Maple Bear Faculty
Linda came to Maple Bear in January 2019 after a long career in education, training and management.
Linda began her career as a teacher in Manitoba and holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Masters of Education and a Doctorate in Education. In addition to a Permanent Province of Manitoba Professional Teaching Certificate, Linda is also a Certified Professional in Human Resources Management and holds an Advanced Certificate in Training and Development, which has taken her from classroom teaching into corporate training and development.
Linda has been an Instructor and Field Supervisor in the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba where she was actively involved in developing and coaching Manitoba teachers in the Bachelor of Education and Masters of Education programs. She was also a Field Supervisor for the Bachelor of Education students, coaching and developing them at all levels.
She spent many years teaching Human Resources Management at Red River College in Winnipeg, Continuing Education at the University of Winnipeg and the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Manitoba.
Linda has been a Training Officer at the City of Winnipeg, the Director of Education at Seven Oaks General Hospital in Winnipeg, a Training Consultant and Curriculum Development Consultant for many businesses including Bristol Aerospace, Boeing, several cruise lines, professional organizations such as the Certified General Accountants, and many others. She has also been the Manager of Human Resources and Training for Westeel Limited in Winnipeg and General Mills, Winnipeg Plant.
Linda’s work in education, training and development has taken her to 18 countries and she has been recognized for her contributions by being named, Woman of Distinction, winning the Teaching Excellence Award at Red River College, helping General Mills, Winnipeg to win the Employer of the Year Award. She was also nominated for the Human Resources Excellence Award.
She is delighted to be a part of Maple Bear Global Schools and hopes to help teachers grow and develop their teaching skills and techniques as well as supporting the rich Canadian curriculum that Maple Bear brings to global education.
Linda is very proud to say that in addition to her Canadian citizenship, she has recently been awarded United States citizenship.
Jeff holds the degrees of M.Ed. (School Administration), B.Ed. (Intermediate and Senior Sciences), M. Sc. (Plant Systematics) and B. Sc. (Honours Biology). He also has been awarded Levels 1 and 2 School Administrators Certificates. Jeff has served as a teacher of advanced sciences in High School, Science Department Head, Provincial Curriculum Consultant for elementary and senior years Sciences, and Vice Principal and Principal of French Immersion Schools. Jeff has studied in various English and French language universities in Ontario and Manitoba. His primary interests include school administration, immersion education and science education. Jeff’s contributions to Maple Bear include writing science program guides and conducting science workshops and in-school training in Brazil.
Arpi (Alexandra) Babaian
Joining Maple Bear has been a gratifying way for Arpi to continue to do work she loves -- helping teachers and students learn. The joy of meeting new people and experiencing their country’s culture, history, art, cuisine, flora and fauna, of being immersed in the busy lives of fellow educators, sustains her enthusiasm for this work. Although Arpi has done some work in Quality Assurance, she feels particularly fortunate to be a Maple Bear trainer – especially as she usually gets to work with her husband, Stewart Shinnan, whose skillset complements her own. They both enjoy settling into a place and, through collaboration, helping schools reach their goals for professional growth. Her 40 years of service in the Canadian public school system as a Kindergarten to Grade 12 teacher and principal have proven useful!
Mariette has taught K-12 over 35 years in a myriad of settings: Indian Reservation, small and large urban, rural, public and private schools. She obtained her B. Ed. in 1981 from the University of Saskatchewan. Later post graduate certificates in technology integration as well as online teaching were awarded. Mariette spent eight years as an elementary principal as well as a year as a technology consultant in a private international school in Bangkok, Thailand. She has led teacher workshops in Ghana and Guatemala. Resource based, experiential learning as well as eLearning are her passions. She has led workshops in technology, differentiated instruction, classroom management, the writing process, and backward design. Her personal interests include travelling, gourmet cooking, and electronic scrapbooking. She joins the Maple Bear faculty as a trainer.
Mary Ellen Barreth
Mary Ellen has worked in education for over 35 years. She taught at all grade levels from Grade 1 to grade 12 and was an in school administrator for more than 10 years. Mary Ellen also worked as curriculum coordinator in Central Office for two years. She obtained her B. Ed. in 1988 from the University of Saskatchewan. Later she obtained qualifications in student services and a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2005 from the University of Regina.
Mary Ellen began working with teachers overseas in 2000 when she worked in Dominica through Project Overseas at the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation. Since then, she has worked at programs and schools in Belize, Burkina Faso Tanzania and Brazil. She also participated in high school mission trips to Peru, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. She has led workshops in resource-based learning, differentiated instruction, classroom management, mathematics and curriculum implementation including backward by design.
Her personal interests include working on the family farm, golfing and especially time with her children and grandchildren. Mary Ellen is proud to have received the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation Arbos Award for Contributions to the Teaching Profession. Mary Ellen joins Maple Bear as trainer.
Beverley Bennett’s introduction to Maple Bear was as acting principal to assist with a school opening in Brasilia in 2010. Since then, she has had the opportunity to visit ten Maple Bear countries, providing a wide range of services from initial training, classroom support, to training and quality assurance. A highlight for Beverley has been developing and delivering literacy instruction workshops.
On top of her training work, she has also worked in Sao Paulo in the central office and teaches University of Winnipeg courses to Maple Bear teachers in Brazil as well as to Canadian education students in Thailand and China. She especially enjoys her role in preparing new Canadian expert trainers for their first assignments. Beverley holds a Master of Education from McGill University. For her, Maple Bear has been a fulfilling second career in education.
After teaching elementary and high school in Brazil, Elaine found her passion educating young children when she studied Early Childhood Education at the Vancouver Community College. She has taken many roles in the field of early learning in the last twenty-five years. This includes teaching young children and instructing adults in a variety of contexts, such as college courses and workshops about inquiry-based learning through the arts and sciences, clay, wire and drama. She is a certified elementary school teacher in British Columbia and she currently teaches early childhood education at Capilano University in North Vancouver.
An enthusiast of Reggio Emilia pedagogy, she received her Masters of Arts in Education from Simon Fraser University, where she is currently pursuing a PhD, with research interests in the complex and multi-faceted roles of educators co-constructing inquiry projects with children, as well as the connection between passion and teaching. Her co-authored book based on her Masters research was published in 2018 by Redleaf Press.
Val has been a dedicated and passionate educator in Thunder Bay for the past thirty years. Her experiences involve the teaching of all grades in all subject areas from kindergarten to grade 8, with a focus on the importance of a Balanced Literacy approach including cross curricular integration and differentiated instruction. Val has planned and implemented numerous workshops in these areas both Board-wide and regionally. Her career has included roles as teacher, vice-principal and principal, along with serving as the local president and councillor of our Ontario Principals’ Council for a number of years. As a Maple Bear trainer and retired educator, Val enjoys sharing education ideas and best practices locally and in other countries. Val also enjoys time with family and friends, travel, hiking, paddle-boarding, rock climbing and other adventures.
Cheryl Boguski has over 30 years of professional experience in the field of education. She has taught students from middle years to high school mainly in the areas of Science and Biology.
Cheryl has written various middle years Manitoba Science Curriculum Documents. She also has facilitated workshops throughout the province to introduce teachers to the activities and concepts associated with the curriculum. She believes that collaboration with teachers during those processes strengthened her own pedagogy and classroom teaching skills.
Cheryl has continued her curriculum work with Maple Bear, writing the Grade 10
Science and Grade 11 Biology Integrated Documents. She has had the opportunity to facilitate workshops for Maple Bear science teachers in Brazil focussing on assessment in science, content area literacy, and differentiated instruction. She looks forward to continuing to collaborate with Maple Bear colleagues to enhance science education.
Tom Boland has been a teacher, Special Education Facilitator, school administrator, math consultant, and has worked for the Ontario Ministry of Education. He is currently a consultant working with boards across Canada. Tom believes that quality education transforms children’s’ lives and that all children can be successful when provided with a positive educational experience. His passion for students and his support for educators drives his all aspects of his career. Tom began his consulting work with Maple Bear in 2018, offering both Central Training and individual school support.
Tom has authored several resources, including ‘Leaps and Bounds Toward Mathematical Understanding – Primary’, ‘Mathematical Models for Teaching; Reasoning Without Memorization’ and ‘The Third Path; A Relationship-Based Approach to Student Well-Being’. Outside of work Tom enjoys being a father and Grampa. He and his husband Todd enjoy spending time with family and friends at their summer cottage at historic and charming Silver Islet, just east of their home in Northern Ontario.
Marilee Boles-Wilson is a trainer with Maple Bear Global Schools. She has been an educator for more than thirty years and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Education Degree and a Master of Education Degree. She has taught in Early Years grades through to high school grades. Marilee was seconded to the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Education to teach in the Bachelor of Education Program. She led training for the Canadian Teachers' Federation to support teachers in third world countries. Marilee lives in the city of Ottawa with her husband and three children. She is a Mentor-Coach to teachers new to the profession in her city’s public school board. A proponent of Balanced Literacy, Marilee incorporates Orton-Gillingham practices into the teaching of students with learning disabilities. Training for Maple Bear has been a pleasure for Marilee.
Candace has served as an educator in the St. James-Assiniboia School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba for over 45 years and has assumed many roles including early years classroom teacher, Resource Teacher, Resource Coordinator, Vice-Principal, Principal and Administrator of Educational Support Services. Candace retired in 2017 and then worked in a French Immersion school as a Resource Teacher supporting students who were not only learning French but were acquiring English as an Additional Language.
She holds a Masters of Education (Reading and Language); a full slate of Masters courses in Educational Psychology and Bachelor’s degrees in Education and Home Economics. Certificates are held in the areas of Administration, Special Education and Violence Threat Risk Assessment. Throughout her career she has been an advocate for literacy learning and inclusion and believes strongly in providing appropriate programming and orchestrating the environment to maximize learning for all students.
Candace joined the Maple Bear family in January, 2018 and has provided central training in differentiated instruction and planning in special needs as well as initial and school-based training in Brazil. She values the opportunities to collaborate and team within the schools by providing on-site support and professional learning opportunities.
Candace enjoys gardening, cooking and outdoor activities and volunteers for organizations including The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Council for Exceptional Children and most recently Take Pride Winnipeg, an organization promoting citizen responsibility in maintaining a clean environment.
Janice Foster Bortoluzzi has been training for Maple Bear Global Schools since her retirement in 2017. As a public school educator for over 35 years, Janice has held positions as both Early and Middle Years Classroom Teacher, Student Services/Resource Teacher, Language Arts Consultant, and Reading Recovery Teacher.
In addition to her work with Maple Bear Global Schools Janice is currently employed as a Substitute Teacher and part-time Resource Teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Janice enjoys her work with Maple Bear and looks forward to a return to in-person training as soon as possible.
Sheena has served as an accomplished school administrator and educator with over 30 years of experience in public and post-secondary learning environments in Manitoba. Her professional involvement details diverse K-9 classroom experiences complimented with many years of administration in the K-12 public school system. During this time, she has assumed many roles including a K-9 classroom teacher, French Teacher, Resource Teacher, Vice-Principal and Principal. Currently, she is a curriculum instructor at the University of Winnipeg as well as an inclusive education instructor at the University of Manitoba. Although, retired from the public education system in 2019, she remains an advocate for literacy learning and inclusion and believes strongly in providing programming and creating classroom environments that maximizes learning for all students.
Sheena holds a Masters of Education (Inclusive Special Education) along with certificates in administration and special education. Additionally, she has published several articles on neuroscience in the classroom, classroom learning environments and a monograph, Unseen Threads; Weaving the Stories between Teacher Beliefs and Classroom Practice. She has been recognized for her work in inclusive education research, summer learning programs, newcomer centres and was celebrated as one of Canadas Outstanding Principals.
Sheena joined the Maple Bear family in 2020 and is excited about the opportunities to collaborate and team with schools, providing support and professional learning opportunities for student success!
