Ross is a history, social science and English teacher and is the Head of Social Sciences and Humanities at Toronto Prep School. Ross also assists with running the Gay-Straight Alliance and the TPS Jack.org chapter. Ross studied English literature at the University of Oxford, before moving to Canada to complete a PhD in English at the University of Toronto. Their dissertation, on the subject of experimental radio plays and the BBC, combined their interests in absurdist drama, cultural broadcasting and avant-garde music. Ross has recorded and performed in experimental music projects for 20 years. Ross is passionate about the connection between non-traditional art and culture, and social inclusivity. They strongly believe that human creative expression, critical discussion, and philosophical exploration have inherent personal and collective value, and approach teaching in a way that is protective of these higher forms of value. They particularly emphasize art as a necessary vehicle for social engagement. “The most valuable moments in learning are when we encounter information or ideas that are weird or unimagined. This feeling of discomfort in the presence of the strange is not to be feared, but should be treasured as the most thrilling moment in the learning process. I wish to inspire students with the pleasure of soothing the mind’s ache for understanding.”
Shannon is a compassionate educator with a passion for the biological sciences. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Queen's University, and earned a Master's of Education degree from Niagara University. This is Shannon's fifth year at Toronto Prep. In Shannon's classroom, students will be challenged to think critically about the ways in which humans interact with and influence our environments. She likes to connect concepts in science to issues that students experience in their daily lives. She is consistent in helping her students develop their critical thinking, resilience, and problem-solving skills. Her goal is for her students to become curious learners; ready to seek out new information or experiences they are passionate about. Prior to teaching, Shannon participated in various research programs including a shark and cetacean research project in South Africa. Shannon has also travelled extensively in Europe, Africa, and South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. She has been to 24 countries so far and is always thinking about the next big trip. In her free time she enjoys cooking, crafting, and spending time with her dog and her family. "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." - Albert Einstein
Co-Founder of Toronto Prep School (2009), Fouli brings 31 years of experience in the field of private education to her administrative, teaching, and public relation duties. A graduate of Victoria College, at the University of Toronto, Fouli was a middle school and high school teacher for 21 years in the private sector. However, her experience was not only limited to teaching, as Fouli organized and supervised many school related activities pertaining to team sports, clubs, charity events, prom and commencement ceremonies. As Director of Admissions, Fouli provides students, parents, and guardians with information regarding admissions requirements and processes. She begins the recruiting process by planning, coordinating, and overseeing promotional events, campus tours, student interviews, and other admissions activities. Fouli reviews and interprets student information, including test scores, extracurricular activities, grades, and any psycho-educational assessments. In addition, Fouli is responsible for the development of our digital and print assets, as well as overseeing our social media plans and posts, advertising campaigns, coordinated event engagements, educational conferences, and trade show presentations.
Alysha McCormick is in her fifth year teaching at Toronto Prep School. She earned her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Children Studies whilst completing her concurrent Bachelor of Education at York University. A young professional, Alysha is extremely passionate about education and understanding how her students learn. Alysha is very approachable and ensures that students stay motivated in and outside the classroom. She believes that it is important to connect all aspects of the curriculum and make them understandable to the students she is teaching. This often includes integrating various aspects of literacy to all other subjects. She emphasizes the importance of staying organized, being prepared and managing your time well. These are all skills essential to the world, even outside of the classroom. Staying engaging and motivating for all of her students, Alysha makes her classroom a fun place to be. Alysha encourages students to step outside their comfort zone, in and outside of school. She believes it is important to set goals and see what we can do to meet those goals. Education is used to build not just those math skills or language skills, but the confidence in students to go out in society and do everything to the best of their ability. It is okay to make a mistake, this is how one grows. Alysha is a dedicated educator who is determined to serve the needs of her students so that everyone can be successful. Alysha was the first in her family to graduate from a post-secondary institution. She loves art and drama and hopes to be a part of any school plays at TPS. Alysha also grew up in a “Leafs” household, so she loves to watch her favourite Toronto team take the ice during winter. Evidently, she loves sports, and is eager to coach or assist any extra-curricular sports as they come up throughout the school year. "Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things”.
Damian came to Toronto Prep School in 2018 after previously working in the legal field for years. Damian graduated from Durham College as a Paralegal in 2010, and in 2014, he earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Legal studies with a specialization in ADR from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Damian held various legal positions throughout his career. Damian works alongside the administrative staff of TPS and is able to take his professional experience and insight and share it with the students. One of his responsibilities is making sure every student is accounted for throughout the day and for each period. Damian has a fiancée and a beautiful baby girl. He loves football (NFL), working out and is a car enthusiast.
Matthew is the Head of the Communications Technology department, focusing on digital art and video. Matthew earned both a degree and a diploma in Media and Journalism from the University of Guelph-Humber, and followed that with his Bachelor of Education from York University. This is his sixth year on staff at Toronto Prep School. Matthew is a passionate educator who believes that each student learns in their own unique way. He is dedicated to creating flexible environments where all students can strive, adapting and encouraging them along the way. Matthew is also a supporter of the creative process, allowing students to explore the feelings and ideas that inspire them to create strong artistic work. He is also a strong proponent of utilizing technology in the classroom to ensure that students are technologically literate for the 21st century. He is a spirited teacher who has coached table tennis, volleyball, and both indoor and outdoor soccer at TPS. Matthew is also a member of the Toronto Prep Music Club, keeping a steady backbeat with either a bass or acoustic guitar. Matthew also enjoys getting to know students outside of the classroom as a staff support on the Student Council. "The 'what' of the subject matter is far less important than the 'how' and 'why'. The last two are key to the critical thinking that I want all students to have by the time they leave my class."
