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Three principals share leadership as a co-superintendent team in 2023-24

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Jon Roper, Shannon Gillespie and Cheryl van Zyl are splitting the duties of superintendent for an interim year.

From left: Jon Roper, Shannon Gillespie, Cheryl van Zyl

On the advice of the Society of Christian Schools in BC (SCSBC) and the school board we have appointed our three principals as an interim co-superintendent team for the 2023-24 school year at Nanaimo Christian School until we find the right person that God has called to the role.

This is similar to the path successfully taken by other schools within SCSBC while undertaking a search. Mrs. van Zyl, Mrs. Gillespie, and Mr. Roper share the responsibilities of running the school while also continuing to oversee their respective divisions: elementary, middle, and high school.

Each principal has taken on particular roles within the co-superintendent team:

Mrs. van Zyl -- Admissions & Development

Mrs. Gillespie -- Finance & Ministry of Education compliance

Mr. Roper -- Human Resources & Maintenance

"We are confident that our three principals have the skills, experience, and passion to lead our school effectively and faithfully during this time of change. They are excited and optimistic about this new challenge and are eager to serve our school in this capacity. We ask that you join us in praying for them and supporting them as they take on this interim role." -- Darryn Edmunds, NCS board member

Cheryl van Zyl has called Nanaimo home for almost a decade. She is from Alberta and loves to travel, living in Germany and Japan. She loves to kayak, read, crochet and walk with her husband Niel and dog Mavis. Her favourite thing about NCS is the many opportunities different classes and age groups have to learn from one another.

Shannon Gillespie is an island girl through and through, being born in Nanaimo and having attended NCS as a teen! She loves to read, shop, drink good coffee, and travel. Shannon was part of the team that started Nanaimo's only middle school at NCS in 2007 and she loves working with the staff that continues to help it flourish.

Jon Roper hails from Calgary and now lives in Nanaimo with his wife Karissa and two kids, Olivia and Luke. He enjoys basketball and volleyball, and loves all the west coast has to offer, especially sailing on the ocean. This is his third year in high school administration at NCS and he loves leading the team and students there.

Want to get in touch with our school leadership team? Call 250-754-4512 or email them.

High School Jon Roper

Middle School Shannon Gillespie


Parents should continue to direct their questions and queries about their children to their child’s homeroom teacher first, and then to the appropriate divisional principal as a second step. Direct general questions to the school office at

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