Duane has taught at the early and middle, and senior years levels in Manitoba and British Columbia. He has also served for 20 years as an assistant superintendent and superintendent in three different school divisions in Manitoba.
As a facilitator and speaker, Duane has worked in British Columbia, Manitoba, the USA, and Mexico in the areas of organizational improvement, diversity, governance, and leadership. He has served on the Board of the National Principals Leadership Institute in NYC, was on the Cabinet for the United Way Manitoba, the board of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents, and is currently the board chair of Special Olympics Manitoba. In 2018, Duane completed his PhD in Educational Administration at the University of Manitoba.
While officially retired from the k-12 system, Duane has been teaching graduate level courses at the University of Manitoba and is looking forward to working in Quality Assurance with Maple Bear.
Deborah Burnside has been an educator for over 40 years! She taught all grades K-12, in English and French. Deborah has been a sessional instructor with Brandon University for the past 11 years. She was principal at a K-6 School and retired in Dec. 2019 as Student Services Coordinator with Swan Valley School Division. She obtained a Master in Educational Administration degree, as well as a Master in Special Education degree. Both Master degrees were completed through BU. Besides graduate studies, Deborah has a B.Ed., a B.A. and a Graduate Diploma in Ed. Admin. As you can see she spent most of her life in education! In the past three years, Deborah completed Maple Bear training with schools, teachers, and coordinators in Brazil. It was an amazing experience working with the children! She also hosted a couple of webinars for Maple Bear Global Schools on Transitioning Students with Special Needs Back to School and she hosted a Central Office Training Session on the Maple Bear Handbook for Students with Special Needs.
Deborah has two children. Her son is a doctor and her daughter is a registered professional forester. She has two grand-daughters, Charlie and Blair. Being Grandma the best job of all!! Her most recent hobby has been quilting. It is a relaxing way to spend some quiet time constructing comfy quilts. Most quilts have been given away as gifts. She also enjoys gardening, reading, and travelling. When she travels, her favourite part is visiting schools.
Michael holds degrees of M.Ed. focusing on School Administration and a B.Ed. He also has both Alberta and British Columbia teaching certificates. Michael worked for Sturgeon School Division in Alberta for 26 years where he served as a high school teacher and a school principal. He also worked in Bangladesh and Oman as a school principal. On his return to Canada he worked for “Ascend” a catholic online and distant learning school. His primary interest is school administration and is one of our Quality Assurance Faculty. Michael lives in Penticton, B.C.
Glenn Cake comes to the Maple Bear team with over 30 years of foreign language teaching experience, in both Core French and French Immersion. He has worked with students of all ages and has been a lead distance education teacher with the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation since 2003.
Glenn holds a Bachelor of Education and Masters of Education (Information Technology) from Memorial. He has been an active member, presenter and promoter of French which include tenures with the Canadian Parents for French Provincial chapter as a Board of Directors position as well as CASLT (Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers) where he served as the National Council representative. Internationally, Glenn has teaching experience in Bermuda as well as Qatar in the Middle East.
Glenn enjoys providing professional training to teachers, particularly in the areas of concrete and practical internet resources and software that teachers and students can use to enhance their technology skills.
Glenn makes his home in St. John’s, Newfoundland with his wife and two children. When not travelling, he enjoys playing guitar and sports such as hockey and golf.
Florence Campbell works for Maple Bear in both a training as well as a quality assurance capacity. She has spent her 29 year Canadian career working in immersion schools from Kindergarten to Y8. She has also been an administrator for 14 years: 10 as principal and 4 as Assistant Principal. She took her administrative skillset abroad as well in a principal role of a Canadian high school for 2 years in China from 2011-2013. As a classroom teacher, she taught all subjects from Y1-Y8.
Florence is a passionate educator who especially loves to work in programming for students with special needs, coaching and mentoring school leaders and developing reading and writing skills in the classroom. She is a solution-focused, practical educator who loves people, travel and working with educators.
Florence and her husband have 4 wonderful children and 1 beautiful granddaughter.
With over 30 years of experience in education with the Toronto District School Board, Marguerite began teaching junior kindergarten to grade six and then moved to school administration as vice-principal and then principal. She has been seconded to both to York University and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto as a course director; both of these cohorts were focused on equity, diversity and urban education. Her professional career has focused on language learning from K-12, social justice and equity education and school leadership with an equity lens. Her most recent employment was as a Superintendent of Education in the Rexdale and Etobicoke area of Toronto. She retired from the TDSB in August of 2019 and is now teaching on contract and doing practicum supervision for Faculty of Education students at OISE/UT and Laurier University. She is currently a Trainer with Maplebear based in Guelph, Ontario about an hour west of Toronto.
Karen Carter has a Masters degree in Special Education and initially worked with deaf and hard of hearing students. She has taught children of all ages in public and private schools, as well as adults studying English as newcomers to Canada in college settings and in the workplace. Karen has taught in Japan and in 4 provinces in Canada where she initiated and implemented an international student programme. More recently Karen was the Primary Years Programme coordinator in a private International Baccalaureate School in Vancouver. She also had the privilege of working with teachers in training in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. Karen has had a varied and extremely satisfying career as an educator. She finds the opportunity to share her experience and knowledge with teachers in Maple Bear schools very rewarding.
After a 35 year career in education including teaching stops in California, Vancouver BC and Winnipeg as well as 18 years in administration at the middle years and high school levels, Tony is looking for a new adventure working in Quality Assurance with Maple Bear. His experience included stops at the divisional level as a Middle Year’s and Physical Education Consultant as well as the principal at two different large Winnipeg High Schools.
He received his undergraduate degree in physical education from the University of Oregon and a master’s in education technology/administration from the University of Manitoba. Tony was honored as one of Canada’s Top 40 Outstanding Principals in 2017. He is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience around creating positive school culture and high academic expectations for staff and students in this new role with Maple Bear. Developing leadership capacity amongst staff on the ground is a passion of his and he is excited about being part of the Maple Bear team.
Matt joined the Maple Bear team in January of 2018 as a trainer. He comes to Maple Bear with almost 35 years of experience in education as teacher, administrator, and consultant at all levels from Kindergarten to Post-Secondary.
He received his Bachelor of Education from Brock University with certification from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and has specialist qualifications in Special Education and Reading Instruction. He also has extensive training in classroom observation and instructional coaching. In recent years Matt has worked in Beijing, China as a teacher trainer and ESL teacher at all levels of the Chinese school system.
Matt makes his home in Toronto Ontario, Canada. When not travelling he enjoys relaxing in his garden with a good book.
Jan Chell completed her B.A. and B.Ed. at the University of Manitoba. She then went on to receive her M.Ed. (Curriculum and Instruction) at the University of Regina. She taught at every grade level (elementary, middle school, and secondary) before moving into principal, superintendent and director positions. As Director of Weyburn School Division and, following provincial restructuring, as the Director and CEO of Prairie Valley School Division she learned the importance of building strong relationships in order to build strong working teams. After retirement from the public system she went on to work for the Saskatchewan Government as Director of Independent Schools and then Director of School Facilities.
She believes in success for all children and youth and that the pathway to that success is continuous improvement for students, staff and the school community.
She currently resides in southern Saskatchewan and enjoys being active, travelling and spending time with her family.
Martha has taught at private IB and public schools, as well as at Ottawa and Carleton Universities since 1989. She is a continual learner and pushes through her comfort zones in order to become better at her craft. You will gain a strong sense of her ethos around teaching and learning when you discover the multilayered and highly engaging inquiry-based curriculum that Martha has developed over the years.
Working with teachers, parents, and students, Martha manages to infuse her programme of instruction with a culture of literacy. In fact, she has a passion for reading and focuses on training teachers to develop effective and equitable literacy instruction for all students. Martha takes particular interest in exploring ways to help teachers work together to provide meaningful literacy instruction across all disciplines. As a special education and literacy specialist, she knows that through a collective and strategic approach, all students can reach great heights. Martha is delighted to be part of the Maple Bear team of trainers.
Patti comes to Maple Bear with a B.S. in Elementary Education and an MEd in Educational Administration. She has taught Nursery to Grade 6 and has specialized in the early years. She is an experienced Reading Recovery teacher and has led teacher in-services in early years literacy, writing, and folk dance. Patti was a board member of the Early Childhood Education Council and wrote a column called “Kindergarten Corner” for the newsletter.
Patti loves to design and implement learning experiences which provokes the young child to ask questions and become excited about learning. She integrates literacy and numeracy into a play-oriented early years program. She believes that music, dance, and movement are essential learning tools for the young child. Patti has travelled extensively and enjoys meeting new people through International Folk Dance. She joins Maple Bear as a teacher trainer.
Charlotte Craig is a retired educator of over 40 years in Manitoba as a teacher of all grades K - Grade 8, administrator of schools K - Grade 12. Upon leaving public education, she worked with the University of Manitoba as Faculty Advisor and Mentor with Internationally Educated Teachers while teaching Adult Literacy.
Charlotte joined Maple Bear in 2018 and has worked with teachers, coordinators and owners to support success for all students. Most recently she provided Initial Training for schools preparing to open.
Charlotte values the importance of relationships and teams to promote literacy and numeracy acquisition in an inclusive, supportive child-centred immersion environment. She is excited to continue her work as part of the dynamic team at Maple Bear Global Schools.
Karen David’s career includes 20 years teaching in Early and Middle School classrooms and 10 years as an Elementary & Middle School Program Consultant. Currently she is consulting on K-12 literacy projects in Manitoba and the Middle East. Much of her professional development service has been devoted to the areas of early literacy development, the reading and writing process, comprehensive literacy, formative assessment, literacy planning and literacy coaching.
Karen has served on numerous writing teams including the provincial ELA Curriculum and ELA Assessments teams, the TD National Reading Project and numerous Sunrise Division foundational projects such as teacher and student reading and writing continuums. She is a member of the writing team for Literacy Place for the Early Years and Moving Up with Literacy Place, the first comprehensive literacy programs written for Canadian teachers, published by Scholastic Canada. Karen’s training work for Maple Bear begins in Brazil.
Marcia Dawes has over 25 years in the field of education. She has acquired many teaching methodologies to engage and inspire students from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds to develop a love for learning.
Marcia started as an Educational Assistant and developed a passion for assisting students to reach their highest potentials. She has experience as a classroom teacher, Principal, and Head of Resource. She has taught in Hong Kong, the United States of American, and Manitoba.
She also holds degrees in M. Ed. in Education Leadership, Bachelor of Education, and PBDE in Special Education, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and Development Services Worker (DSW) Certificates.
Marcia continues to educate, guide, and reinforce students towards a more desirable future. She welcomes the ever-changing world of education and is always seeking to equip herself with current tools to teach an evolving generation.
Deenah De Sousa Baptista
Deenah is a second-language specialist who has been a trainer with Maple Bear since 2016. Over the course of her 19 years in education, she has taught French, Français, Spanish, German and EAL from grades 1-12, and has educational experience on five continents. An avid traveller and a lover of languages, Deenah is currently working on her 11th language, so she is no stranger to the challenges and rewards that come with language-learning. She holds an Advanced B.A. in languages from the University of Manitoba, a Master’s Degree in Education from Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, UK, and is certified to teach in both Canada and the UK.
Based in Winnipeg, Deenah is currently working as a Student Services teacher in a K-8 school, and delivering the Grade 3 & 4 Science Curriculum to virtual learners.
Deenah is a veteran of the Canadian Forces, and has worked in Bosnia and Afghanistan. In her spare time, she is a fitness instructor who teaches Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Aquafit, and Tai Chi.
Brenda-Leah Dizzell-Jordan resides in the small, rural town of Smiths Falls Ontario with her husband and three children. She holds a Bachelor of Education, Master’s Degree in Educational Administrations, Principal’s Qualifications, Supervisor Officer’s Qualifications, and a Specialist certification in Special Education. She was a teacher of elementary school, and high school and a principal for 27 years in Ontario. Brenda-Leah has worked with Maple Bear for seven years as a trainer and in the field of Quality Assurance. She has also taught University of Winnipeg Special Education courses for Maple Bear teachers and has experience as an online ESL teacher.
