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Kevin Purnell

Mr. Purnell has lived in Kelowna for 57 years. He met his wife Pam, while attending school and playing baseball in the US. After School, they returned to Kelowna and raised 4 tremendous children and now have 10 Grandchildren. Kevin and Pam have worked hard for the last 33 years, and have developed a successful financial services company in Kelowna.

Over the past 35 years, Kevin has gained a deep appreciation for the Arts. He’s observed the benefits of the Arts in his own life and the positive impact they have on our city. Our school has a rich history that dates back over 20 years. Studio9 is not a school for the elite, it’s not reserved for the wealthy or a privileged few but rather it’s a school of inclusion.

Studio9 is a valuable member and a permanent fixture in our community. It’s not the school's endeavour to create more artists or musicians, but rather to create a campus where students receive an exceptional academic education, delivered through the arts. It has been proven over and over again how valuable the Arts are as they are integrated into the world of Academia. Kevin believes strongly that the faculty at Studio9 are some of the best in their field. Our teachers & instructors deliver an exceptional, collaborative and cross-curricular approach to project-based learning. Children have the extraordinary capacity and the arts and creativity enable students to thrive and flourish in a multitude of disciplines. Our students love to learn and enjoy coming to school. The quality of education our students receive provides graduates from Studio9 with more than enough credits to pursue their post-secondary dreams. Our graduates are also well equipped to contribute to and navigate today’s world.

Jeanette Deshayes
Jeanette was born and raised in Kelowna. She is the proud Mother of 2 amazing daughters, 2 granddaughters, 1 grandson and 1 great grand daughter. She has a Bachelor of Sciences in Rehab Medicine from UBC. In 1974, 2 years before moving back to Kelowna, she worked at Vancouver General Hospital. She worked as a staff Occupational Therapist and then as Manager for three Kelowna sites for a 37 year duration. She retired 4 1/2 years ago and currently volunteers at Studio9, reading with K-Grade 3. Jeanette has been on the board for ages! 

Dave Manuel

Dave moved to Kelowna early in 2009 after raising four kids in the bustling town of Whistler BC. Various forms of art have been woven into the kids including one child attending a school of visual and performing arts and two others attending an independent school where arts is key.  A lifelong career consisting of all aspects of business operations has led Dave Manuel to become a licenced business broker and commercial realtor; previous endeavors include building, operating, managing businesses and overseeing management. Later Dave moved into business consulting, commercial equipment leasing, and finance.  

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Zoë Armer

Zoë moved from the UK to the beautiful Okanagan Valley in 2011 and discovered Studio9 when researching schools for her 4yr old son who loved to draw, act, sing and dance; well, that 4yr old is now in middle school at Studio9 and thriving!


Zoë's career spans 25+ years in technology and she currently works in higher education managing a cybersecurity program. She will happily chat to you about why privacy and security is so important and exciting!


Zoë has been on the Studio9 POSSE Executive since 2015 and joined the Studio9 Board of Directors in 2022. She is passionate about creating an environment where every child can flourish and be given opportunities to be themselves and play to their strengths. Watching her son learning through the arts has been a stark contrast to the strict academic textbook style learning that she grew up with, and she has seen the students at Studio9 grow into confident, articulate, intelligent young adults leaving Studio9 with a quality Grade-12 education, without compromising any of their childhood creativity. It is, quite simply, a beautiful place to watch a child learn and discover themselves and prepare them for a successful future.


Zoë is excited to see how Studio9 will continue to grow and is thrilled to be a part of making that a success.

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Lynsey Zelickson

My name is Lynsey Zelickson and I am a mother of 3 children who attend Studio 9 School of the Arts. I am a former educator with a Bachelor of Education. I am also a photographer with a massively creative soul. I love Studio 9 because it provides my children with a safe environment, where they thrive academically, emotionally and creatively. Studio 9 does an amazing job of ensuring their students have a strong sense of belonging and their students, therefore, have the utmost respect for their school. I am happy to sit on the board of such an amazing environment and school. I will work hard to ensure the continued success of the school going forward. 


Tannis Henderson

Tannis is a diverse entrepreneur with varied experience leading and consulting in the public and private sectors. She currently owns two clothing boutiques, is the Program Coordinator for Dress for Success Kelowna, and is a Director on the board of This Space Belongs to You.  

Tannis' previous experience includes IT management and consulting, a term as a municipal elected official, and a former Chamber of Commerce President. She has started two not-for-profits focused on helping women and queer youth and is also a certified yoga and meditation instructor. Additionally, Tannis is also working on developing a program to work with small businesses to make them more accessible and welcoming to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and is starting a new venture to develop “giving” strategies for small to medium sized businesses.

Tannis is relatively new to the Syilx Okanagan region, having moved here with her son in 2021 to open her second boutique and to be closer to her daughter. Studio 9 has been a game changer for her son, and she wants to actively work to ensure the staff and students have the resources they need. Tannis loves reading, art, live music, being in nature, and sharing good times with great people. 

The Studio9 Independent School of the Arts Society is always interested in working with the community to keep Studio9 current and relevant to arts education and the best education experience for students with exceptional education results.

To that end the Board is always interested in new members with a passion for the arts in education and innovation in education. If you believe that is you, then please email us at 
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