Noah Gataveckas has worked in education now for more than 10 years, with a variety of age groups ranging from early childhood to the level of secondary students. As a graduate of OISE with specializations in English, Philosophy, and Social Sciences, he has expanded his skill set to include intermediate/senior Mathematics and Senior Computer Science, both of which he has taught for four years at the senior level before coming to Toronto Prep School. Having studied Computer Science at the post-secondary level and pursued personal coding projects (primarily in Python and C++) on his own, he looks forward to teaching but also continuing to develop his understanding of this subject matter with further practice and professional development. He has also taught courses in Phys. Ed., Business, Science, Civics, History, and Writer’s Craft. Noah’s educational philosophy sees the classroom as the site of learning for both teachers and students. While teachers in Ontario are obligated to impart a certain amount of information and skills to students as a part of their assessments, there is an opportunity for much more learning than this, both on the part of the teacher and laterally, as it were, from student to student. Instead of the “banking” concept of education by which teachers are supposed to “deposit” their knowledge into the receptive students, Noah’s classroom strives for a healthier and more holistic approach to education, in which we all bring something to the table since we all have something relevant to teach each other (and learn from one another). One outcome of adopting this approach is that it prioritizes the development of learning skills such as initiative, collaboration, and self-regulation. Every student is empowered to take an active role in organizing and interpreting their daily learning routines. When he is not at school, Noah takes care of his two young children with his loving partner, Amanda. He enjoys guitar, turntablism, basketball, hiking, bicycle, retro video games, and writing creative nonfiction. Some of his recent noteworthy experiences are hiking the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and designing the floor plans for a housing renovation this past winter. His favourite sports teams, besides the obvious hometown ones, are: Ti-Cats, Bills, Buccaneers, Heat, 76ers, Lightning, Devil Rays, the Acadia Axemen and the St. John’s Swilers. “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” – Albert Einstein “Enlightenment is the emergence from immaturity.” – paraphrase of Immanuel Kant “Per ardua, ad astra” [Through struggle, the stars] – variation of Virgil
This is Aliki’s third year at Toronto Prep School. Aliki holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in History from Concordia University in Montreal and a Bachelor of Education (Junior/Intermediate- specialization in History) from the University of Ottawa. In addition, she has received her Additional Qualification in French as a Second Language. At TPS, she helped lead the Model United Nations Club and took a student delegation to a conference in Nice, France this past year. Over the past seven years of teaching, Aliki has formed her passion for teaching the junior years. She came to understand that these were foundational and formative years for a student. Aliki believes all concepts, even the most challenging, can be mastered through confidence, support, and practice. She also considers herself to be an empathetic teacher who enjoys forming positive connections with her students. Aliki considers herself a lifelong learner and always seeks ways to expand her knowledge. She loves traveling, specifically to Europe, to enjoy the culture, food and beautiful scenery. On the weekends, you can find her at the dog park with her two dogs (Gigi and Elsa) and her son, Sasha. "In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can" -Nikos Kazantzakis
Emma Ravenhill earned her Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre Studies from the University of Guelph and obtained her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. Emma is a passionate educator that encourages a collaborative and lively classroom. Emma believes that learning activities should be engaging and relevant to students so that their lessons surpass the classroom walls and can be applied to their everyday lives. In addition to teaching, Emma created the Mindfulness Club at TPS and has been involved in many clubs and teams including: the Bowling Team, Girls Basketball, Swimming Team, Book Club, and Poetry Club. In her spare time, Emma can be found reading, at the cottage, hiking, singing a good show tune, cheering for the Leafs or watching Jeopardy! “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
Steve is a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated educator who is excited to inspire his students to share his love of learning. He joined Toronto Prep School in the spring semester of its inaugural year, after teaching for four years at Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School. Steve earned his Honours Bachelor of Applied Science (Mechanical Engineering) from the University of Waterloo, his Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) from St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, and his Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (Mathematics and Physics) from Christchurch College of Education in New Zealand. Steve is tireless in pursuit of student success. Most every morning and after school you will find students in his classroom seeking extra support to realize their potential. Steve is also an amazing resource for others in the school, especially in the areas of math and differentiated instruction. He is never satisfied with the “status quo,” and is constantly searching for new and better ways to connect his students with the subject they are studying. He truly has an enthusiasm and appreciation for the beauty of mathematics and conveys this to his students. Steve runs the Math Club and facilitates math contests throughout the school year. He is also the Award Leader for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at TPS. Steve and his partner, Astrid, have a lovely young daughter who is an enthusiastic competitive swimmer. As a family, they enjoy canoe tripping, hiking, cross-country skiing, and indoor rock climbing. Steve also has a special passion for snowshoeing and camping in the winter. “I always thought that passion made a teacher great because it brought contagious energy into the classroom, but now I realize its deeper function. Passion for the subject propels that subject, not the teacher, into the center of the learning circle – and when a great thing is in their midst, students have direct access to the energy of learning and of life.” – Parker J. Palmer
Ms. Malik is in her third school year teaching at Toronto Prep School. She is a highly enthusiastic and engaging STEM teacher. She strives to make learning more than textbooks and memorization by implementing discussions, demos, labs, and activities to show real world applications of the topics studied in her classes. She has taught at a variety of reputable private schools over the past six years. Ms. Malik earned her Advanced Levels from the University of Cambridge and her Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Guelph, for both of which she received scholarships based on academic merit. While TA'ing in university, she realized how passionate she is about teaching and decided to take a leap of faith and pursue it full-time. Ms. Malik strongly believes that a teacher needs to have a strong sense of empathy and the ability to relate to her students. She realizes that every student is different and will have their own strengths and weaknesses, and hence, there will never be “one uniform way” of teaching. She is very happy that TPS recognizes this as well and has small intimate classroom sizes so she can adapt her teaching approaches year to year based on her students. Being able to have a small role in her students’ successes and to see them achieve great things in life is one of the best feelings in the world to her and she would not trade it for anything! All students can learn and succeed, but not in the same way and not in the same day. – William G. Spady
Brett (Mr. B) is delighted to be returning for his second year to the TPS family! He is the primary French teacher at the school and teaches all levels of Core French from Grade 7 to Grade 12. Brett runs the French Club, loves to supervise intramural softball, is a proud member of the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance (which welcomes students from the entire 2SLGBTQIA+ community) and enjoys popping into to the Linguistics Club from time to time too! Brett graduated from the University of Guelph back in 2004 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in French and Sociology. After his first year of studies, he participated in a 6-week immersion program to Trois-Pistoles, Québec. He subsequently completed his entire third year of studies at the Université de Nice, France. After a 16-year career executing a variety of bilingual positions in the Financial Services industry, Brett decided to return to school and completed his Master of Arts in French Studies in 2020 at the University of Guelph, specializing in French-as-a-second-language pedagogy and English/French translation. During his graduate studies, he was employed as a Teaching Assistant for a first-year undergraduate French course and also worked for 2 years with a company called VIPKid where he did one-on-one online ESL tutoring with Chinese students. Regardless of the subject matter that is being taught, Brett’s classroom is a warm environment where the values of empathy, diversity and human rights are a top priority. He strives to ensure that every student feels welcome and safe. Coming from a family of teachers, Brett is well versed in classroom management and believes strongly that learning should be fun and engaging. One of Brett’s main goals is to see a higher enrolment in elective French classes after the Grade 9 level as he wants to encourage students to develop a genuine love for the French language in our officially bilingual country!
