Turnbull School

A Private Elementary School in Ottawa

Excellence and Caring since 1992

Administrative Leaders

Gareth Reid, Director


Gareth Reid began teaching at Turnbull School in 1998 after three years of teaching in an independent school in British Columbia. In 2003, he moved into administration as Principal of our Senior School; in 2007, he was appointed overall Principal of the school, and then Director in 2012.

Mr. Reid has a B.Ed. from McGill University and a M.Ed. from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia with a major in Leadership and Management. He also has completed the Diploma in Independent School Leadership from the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools Leadership Institute and Harvard University’s Principals’ Center’s Certificate, Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership.

Over the years, our students and parents have appreciated his fair, calm and reasonable approach. Gareth enthusiastically heads our school and promotes the standards of excellence and caring that leads our students to experience so much success.

Joyce Walker-Steed, Registrar STAFF-Walker-Steed-9962-Sep2014-250x313

Joyce Walker-Steed is our Registrar and Head of Staff Development and Parent Engagement. She began working as a teacher at the Turnbull Learning Centre in the late 1980s. She received her B.A. and her B.Ed. with Special Education training from Queen’s University in Kingston. In 2004, Joyce became Principal of Turnbull’s August summer school and in 2006 she completed graduate studies in teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Saskatchewan.

Joyce is experienced and qualified in a wide range of academic testing and programming for the needs and strengths of students of all ages. She is regarded as a caring and empathetic educator, who exemplifies the culture and values of Turnbull School. What you may appreciate most about Joyce is that she is a mother of five children and can warmly relate to other parents! Joyce looks forward to welcoming and working with families coming to our School.

Buddy Clinch, Junior School Principal


Buddy Clinch is the Principal of the Junior School (K to Grade 5) and has been at Turnbull School since 1999. Prior to this, he taught in the province of Quebec for six years.

Buddy has a B.Ed. from McGill University, with a Major in Primary/Junior Education, the Diploma in Independent School Leadership from the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools Leadership Institute and the Private School Principal’s Diploma from York University in conjunction with the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools.

Before joining our administration, he was a homeroom teacher in our Junior School. He completed a Specialist in Guidance and Career Education from Nipissing University, which helps him in his day to day role when working with students and parents. Buddy also thoroughly enjoys his role as Assistant Band Director. He has sound knowledge of the curriculum and the developmental stages of children, and his patience, kindness and understanding are traits that both parents and students appreciate when working with him.

Craig Dunn, Senior School Principal


Craig Dunn is the Principal of the Senior School (Grades 6 to 8). He began teaching in 1994 and joined Turnbull School in 1997. Craig has been involved in teaching and coaching at all levels of the school, as well as being the school’s long-standing Head of Physical Education and Athletics and a Vice-Principal until becoming Principal of the Senior School in 2013.

Craig has a B.Ed. from McGill University and the Diploma in Independent School Leadership from the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools Leadership Institute and the Private School Principal’s Diploma from York University in conjunction with the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools.

With his commitment to life-long learning, Craig has acquired additional curriculum qualifications, including Intermediate English, the Specialist levels of Computers in Education and Cooperative Education, as well as his Junior Division qualifications. He is a positive role model, and the students, staff and parents have come to admire his energy, commitment and innovative ideas.

Mary Ann S. Turnbull, Founder


Mary Ann Turnbull received her B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Toronto. She then pursued graduate studies at the Institute of Child Studies. She later received her B.Ed. and M.Ed. from the University of Ottawa, as well as the Specialist level in Special Education.

Since the early 1970’s she has been involved in the field of education, as a teacher and as an administrator. She has extensive experience in assessing students’ academic needs and programming for their success.

In 1995, Mary Ann Turnbull received the distinction of being named the “Educational Leader of the Year” at the provincial level of the Council for Exceptional Children for her contribution to education. In addition, she was the 1995 recipient of the Businesswoman’s Achievement Award in honour of her business contribution to the community. In 1999, Mary Ann and the staff were honoured by the Ottawa Board of Trade, receiving the Bronze Award for “Business of the Year”. The Board highlighted the staff’s community service and professional excellence as major factors for receiving this award.

Mary Ann’s community volunteer work has included being a former Board member and Treasurer of the Executive Committee of the United Way, and Director of Scouts Canada Foundation. Presently she sits on the Board of Help Lesotho. Mary Ann also supports a number of charitable organizations within Ottawa.

In June 2013, Mary Ann Turnbull retired as Director of Turnbull School, having sold the School to her long standing leadership team. She continues her active interest in the School as the Founder, attending special events, assemblies and acting as an advisor to the leadership team.


Thank you for making sure that every child at Turnbull School has the opportunity to feel valued and important.  Thank you for somehow finding the BEST educators on the planet to guide our children through their education and social coming of age.  Thank you for making school fun and exciting, and for making school safe. Thank you for listening when need be, and for fixing when need be.  Thank you for always being warm, welcoming and accessible.

Thank you for running such a well-organized school that I am proud to call my children’s second home. You have created an environment that I am honoured to be a part of.

Jenny Shinder, parent of three children 

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Many thanks to the teachers and all those involved in teaching our children to have good social skills and values.  It is so fantastic to have that support from a school.  I know that we try our best to instill these values in our kids at home, and it is so effective for the kids to see them being used in their outside life.

The respect that the staff show each other, the students and the various causes and situations in our school has a huge impact.

Tammy Hum, parent of two daughters in junior and senior school

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