Paula Waatainen is a Social Studies and History teacher at Rockridge Secondary School in West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Paula has been actively interested in elections since her teens, and participated in activities such as Universities' Model Parliament while completing her BA in Political Science and History at the University of British Columbia. Over a 20-year career, her first love in teaching has been planning engaging political simulations and active citizenship projects for her students. She runs an annual cross-grade Model Parliament, and works with students to plan Elections Fairs and Student Vote at Rockridge. Over the years, Paula's students have also volunteered on a countless number of local riding campaigns for all parties, and have directly participated in the political process, submitting and publicly defending a proposal to the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform.
After completing her MEd in Social Studies Education in 2004, Paula began writing political education and historical thinking learning resources for clients such as Pearson Canada, the Critical Thinking Consortium, and the Canadian Letters and Images Project. She is currently contracted to write social studies curricula for the British Columbia Ministry of Education and, with her colleague Megan Tolliday, to write learning resources in sustainability and regional government for Metro Vancouver. Paula will be teaching a Social Studies Education methodology course at Vancouver Island University in January 2016. She was awarded a Government of Canada History Award in 2014.
Paula lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia, with her husband and three children.
Paula hopes to see a lot of youth across Canada participate in the 2015 National Democracy Challenge.