Director Of IT And Head Of Science
Upon graduating from McGill University in the summer of 2001, Eric found himself working in the IT industry for a subsidiary of Cisco Systems. He discovered that it was a rather solitary profession and his personality was ill-suited for it. Fortunately, a friend happened to need a full-time tutor at a private school in Toronto. He took the job and quickly grew to love interacting with students. Over the course of his first year at the school, he concluded that this was the perfect job for him. Since moving to TPS in its inaugural year, the job has changed a bit, but even after all this time, he is still teaching and he is still finding new ways to love his job. In addition to coaching numerous sports teams (track and field, cross-country, soccer) and helping out with various other extra-curriculars (Reach for the Top, Model United Nations), Eric is a huge proponent of ensuring that students are computer and technology literate. This involves ensuring that they have access to current technology, but more importantly, it also means ensuring that they are equipped with the skills they will need to thrive in a 21st century work environment. Eric wants learning to be fun. If a student is not engaged in the classroom, the content will not matter and the entire learning experience is diminished. This means that he needs to constantly be learning in order to find the most effective ways to reach students. Secondly, Eric thinks it is important for teachers to understand their student audience in terms of what they expect to gain from a specific course. As a science teacher, he recognizes that not every student will want to or need to become a scientist or engineer. However, he believes that every student should leave high school with a certain degree of scientific literacy. As a society, we need a population that understands the science behind policy decisions. Eric would like to think that his teaching style is based on this premise. A long time ago, Eric had this marvellous thing called free time. He enjoyed playing sports, playing the guitar, dabbling in some video gaming, and making various cured meats. Currently, Eric is doing everything he can to raise two energetic kids with his wife. Finding free time continues to be a sisyphean task, but Eric will endure and, one day, he will truly enjoy some well-deserved free time.
Teacher, Head Of Theatre Arts
David is a creative soul. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University and his Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. David is committed to creating a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating and encouraging to his students. In his classroom everyone is both a teacher and a learner. Students learn as much from the lessons and practical skills as they do through each other and their collective experience. Deep friendships are forged in this type of learning environment, but more importantly so are deep roots of self-confidence and self-expression. He believes that the true value in the arts is not the final product, but the process by which that art is created. David admires and encourages students who experiment, and wish to go beyond the normal expectations of an arts course. Art in the real world has no bounds, and neither should it in the classroom. David helps coordinate the Toronto Prep School Arts Night, is the TPS Yearbook co-coordinator, the director of the Theatre Department, and overseer of all the school plays. Both students and staff recognize him as a person who has a deep passion for the arts and his students, and who is an invaluable part of the school’s creative community. In addition, David is married and has two young sons in elementary school. “Creativity is one of the most essential skills one can learn. The arts are our first forms of communication, our windows into human history, the sparks that generate innovations, and the rallying cries that propel us into the future. But learning through the arts is about much more than that - it’s also about honing our life skills; increasing our social awareness; practicing observational, analytical, and communication skills; and developing a keener sense of understanding (about ourselves, of each other, and of the world in which they live). Regardless of what future career a student pursues, these are skills they will take with them for the rest of their life”
Eliza is a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher with six years of experience. Eliza earned her Master in Mathematics from University of Toronto and her M.Sc. in Mathematics in India from Indian Institute of Science. Eliza has been passionate about Math since high school. Her love for the subject is often reflected in her conversations with students. Eliza helps students maintain a positive attitude towards learning. She works to create an encouraging atmosphere for students adaptive to the needs of students of varied Math skills. Eliza enjoys exchanging riddles with students ranging from brain teaser to more challenging problems. Eliza spends her spare time doodling in her sketchbook and digital painting concept art. “Making mistakes is an essential component of learning. How we pick ourselves up, learn and adapt from our mistakes define the type of individual we evolve into.”