As a life-long learner and educator, France Dupuis is a promoter of the benefits of learning a second language. She has a wealth of teaching experience in the classroom as well as in role of instructional leader with colleagues. France is a passionate learner and an advocate for our profession. In April 2010, she completed her Master’s Degree in Second Language Teaching at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.
Since first entering the education profession, France was catapulted into the world of teaching French and English as a Second Language in Ontario as well as in Québec. Acting as the French and English Curriculum Consultant for the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario for more than 12 years, she modeled high yield strategies in oral communication, reading and writing. Because of her passion about teaching second language France embraced the opportunity to be part of the Maple Bear family in May 2018 as a trainer. France lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada since 2001 and continues to embrace every opportunity to work with second language initiatives at home and abroad.
Cindy lives in the historic heart of Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband, Alan. She has studied at both University of Calgary and Manitoba, and since 1989 has taught in a myriad of capacities including K-9 classrooms, high school alternative programs, Reading Recovery and Early Reading Intervention, Student Services (resource, special education and counselling), District Behavioural and Autism Teacher Mentor, sessional instructor at University of Manitoba, District Student Services Co-ordinator and most recently, as vice-principal of a Kindergarten to Grade 8 school.
She has presented to a multitude of parents, para-professionals, teachers, and administrators on a variety of topics including reading, behaviour and self-regulation. She is a trainer of Collaborative Problem Solving through Think: Kids at Massachusetts General Hospital. She thrives on working with school teams to ensure all students and teachers are successful and enjoying their school experience.
Cindy’s personal interests include travelling, hiking, reading and spending time with her 3 young grandchildren. She is delighted to join the Maple Bear faculty as a trainer.
Marilyn has over 30 years of Canadian teaching experience with students at the preschool, kindergarten, elementary and intermediate levels. With qualifications in Early Childhood Education, she has an extensive background in planning intentional, hands-on, play-based learning for young children. Marilyn enjoyed being a teacher/librarian in a school resource centre where she partnered with teachers to provide effective literacy programs. She valued her work as an instructor with parents and babies in a program to foster emotional development in students.
As a Maple Bear trainer since 2018, Marilyn treasures the time collaborating with teachers, teaching assistants and administrators as they aim for excellence in their Maple Bear schools. She believes that a nurturing environment, where students feel safe to take risks, helps them become passionate lifelong learners who have the thinking skills to be ready for the future.
After growing up in Winnipeg, Marilyn now lives in Toronto.
Suzanne Fitzgerald has over 30 years of experience in the education sector, as a school administrator, primary and junior level teacher, and as a teacher at the college level. Suzanne has significant experience in developing and implementing school improvement initiatives and developing a positive working environment that successfully integrates collaboration, learning, and innovation. Suzanne has demonstrated success in facilitating meetings to support the needs of parents, teachers, and students. She also has delivered countless presentations in both French and English at the national, provincial, and local levels. Since her retirement in 2017, Suzanne has been a Special Equipment Allowance coach for the Ottawa Catholic School Board helping students with special needs learn how to use technology as a tool to help with their learning. Also, Suzanne has also worked with new students at the college level helping them navigate the assessment process. Suzanne has a passion for learning and believes that teacher innovation and collaboration is an imperative strategy to help every student learn.
Suzanne makes her home in Toronto where she enjoys spending time with her 3 children and her 2 grandchildren. Suzanne joins the Maple Bear faculty as a trainer.
Maggie brings over forty years of teaching experience in four provinces to Maple Bear. Maggie has worked as a classroom and resource teacher, a consultant, an Adjunct Professor with York University and as a Houseparent with Brentwood College School. During this time, Maggie worked in a variety of classrooms from Grades 1 to 12, teaching French as a Second Language, Physical Education, Special Education and core subjects in all three divisions: Primary, Junior and Intermediate and at the Secondary level. The final thirteen years of Maggie's career took her to British Columbia, which provided her the opportunity to live and teach at a coeducational boarding school on Vancouver Island. Maggie played a vital role in supervising and guiding over sixty teenage girls from Grades 8-12 and in creating and building the Learning Centre to support students with exceptional needs. Maggie makes her home on Vancouver Island where she enjoys hiking and dragon boating. In the new year she is looking forward to mentoring students with the Cowichan Valley InterCultural Society. Maggie joins the Maple Bear faculty as a trainer.
Lori graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Education degree.
Lori’s career includes over 25 years of teaching experience in a number of Manitoba public schools. She has taught students at all grade levels, with most of her experience being in Early Years Education. Lori’s experiences include developing and implementing programming for a preschool program. She acted as teacher and administrator in a multi-age school, teaching grades 1-6 and all subject areas.
Lori has mentored teachers and served on various educational committees. She has conducted workshops and inservices for teachers and parents in the areas of literacy, numeracy and differentiated instruction. Her passion for teaching has led her to becoming a Maple Bear trainer. Working with students, teachers and coordinators has given her the opportunity to use skills gained from a variety of teaching experiences. She is excited to share her love of teaching and learning!
Cathy Gamble brings over 30 years teaching experience to Maple Bear. Having taught in both Canada and Australia, she contributes expertise in multi-age and regular classrooms from Kindergarten to Grade 5. Her professional development has been dedicated to literacy and numeracy with emphasis on reading comprehension, the reading and writing process, and planning for success with struggling learners. Her most recent study has looked to improve mathematical reasoning and problem-solving outcomes. It is her belief that teacher-student relationship and self-regulation are paramount to student success. Over the course of her career she has served as an acting principal and a mentor to new teachers. Cathy has provided Maple Bear Academic Support in both Brazil and Mexico.
Shawna Gates is a self proclaimed life long learner. She is passionate about learning with and from others. She feels that some of her best learning has come from working alongside students while supporting and facilitating their quest for understanding and from working with teachers while developing their practice.
Shawna has her Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Masters of Environmental Studies. She is qualified to teach in the primary, junior and intermediate divisions. She has received additional qualifications in Reading, Mathematics, Special Education and Librarianship.
Shawna has taught students from JK to Grade 8 in both the Toronto District School Board and the York Region District School Board in Ontario. She is proud to also have been a Vice Principal and Principal at some amazing schools in Ontario and looks forward to sharing her experience with Maple Bear Schools.
Shawna has supported the professional learning of many school staff (teachers, educational assistants, vice principals). She has been part of planning teams designing professional learning for schools within her district. She has also been part of the Vice Principal Selection Committee. She is a certified coach from CFF (Certified Coaches Federation).
Shawna lives in Ontario with her husband and son. She can often be found hiking, running or tending her vegetable garden.
Brenda Gear holds an M Ed from the University of Western Ontario and a B Ed from the University of Windsor. She holds certificates as a Primary Education specialist and a Special Education specialist. Brenda has worked as a Kindergarten teacher, elementary teacher, teacher of gifted students and a School District Consultant in Special Education early years. Brenda is the recipient of the Award of Distinction for outstanding contributions to education in London, Ontario. She has had a very successful career as a Principal and Vice Principal of elementary Schools in Ontario, Canada. Brenda served as Director of Maple Bear in Korea for two years and has also conducted Maple Bear extensive training sessions in India, Brazil and Mexico.
Nicole has been an educator for over 32 years. She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Psychology and successfully completed her Bachelor of Education afterwards. Her classroom experience has been mostly with Grades 1 to 6 students, but always in a French Immersion school.
Outside the classroom setting, Nicole has taught Additional Qualification courses in French as a second language Parts 1-2-3 for Nipissing University. Currently, she is teaching a French class at Collège Boréal for adults who wish to learn a second language.
Nicole has joined the Maple Bear team in 2019 and has found it to be a rich and rewarding experience. She remains committed to nurturing the joy of lifelong learning in a safe environment so that her students are equipped with the skills necessary to achieve their dreams.
Bernie grew up in a small farming community in Manitoba with his parents and six brothers. He received degrees from the University of Manitoba, with graduate work at the University of New Brunswick. The majority of his career was spent with the Seven Oaks School Division in Winnipeg, 23 of those years as a vice principal and principal. Bernie was very active in physical education development in the province, serving as president of Manitoba Physical Education Teachers Association. Also, he was very active on the Council of School Leaders in Manitoba.
Bernie has worked in Quality Assurance in Brazil since 2017 loving the energy that he finds in the Maple Bear schools. The excitement of the students, staff and parents in Maple Bear schools serve as an inspiration to him.
Bernie is currently living in Winnipeg with his wife Louise with whom he shares a love of physical activity, travel and adventure.
Most of Dave Halase's 30 year career in education has been in Alberta, with a few years in British Columbia. He has taught each of the grade levels (K-6), is well acquainted with the Early Childhood program, was a Physical Education specialist, directed the remedial language intervention program, was a Learning Coach assisting teachers in honing their craft, and spent a decade as a vice principal. Prior to all that he was a District Supervisor with the City of Calgary responsible for recreation programming, assisting community associations with all aspects of operation, and was a special event coordinator for the city. Currently he is employed by St. Mary’s University where he assists student teachers during their practicum placements – a truly brilliant job!
He is a voracious reader of education material, and much of his current professional development centres around Attachment Theory and the impact of relationship on learning. He possesses undergrad degrees in Science and Education, as well as a Masters in Educational Leadership. His skill set includes team building, English language acquisition, aligning stated objectives with actual practice, and finding simple solutions amid the complexities of life.
His classroom and his schools were always infused with a sense of fun and excitement about what each day had in store. He lives by the guiding question, “What can I do to make your life better today?”
Andrea Hallendy-Mallon, educator for over 32 years with the Public Board in Ontario, Canada, has vast experience in the elementary division. She is the creator of Little Horn Theatre, an educationally based theatre program. Andrea utilizes her teaching experience to provide lesson feedback in a creative, supportive, inclusive atmosphere for teachers using the Maple Bear curriculum.
Lilian Hanson Zirk
Lilian has recently retired from her school principal position with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). During the past 25 years, working with TDSB, Lilian’s experiences were extensive and varied, including: Classroom Teacher (Kindergarten to Gr. 8); Guidance Counsellor; Staff Development Consultant and School Administration.
Prior to moving to Canada in 1988, Lilian completed her Bachelor of Education in Sao Paulo (Brasil); where she also started her career as an Early Childhood Educator and later as a Secondary School Teacher/Guidance Counsellor.
Throughout her career, Lilian continues to pursue opportunities to impact student achievement through authentic engagement and equitable supports. As a strong believer in life-ong learning, she holds the following qualifications:
- Principal’s Qualifications
- Special Education Specialist (including Autism Spectrum)
- Guidance Specialist
- Primary, Junior & Intermediate Teaching Qualifications
- Early Childhood Education
- Bachelor of Education
In addition, she completed many related trainings: Math Leadership Cadre; Polarity Management; Guided Reading & Reading Records; Assessment and Evaluation Data Analysis; Second Step; Tribes (Master Trainer); Cognitive Coaching (Facilitators’ Training); Appreciative Inquiry; Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Facilitator qualifications); Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Administrator’s training); Facilitation Skills for School Improvement; among others.
She believes that through professional dialogue we all grow as educators and enhance our efficacy in supporting student achievement. Lilian joined Maple Bear in 2018 and, since, she has done on-site as well as virtual trainings; she has also hosted school visits in Toronto for Maple Bear teams from South America. Her main work to date has been with schools in Brasil. She looks forward to expanding her opportunities to work with Maple Bear schools.
Suzanne Hatch has been an educator for more than thirty years teaching both in London, Ontario, and overseas in the United Arab Emirates. She has taught all grades from 1 to 8 and held the position of instructional coach for Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) in servicing staff in both math and literacy. Most recently Suzanne has pivoted her skills into the digital world and has been acting as an online teacher for TVDSB. She believes that creating a strong classroom culture is the key to developing learners who are risk takers and who strive for excellence.
