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Our Team

Our Director

Kelly Farrell, B.A.H, OCT

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.

Our Teaching Team

Emma van der Jagt B.A., ECE

Emma van der Jagt B.A., ECE

Kindergarten Teacher

Emma has been working with children in recreation and education for 9 years. She found her passion through working with children and youth at camps around Ontario as well as teaching swimming lessons. She has been working as a respite support worker and tutoring social/life skills for 2 years. She loves to find new ways to incorporate nature and arts into experiential learning experiences. Emma is passionate about creating positive learning experiences that create opportunities for children to step out of their comfort zones and discover their potential.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts (psychology, philosophy and sociology) from Wilfrid Laurier University she followed her dream to become an Early Childhood Educator at Conestoga College. She loves working with people of all abilities and backgrounds and believes in creating a co-learning environment.

Julie Minogue, OCT

Julie Minogue, OCT

Classroom Teacher, Literacy Specialist

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 matter.

Julie is a passionate and dedicated educator, who consistently focuses on the individual learning styles and needs of her students. Julie 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 educator who believes in the importance of student-centered, 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.

Gina Brintnell, OCT

Gina Brintnell, OCT

Classroom Teacher

Doran Reed

Doran Reed

Early Education Teacher

Arlen Palfreyman

Arlen Palfreyman

Literacy Specialist

Arlen has a B.A. with Honours in Psychology and Sociology, and has been working with a range of students since her graduation. She understands and supports all kinds of behaviour and unique needs, and tailors her students learning experiences around those needs. Passionate about the English language, her focus surrounds literacy activities with a cross-curricular approach to encourage inquisitive learning.
Katie Hartford, B.Sc.H.

Katie Hartford, B.Sc.H.

High School Tutor, Math & Science

Katie Hartford has an Honours Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics from McMaster University and is currently working toward her MBA at the DeGroote School of Business. She has always had a passion for Math and the Sciences and loves having the opportunity to pass that passion on to others while helping them to find success. She has been tutoring for 4 years now and is thrilled to be a part of the Oak Learners team. 
 
When she isn’t working, Katie loves being active, rock climbing and running regularly, and playing tennis and hockey when the weather allows. She also loves curling up with a good book and spending time with her family and friends. 
Jasmine Brioux

Jasmine Brioux

Elementary Teacher (French, Literacy, Art)

Jasmine has been working with children for 9 years as a dance instructor, tutor, camp counsellor and camp program director. She was a competitive dancer for most of her life and is passionate about arts programming and education. Jasmine believes that children should have the opportunity to express their ideas and individuality creatively. Her teaching philosophy focuses heavily on the principles of inclusivity and collaboration.

Jasmine is a student at Nipissing University. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2019 with a minor in French. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Education and is in the Primary/Junior division. Jasmine has had the opportunity to take part in several placements in elementary classrooms, including French Immersion settings. Her approach to education is student-oriented; she feels that authentic, inquiry-based learning is rewarding for both students and educators.

Fabiana Scolieri, OCT

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.
Julia Taylor, OCT

Julia Taylor, OCT

Teacher & Tutor

Julia is so excited to be teaching at Oak Learners! She is an OCT certified high school teacher with qualifications in English, History and Special Education. Before coming to Oak Learners, Julia worked as a camp staff at  Autism Ontario Niagara, a one-to-one clinician at a private reading clinic and as an assistant language teacher in an international high school in Japan. When she is not working, Julia enjoys reading, painting, biking, swimming and cooking.

Claire Buechler, OCT

Claire Buechler, OCT

Elementary Tutor (Math & Literacy)

Claire graduated from University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in April 2019 with her Masters in Teaching. Before that, she completed her undergraduate degree in law at Carleton University. Claire has finished additional qualifications in Intermediate Mathematics, Teaching English Language Learners, Special Education, and Reading. Claire also taught at a school for students with learning exceptionalities from April to June, 2019. Claire uses her patience and enthusiasm to engage her students, and keep them on track to achieve success. She is aware of the importance of individual learning, and therefore understands how creating learning plans based on each student’s needs and goals is the most conducive way to see results. Claire figure skated competitively up until grade twelve, which allows her to recognize the important balance between sports and academics. She was also involved in theatre productions at her high school. Claire will be spending this school year supplying with the Peel District School Board.
Ned Carolan

Ned Carolan

Outdoor Educator

Ned is super excited to be a camp counselor at Oak Learners this summer. He has been a camper and counsellor at other camps for the past 13 years, and also worked at a downtown Toronto YMCA as a swim instructor. Ned just completed his Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation at Lakehead University and is looking forward to beginning his education program in the fall. He has participated in two Habitat for Humanity builds – one in Santiago, Chile and the other in Campbell River, BC. In his free time, Ned plays
ultimate frisbee in a competitive league in Thunder Bay. He hopes to be an outdoor educator when he finishes school.

Julia Hess

Julia Hess

Elementary Tutor & Online Program Instructor

Julia is currently studying in the Concurrent Education program at Queen’s University with a major in Psychology. She loves working with kids and people with disabilities and spends time volunteering and working in many community settings. She loves getting to know everyone she works with while supporting them in working towards their goals, and she hopes to work as an Elementary Special Education teacher in the future.

Our Specialists Team

Rebecca Reid Payne, OT, OCT

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.
Donna Reed

Donna Reed

Yoga Instructor

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.

Our Educational Support Team

Lauren Ablack

Lauren Ablack

Educational Assistant

Anna Kaczorowski, CYW

Anna Kaczorowski, CYW

Educational Assistant

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