Kelly Farrell, B.A.H, OCT
Founder & Director
Kelly Farrell is the Founder and Director of Oak Learners. She is dedicated to supporting learners of all ages and abilities reach their goals and love the learning journey. Kelly’s philosophy of education is based in the understanding that every child has the capacity to excel and succeed when they are given the tools and taught the skills to help them on their journey.
Kelly is an OCT Certified teacher and has worked in classrooms and alternative learning environments since 1996 and as a certified teacher since 2004, working with students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Kelly has a passion for empowering students to develop confidence through building on their strengths to support their difficulties, particularly those with learning exceptionalities, including Learning Differences, ASD, social emotional needs, and anxiety. Kelly subscribes to the tenants of Montessori, Reggio-Emilia and Constructivist methods of teaching and is always looking for ways to bring these strategies into the 21st Century through technology and environmental education.
Throughout her teaching careers, Kelly has been teaching, leading, and connecting students and staff with a global community of educators leading the way in 21st century personalized learning. In 2014, Kelly was awarded “Project of the Year” at the Water Docs @School Film Festival for her Inquiry-Based Learning project, “Kids Against Road Salt“. This project has been used to train new teachers on the benefits and processes behind inquiry-based learning. Kelly’s teaching was also featured in Owl Magazine on the “Cool School” page in 2014 for a unique publishing project undertaken by her Grade 7/8 class that year.
Kelly has also founded Teach Me Social in 2012, a social media marketing agency and training organization which continues to empower entrepreneurs to brand themselves online and share their messages through social media. Her experience in business and educational leadership lends Kelly a unique approach to technology training. She offers business owners a different perspective on technology, gaining participation in her sessions by energizing participants and inspiring them to dive into the Social Media world whilst also providing valuable skills, tips and strategies they can use to construct their online presence at their own pace.
Arlen is a passionate learner and tutor hoping to share her interests with others. With a B.A. in psychology and sociology she understands and supports all kinds of behaviour and unique needs. With strong passion and interest in English, she has developed a wide variety of linguistic knowledge over the years to share with anyone who wishes to grow with her. Arlen is also a certified instructor through Learning Without Tears and works towards helping children develop literacy and handwriting skills through multi-sensory methods.
Teresa Mormile, H.BA, M.Ed., OCT
Mark Ritter, B.Mus., ARCT
Mark is a graduate of Humber College’s Bachelor of Music program, specializing in guitar. He also holds an ARCT in guitar performance and has over 8 years of experience teaching privately.
Mark believes that learning music should be an organic process that includes components such as technique, theory, composition, ear training and improvisation. Mark also believes that musical development should stem from enthusiasm and immersion in music and the music making process.
Rebecca Reid Payne, OT, OCT
Willow OT Services
Rebecca is the Head Occupational Therapist at Willow. She works primarily with school-aged children who have mental and physical disabilities such as autism, global developmental delay, hearing loss and visual impairments. Focussing on both home- and school-based intervention, Rebecca is responsible for both program development and implementation. She has over ten years of experience working with children with disabilities and she has a passion for enhancing the wellbeing of her clients. Fostering greater independence and heightened self-esteem are two core elements of her practice and she approaches every therapy session as an opportunity to help the client grow to their full potential.
Katie Hartford, B.Sc.H.
Teacher/Tutor, Math & Science
Amanda Bhikha, CYW
Art Teacher & Child and Youth Worker
Amanda is a certified Child and Youth worker through OACYC and has worked throughout Johnsons Children Services at Rick Hansen Secondary School’s Section 23 classroom, which focuses on working with at-risk youth to assist them with getting back on track to achieving their Secondary School Diploma.
She has also focused on art-based learning through art-based/CYW placements as Vibe Arts and Covenant House’s art programming. Which has included creating murals and art programming with artists and youth in the GTA and working with homeless youth through art activities.
Owner of Ravinzangel, which is an art-based small business that uses her artwork to create functional art pieces such as clothing and home decor. Ravinzangel travels around the GTA to various art/craft shows and has an online store and website http://www.ravinzangel.ca.