Director Of Teaching, Curriculum, And Resource Management For The Departments Of Mathematics And Science
Kiera brings a wealth of international teaching experience to Toronto Prep School. She earned her Bachelor of Science (Honours) and her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. Upon graduation, Kiera moved to Italy and taught for several years at an international school, this was followed with a posting in Istanbul, Turkey at another prestigious preparatory high school for two years. Fortunately, for us, Kiera decided to come back home to Canada and continue her teaching career at Toronto Prep. Kiera possess a positive and effective teaching style with the willingness to work above and beyond the call of duty. Her amazing patience, understanding, and willingness to go above and beyond are unmatched as is her collaborative and supportive demeanour. Kiera is an effective communicator and resourceful teacher with proven ability to enhance students’ performance and empower them with knowledge and self-confidence. She serves as an excellent role model to both students and staff. Kiera teaches math and science which some students are excited about and love before they ever walk into her classroom while others see them as subjects which elicit fear and anxiety. Her goal as a teacher is to make the classroom an inviting, comfortable, and enjoyable place to be. Her hope in doing this, is that students will enjoy coming to a class even if they struggle with the subject matter or are only taking the course because it is a requirement for graduation. Her students understand her high expectations, and yet feel relaxed and eager to please. In addition, Kiera has coached the TPS curling team to the TDCAA Championship and a berth at OFSAA. She has also been involved the TPS Muses and has chaperoned a number of school trips including one to Ottawa and a hockey tournament to Pittsburgh. “To watch a student work hard and to persevere in spite of challenges is fantastic. Watching a student’s face when he or she reaches a goal is exceptionally rewarding and it’s the reason I started teaching and the reason I keep teaching year after year.”
Aphrodite joined Toronto Prep School last year in the role of English resource teacher. She encourages all students to join her in the resource centre located on the fifth floor at any point in the day, where they can share in the learning of fundamentals, discuss ideas, or simply stop by for a chat. She graduated from Glendon College, York University earning an Honours Bachelor degree in English Language and Literature. During her university years, Aphrodite worked as an editor at Glendon’s student-run newspaper, Protem, where she had the opportunity to collaborate with students on interest projects, author biographies, as well as current issues. She loved the whole process of watching an idea turn into a successful story. She also held poetry competitions where students could submit their poems and the winner had their poem printed on the front page. She strongly believes in a student-centred approach. She understands that each student comes in with specific interests, ideas, and learning styles. What makes for a great learning environment is the ability for teachers and students to build individual relationships. She subscribes to the idea of creating an inclusive learning space where students are challenged and encouraged to express their ideas and to make mistakes. We can only improve if we have an opportunity to try in the first place. She has lived in the city of Toronto for her whole life. Her grandparents came here from Greece and opened up a restaurant in the east end where she spent much of her time growing up. She hails from a large family and often feels like the movie 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' is based on her family. Aphrodite considers herself an avid reader, cyclist, traveller, hiker, and loves being in the kitchen.
Jessica came to Toronto Prep in 2018 after working in Real Estate Development for 5 years. Before that she had a lengthy career in the Animal Welfare field working for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as well as many other shelters within the area. She has a strong commitment to animal welfare to this day and continues to support those in need. She has opened her home to 100's of foster cats/kittens through various animal shelters in order to rehabilitate, nurse back to health and find loving homes. Jessica is also a self taught artist and has a passion for visual arts. She has turned her love of animals into a budding profession and paints pet portraits for clients all over North America. Her work has been accepted into juried art shows and hung in shops around Toronto. Jessica works alongside the administrative team at TPS putting her experience and compassion into her work everyday. She is an avid runner, enjoys her time at the family cottage and adores her blind cat, Ernie. "You can do anything here — the only prerequisite is that it makes you happy" - Bob Ross
Ada is a passionate teacher who has a wide range of expertise in the Fine Arts. Ada graduated from OCAD University with a Major in Sculpture and Installation Arts and a Minor in Drawing and Painting. Her competitive program only accepts 40 students per year and due to her high-achieving nature, Ada won the OCADFA Harvey Townsend Memorial Scholarship Award. During her journey at OCAD, Ada also had the opportunity to travel to Florence for an exchange program. Prior to university, Ada was accepted into the 4 year Arts York program at Unionville High School. Ada has been teaching Grade 12 and 11 Visual Arts / Media Arts / Photography in a private school setting for six years. Prior to teaching at a secondary level, Ada specialized in university art portfolio building for art, design, and architecture students.
Communications And Social Media Administrator
As Digital Communications Coordinator, Jason spends his time working on everything from web design to yearbook layout. He is a tech-savvy communication professional with an eclectic educational and professional background. Jason completed his Bachelor of Communication Studies at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2015. In 2019, he received a Master of Arts in Digital Humanities and Philosophy from the University of Alberta. Jason has professional work experience in software development, web development and corporate communications. When Jason isn’t behind a screen plugging away at code and designing for the web, he’s usually glued to a screen on the working end of a controller. An avid gamer, Jason has amassed a large collection of retro video game consoles and cartridges that hearken back to his youth. This hobby also extends into the physical world. Jason loves playing board games, tabletop RPGs and cards. During his Masters, he spent a great deal of time immersed in Game Studies. Jason has published articles and given numerous presentations on video game theory. Jason’s fandom doesn’t just stop there. He’s a lover of sci-fi, horror, fantasy and anime. One of his proudest achievements was publishing a chapter in the 2018 anthology, “The Philosophy of Westworld.” In his chapter, entitled “Order and Chaos in Westworld: The End of Existentialism,” Jason explores the popular HBO sci-fi series through the lens of existentialist philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche and Albert Camus. Jason moved to Toronto with his family from Alberta in September of 2019. He lives with his lovely partner, Althea, and his adorable young daughter, Shiloh. He looks forward to what the future has to hold here in the big city and at Toronto Prep School! “Reading furnishes the mind only with the materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” ― John Locke
Mr. Bernal is on his third year at TPS. His experience spans from teaching at the YMCA where he founded the first Math Club in the association to teaching at private schools. Moreover, Mr. Bernal’s experience extends to teaching the GED curriculum to differently-abled students. Mr. Bernal’s philosophy in general is: anyone can learn anything, especially Math, if given the right approach — patience is a key attribute that Mr. Bernal champions. Mr. Bernal's greatest teaching moment occurred while tutoring a student with a learning disability at Frontier College; the student was able to apply the Pythagorean Theorem, but not by the formula. Instead, the student applied the theorem in the same manner that Pythagoras once made such observation. Mr. Bernal graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor Degree with the intention of becoming a teacher. It is due to Mathematics that Mr. Bernal became interested in aviation. He enrolled in the Canadian Air Forces aviation program where he had the opportunity to fly and travel across Canada. Mr. Bernal holds a pilot licence and flies when time and weather permit. On a personal level, Mr. Bernal, apart from Mathematics, loves and plays soccer, music and table tennis. In fact, Mr. Bernal launched the very first ever Table Tennis program at the YMCA during his tenure. Mr. Bernal maintains an active physical lifestyle as he practices what he preaches.
Joy Badler is a mother to three adults and a wife to her favourite human being (and sparring partner), David. Joy is passionate about animals and kids of all sizes. She has been in education for almost four decades and loves her career. She is a self-love “queenager” who thrives in her garden. Joy is very crafty and enjoys knitting and reading immensely. She practices daily meditation and mindfulness, and believes in the philosophy of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist spiritual leader, who said, "No mud, no lotus." Without suffering through the mud, one cannot find the happiness of the lotus. Joy was educated at The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She initially graduated with a degree to teach disabled individuals and worked with non-verbal children delivering Life Orientation Skill. Joy then acquired additional accreditation to allow her to work with children and adolescents who were vulnerable and placed in residential facilities addressing drug and alcohol addiction. Joy is trained in “MindUp” as well as “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction”. Following the birth of her oldest son, she worked for three years teaching mainstream high school English at an inner-city school in Johannesburg. In 1996, Joy and her family moved to Canada. She taught high school English until giving birth to her only Canadian born daughter. Following this, she taught Grade 7 & 8 English at an International Baccalaureate school. In 2010, Joy accepted her dream position of “Director of Student Success” for a K-6 school. She introduced a Social/Emotional Learning Curriculum which focused on neuroplasticity and growth mindset. In 2022, she established “The Joy Hive”, a collaborative which supports neurodiverse students, their teachers and their families. As someone who is “wired differently” with an ADHD brain, Joy recognises that learning can be difficult. Her disability does not define her, but allows Joy to identify with feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated that are often encountered by learners who are atypical. Joy encourages a positive mindset, believes in leading with love, and developing functional solutions. Canada’s future walks through her door every day and her room is a place of encouragement, recognition, growth and respect. Joy’s teaching philosophy is teaching to the differing needs of learners. She feels that she was born to teach. Joy believes that every student deserves to be instilled with the belief that they have “The Power of Yet”... they have not acquired that skill YET.
Before recently joining Toronto Prep School, Helena taught a range of high school courses in the social sciences and humanities. As a long-time advocate for community involvement, Helena has volunteered with Toronto-based initiatives, where she has worked with children, women and newcomers to Canada. Helena holds a Master of Arts degree in European and Russian Affairs from the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Munk School (University of Toronto), and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto. Helena has also studied at Masaryk University in Czech Republic and Central European University in Hungary. Helena’s academic background has contributed to an interdisciplinary approach to teaching. She believes that by understanding the interconnectivity of ideas and themes, students can explore the relationships between disciplines and the real world. Helena encourages critical thinking and motivates students to consider the multiple perspectives from which a topic can be explored. Helena’s classroom operates on principles of inclusivity and mutual respect.
Originally from England, David holds a B.Sc in Psychology from the University of Liverpool, a B.A. in History from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a B.Ed from the University of Winnipeg. His teaching journey has taken him around the world, teaching in Korea, China, and Mongolia before moving to Toronto. He has been teaching in independent schools in Toronto since 2019 and is excited for the next chapter of his career with TPS. David believes in creating an environment in which students feel comfortable asking questions and, importantly, making mistakes. He strives to treat each student as an individual through patience and tailored support. He focuses on building confidence and skills that are transferable to many different environments. This approach extends beyond the classroom to coaching soccer, Model United Nations, debate, or whenever he is needed. Outside of school, David is an avid sports fan, particularly soccer and basketball. He is a lifelong supporter of Newcastle United and has become a big fan of the Raptors since moving to Canada. David is also a keen traveler who has been to over 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. During the last couple of years he has enjoyed exploring new areas of Toronto with his wife.
Mr. Andrew Mariani is a personable and motivating teacher who challenges his students to be independent learners. Andrew trained as a Math specialist in the UK and began his teaching journey at one of London’s top preparatory schools before moving across the Atlantic to Toronto. He studied Sport Science at the Masters level but decided that his heart was in teaching - having worked with young people in a variety of capacities. In addition to two years of teaching in London Andrew has taught at two private schools in Toronto, refining his skills to meet the demands of the private school system in Canada. Andrew believes that students learn best when they can be themselves without fear of judgement. He aims to create an environment where students feel safe and enjoy learning. Andrew’s biggest strength is his caring and personable nature, which allows him to create strong bonds with his students. Andrew is a keen track athlete and trains with members of the Canadian Olympic team. Whilst not an Olympian himself, he enjoys the dedication and drive that comes with trying to keep up with the best! Andrew met his Canadian wife, Vanessa, while teaching at the same school in the UK. They married in Canada and have settled here to experience the wonderful lifestyle that it has to offer.
Jeffrey Rogers has been a teacher for 10 years and has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Dalhousie, as well as a Bachelor of Education from the university of Nipissing with a focus in Junior to Intermediate teaching. He mainly teaches History, but his dynamic background prior to teaching allows him to provide a deeper context when teaching particular subjects. Jeffery has taught K-12, as well as teaching adults. He spent his early years instructing overseas, where he found his love for education. Later on, he taught Business, Social Studies, and Outdoor Education. Jeffrey’s biggest strength would be his ability to find the practical application of what is being taught. For example, how can History help someone in their day to day life. He would consider his teaching style to be very empathetic, using humour to help keep students engaged, while pushing students to reflect on metacognition strategies. Jeffrey enjoys learning French in his spare time and he is hoping to get his “SAR-Tech 1” certification next summer. Jeffrey is also an avid practitioner of martial arts, fitness, and water sports. What he enjoys most about teaching is helping students to become better, so they may find a way that they can give back to society.
James Pepin joined TPS as the new Co-Athletic Director in 2021. James has a Master’s of Science in Sport Management and a Master’s of Science in Coaching & Sport Education from West Virginia University (WVU). He also received honours a Bachelor’s of Kinesiology from Brock University. Mr. Pepin spent three years at WVU for the College of Physical Activity & Sports Science, within the Department of Coaching and Teaching Studies. There he taught up to 10 different courses in PE, fitness, and coaching. James has also coached for the ACHA Hockey Club at WVU and worked with elite athletes in the NHL, MLB,NCAA, and professional tennis. His philosophy for students is that they strive to be the best individual (Spartan) that they can be, and to become 1% better each day. James believes in a hands-on experience approach to teaching and relates and showcases real-life examples. Mr. Pepin is a fan of country music, fitness, sports, and family.
Aeshwarya has been involved in high school education for over 15 years. Before joining TPS two years ago, Aeshwarya worked in the non-profit field, where for six years she supported high school students by providing accessible social and academic support. Prior to this endeavor, Aeshwarya organized international volunteer trips (to both Kenya and Cambodia), in order to educate students about current issues such as globalization, social justice, and sustainable economic and environmental practices. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a BSc in biology, Aeshwarya’s introduction to secondary school education came when she taught grade 12 biology in Costa Rica, which focused on the various aspects of the diverse ecology in tropical rainforests and dry forests. Aeshwarya is dedicated to supporting her students and helping them reach their academic, personal, and social development goals in a holistic and student-centered manner. Aeshwarya firmly believes that education should be a transformative experience that exists within a collaborate environment characterized by respect and empathy. She insists that students develop their own curiosity, critical thinking skills, scientific literacy, and appreciation for the science that manifests all around us. When Aesh is not teaching, she can be found enjoying nature with her two children, dog, and partner, working on an urban farm, reading, and travelling. “Science and everyday life cannot be and should not be separated.” – Rosalind Franklin
Stephen is in his fifth year at Toronto Prep School. He earned his Honours Bachelor of Arts (Physical Education/Geography) from Wilfrid Laurier University and his Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. He recently received a Graduate Certificate in Sports Business Management from Humber College. Stephen has been teaching since 1997. He has taught in Japan, the United States, Quebec and Toronto. Stephen is the current Athletic Director of Toronto Prep. In his time at TPS, he has coached Ultimate, Flag Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Curling, Ball Hockey, Badminton and Softball. Stephen believes that his role as an educator is not only to provide knowledge, but to provide students with the work ethic and skills that will make them successful as they move forward with their education and their future endeavours. In his time away from school, he enjoys travelling, running, watching sports, movies and spending time with family. “ I believe that teaching students that learning is a lifelong endeavour is very important. The process of learning how to work is often more important than the products.”
Teacher, Head Of Music
Paul is a highly motivated, enthusiastic and dedicated educator who brings a wealth of experience to his lessons. Paul has been teaching for over 20 years in a variety of educational environments including high schools, universities and language schools in different cities including Toronto, Montreal and Kyoto. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (Double Major in History and Humanistic Studies) from McGill University, his Bachelor of Education from OISE at the University of Toronto, his Masters of Arts (History) from Concordia University and his Certificate of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the International Language Academy of Canada. Paul believes that the desire to learn is instinctive and that students are happiest and most satisfied when learning. Everything he does as a teacher is informed by this belief. As such, his job as a teacher is to facilitate the process of learning and to make it as engaging as possible. To achieve this he tries to teach course content with materials and questions that students relate to and which they find genuinely interesting. He inspires students to deeply engage with the course material. Consequently, course content serves as the context for class analysis and discussion, which in turn become both educational and stimulating. The aim is to have students express themselves in the clearest and most effective way possible. He wants students to be creative, pay attention to detail and take pride in their work. Paul’s classes serve both the requirements of the course as well as provide students with the knowledge and skills to help them in their future education. Paul’s interests are varied. Besides spending time with his young family he is passionate about music (both the listening to and the making of), playing tennis, reading, cooking, and travelling. As a high school student, Paul was taught by Mr. Tsimikalis. Paul is married and has two lovely young children. “Teaching is a dynamic vocation. It is interactive and as a result it changes. My favourite teaching moment is the satisfaction that comes with leading a group of students through an idea and having them run with it.”
