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.
Emma van der Jagt B.A., ECE
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.
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
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.
Fabiana Scolieri, OCT
Teacher: French, English, Learning Strategies, ABA
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.
Teresa Mormile, H.BA, M.Ed., OCT
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.”
Katie Hartford, B.Sc.H.
Teacher/Tutor, Math & Science
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.
Music, Art, Camps
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.
Julie Minogue, B. Sc (Honours), B. Ed (with Distinction), OCT
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.