Suzanne lives in London, Ontario with her husband and teenage son, and is passionate about coaching, competing and playing tennis. She is thrilled to be joining the Maple Bear team!
Susan graduated from the University of Manitoba with a B.A. and B.Ed. Her career includes classroom experiences from Grade 1-12 with a concentration in middle years for over 30 years. Her involvement with Maple Bear began in Brazil in 2017 with Quality Assurance and a teacher-training experience in 2018.
In addition, she was an assessment and literacy consultant before going into administration at both the Early Years and Senior High levels. Susan has served on Manitoba Education projects involving integrated units with multimedia, assessment practices, tracking student data to support graduation, and the ELA curriculum. She has been a faculty supervisor with the University of Winnipeg, a president for an early childhood daycare board, and president for the Manitoba Reading Association.
Ken has worked for Maple Bear for the past five years in the role of Quality Assurance. He has been to Mexico and Brazil, and has had the pleasure of meeting with hundreds of teachers, administrators, and owners of over fifty schools and in turn met with hundreds of children with whom he has had the pleasure of observing and interacting.
Ken has had a long and rewarding career in the Manitoba school system. Over the past 37 years, he has taught or administered in six different schools in four communities. He spent most of his career in the K-8 setting but did a one-year term as principal in a high school. Ten years in the classroom and 27 years as vice principal and principal roles in several schools is his legacy.
Ken was highly active with the Manitoba Association of Principals, the Council of School Leaders, and the Canadian Association of Principals and served on many committees and chaired several large professional development events that were highly successful both financially and educationally. Ken was also highly involved in presenting numerous large workshops for aspiring administrators over the years. Ken has a Bachelor of Education from University of Winnipeg, a Pre-Masters and Master’s degree from the University of Manitoba in Education and Administration. In 2016, Ken received the prestigious award as one of Canada’s Most Outstanding Principals.
Marguerite (Margo) Hebert
Margo has worked in education for over 30 years and holds a Bachelor of Education Degree and Post Baccalaureate (Student Services) from the University of Manitoba. She has experience as Classroom Teacher, Teacher-Librarian and Resource Teacher in French Immersion schools years Kindergarten to Grade 9.
Her passion is to support students and teachers in second language learning, inquiry-based learning, and planning for the inclusive and student-centred classroom. Margo has been a trainer for Maple Bear Global Schools since September 2018. She enjoys collaborating with the Maple Bear school personnel on site and remotely. She appreciates the opportunity to support educators to build on their knowledge and skills to empower their students to become risk-takers, problem solvers and independent learners.
In her free time, Margo enjoys visiting with her family and friends, traveling, reading and being in the great outdoors.
Ray lives in Birds Hill, Manitoba with his wife and children. He obtained a Bachelor of Education Degree from Brandon University and a Master of Education Degree from the University of Manitoba. His teaching career spans 32 years, 3 School Divisions and 9 individual school settings. This diverse experience has given Ray a valuable perspective of teaching and learning across many academic settings and has influenced his personal philosophy and commitment to education: “To meet the academic, social and emotional needs of the child, build positive relationships, and promote rigorous and relevant learning experiences”.
Ray’s professional roles in education include Substitute Teacher, Physical Education Specialist, Middle and Senior Years Teacher, Curriculum Writer, Coach, Vice-Principal, Principal, and Faculty Supervisor/Sessional Educator at the University of Winnipeg.
This broad and comprehensive career that Ray brings to Maple Bear Global Schools is combined with a commitment to identifying and promoting 21st century learning skills, supporting research-based instruction, infusing activity-based/cooperative learning experiences, and implementing restitution/Collaborative Problem-Solving based classroom management. Ray’s role as a Trainer and Quality Assurance at Maple Bear Global Schools is a continuation of his passion as a life-long learner and educator.
Leigh lives in Abbotsford B.C., a vibrant, multicultural community in the Fraser Valley, an hour east of Vancouver. After receiving her education degree from the University of British Columbia, Leigh began her career as a primary teacher in northern British Columbia. Through the years she taught throughout BC at all grade levels, coordinated a college program for Early Childhood Education in Williams’s Lake, earned a master’s degree in educational leadership, was a middle school vice principal and district principal of Special Education. Leigh retired from the Abbotsford School District as Director of Learning Support Services and has a passion for supporting students with diverse learning needs.
Leigh finds working with Maple Bear a wonderful experience. She loves to build learning relationships with the bright, vibrant teachers and administrators of the Maple Bear schools in Brazil. Working with Maple Bear is an extraordinary opportunity to keep up with current educational practices and to share years of expertise with energetic teachers.
David Johnson is a retired educator with over 30 years’ teaching experience. He has taught all grades from grade 2 to 12 in both England and Canada. David also worked as a teacher mentor in the later part of his teaching career in Winnipeg, Canada. Recently, David worked in adult education and is currently teaching adult literacy in Winnipeg, Canada. David has a wide range of academic credentials including a B.Ed. B.A. Master’s in Education and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Special Education.
David is a resourceful teacher with experience teaching students that have a strong focus on academic excellence. He is skilled at building relationships within a multi-disciplinary team in order to support students and teachers in a variety of settings. David is recognized as a skilled communicator and effective planner.
David Johnson joined Maple Bear as a trainer in 2019.
Elaine loves teaching and enjoys sharing her enthusiasm with others. Her passions are developing a love of lifelong learning and fostering a love of literature in her students. Elaine has over thirty years of experience in the field of education. She has been an elementary classroom teacher, with a specialization in language arts, as well as a literacy intervention and support teacher. Elaine has taught preservice teachers at university, been a sessional instructor and mentored student teachers in her own classroom. She has had the opportunity to work alongside teachers in Kenya, Burundi and Belize and conduct workshops. Elaine was excited to join the Maple Bear team after retiring from teaching in June of 2020. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta and spends her time teaching English as a second language and enjoying time with her daughters and grandchildren.
Darlene has a Bachelor of Education degree and a Post Baccalaureate in Special Education. She has taught in many grades from 1 to 7 as well as resource teacher positions in schools from K to 12. Presently Darlene is in the role of Literacy Coach with her school division working with teachers to constantly improve instructional practice. Teacher efficacy is a belief of hers that continues to inspire her to constantly be learning as she works with other educators. As a trainer with Maple Bear, her experiences allow her to keep learning as she collaborates with teachers for mutual professional growth. Darlene currently lives in Manitoba, Canada.
Maria has worked in all levels of schools, from elementary through to high school, for over 30 years. For 15 years she worked as the department head of Student Services at a high school. She has specialized in integrating students with special needs in regular classroom settings at all grade levels. She has provided support for teachers in differentiating instruction to support all students in regular classrooms.
She has also worked as a hospital consultant to schools for students that were experiencing mental health issues in school. More specifically she has provided workshops for students and teachers in the areas of anxiety, Autism and ADHD.
Maria has worked with students and classrooms to support students that were experiencing behavioural concerns in the classroom. She has also offered workshops in the area of self-regulation for both students and teachers.
She has worked as a trainer for Maple Bear Global schools since 2016 and has provided workshops for teachers in the areas of behaviour and self-regulation.
Evangeline is an educator and literacy coach with over 34 years of extensive experience. An enthusiastic, effective collaborator with teachers and administrators, she is well organized and has a successful track record of implementing effective literacy programs. Evangeline is fluent in English and Greek.
Denise Klassen is an experienced educator and leader who, after a very rewarding career of serving others in the public school system, continues to promote best practices in Canadian education and leadership. Her skills, knowledge and experience acquired from teaching K-12 learners and from leadership roles in elementary and secondary schools have served her well in supporting others in their professional learning.
Her most recent professional work has focused on Early Years Literacy. Providing direct support to learners and teachers regarding key facets of literacy development is proving to be a very rewarding and engaging enterprise for her.
Lifelong learning is not only an attitude she promotes in others, but one she fully embraces both personally and professionally.
Karin Klassen is a passionate educator who has taught students of all ages for over 25 years. She loves to work together with other educators to find best teaching practices and positive solutions for every teaching situation. Karin has taught on exchange in Australia for a year. She has also worked with educators at schools in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Paraguay. Currently Karin is a Practicum Advisor with teacher candidates in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Karin is thrilled to serve as a trainer with the Maple Bear faculty.
Karin is a professional violinist, having played with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for many years. She was a long-time conductor of the Winnipeg Youth Strings Orchestra. She was honoured to receive the Morna June Morrow Award for Excellence in Music Education in Manitoba. She loves to motivate student learning and engagement through music.
Karin and her husband have two wonderful children and two beautiful grandchildren, who are the love of her life.
Sherry Klassen worked as an educator and school administrator for 33 years. Throughout her career, she has seen firsthand the benefits to students when best educational practices are put in place. Her launching of an education consulting cooperative has allowed Sherry to continue collaborating with teachers and administrators in developing professional development sessions regarding those best practices in areas including student assessment and engagement, school culture development, and crisis prevention intervention to name a few. Sherry’s training in both cognitive and IPEC coaching also allows her to support school leadership as they encounter the challenges of today’s school administrators.
Sherry truly believes that we are better when we work together. She is passionate about creating school cultures that keep collaborative learning at the center of decisions related to education. She joined the Maple Bear training team in 2018 and has had the pleasure of working with middle years and high school teachers while in Brazil and more recently, virtually as a webinar instructor and central training presenter. Additionally, she has been working closely with school leaders to develop school-specific professional development opportunities.
Sherry’s on-going goal is to bring a healthy dose of optimistic energy to each day. She looks forwards to sharing that energy with the staff of Maple Bear.
Carol’s experience in education spans 36 years in Alberta as an English Language Arts teacher and administrator. During these years she also enjoyed working as a Professional Development Instructor for the Alberta Teachers’ Association and mentoring interns and student teachers in the Education Faculty at the University of Lethbridge.
Upon retirement from teaching, she embarked on the adventure of taking a position as Director of Learning for Nishimachi International School, a K- 9 school in Tokyo, Japan. Her three years in Tokyo allowed her to learn more about working with elementary school teachers and students, and to explore Southeast Asia. Carol is particularly interested in the application of brain research in teaching and learning. She enjoys travel, hiking all kinds of trails - from the Grand Canyon to the Kumano Kodo - and spending time with family.
She joined the Maple Bear community as a trainer in 2019.
Lee is passionate about teaching and learning. His educational career has included 35 years as a teacher and as a teaching principal in schools with students from grades Pre-K to 12. He is an Alberta Department of Education teacher instructor in mathematics, has served as president of the Council on School Administration, has led workshops on best practices in mathematics instruction and has led workshops to parents and teachers on the continuous progress of students. He followed this with 6 years in international education as a Director of Curriculum and as Head of School, in Beirut, Lebanon; Yangon, Myanmar; and Tokyo, Japan. He has a BEd from the University of Alberta and a MA from Gonzaga University Spokane. In these capacities Lee has embraced diversity, inclusion, learning readiness, and the why, not just the how, of teaching and learning.
Lee is also a Professional Learning Consultant with North West Educational Association, the MAP people, and offers workshops for teachers on assessment and the use of data to improve student learning.
Lee is currently living in Lethbridge, Alberta with his wife Carol with whom he shares a love of travel and adventure.
Kim is passionate about teaching and lifelong learning. She joined the Maple Bear team in the Spring of 2017 and has had the pleasure of providing in school training to schools in Brazil and Morocco. In addition, Kim has enjoyed coaching and mentoring school leaders and new school start-ups and has had the privilege of facilitating Initial Training workshops. Kim has also facilitated various Central Training workshops on Early Childhood Education, Literacy and Language, and those designed specifically for new Maple Bear teachers.
Kim draws upon her 30-year career in teaching and educational leadership in Winnipeg, which has included roles as classroom teacher, resource teacher, and Principal, specializing in second language learning and supporting immersion schools. Kim has a deep passion for early literacy and language learning. When Kim is not working in schools, you can find her in her gardens or walking the forest trails in nearby parks.
