Our Team

Our Summer Camp 2020 Team

Kaelan Rankin

Kaelan Rankin

Camp Counselor

Kaelan is thrilled to join the Summer 2020 team with Oak Learners, having previously counselled with other camps for the past three years. Kaelan has been attending summer camps his entire life and states they are his favourite places on Earth. While in High School, Kaelan volunteered with Oak Learners as an assistant counsellor and drumming instructor. That's right, Kaelan is also quite the musician, having over a decade's experience drumming. Kaelan is currently pursuing an honour's bachelor's degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Queen's University and is hoping to attend law school following his graduation. Kaelan is also a huge fan of outdoor activities, particularly adventurous hikes and anything involving climbing.

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.

Daphne Buick-Kalbfleisch

Daphne Buick-Kalbfleisch

Camp Counselor

Daphne was an SHSM student at highschool. She is gifted in music, particularly on the saxophone. Her experience includes working as an overnight camp counselor during the summer of 2019 and an LIT during the summer of 2018 at Camp Kintail. Daphne aspires to be an RPN or CYW and will take courses in September in preparation for post-secondary education. Daphne is outgoing, high energy and enthusiastic. In her spare, time she enjoys rock climbing, rollerblading and long nature walks.

Ada

Ada

Camp Counselor

Alex Milanov-Diaz

Alex Milanov-Diaz

Camp Counselor

Alex is overjoyed to be part of the 2020 Oak Learners Summer Camp team. Alex is a 4th year biology student at Queen’s University and this is his first summer working at Oak Learners. Alex brings with him multiple years of experience volunteering at SickKids as a Child Life Specialist, helping children enjoy their hospital stay. Alex’s hobbies include playing tennis and skiing both of which he has practiced from a young age. Alex enjoys working and helping children of all capabilities and intends to further this interest through pursuing a career in pediatric medicine. Alex hopes to leave every child at Oak Learners with a great learning experience and lasting memories to take with them. Let’s make the most of summer 2020!

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.

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.
Gina Brintnell, OCT

Gina Brintnell, OCT

Classroom Teacher

Doran Reed

Doran Reed

Early Education Teacher

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.
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.
Nina Semchyshyn

Nina Semchyshyn

Elementary & Intermediate Tutor (Math, Literacy, French)

Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Nina graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a BA in French Language, Literature Studies and the Certificate French Language Proficiency Program at McGill University. Currently, she studies public relations at Humber College.
Her passion for working with children began at a young age through the Ukrainian community’s leadership program and coaching rhythmic gymnastics for the past nine years. Through working with students that have faced the difficulties of learning a different language, or the training hardships that her gymnasts faced, Nina believes that best practices come from learning resilience. Recognizing and understanding each student’s learning style and finding techniques to help guide them to their own personal and academic successes is a value that Nina believes will help promote the principle that education is a journey and she hopes to be a supportive influence of that.

Teresa Mormile, H.BA, M.Ed., OCT

Teresa Mormile, H.BA, M.Ed., OCT

High School Tutor (English, Social Studies)

Teresa is an OCT who enjoys teaching through a holistic framework, showcasing her kind and patient pedagogy. Teresa has worked at Oak Learners since 2017, and other diverse education settings since 2014; tutoring children from Kindergarten through Grade 12. 
 
Teresa graduated from her Honours Bachelor Of Arts at the University of Toronto in 2016, double majoring in English and Social Sciences. A recent graduate from the M.Ed. program at OISE, specializing in the Internediate/ Senior divisions. Teresa understands that every child learns differently and enjoys personalizing her lessons to keep her students progressing and confident. Her research focused on curriculum support in Toronto high-schools for students who have experienced grief trauma. Teresa enjoys teaching through a holistic framework, and implementing student voice in her work. 
 
 
Lucia Mormile

Lucia Mormile

Teacher (Math/Science)

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.”

 

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 Music & Art Team

Mark Ritter, B.Mus., ARCT

Mark Ritter, B.Mus., ARCT

Music Teacher

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.

Listen to Mark’s music on YouTube.

Paige Brown

Paige Brown

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.

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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