June 30, 2018

Our Team

OUR TEAM

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.

Arlen Palfreyman

Arlen Palfreyman

Literacy Specialist

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 

Teresa Mormile, H.BA, M.Ed., OCT 

Teacher

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. 
 
 
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.

James Duff, B.Mus

James Duff, B.Mus

Music Teacher

James is a recent graduate of the Dalhousie University (B.Mus.). He has been playing the classical, steel string, and electric guitar for more than a decade. He has a thorough knowledge of classical repertoire, as well as repertoires in Celtic music, jazz, rock, and popular music.
 
During his degree, he also took on studying North Indian music and currently studies Sarod under Ud. Irshad Khan. He has had great success adding Indian teaching techniques (especially in rhythm) to his lessons stemming from this experience.
 
As a teacher, James has had success with a patient pedagogical approach always paired with fun and enthusiasm. He tirelessly wishes to bring the joy of music to anyone willing to learn and has taught students on a wide variety of instruments.
Stephanie Haines, B.FA, B.Ed., MBA

Stephanie Haines, B.FA, B.Ed., MBA

Preschool & Kindergarten Teacher

Stephanie Haines is a bilingual, certified teacher who has been inspiring children of all ages for over 20 years. Her experience includes Preschool- and Kindergarten-level play-based learning, coaching figure skating, and teaching piano.

She particularly enjoys introducing children to the French language. She uses a variety of strategies to promote positive learning opportunities for children to learn French through songs, games, and socialization.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Education from U. of T., and a Master’s Degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Katie Hartford, B.Sc.H.

Katie Hartford, B.Sc.H.

Teacher/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. 
Amanda Bhikha, CYW

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. 

Nici Shipway

Nici Shipway

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.

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.

Emma Vella

Emma Vella

Camp Counselor

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. 

 

Lucia Mormile

Lucia Mormile

Camp Counselor