Rick joined the Maple Bear Faculty in January of 2018 as part of the quality assurance team. He has 37 years of experience in education as teacher, counsellor, and administrator at all levels from grades one through twelve. During his career, Rick worked in Northern Manitoba and Winnipeg then later internationally in Cairo and Guangzhou. He also participated with Project Teach in Haiti and Project Overseas in Ghana to help regional teachers further develop their skills.
Rick received his Bachelor of Education from the University of Winnipeg and two Post Baccalaureates from the University of Manitoba in Math/Science Education and another in Counselling. He has his Administrators certification and was also the coordinator of his school divisions Continuing Education/After Hours Program.
Currently, Rick and his wife of 39 years live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and enjoy their six grandchildren. When not running nana and pops daycare, he enjoys traveling and working around the house.
Karen is a passionate and committed educator. She joined the Maple Bear team in 2018 and has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities to provide training for schools in Brazil both in person and on-line. Karen had the opportunity to extend her last training assignment to include a week of additional training in supporting Students with Special Needs.
Karen has over 30 years of experience in teaching and educational leadership in Winnipeg as well as in an International School in Honduras. Karen’s roles have included early and middle years classroom teacher, Resource teacher, EAL teacher, Literacy Support teacher and Reading Recovery teacher. Karen has a passion for early literacy, language learning and assessment and has presented numerous workshops in the areas of Running Records, Guided Reading, Balanced Literacy and Assessment. Karen has extensive experiences as a case manager supporting families and students with Special Needs. Karen has worked as a faculty advisor with the University of Winnipeg supporting teacher candidates in Early and Middle Years schools.
When not involved with schools, Karen enjoys time with family especially with her grandchildren, connecting with friends, walking, yoga, traveling, gardening, and reading.
Carole Kuryk was thrilled to join the Maple Bear team in 2015. As a University of Manitoba graduate with a Post Baccalaureate In Education, Carole willingly shares her background knowledge (Early Years Education, Reading Recovery and Resource). Having experience as a faculty advisor with the University of Manitoba and as a sessional instructor, Carole feels privileged to be guiding young teachers as they learn and adopt Canadian methodology. Most recently, Carole has in-serviced Brazilian teachers on differentiated instruction (ways to meet the varying learning styles of students). Watching young children develop their potential as they grow to be the citizens of tomorrow is certainly a passion for Carole.
Thirty-four years of experience as an elementary school administrator and teacher in the Canadian school system has given Judy the skills to train educators working with early toddler to Year 4 and middle years students. Her six years experience as a trainer and initial trainer for new school start-ups and acting principal at Maple Bear schools in Brazil has familiarized her with all aspects of Maple Bear School curriculum and implementation of its programs. Judy has a strong background in school organization and planning. Her teacher training emphasizes effective planning, assessment, and improving literacy, numeracy and science skills for all students. She has collaborated with staff to create a respectful, safe, secure, happy environment where learning is emphasized and effective classroom management skills practiced. Judy has conducted both teacher training workshops and parent information workshops and enjoys working as a trainer for Maple Bear Global Schools.
Jo-Anne Lalonde started her career in 1988 at the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She has a wealth of teaching experience in the classroom as well as in her role of instructional leader. She holds a Master’s Degree in Second Language Teaching from the University of Ottawa. Her teaching career includes experience as a classroom teacher, as an Educational Consultant for learners of french and for new immigrants to Canada. She also worked as an Educational Consultant for The New Teacher Induction Program of Ontario. Jo-Anne continues to be a passionate learner and now works as a part time supply teacher and consultant. Because of her passion for teaching second languages, and her hope to travel abroad, Jo-Anne is looking forward to be part of the Maple Bear family in 2021.
Kerry’s educational career included teaching at every grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 12, before becoming a Principal at both the Elementary and Secondary levels. He has always had a strong interest in the individual needs of his students and obtained his Specialist qualifications in Special Education in order to develop greater expertise in meeting those needs through differentiated instructional practices.
During his career as Principal, he became the School Board Lead related to the Ontario School Effectiveness Framework, working collaboratively for a number of years with all of the Principals and their staff, in the development and implementation of School Improvement Planning. The focus of this process was to build capacity within the school community, with the priority goals of building the best learning environment, while assisting each student to achieve the greatest success possible.
For the past 6 years, Kerry has been a Principal Coach, working with Secondary Principals in Toronto and Northern Ontario. In this role he supported the principals, as they developed capacity as Instructional Leaders in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy, while collaborating with them and their academic teams in further developing their evidence-based instructional strategies.
Kerry lives in the growing community of Russell, southeast of Ottawa and is excited to work with Maple Bear Global Schools, in both Quality Assurance, as well as a Teacher Trainer.
John brings a depth and breadth of senior educational leadership experiences and qualifications to the Maple Bear Quality Assurance Team. In over 35 years of education he has held educational leadership roles within Ontario schools, the Ontario Ministry of Education and more recently as Principal and Head of School at private schools in Ontario, St. Maarten and Cairo, Egypt. John is a former recipient of the National Award called “ Canada’s Outstanding Principal” for his extensive work in creating the Catholic Principal’s Certification Program with the University of Toronto and then as the course Lead Instructor for several years. In addition, he has managed to acquire IB qualifications as an International administrator.
Most recently, John was employed as a Senior Quality Assurance Education Inspector for the Ontario Ministry of Education. He was charged with the inspection of both publicly funded and private schools internationally and provincially that offered Ontario secondary school course credits.
He resides in Burlington, Ontario with his retired teacher wife and his 2 adult teacher children.
Jennifer Lawson, PhD, is a former classroom teacher, resource/special education teacher, consultant, and principal. She is the author of the Hands-On series, subject-specific curricular resources for teachers used across Canada. Jennifer also teaches Early and Middle Years Math, Science, and Social Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, and is a School Trustee in Winnipeg. She is happy to be joining Maple Bear as a trainer.
Philippe Le Dorze
Philippe Le Dorze is currently Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the Université de Saint-Boniface. Previously, for a decade he was Language Coordinator for an urban school division in Winnipeg, Canada and President of the Canadian Association of Immersion Teachers (CAIT/ACPI) from 2010 to 2013. In the early days of French immersion in Canada, he co-authored grade six materials for the Portes ouvertes sur notre pays Collection published by Guérin. Philippe Le Dorze has participated in four Quality Assurance tours to Maple Bear schools in Brazil since 2015. He tweets about languages in both French and English at @pledorze2.
Janice spent 32 years in the Manitoba school system as an Elementary and Middle Years teacher, Behaviour Resource, Vice Principal in K-12 French Immersion, and Principal of two K-6 schools.
Janice is passionate about early literacy and in 2011, her school received the Manitoba Childcare Educaring Award for developing partnerships and innovative early literacy programming with and for their pre-school community. In 2012, Janice was the recipient of the Manitoba Reading Association Crocus Award: Administrator.
Janice joined Maple Bear in 2012 as principal of Maple Bear Vietnam and in 2013, continued as an Interim Principal and Trainer in Brazil. From 2015-2018, she worked with the Central Office Team in Sao Paulo as the Director and then Associate Director of Maple Bear Brazil focusing on leadership, teacher and coordinator training, school excellence, curriculum implementation, and assessment. Janice resides in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba and continues to enjoy her ongoing work with Maple Bear through various training opportunities.
Suzanna has worked as an elementary school teacher for over two decades in both the United States and Canada. She has both a Bachelor of Arts (Mount Saint Vincent University) and Bachelor of Education (University of Fort Kent), a Diploma in Curriculum (Cape Breton University), as well as a Masters in Specialized Learners with Diverse Needs and Specialities (Mount Saint Vincent University). Suzanna’s teaching style focuses on teaching to each student’s unique educational needs and abilities in order to support them in learning journey.
Suzanna joined the Maple Bear family as a teacher trainer in 2020, shortly after retiring from her teaching career. Suzanna lives in Nova Scotia and enjoys doing yoga, taking long walks, spending time with her family and beloved dogs and cats, and spending long afternoons on the beautiful beaches of the East Coast.
Jacky Lothian’s career in education has taken her to many sectors of the school system. She began teaching kindergarten and managed to teach early grades to high school grades, as well as resource. From classroom teacher to administrator to Career Development Coordinator, she has had a wide variety of experiences. Most recently, she worked in Southern Saskatchewan as an Early Learning and Care Consultant.
Jacky is excited to join this amazing team as a trainer. She is looking forward to working with, learning with and empowering teachers. As she embarks on this new journey she is reminding herself, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” [Zig Ziglar]
Kristina is a retired teacher who has taught in the French Immersion programme for 30+ years. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario. Kristina’s past experiences in education also include teaching and taking on an administrative role in the International Language programme at local school boards. She has also taught at an international school in Europe. During the course of her career, Kristina has had the opportunity to mentor new teachers in the schools where she has taught.
Kristina believes that we can all learn from each other and that working collaboratively benefits both students and teachers. She is part of the Maple Bear training team.
John lives in Toronto with his wife Susan. They have 4 wonderful grandchildren that keep them both very busy. John enjoyed a 37 year career in Catholic education in Ontario, serving as teacher, Vice Principal, Principal, Superintendent and Director of Education.
Once retired, he accepted a 4 year appointment as Director of Programme/Principal of an International school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This was an exciting new adventure which provided the opportunity to work directly with students, staff and parents as well as travel extensively in SE Asia to both market the school and recruit students.
In 2018, John joined Maple Bear and has been involved in Quality Assurance work throughout Brazil.
Allison Macfarlane has taught a myriad of subject areas and in many capacities from Kindergarten to Grade 10 in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada. She prides herself on being a lifelong learner and has spent a career engaged in investigating and honing her skills in new best practices. In addition to her love of working with students of all ages she has demonstrated a passion towards instructional leadership. Allison has led many workshops for teachers in her school and district; most often in the areas of literacy and assessment. After retiring in June 2020, she accepted a position with University of British Columbia (Okanagan) as an Intern Observer supporting and guiding teacher trainees in their final practicum. Allison lives in Kelowna, BC but looks forward to the international opportunities that await working as a trainer within the Maple Bear faculty.
Denise has over 30 years of experience in education. She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Psychology and her Bachelor of Education and began her career in French Immersion schools. Thereafter, she taught in French schools, while also obtaining her Master’s degree in Special Education (re-education of reading and writing). She worked in various grades from K-8, and took on various roles such as classroom teacher (regular stream and behavioural classes), resource teacher and consultant. A lifelong learner, Denise then obtained her qualifications to work with deaf and hard of hearing children. She developed a passion for this field which is where she spent the rest of her career. She led many workshops in the areas of deafness, literacy, and student engagement for French teachers throughout eastern Ontario. She was also appointed to the Ontario Ministry’s Advisory Council on Special Education (MACSE) for 5 years.
After retiring, Denise accepted a position working with special needs students. She teaches them how to use technology software and apps to achieve success in the classroom.
As a trainer with the Maple Bear Faculty she now looks forward to bringing her experience and leadership to help other teachers develop their craft.
Over 30 years of K-12 experience as a school administrator, teacher and a school support consultant in the Ontario school system in Canada has given Judy the skills to train educators working with children of all ages. She obtained her Masters of Education from University of Toronto specializing in Adult Education and Special Education. Her passion in education lies in inclusive education, where she has been a special education instructor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University.
Judy has spent the past 5 years supporting large scale education reform projects in both public and private schools in Malaysia. She wrote training programs, conducted teacher and principal training, parent information workshops and was a speaker at international education conferences. She has collaborated with staff to create a positive learning environment where student centred learning is emphasized and effective classroom management skills are practiced.
Judy joins the Maple Bear faculty as a teacher trainer.
Tony received his Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Education degrees at the University of Calgary. He was granted a Masters of Education degree in Instructional Leadership from Gonzaga University, Washington. Tony has served as a teacher, consultant, vice principal and principal for 32 years with the Calgary Catholic School District.
