Michelle is the Clinical Director and CEO of WEVAS®, having taken over from the Founders, Neil Butchard and Robert Spencler, in 2014. Michelle obtained her Masters degree in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Guelph (1994). She has been employed as a psychologist by a variety of school divisions in both rural and urban areas across Manitoba since 1994. Michelle worked for Manitoba Education for approximately 7 years during which time she supervised psychologists, was the specialist for Emotional Behavioural Disorders (EBD), provided professional development in a variety of areas including a mental health initiative in collaboration with psychiatrists from the Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre (MATC), and sat as the Department’s representative on a number of committees focused on supporting students with diverse needs. Michelle was an instructor at the University of Winnipeg’s Continuing Education department. She has presented at a variety of conferences, including the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents (MASS), Aboriginal Circle of Educators (ACE), and the Manitoba Education Summer Institute. Michelle served on the Manitoba Association of School Psychologists (MASP) executive board since 1999 as Vice President, Member-at-Large, Publications and Communications Chair, and Issues Committee member. She developed the original MASP website, founded the MASP Award of Excellence, and has supported psychologists across the province as networking and sharing professional information is important to her. Michelle has read and reflected deeply in the areas of racism, Indigenous education and Truth and Reconciliation and has developed her practice to reflect this, although as a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, dominant culture woman, she still has a lot to learn. She makes mistakes and works to improve.
Dr. Neil Butchard
Dr. Neil Butchard was the Founding President and Clinical Supervisor for WEVAS Incorporated. Dr. Butchard received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1980. He interned at the Children’s Medical Center in Oklahoma. He worked for over twenty-five years as the senior consulting psychologist for Manitoba's Department of Education and was involved in the hiring, supervision and professional development of psychologists in rural and northern Manitoba during much of this time. In 2005 he received the Manitoba Association of School Psychologists Award of Excellence in recognition of his contribution to psychology in schools in Manitoba. He also worked as one of the Department's specialists in Emotional / Behavioural Disorders and supervised two of the province's committees to develop programming for students with behavioural concerns. Neil served as the Department's representative on the Child and Youth Secretariat for four years during which time he was involved in studying programs and research from across North America in working with children / youth-at-risk.
Bob Spencler was the founding Director of Program Development and Staff Training for WEVAS Incorporated. He received his Masters in Developmental Psychology from the University of Manitoba in 1971 and completed his doctoral coursework in Learning Disabilities and Counselling in the Counselling Psychology program at the University of Victoria where he was advanced to candidacy in 1973. He worked as a psychologist in Southern Manitoba and was involved in developing the Adler Association of Manitoba. He developed the Province's Diagnostic Support Centre in 1981 which provided programming support to children with severe learning and behaviour difficulties who were not responding to concerted efforts at the local level; he managed the Diagnostic Support Centre for 13 years. He then became the Consultant for Emotionally / Behaviourally Disturbed (EBD) at Manitoba's Department of Education, a position that he held for ten years. At various times during his tenure as the EBD consultant he also served as the province's consultant for Safe Schools and the consultant for Learning Disabilities. His work in the area of learning disabilities was recognized in 2003 when he received the National Excellence of Education Award from the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada.