The University of New Brunswick Faculty of Education has new leadership.

Administration announced in June the appointment of Sharon Wahl as the new dean of education starting on July 1.

Wahl has over 30 years of working experience, acting as a professor for the performing arts and associate dean at Vancouver Island University, as well as an administrator at Simon Fraser University.

Wahl said her experience working closely with the Faculty of Performing Arts and as dean at VIU has taught her how to lead and work with others.

She said she describes her leadership style as “distributive.”

“I trust people to make informed decisions,” Wahl said in a July phone interview. “It is important to establish an atmosphere in which the students and faculty know that they are respected and valued and that their voices are heard.”

The new dean said she felt immediately a special connection with the campus community after arriving in Fredericton.

“There is a special energy that the school has that I really appreciated and feel very at home in,” Wahl said.

George MacLean, vice-president academic at UNB Fredericton, praised the start of Wahl’s time at UNB in a statement.

“Sharon is a wonderful fit with our faculty, students and staff,” MacLean said. “She made connections immediately when she visited UNB for her campus visit and I know my colleagues share my enthusiasm about what Sharon will bring to our teaching and research in education.”

Outside her responsibilities as dean of education, Wahl intends on getting involved by reaching out to the Fredericton community. She said she hopes to establish close relationships with surrounding school districts and form an advisory council to develop recommendations for UNB programs.

“This is a great time to be in education,” Wahl said. “There are so many wonderful opportunities and changes happening in the curriculum, and New Brunswick is leading and can really make a mark in education in the next few years.”