He also worked for 3 years in the Education Faculty at St. Mary’s University in Calgary, teaching courses in Instructional Strategies; Ethics and Social Justice to students who were in their final year of teacher preparation. Later, as a Practicum Advisor at St. Mary’s, he provided mentorship to student teachers progressing through their final teaching practicum. One of the most satisfying experiences in his teaching career was the three and a half years spent as Curriculum Coordinator at Mount Saint Agnes Academy in Hamilton, Bermuda. There, Tony played an important role in assisting staff and students in successfully adopting the Canadian curriculum.
Tony has served for 8 years on the Executive of the Health and Physical Education Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. He has presented at numerous education conferences and teacher workshops throughout his career. Tony is presently employed as a guest teacher / administrator in Calgary and as a trainer for Maple Bear Global Schools.
Elvira has worked as an educator in Winnipeg for 36 years. Her roles included classroom teacher, enrichment facilitator, Resource and EAL teacher. Most of her experience has been in French Immersion schools from K to grade 7. Elvira speaks French and Italian and is learning Spanish. She is passionate about teaching second languages and developing strong literacy and numeracy skills.
She believes that one of the keys to education is collaboration - sharing ways to engage and motivate students through activity-based learning. She also values mentoring. Being a trainer with Maple Bear provides her with the opportunity to share her experience and knowledge and to continue to develop her skills in these key areas. Elvira joined Maple Bear as a trainer in 2019.
She enjoys traveling and meeting new people, photography, quilting, hiking and cycling.
“True leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”
Colin is a graduate from the University of Winnipeg and has been in field of education for over 16 years. He has 5 years experience teaching Science, Math and Physical Education at the middle years level and 9 years as a Physical Educator and Science Teacher at Miles Macdonell Collegiate. In 2017, Colin was appointed to an administrative role in the River East Transcona School Division. He is presently the Vice Principal of John Henderson Junior High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Colin is a curriculum program writer for Maple Bear Global Schools. He is presently developing a Year 10 Student Leadership Course and will be further developing a Year 11 Student Leadership Course in the future.
Colin has a deep passion for student inquiry and learning. Globally, he believes that as educators, it is important to build a leadership mindset within our students. Thus, providing students with many opportunities to demonstrate a greater understanding of who they are and the potential they possess to be effective and charismatic leaders in their personal, school and community life.
David McDougall is excited to be part of the Maple Bear training team. He has spent 33 years in education as a teacher at many levels, a curriculum consultant and school administrator. He currently resides in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada and look forward to working with fellow educators to positively improve the delivery of education for the future leaders of our communities and world.
Marc lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with his wife Thao and his dog Cali. He has been working as an educator for over 10 years – as a classroom teacher, a Physical Education specialist, a Co-teacher, a swimming instructor, and a special needs support worker. He has worked in both the private and public school systems in Winnipeg and has spent the majority of his time teaching physical education to grades kindergarten to grade 8.
Marc is currently the Physical Education curriculum writer for Maple Bear. Marc is also currently completing his post-baccalaureate in special education through the University of Manitoba where he hopes to become a resource teacher.
Todd has been an educator for almost three decades, teaching mostly in Thunder Bay, Ontario, but also in Belgium for four years. His classroom experience has primarily been with Intermediate (age 12-14) students, but he has taught all grades from Kindergarten to Grade 8 (ages 4 to 14). He has additional qualifications in French as a Second Language, Literacy, Computers, as well as his principal qualifications. Outside of the traditional classroom, Todd has spent a decade as a vice-principal and principal, as well as experience as a science centre staff scientist, a board-level Literacy Resource Teacher, a culinary arts teacher, and a primary teacher in a virtual school. His purpose as an educator, no matter what his role, has always been first and foremost to create a safe, inclusive learning environment where children are encouraged to ask questions and seek the answers, collaborate, and celebrate their strengths.
Heather has a deep belief that all students are capable of learning and her experiences reflect this. She has taught special education classes and Reading Recovery and led a collaborative research project to improve outcomes for students with learning disabilities in mathematics. After years of teaching students in all grades from JK – 8, Heather assumed various leadership roles supporting teachers and system leaders: curriculum consultant, student achievement officer with the Ontario Ministry of Education, school principal, and writer and instructor of mathematics additional qualification courses for teachers. She has presented at provincial conferences including the Ontario Association of Math Educators Conference and the Ontario Council for Exceptional Children Special Education Conference. Heather has recently retired from her full-time career to spend more time with friends and family skiing, kayaking and hiking in the beautiful Bruce Peninsula along the shores of Georgian Bay. She is excited to continue to support educators and students in her new role as a trainer with Maple Bear schools.
Bernice (Bunny) Mitchell has over 35 year’s professional experience in the field of education. She has taught students in the primary, elementary, junior high and high school grades and students with special needs. She has worked as a Student Services teacher (resource and counselling). Her leadership experience includes positions as a district coordinator, school vice-principal and principal at the elementary, high school and post-secondary levels. Bunny has delivered professional development on several topics including numeracy and literacy, social emotional needs, learning strategies, differentiated instruction and behavioral management.
Bunny holds a Master’s in Education (Educational Psychology), Pre-Master’s (Counselling) and a Bachelor of Education. She holds Level 1 and Level 2 School Administrator’s Certificates. Her roles within Maple Bear include in-school training and initial training, along with mathematics implementation guide writing for grades 3 and 4. In addition, Bunny has conducted several central office math workshops and has helped prepare trainers to conduct initial training.
William (Bill) Morgan is a Canadian educator with more than 35 years of experience working in schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12. With degrees from the University of Manitoba (Canada) and Northern Illinois University (USA) Bill has developed a passion for creating educational opportunities for children that will ignite their love of learning and unlock their potential. Bill's roles in education have included a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, school administrator and university instructor. Recently, Bill was the administrator of a school for children with learning differences in the Middle East where he was honored for his leadership and support for children with special needs. In his role with Maple Bear Global Schools Bill has served as a Quality Assurance reviewer for schools in Brazil and Mexico. He has just finished his role as the Academic Director for Maple Bear Brazil.
Patricia has taught each grade from Kindergarten to Grade 8 in high needs, multicultural schools in Toronto. She thrives on new challenges, and took part in four years of international teaching exchanges through the Ontario Ministry of Education to the U.K., United States and Australia. Patricia was also privileged to participate in the Canadian Teachers' Federation’s Project Overseas, where she provided inservices to headmasters and teachers in developing countries. Patricia was a team member, then team leader, in Uganda, Mongolia, and St. Kitts. These assignments were profound learning experiences and a source of joy. With her ESL Specialist degree, Patricia taught ESL and later was an ESL consultant, working with teachers and principals in Toronto. She has a passion for language, literacy, and facilitating a love of learning.
Patricia is excited to begin her next chapter as a trainer with the Maple Bear team!
Colleen has over thirty years’ experience as an educator. While the first half of her career was as a classroom teacher, she went on to become the Middle Years Consultant for RETSD in Winnipeg, Canada and then into school administration at the Early and Middle Years level. Colleen is an instructional leader with a broad knowledge of Canadian curriculum, philosophy, and pedagogy. She has participated on Manitoba Education Committees involving Middle Years Philosophy and Curriculum Implementation and is a published author of several educational articles. She has served as the president of the Manitoba Middle Years Association and is the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Colleen was excited to join the Maple Bear team in 2018 and has had the privilege of doing in-school training in Brazil and conducting Assessment Webinars. She is passionate about teaching, considers herself a lifelong learner and looks forward to continuing to help teachers and students learn and grow. She is also excited and humbled to build on the friendships she has been so fortunate to have made during her time in Brazil. When not training, Colleen enjoys walking her two Shelties, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.
Darlene Noga is an educator and mother of two adult children from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is a retired teacher with over 30 years in the Manitoba school system. When she is not busy traveling you can find her tutoring students of various age levels or supporting teachers in the classroom. In 2013 her love of children, learning and traveling led to a position as a trainer with Maple Bear Schools. As a trainer she enjoys encouraging teachers struggling with classroom management. Her focus on using positives to obtain a desired behavior is well received by teachers. She frequently travels to various Maple Bear schools in Brazil to train teachers and also enjoy the Brazilian sun, cake, ice cream and hospitality.
Alan is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Physical Education and Education. Through 16 years of middle years and senior years teaching experience, he has taught physical education, math and science. He also brings forth considerable experience in leadership development as well as athletic coaching. He is currently a French Immersion mathematics teacher at Miles Macdonell Collegiate in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Alan is a curriculum program writer for Maple Bear Global Schools and is currently developing a Year 10 Student Leadership Course.
Beverly is an elementary school principal of two schools in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Beverly has had extensive and varied experiences in TDSB including: adult E.S.L. teacher, Classroom Teacher (Kindergarten to Gr. 8), Mentor and Coach, French language advocate, Professional Development team member, STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) conference lead, Alternative school programming and School Administration.
Beverly has a M. Ed degree (Cultural Pedagogy) and a B.Ed degree (Elementary Education) from the University of Toronto. She continues to take courses focused on anti-oppression, anti-black racism, anti-indigeneity, the provincial renewed math strategy, integrated thinking tools and cognitive coaching.
In addition, she completed many related trainings: Math Leadership Cadre, Integrative Thinking tools training, Guided Reading & Reading Records, Assessment and Evaluation Data Analysis, Second Step, Tribes (Trainer), Cognitive Coaching (Facilitators’ Training), Appreciative Inquiry, Facilitation Skills for School Improvement among others.
Beverly joined Maple Bear in 2019. She looks forward to expanding her opportunities to work with Maple Bear schools.
Leah Obach is an educator from rural Manitoba and the co-founder of KG Education. She has at the taught early years, middle years and high school levels. Leah currently works as a technology coach for her school division, working with K-12 students and teachers to support meaningful technology integration. She also enjoys working as a trainer for Maple Bear Global Schools. Leah is passionate about improving education through strong classroom practice, ongoing professional growth and collaboration with fellow educators.
Jane lives in Winnipeg with her husband. She is passionate about learning and is a strong advocate for inclusive education. Jane’s professional background spans 35 years - classroom teacher, primary to high school, French, music and drama, student services, literacy and numeracy support, resource, and counseling. Since retiring in 2015, she has been fortunate to continue her work in education, promoting best practices in inclusive education, literacy, and numeracy, providing direct support for classroom teachers, and creating individual programming for students with diverse needs.
Jane loves collaborating with educators to create authentic, meaningful, and compassionate environments, and finding creative ways to support all children’s leaning.
Jane joined Maple Bear in 2018 as an in-school trainer. Jane loves meeting fellow educators and is inspired by the passion and dedication of Maple Bear teachers and administration.
Art Pfeffer has 34 years of experience teaching levels 1-9 with a specialization in early years and special needs children. He has an Administrative and Principal certification, as well as a double Post Baccalaureate in Administration and English as an Additional Language. He has an extensive background working with adults and mentoring graduating student teachers at the University of Winnipeg, Faculty of Education. His work has included designing and presenting on-line training seminars for new teachers in preparation for work in Asia, working as a school director and country curriculum director in South Korea, as well as writing and editing curriculum. He has worked for Maple Bear for 11 years since 2007 and has provided service in Korea, China, Vietnam, Mexico, Turkey, and Brasil. His Maple Bear experience helping schools to become established, ordering books and materials, supporting teacher training and mentoring of administration, as well as a wide range of teacher and parent presentations.
Janet Potter is a retired teacher, resource teacher, mother and grandmother living in Winnipeg, Canada with her husband of 40 years. After working in the elementary school system for 35 years, she retired and has enjoyed working as a trainer and writer for Maple Bear Schools in Korea, Brazil and Mexico since 2014. She enjoys collaborating with teachers as they arduously endeavor to create their own wonderfully rich and meaningful learning environments where children can joyfully grow, acquire knowledge and excel. Her special interests are developing motivated readers, writers, and problem solvers, listeners, speakers and thinkers who can apply their talents in meaningful ways.