ECE, Behaviour Consultant
Nici shipway had been working in the education field for the past 16 years specializing in ABA and IBI for children on the Autism spectrum. She has worked in many centres and homes across the GTA supporting the entire family. She is passionate about art in all forms and enjoys incorporating it into her way of teaching.
Yoga has been part of my life since age 12. Yoga has helped me to remain strong and flexible throughout my life, as well as keeping my mind sharp and focused. I have been going to the Sivananda Ashram, Bahamas since 1997 and took Teacher Training in 2012. I thoroughly enjoy bringing the experience of Yoga to all.
Emma has been working as a Camp Counselor at Oak Learners since 2016. She graduated with Honours from Father John Redmond with an Arts Diploma in Drama. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Western Ontario with an interest in International Development.
A local Mimico resident, Lucia was familiar with the needs of our families and the unique opportunity that Oak Learners offers. She is working towards completing her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto and hopes to pursue a Masters of Education in the coming years.
In her own words, Lucia reflected that, “Oak learners has given me the opportunity to gain experience working within a teaching environment. In addition to the welcoming atmosphere, Oak learners has helped me achieve new skills that will support me in my future studies, where I aim to graduate with my Masters in Teaching. Upon entering an inclusive educational space, I have been able to network with other educators and be introduced to progressive teaching strategies.”
Fabiana Scolieri, OCT
Teacher: French, English, Learning Strategies, ABA
Fabiana is a passionate educator and has worked in a variety of fields centring around Special Education. She has a background in Autism and Behavioural Science and has worked as an ABA/IBI Therapist, Tutor, and Public School Teacher. Fabiana is passionate about individualized and differentiated learning.
Julie Minogue, B. Sc (Honours), B. Ed (with Distinction), OCT
Julie Minogue is an Ontario Certified Teacher, with a broad range of experiences and expertise, possessing qualifications in Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Divisions, and in Special Education. Julie has been working in various capacities in the field of education for the past seventeen years, as a Classroom Teacher in both the public and private systems (including Special Education Resource Teacher), a Science Specialist delivering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) inspired curriculum, an Online ESL Teacher, and an Academic Tutor, specializing in reading comprehension strategies, and remedial literacy instruction for Primary and Junior level students, using the Orton-Gillingham Approach, which involves multi-sensory phonics instruction. Julie has extensive knowledge of all curriculum expectations, and has worked one-on-one with students of all levels, ranging from kindergarten to high school, in all subject mattter.
Julie is a passionate and dedicated educator, who consistently focusses on the individual learning styles and needs of her students. Julie has experience in preparing and implementing Individual Education Plans, and she has a proven record of success in developing and executing appropriate learning strategies for various types of exceptional learners. Julie believes that by creating a positive learning environment, including using genuine motivation and positive reinforcement for students, that each and every learner can reach their potential. Julie is an effective communicator and collaborator, who places great pride in her ability to develop strong and meaningful connections with her students, thereby increasing their confidence level and heightening their likelihood for academic success and positive emotional growth. Julie is an educator who believes in the importance of student-centred, active, and hands-on learning experiences to help create a love of learning, and to foster critical thinking and high level inquiry skills in all of her students. Julie is an energetic, creative, and enthusiastic teaching professional, who’s primary focus is upon student well-being and success. She feels fortunate to be able to be a part of the Oak Learner Staff, and consistently welcomes the opportunity to work with children in this unique and meaningful teaching environment.
Music, Art, Camps
Paige is currently a student in Ryerson University’s psychology undergraduate program with a goal of one day becoming a clinical psychologist. Paige is extremely passionate about all forms of art. She has had over ten years of private guitar instruction and has also had the opportunity to learn from many different fine artists at the Whitby Art Gallery. In addition to guitar, she can also play flute and piano and has a grade 8 music theory certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She enjoys sharing her love of art with her students and strives to help them each find their own creative voice.