Laura is a passionate, enthusiastic, and caring educator who has dedicated her life to helping students find their true potential since her own high school days. She earned her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and her Bachelor of Education from Trent University. She has additional qualifications in and a decade of experience working with students with Acquired Brain Injuries from Kindergarten all the way through University level of education. Laura’s classroom is an inclusive community where all are welcome. Students are consistently challenged to meet their goals then reach even higher to grow as individuals. She believes that learning is a life-long process and as such, never stops learning herself. She models this value in her classes to promote the cultivation of curiosity in the wider world and develop deeper understanding. No matter what subject Laura is teaching, her focus always revolves around teaching students to think critically, open their minds to possibility, and act with fairness. When Laura is not at school, she can be found getting lost in the wilderness, jumping into lakes, and digging into her garden with her dog. She is a voracious reader and almost always has a novel with her in some form. Laura loves to craft and usually has several projects on the go at once. Also, she loves spending time with friends and family, watching movies, and baking delicious treats. "It is crucial that we create safe and inclusive learning environments where students are able to freely express themselves. We are teaching students to meet the challenges of a future that is not yet realized, and as such, we need to teach critical thinking, problem-solving, and global citizenship. It is in a safe learning environment that students are able to safely explore these challenging concepts to become the leaders needed to change our world for the better."
After teaching for over fifteen years at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, Brad joined the staff of Toronto Prep School in 2016. Brad holds a B.A. in History, a B.A. Honours in Classics, and a M.A. in Classics, all from McMaster University, and he received his Bachelor of Education degree from York University. Brad is a dedicated educator who displays a passion for teaching, as well as historical and classical studies, and who believes that it is his responsibility to assist his students in achieving success in their educational pursuits. Brad’s classroom is stimulating, entertaining, as well as challenging, and he is focussed on providing students with the skills necessary to be successful at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. His lessons are informative and interesting, and he is always cognizant of his students’ diverse learning styles; therefore, he adapts his instructional methodologies to meet the needs of his students. A lifelong learner himself, Brad’s overall goal is to foster a desire in his students to learn more about the subject matter that he presents in class, and to cultivate a love of learning in his students. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Brad supervises the Classics Club and Chess Club. Brad is married, and has two children. “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” Marcus Tullius Cicero
Lucas teaches Geography, Civics, and History at Toronto Prep, and has over a decade of experience teaching subjects ranging from English to Kinesiology. Originally from the East Coast, he was educated at the University of King’s College before graduating from the University of Toronto with a double major in English and Peace and Conflict Studies. After two years of teaching in Japan, Lucas returned to U of T where he gained a Master’s in English and South Asian Studies, and a B.Ed from OISE. At TPS, he currently helps run the Saturday Club, tries not to kill too many plants with the Garden Club, and is involved with the GSA. Lucas loves to travel and loves to read. A dedicated, enthusiastic teacher, he’s passionate about helping students make connections between their classroom studies and the wider world, and loves the opportunities for life-long learning that teaching provides. “The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”--James Baldwin
Director Of Teaching And Learning
Adam is a dedicated educator who draws upon teaching experiences in multiple countries. He earned a Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Health and Physical Education graduating with Honours from the University of Newcastle, Australia. Adam has completed several specialist teaching courses covering areas of special education such as Autism, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities. He joined Toronto Prep in 2014 after relocating from Australia. Adam was born and raised in the coastal town of Port Macquarie in Australia. It is where he began his teaching career before traveling to North America and Europe. He then went on to teach in Cambridge, United Kingdom, before continuing his teaching career in Sydney, Australia. In Sydney, he taught full-time in a special education school and was an advocate for the inclusivity of students with special needs. He assisted with the development of supportive programs throughout Sydney that still currently operate. Adam then relocated to Canada and found his way to Toronto Prep. Throughout his journey, Adam has developed his teaching skills under a variety of experienced educators who he credits for continuing to fuel his passion for education. Adam is driven to find the best way to educate all types of learners. He draws upon his experiences of teaching in a variety of educational settings to identify ways that best cater to a student’s individual learning needs. He believes that each individual has the opportunity to be successful; they just need to be inspired and given the correct skills in order to do so. By providing guidance and mentorship, he views himself as a part of the journey with each student as they navigate their way through the challenges that present themselves. Adam can be found coaching a multitude of sports at Toronto Prep and strongly believes that healthy living and participation in physical activity is a vital part of a student’s education. Adam is a passionate sportsman who has played an integral role in developing the sport of Touch Rugby in Canada. In his spare time, Adam enjoys exploring the variety of neighbourhoods that Toronto offers with his family, as well as avidly following the Raptors and Blue Jays. “Being a teacher is a privilege. It is great knowing that each day you have the ability to inspire and help a student achieve their goals. The reward is seeing the growth of a student after they have put in the hard work required. Each day and each student bring something different and that is what makes teaching interesting and fun.”
Teacher, Head Of Canadian And World Studies
Michael is one of the original staff from Toronto Prep School’s inaugural year in 2009. His teaching experience spans 20 years and two continents. He earned his Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and his Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa. After teaching for two years in Japan, Michael returned to Canada and has been involved in private education for the past 16 years. Michael’s outgoing personality and his ability to think like his students enable him to turn his classroom into a fun, inviting place where learning occurs. He is a dynamic, resourceful teacher with a genuine interest in students’ social and cognitive growth. Michael is involved in all aspects of TPS may they be education including curriculum development, teacher mentoring and coaching Reach for the Top, the athletic life of the school by coaching basketball, volleyball and hockey or in voluntarily participating in the social fabric by organizing events such as Pancake Breakfast and the NHL House tournaments. One of Michael’s extracurricular highlights thus far was Toronto Prep’s championship win at the Pittsburgh Three Rivers hockey tournament besting some of the top teams in Pennsylvania, as well as winning three TDCAA hockey championships with the TPS Hockey Team. Michael is married and has a son, Noah, and daughter, Emma. He is an avid sports fan, especially of the Montreal Canadiens and counts harassing Toronto Maple Leaf fans as a favourite pastime. Cooking, reading, watching sports, and Sudoku are interests of his. “The classroom should be a place where learning and fun occur at the same time.”
