Isabel Russell grew up in the Crowsnest Pass and returned there to teach after attending the Unviersity of Alberta, the Canberra College of Advanced Education, and graduating with a BEd from the UofL. She later completed a MEd at the University of Lethbridge, in which she explored the possibility of reducing racism by exposing students to Indigenous literature. Isabel marked English Diploma exams for many years as both a table leader and marker. As well, she served on committees writing and evaluating diploma exams. Isabel has been a member of several community boards and ATA committees.