Angela Power is a Principal in a K-8 school in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Angela holds the following degrees: Master of Education in School Administration, Post Bacc in Education with the focus on curriculum, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Arts with majors in English and Social Studies. Angela has also acquired her Levels 1 and 2 School Administrators Certificates. She has served as an Early and Middle Years teacher, Student Services teacher and as a Vice Principal. Angela loves to work with educators to help them with student specific programming and meeting individual student needs in the classroom. She also has a passion for incorporating well-being into the culture of the school and classroom. Angela has been an in-school trainer in several cities and schools in Brazil for Maple Bear. She is rewarded each time with the people that she meets but also the learning that she takes away every time. She has conducted many workshops dealing with curriculum and strategies for dealing with student behaviour and many specifically related to literacy and numeracy. Angela is passionate about education but even more passionate to have the honour and privilege of working with dedicated educators
Cheryl Prokopanko has taught at early years, middle years, and senior years in Manitoba. She also has instructed preservice teachers in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and has provided professional learning opportunities for educators in Australia, China, and Brazil. Cheryl worked as a coordinator in the Learning Support and Technology Unit at the Manitoba Department of Education where her specialty was Literacy with Information and Communication Technology across the Curriculum.
Most recently, Cheryl was Director of International Education for the province of Manitoba and in that capacity visited several Maple Bear schools. Cheryl has provided professional development for Maple Bear and most recently has written the Maple Bear Levels 6-9 Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship curriculum.
Barb graduated with a BEd. from the University of British Columbia and has 33 years teaching experience. She has taught in remote communities in Manitoba and in Kelowna, British Columbia. Barb has experience teaching students in elementary grades with her primary expertise in Early Years and Kindergarten. She has mentored teachers in training throughout her career. Barb believes in developing classroom environments that promote play-based learning and instill literacy and numeracy in young learners. She has been recognized for creating school-wide programs that foster a positive school climate in which students work together and treat each other with kindness and respect.
Barb joined Maple Bear as a Trainer in 2019. She thoroughly enjoys working with the teachers, teaching assistants, coordinators and owners, supporting them to deliver the Maple Bear curriculum.
Barb lives with her husband in Kelowna, B.C. and has two adult children.
Angela Quinn has over 35 years of experience teaching from Kindergarten to Grade 12 as well as adults. She has a Master's degree from the University of Ottawa as well as Specialist Certification in Second Language Learning and Special Education. Angela has worked as a classroom teacher, an Elementary School Principal and Second Language Curriculum Consultant. She has presented workshops on the following topics: literacy strategies (read aloud, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading), writing, organizing and implementing learning centers, comprehension strategies, differentiated learning, classroom management, assessment and evaluation, planning and delivery of curriculum.
Angela has worked as a Maple Bear Academic Support trainer in Brazil, Mexico and Morocco.
Jan has enjoyed over thirty-five years of teaching and administration within the Canadian school system. Although she has taught at all levels, her focus for most of her career has been on early learning and primary education. After teaching at the primary level for several years, Jan moved into the role of Elementary Principal, which she enjoyed for eighteen years - but always kept her foot in the classroom, as this was where she experienced so much joy.
Jan is a passionate lifelong learner, and over the years she has presented workshops and worked with educators on topics ranging from reaching students with diverse learning challenges, the role of play and outdoor learning in early childhood education, and the integration of music and art to enhance literacy programs.
Jan lives in the small village of Naramata, British Columbia with her husband, Tony. She loves to hike, walk and explore the outdoors when she is not nose-deep in a good book!
Heidi has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Calgary. She is currently working on a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Education at the Université de Saint-Boniface. The focus of her studies and her teaching career has been in second-language teaching, both in Modern foreign languages (French, German and Spanish) as well as English as an Additional Language. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Heidi has also worked in curriculum and professional development and she has been a learning support teacher for newcomer and international students. Heidi is currently working on developing EAL supports for late-entry students at Maple Bear schools. Heidi and her husband, Ken, have two beautiful children and they live in Winnipeg, Canada.
Lynda Richard has been an educator for over 30 years. She has worked in Early Childhood Education, in Special Education, as a Consultant for the Blind and as both a classroom and resource teacher with Pembina Trails in Winnipeg.
Her academic degrees include Home Economics/Human Development, Special Education certificate and Masters in Education.
Lynda joined the Maple Bear team in 2016. She has since accepted numerous training trips to Brazil and Turkey. Lynda has led two-day Preschool Math workshops at Central Training.
Since retirement in 2010, Lynda has enjoyed volunteering to support theater as well as developing social justice programs at Winnipeg Harvest Food Bank. Lynda and her husband Louis are following their passion to explore new people and cultures as they travel the world.
Ruth Robillard moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in the early 80’s from her hometown of Montreal, Quebec. She studied education at McGill University and completed Master Degrees from Acadia and Mount Saint Vincent Universities. Her 40-year teaching career includes experience as a Classroom and Resource teacher as well as a Literacy Consultant and Teacher Leader training grade 1 teachers in Reading Recovery. She just returned from living overseas for 3 years in Abu Dhabi, UAE where she combined her love of teaching with travel. As a Trainer with Maple Bear Global Schools, Ruth is able to passionately offer professional training and support to teachers, assisting them with current instructional strategies. In her free time, Ruth loves to be outdoors in nature, whether it’s hiking and biking in summer or snowshoeing and skating in winter.
Robyn had a wonderful career in teaching, working in Early Childhood and Elementary Education for most of her 28-year career. As well as valuing her experiences as an early childhood educator, early years classroom teacher and resource teacher, Robyn loved mentoring teacher candidates as they developed into confident professionals.
She believes a teacher’s role is to support their students’ explorations, discoveries, mistakes, growth, and journey in becoming life-long learners. Robyn enjoys creating learning activities that encourage children to wonder, pose questions, discover, and be excited about learning.
Robyn recognizes strong relationships form the foundation for the best teaching and learning experiences. She understands that facilitating teamwork and providing professional development for staff is essential to a positive, and progressive school climate.
Robyn lives in a charming, historic home in the heart of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was thrilled to join Maple Bear in 2019 and participate in the Maple Bear Foundational Training Series in 2020. She feels privileged to be guiding teachers as they learn and adopt Canadian methodology and she embraces the new teaching, learning, and travel opportunities her role as a Maple Bear trainer provides.
Kim has had a fabulous career in teaching, working in Elementary Education for most of her 25-year career with the Toronto District School Board. Her career continues to be rich and varied as she worked in special education, early education as well as administration internationally. Her strong interest in working with young teachers in a mentorship role has been excellent preparation for the teacher training work she is doing with Maple Bear. In 2015, she returned to university to pursue her Masters in Educational Leadership, again with a focus on supporting beginning teachers and mentorship. She is thrilled to be living back home in Newfoundland.
Irene is excited to be part of the Maple Bear Canada training team. She has over 23 years of experience as a classroom and resource teacher, including certification as a Reading Recovery Teacher and a PBCE in Special Education. In addition to her work within the Canadian education system, Irene has enjoyed international teaching and training opportunities in Botswana, Mexico and Brazil. Since retirement, Irene has worked as a mentor for students enrolled in a Bachelor of Education program. As a Practicum Advisor/Supervisor for all three provincial universities over the past 10 years, Irene has mentored more than 70 young students in their pursuit of becoming classroom teachers.
Irene and her husband, Jack, are proud parents of 4 adult children and nine grandchildren. Meaningful and satisfying life experiences are nurtured through reading, crafting and spending time at their lakeside cottage.
Stewart Shinnan is a retired school principal who spent 30 years in Manitoba’s public-school system, in both elementary and high school. He is an experienced, proven educator who came to Maple Bear to remain connected to a profession he loves.
Stewart works mostly as a Maple Bear trainer, as this affords the opportunity to spend time building relationships with enthusiastic Maple Bear School staffs. However, Stewart also served as the principal of Maple Bear Chihuahua, and has traveled extensively to do quality assurance. Stewart often teams with his wife, Arpi Babaian, also a Maple Bear trainer.
Evelyn received a BED from the University of Regina in 1985, and lives in the small Saskatchewan town of Avonlea where she dedicated 31 years of her life to educating elementary students from Grades K to 8. During that time, she was able to give back to her profession by working with interns as a Co-op teacher. Upon retirement, she enjoyed working for the University of Regina as a Faculty Advisor to interns. To this day, she continues to sub-teach at all grade levels as she still enjoys connecting with students.
She has been enjoying the opportunity to work virtually with teachers since joining Maple Bear in 2019 and looks forward to in-person training resuming when travel restrictions lift. She is very happy to have found out about Maple Bear, and only wishes she could have known about this company sooner. Maple Bear is a first class company with first class educators at work.
Kelly Simpson has taught since 1988 in three rural schools and finished his career in Melfort, Saskatchewan. He has been very involved in coaching ice hockey, baseball, lacrosse, volleyball, basketball, track and field, and archery. His teaching subjects varied in the rural schools but mainly Physical Education, and he specialized in the Middle Years in Melfort. After retiring, Kelly taught in China and got to experience a whole new culture.
His philosophy is to build confidence in students so they can work to achieve academically and socially. He is looking forward to connecting with other teachers to share his experiences and assist them in their needs.
Janice spent 38 years in the public school system as an elementary, middle years and high school teacher, special educator/behaviour teacher, resource teacher at the middle years and high school level, a principal of a K-8 school and vice principal of a ECE-12 International School in Bangladesh. More recently, she teaches online courses to students in Bangladesh.
Janice joined Maple Bear in the summer of 2016, spending the next two summers training in Brazil schools. After retiring in June of 2018, she has continued to work with Brazil schools and the pleasure that comes from mentoring and supporting teachers, EAs, coordinators and owners in developing their teaching methodologies to enable the delivery of a strong Canadian based curriculum to their students. In the spring of 2018, she had the pleasure of providing workshops to coordinators and teachers on the implementation of the requirements for Special Education in the schools and support them in the writing of IEPs, I/AEPs and IBPs.
Believing that learning is a life long journey, Janice enjoys all that her career as a teacher has brought and the opportunities to meet, interact and work with people of various ethnicities and cultures.
Wayne has been a teacher, school administrator and district level administrator. Additionally, Wayne has done Human Resource consulting for several British Columbia School Districts in the south-central Interior. Wayne has also completed Quality Assurance work in a number of Maple Bear Schools in Brazil and attended the Maple Bear annual symposium at the University of Winnipeg.
As a teacher Wayne taught in British Columbia and spent two years teaching in Queensland, Australia. Administratively he was an Assistant Principal, Vice Principal, Principal and District Career Supervisor for School District 83 [North Okanagan-Shuswap School District]. Wayne was involved as one of the Founders of a 30+ year student twinning program between his school district and the rural Japanese community of Inashiki in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Wayne has an ongoing interest in climate change issues and is Co-chair of Shuswap Climate Action, a volunteer group of people interested in raising awareness of climate change in our region at the personal, community and municipal levels.
When not involved with the above activities Wayne can be found traveling to various international locations, hiking, snowshoeing, sailing, RVing, e-biking and cheering on the various hapless Vancouver sports teams. Wayne really enjoys watching his grandchildren who are involved in downhill mountain biking, premier league youth soccer and junior league baseball.
Originally from North Vancouver, B.C., Wayne obtained his B.A. from SFU, he completed Professional Teacher Training from UBC and received an M.A. [Educ Admin.] from Gonzaga University. He has three awesome school-age grandchildren in Grades 5, 8 and 11, and an older professional welder grandson. Wayne maintains a high interest in the individual progress shown by each child.
Gay Sul has been a K-Gr. 8 math consultant for over 20 years and has taught math methods courses at several Canadian universities. Her background includes a Master's degree in Mathematics Education from the University of British Columbia. Besides conducting ongoing professional learning sessions for teachers within her own school division, Gay has facilitated math workshops for teachers in China, Thailand, Uganda, the Caribbean and Brazil. Gay was a writer for Pearson’s Math Makes Sense textbook series and is the only accredited trainer for Math Recovery in Canada. She was also a recipient of the Math Teacher of the Year award in Manitoba.