Sandra is the Head of the English department, and teacher in the humanities and social science departments. In addition to her role in the classroom, she runs the student leadership programs at TPS, including the Student Council and the House Captains. Sandra attended McGill University, earning a B.A. with a double major in English Literature and World Religions and a minor in Cultural Anthropology. After a number of years working in the publishing industry, Sandra moved to Tokyo to teach English. Upon her return, she completed her B.Ed., and has been teaching English and social science courses at small independent schools in Toronto ever since. Before joining the team at TPS, Sandra completed her MSc. at the University of Edinburgh in the department of Literature, Language, and Culture. Her dissertation focused on the tenuous future of the physical book in the English classroom, and defended its right to remain there as a primary teaching tool. While completing her degree, she presented at academic conferences regarding the design of assessment materials that allow for successful differentiated learning styles, and also got to hold Jane Austen’s very first paycheck in her hands. Sandra combines her boundless enthusiasm for the humanities and social sciences with years of experience in the classroom in her various roles at TPS. She believes that students must develop a strong command of the language, in written and oral contexts, in order to eloquently and elegantly represent themselves. Her classroom is full of laughter. She holds her students to high expectations and is dedicated to helping them achieve them. Sandra is a lifelong learner, shamelessly eager traveler, voracious reader, adventurous cook, and loyal friend. “The very best thing you can be in life is a teacher, provided you are crazy in love with what you teach, and that your classes consist of eighteen students or fewer. Classes of eighteen students or fewer are a family, and feel and act like one.” - Kurt Vonnegut
Pete has been a part of the TPS admissions department since its inauguration. In those early days, however, Pete was also a professional hockey player. After an all-star career in the OHL, Pete signed multiple professional contracts, and played in the AHL, as well as in the Swedish Allsvenskan league, before his retirement in 2011. Upon the completion of his hockey career, Pete enrolled at the University of Toronto where he graduated with high distinction in 2015 in the field of Religious and Historical Studies. After his undergraduate degree, Pete was accepted into the University of Oxford (Oriel College), where he undertook his Master of Philosophy in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies. Pete graduated with distinction in 2018 and segued into PhD studies at the University of Toronto, wherein he got the opportunity to be a teaching assistant and instructor at the university level. This experience allows Pete to parlay first-hand information to the students at TPS regarding what university courses are actually like. In his academic work, Pete’s research has focused on several ancient Greek and Hebrew texts using a multitude of philological, analytical, and literary frameworks. While his thesis investigated ideas of exemplarity, wisdom, and memory in the Book of Ben Sira, Pete has also engaged with notions of ancient genre, pedagogy, gender, ethnicity, and identity. The academic conversation surrounding these concepts has proven very fruitful and is as applicable to the modern world as it is to ancient texts. Pete’s status as a teacher, student, and administrator allows him to bring multiple perspectives to the students at TPS. Currently at TPS, Pete serves as Principal, helping to shape the overall ethos of TPS and serving as an academic support for staff and students alike. Moreover, he assists Fouli with the application process, which entails introducing prospective students to the culture of TPS, providing tours of the premises and establishing whether TPS is the right fit for a given student. Pete is married to Jen and has three sons, Beau, Wolf, and Jones. Pete loves watching his boys play sports and is an ardent Pittsburgh Steelers fan. “Just do your work.” - Steve to Pete, and Pete to everyone else
Anna joins the TPS faculty for a second year after having worked within the Sports Management Department as a teaching and research assistant at Brock University. Some of the courses that she taught include the Introduction to Sports Management, Qualitative and Quantitative Research, Marketing and Organizational Behaviour, Sport Sponsorship and Management. Her research project examined parental influences and Athlete motivation levels. She holds a Bachelors in Sports Management (First Class Honours) and Masters of Science in Applied Sciences from Brock University where she focused on sport psychology and athlete motivation. Inside the classroom, Anna emphasizes the importance of discussion and interactive design to ensure that her students are actively engaged in the process of learning. She strongly believes that no student is the same and that knowledge can be applied and tested in different ways. Outside of her classroom, Anna works with athletes on their mental game and sports skills. She is currently working on her CSPA certification. She also coaches Track and Field, specifically hurdles and sprints. She loves the outdoors and finds hiking through the forest the best place to mentally reset. She is also an avid kayaker during the summer months and snowboards during the winter. She is originally from Poland and is a proud first generation Canadian. She is fluent in English, Polish and has a good understanding of French. Anna’s mantra is “Trust the process.”
Max is the English Resource teacher at TPS and is also a fixture in after school Homework Club. Max took an undergraduate degree in English at the University of Toronto, and a Masters in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor, with a concentration on poetry and literature of the modernist period. After teaching for three years, Max decided to refine his skills formally and applied to teachers college at York University, earning a B.Ed in 2015. Since then, Max has been a full time teacher of English, ESL, and social science classes in the GTA, and an occasional tutor. This is Max's third year with Toronto Prep, in the role of Resource teacher. It is a pleasure to be in a position that allows him to become acquainted with a broad spectrum of students, and to provide support in a direct, personal, and personalized way. Max's previous roles have exposed him to a wide variety of academic settings, encompassing academically driven students, those from ESL backgrounds, those with significant emotional and learning needs, some from limited-support households. This experience has given him essential training in providing tailored strategic support to students of all kinds. While his affection for great literature often drives him to push students to reach deeper and attain to a higher standard, his favourite teaching moments often involve small steps and tiny triumphs with students still developing. "And when I am forgotten, as I shall be, And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention Of me must be heard of, say, I taught thee." —William Shakespeare, on teaching "Look at Shakespeare for instance. Very unbalanced. Used to go about stealing ducks." —P.G. Wodehouse, on Shakespeare
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