Mary-Lynn Wardle, MA, BEd, BA

Sessional - Education

Mary-Lynn spent 31 years teaching Grades 6 to 12, with a strong background in teaching humanities. For the past 14 years, she worked exclusively with “free range” justice-engaged youth in the community. For seven of those years, she was a member of the Addictions and Mental Health Treatment Team for students Grades 7 to 12 sentenced to an open-custody justice facility, where, as the only teacher, she taught all core subjects. In addition, Mary-Lynn initiated a strong focus on the trades for justice-engaged youth, placing dozens of gang-entangled students in Registered Apprenticeships, thus facilitating fundamental changes in their lives. She also founded an equine-assisted program that had a profound effect on street-entrenched girls.

A passionate horsewoman, Mary-Lynn informs her practice with concepts learned from her mentor as captured in her thesis, What God Put in ‘Em: Connections Between Natural Horsemanship and At-Risk Learners (2003). Her parallel journalism career as a regular contributor to several publications led to her co-writing the provincial journalism curriculum. A SOCAN registered songwriter who was a member of the first Calgary band to release a CD and to be filmed live by MuchMusic, Mary-Lynn can often be found enjoying music in her long term volunteer role with the Calgary folk fest. She lives with her husband, two dogs, a cat, and four horses.


M.A. (Gonzaga University)

B.Ed. (University of Calgary)

B.A. (University of Calgary)

Select Publications

Current Research

Mary-Lynn continues to be involved in multi-disciplinary, strength-based research involving justice-engaged and marginalized youth. Her current research team spans the University of Calgary’s Faculties of Nursing, Social Work and Medicine and Mount Royal University’s Faculty of Midwifery.

Recent Conference Presentations

  • Keynote Speaker: Front Page Kids, Virtues, and Hope: Giving Justice-Engaged Students Their Lives Back in the Community, Hokkaido Career Conference, Sapporo-Otani University, Sapporo, Japan, 2018.
  • Co-presenter: Stories of Courage from the ExCEL Group Home Theatre Performance, Social Justice Encounter, University of Calgary, 2008. Prairie Regional Halfway House Association, Calgary, 2009.
  • Co-presenter: Discovering the Summit: Experiential Mental Health and Addictions Treatment for Justice-Engaged Girls, Forensic Psychiatric Conference, Victoria, B.C. 2007, Alberta College of Social Workers, Calgary, 2008, Calgary Court Liaison, 2008.