Her focus in her work has always been on how to use hands-on materials to develop an understanding of a concept and make math meaningful – and fun - for both students and teachers.
Val began teaching in Scotland, then in North York Board of Education and York Region District School Board in Ontario. She has taught all grades JK – 11, High School Special Education, and French.
In addition to teaching in a classroom setting, Val was a Consultant and Coordinator for YRDSB; was seconded to York University Faculty of Education to design, teach, and assess the Primary/Junior Consecutive Education course; taught Additional Qualifications courses for practicing teachers; was seconded to the Ontario Ministry of Education to design e-learning modules, provide training for system leaders, and co-write a Junior Literacy document for all schools in Ontario; and provided leadership as a school Principal in a number of schools.
Val is passionate about the clear connections between effective teaching, student engagement, and student achievement; and enjoys working with teachers in classrooms.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education, and Masters of Education (Science) with a focus on Chemistry Education. She is currently completing her 29th year teaching high school science, Chemistry, and Advanced Placement chemistry in Winnipeg, and was recognized for significant contribution to excellence in teaching in 2012. Heather has been instrumental in promoting student inquiry and STEM research, and
co-developed a STEM based Topics in Science course that has been adopted by other schools in the province. Heather’s school is a member of the International Science Schools Network, allowing her the opportunity to present and collaborate with educators world-wide at international science forums. Her personal interests include traveling, downhill skiing, and spending time at the family cottage. She joins the Maple Bear faculty as a trainer.
Amanda started with Maple Bear in 2013 as a curriculum writer and trainer. With over 20 years in the classroom in a variety of roles, Amanda is currently the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme Coordinator and Special Education Resource Teacher in her school. Along with a Masters of Education in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Amanda also has a Post Baccalaureate (PBCE) a Bachelor of Education (early years), and a Bachelor of Physical Education.
Amanda is constantly learning and developing skills including earning her Google Educator levels 1 & 2 and recently became a National Geographic certified educator. Amanda is a past recipient of the Prime Minister‘s Certificate of Achievement and won Female Coach of the Year for Manitoba. When she is not teaching or coaching, she is snowboarding with her husband and teenage sons. Sadly Amanda lives in Winnipeg where there are no mountains but at least there are beautiful lakes.
Marilyn Tobin holds a Ph.D. & M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Calgary and a B.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from McGill University, in Montreal. She was the recipient of a University of Calgary President's Internationalization Achievement Award for her academic work in India, 2001-2002. She has over 40 years of experience as a kindergarten through university level teacher/instructor, special education, and elementary school administrator. A Maple Bear trainer since 2013, she embraces Brazilian culture and loves working with global colleagues to provide quality education for all students. Ongoing research interests include building collaborative learning communities, shared leadership, and creative applications in teaching/learning experiences.
As a lifelong educator Larry has been a teacher, administrator, principal, central office Learning supervisor and now university professor. Going strong after 36 years Larry is committed to sharing his experience with students, teachers and parents. He currently speaks to educators on leadership and working with "at risk" students.
Kirsten Tucker is dynamic and passionate about her work as a school principal and educator, with over thirty years of teaching experience at various grade levels, including classroom experience (K-12), early childhood development, and student supports (SERT). She has extensive experience working with teacher candidates, interns and beginning educators. As a lifelong learner, some of her strengths are in the area of assessment, collaborative arts education, school-wide programming, online learning, and teacher induction. She has a B.Ed and M. Ed from the University of Saskatchewan.
Kirsten Tucker loves teaching, learning, and living in rural Saskatchewan, while her role as a trainer with Maple Bear allows her to connect with schools and educators around the world!
Nicole Vinet is a program writer with Maple Bear, and is currently working on the Year 2 Math support document. She participated in Central Training in Brazil for the first time in 2018 and enjoyed facilitating Professional Development on Math with enthusiastic Year One and Two teachers. She has been teaching for 25 years in Manitoba, Canada with students ranging from Preschool to Grade 8. She began her work with teachers as a literacy mentor, and this role gradually moved into Mathematics. She developed a passion for Numeracy which eventually led her to working as a Numeracy Coach, supporting teachers in 16 schools in her School Division. She is passionate about building capacity in teachers, and especially about building positive mathematical mindsets in both students and teachers.
A love of science led Ann to become a teacher, but it was a passion for children and learning that fuelled her 30+ year career in education. She has taught or mentored children and adults in England, Canada and Brazil. Ann has enjoyed 15+ years as a school leader in her current home of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, including 10 years as a Vice-Principal and Principal in elementary, middle and senior years settings. Ann joined the Maple Bear family as a trainer in 2019 and strongly believes in the power of play-based learning to discover the way the world works. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue her own learning while sharing her experiences with others. Ann holds the following qualifications: in Biochemistry - B.Sc. (Hons) (Sheffield, U.K.) and Ph.D. (University College, London, U.K.); in Education - B.Ed. (Manitoba) and level 1 Administrator’s Certificate.
Rob graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1995 with the Gold Medal in Education, from the faculty of Education, with a Bachelor of Physical Education with a major Chemistry. He has taught for over 25 years in the Manitoba Public School System and the Independent School system, teaching Grades K - 12 in the areas of Physical Education, Social Sciences and Science. Rob has spent many years teaching General Science, Biology at the University Entrance Level and International Baccalaureate Program, and University Entrance Level Chemistry at the Grade 11 and 12 levels. His roles have included Vice-Principal, Science Department Head, and classroom teacher. He has attained his Level 1 Administration certificate, pursuing completion the Canadian Association of Independent Schools Leadership Certificate and pursuing a Master of Educational Administration. Currently, Rob is writing the Grade 11 Chemistry Program for Maple Bear.
Rob is a passionate educator who has a strong belief in hands-on learning. Science is the gateway to understanding the world around us, as his teaching reflects triangulated teaching to understand outcomes, with the motto, “See, Hear, Do.” All students need a safe, inclusionary environment to meet their full development and potential. He believes in providing students with opportunities to meet the curricular objectives through differentiated instruction, inquiry, problem solving and collaboration.
Rob currently lives in Winnipeg with his wife and two daughters.
Prior to becoming a Maple Bear trainer in 2016, Donna enjoyed a career as an elementary teacher for 33 years in Carleton Place, Ontario. She is passionate about children, education, travel and adventure, so working as a trainer is a dream come true for her! Donna finds it extremely gratifying and rewarding that Maple Bear teachers and administrators are so deeply committed to providing quality education for their students. She is thrilled to be a part of the Maple Bear family!
Glen is a retired Principal from the Toronto District School Board. He has a variety of experience in elementary schools, Special Education, French as a Second Language, and Outdoor Education. He believes in inclusive education and is an advocate for all students. He has a passion for Early Years Education, Literacy, and Numeracy.
Over the years Glen facilitated the implementation of many new school initiatives. Most recent were the pilot project for Ontario’s Full Day Kindergarten, and the International Baccalaureate authorization of his school.
Believing that education is a partnership, Glen has worked hard to develop relationships with all students, staff, parents, the community, and agencies that serve the community.
Other interests Glen enjoys include traveling, cooking and cottage living.
Brenda is a passionate educator who has specialized in Early Childhood Education for over 17 years. She has enjoyed international teaching experiences, including one year in João Pessoa, Brazil teaching JK and IK with Maple Bear. She has created and facilitated many workshops for both educators and parents based on a variety of topics including: Early Literacy & Numeracy, Fine & Gross Motor Skills and Play-Based Learning. She is dedicated to building positive and collaborative relationships with her colleagues and school families. She is a lifelong learner who values opportunities to learn about the latest research and how it can improve classrooms.
Brenda is an avid traveler who is always planning her next adventure. She loves being outdoors, no matter what the weather is, and is an avid reader. She also enjoys spending time in the kitchen making family recipes and those inspired from her travels. She currently teaches Kindergarten in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is a trainer with Maple Bear.
Lesley joined Maple Bear as a trainer in 2015 and worked with teachers and schools in Brazil and Mexico. Currently, she is writing a document on Individual Education and Behaviour Planning for Diverse Learners.
Lesley’s career in education spans 47 years and she has worked from pre- school to post- secondary as a Teacher, Resource Teacher, Principal, Assistant- Superintendent/ Student Services and Executive Director of a provincial School Improvement program. Areas of passion include literacy, inclusion and education for diverse learners.
In her career, Lesley has been a leader, a mentor and an advocate for students, teachers and administrators. Working as a Maple Bear trainer has allowed her to continue these roles and indulge her passion for education and life- long learning.
Shelley Wilson has been teaching for over 32 years after receiving her degree and nomination for the gold medal through the University of Manitoba. The majority of her teaching was within RETSD in Winnipeg where leadership skills and an expertise in the elementary years developed. As a Maple Bear Teacher Trainer she encourages teachers to build a foundation for creative, differentiated and continual learning. Collaboration to assist with child-centered learning using a co-operative group focus that incorporates multiple intelligence strategies is vital. Shelley has a passion to develop people who are socially responsible, problem-solving and self-reflective individuals. As a trainer she provides skills to empower those in teaching to afford a foundation of learning to affect change that will benefit society while exploring their talents within a global community
Elaine has been an educator in Manitoba for over 35 years.
Her career includes K- 9 classroom and physical education teacher, K-12 guidance counselor, high school resource, and K-8 school administrator. Elaine also worked as a Faculty Advisor for the University of Manitoba and taught the Educational Assistant Course at Red River Community College. A priority in her education journey was professional development in the areas of literacy, inclusion, behaviour intervention, and career education.
Elaine was thrilled to continue her love for lifelong learning and education when she joined the Maple Bear team as a trainer in 2018. Each training opportunity - both in person and virtually- has been most rewarding in building relationships, working collaboratively with the Maple Bear school teams in pursuing their professional growth goals, as well as supporting students in their learning and growing.
Elaine is excited about her recent role as Maple Bear career counselor as well as future training opportunities. She is currently providing support for high school counselors in the planning and delivery of their career education programs.
Marina Wilson has been an educator in Winnipeg Manitoba for over 30 years, having served as a classroom teacher, resource teacher, special education teacher, vice principal and principal. She has studied and specialized in working with at-risk students and presented “Creating a Culture of Care” for the Pembina Trails Leadership Program and the University of Manitoba. She recently launched the Student Services Demonstration Pilot Project with a team of administrators, focusing on reframing classroom service delivery and building classroom teacher capacity.
Marina joined Maple Bear allowing her to continue to do what she truly loves...training teachers and working with children.
Dave Witt and his wife live in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. He holds a Bachelor of Education degree specializing in Commerce and English, and an Educational Master’s degree specializing in Science and Technology. After 36 years in all levels of public education, he retired as Superintendent of the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District in 2013. He currently accepts short-term contracts as an educational and administrative consultant and performs Quality Assurance Reviews for Maple Bear Global Schools.
Dave serves on the Board of Directors of his regional credit union and also volunteers as a director on the board of the BC Tomorrow Society, a local organization formed to assist future citizens in making sustainable land-use decisions. When not traveling, Dave enjoys biking, golf, and finding the best wine to pair with the latest recipe.
Teresa Yestrau lives and works in the residential community of Lorette, Manitoba with her husband Randy and their two mini Australian Shepherds. She has taught in all grade levels from Nursery to Adult Education. Teresa studied at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Nipissing University in Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Education degree, a Post Baccalaureate in Special Education, and a Second Level School Administrative certification. Teresa has been an educator for more than 30 years. She has experience as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, school consultant in the areas of reading, special education, and English as a Second Language; as well as a school principal at elementary, middle years, and high school levels. Teresa has developed training programs and curriculum for students and adult learners in the area of student support and English Language Arts. She is currently a High School principal in a dual language school (English and French Immersion) which includes both on campus and off campus programs. Teresa has recently joined Maple Bear as a school consultant and has also presented for Maple Bear Brazil.