, “is a commitment needed now more than ever.”

Pile sees Pearson’s diversity as an unparalleled opportunity for Métis youth and all Indigenous students and their families, as well as for young people from around the world who are attracted to a scholarship-driven United World College (uwc) education.

“We regard everyone as both a learner and an educator and that our approach to a wholistic, experiential education is very much in line with Indigenous ways of teaching and learning. Imagine the story sharing possible when you bring together bright, young people from an Indigenous community together with fellow students from Palestine, Norway and Zimbabwe. At Pearson, that happens every day!”

Pile says the 44-year-old school, named after the country’s premier peacemaker and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Lester B. Pearson, welcomes Indigenous scholars from around the world including, last year alone, young leaders from communities in Canada, Greenland and Australia.

“Today, in the spirit of Reconciliation, we have a renewed emphasis on reaching out to neighbouring First Nations and Métis peoples across the country and around the world,” adds Pile. “I think we’ve come a long way to establish Pearson as a campus of cultural safety and respect for Indigenous people and communities.

“As a boarding school for 16-to-19-year-old students, we have a special responsibility to reach out from a place of humility and willingness to listen.”

Pearson, one of 17 UWC schools around the world, selects students on merit — based on qualities like intellectual curiosity, leadership potential, resilience, integrity and academic achievement — to ensure cultural and socioeconomic diversity. Students apply through UWC “national committees” (in Canada, to attend Pearson or other UWC schools from Swaziland to Japan.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent most of my adult life in the military – seeing many parts of the world and experiencing a wide variety of cultures – and that has instilled in me a determination to promote Lester B. Pearson’s vision of tolerance, understanding and acceptance,” says Pile.

“It’s an honour to work with educators who teach these values and inspire young people of all cultures to understand that they have the ability to make positive changes in their communities and organizations.”

Posted: October 11, 2017