Board of Directors

Our Board is comprised of dedicated members who volunteer their time to provide oversight and governance to Oak Bridge Academy.

Executive Director : Kathie Shaw MSW, RSW, BCBA (School Principal)

Chair : Dr. Karen Backway (Pediatrician, Retired)

After many years working with children with special needs and their families, Dr Karen retired from pediatric practice in 2017. Dr Karen tried to help parents be heard as they navigated the delicate (and often confusing) web of school advocacy. She believes developing a love of learning is central to the health and well-being of all children, including those children who don’t quite fit in the typical student ‘box’. Dr Karen is delighted to be on the Oak Bridge Academy Board of Directors.

Vice-Chair : Laura Martin (Parent Representative)

Laura is a parent rep on the Oak Bridge Academy Board of Directors. She grew up in Petrolia, Ontario and attended the University of Waterloo, where she studied Kinesiology.  She worked for 10 years in the field of occupational health as an ergonomist and she is now at home full time with her husband and two awesome kids: Lottie and Cole.  Cole will be starting grade 4 at Oak Bridge Academy in the fall and they can’t wait! 

Secretary : Tara Botsford

Tara feels very privileged to be the Secretary on the Oak Bridge Academy Board of Directors and to work with a group of wonderful individuals.  She worked in IT at Blackberry for almost 12 years until 2012.  She now works at Sun Life part time.  She has 2 fantastic boys: Dylan and Jack.  Jack has been attending Oak Bridge Academy since September 2019.  Tara and her husband are very appreciative to have the opportunity to send Jack to this wonderful school.  They have no doubt the sky is the limit for Jack because of Oak Bridge.

Treasurer : Bill McPhee CA, B Com

Bill McPhee is a retired finance executive who is thankful to be a part of the Oak Bridge Academy community. Having seen the benefits the Oak Bridge Academy staff bring to their students and the support they receive from the parents, Bill is honored to be a part of this group. He hopes that his financial management experience helps Oak Bridge Academy achieve its goals.

Bill obtained his Bachelor of Commerce Degree in 1976 and his Chartered Accountant's designation in 1978 while articling for Deloittes, in Toronto. In 1986 he assumed the Treasurer's position with Prudential in Kitchener and was promoted to V.P. Corporate Services in 1995. Subsequently, Bill worked as a consultant or as V.P. Finance for various financial service companies including Manulife, Co-operators and Transamerica. He now spends his winters in Florida and summers entertaining his granddaughter.

Fundraising Chair : Monica Small (Parent Representative)

Monica is so excited to be the Fundraising Chair on the Oak Bridge Academy Board of Directors. She currently works as the Field Marketing Manager at Royal Canin Canada where she plans and executes national/regional and community events.

She has been blown away by what the team and teachers at Oak Bridge Academy have accomplished and is inspired by the opportunity to share the wonderful success stories with our community and beyond through fundraising initiatives.

Monica and her husband are so grateful that their son Rory is able to attend this truly amazing school. We have loved watching him grow and make amazing friendships since the school opened in the fall 2019.

Jason Hynes LL.B. (Lawyer, Partner at Bereskin & Parr)

Jason Hynes is a partner lawyer, patent agent, and trademark agent with Bereskin & Parr LLP, and serves on the firm’s Executive Committee. He works for clients of all sizes, with a particular emphasis on small and medium sized enterprises who need innovative strategies for developing and protecting their innovations. He is the Chair of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada's (IPIC) Trade Policy Committee, and he speaks and writes regularly on issues such as NAFTA and global trade as it affects IP. He is also a member of the IPIC Council.  Jason is the Secretary and a Trustee of the Waterloo Region Law Association where he helps manage issues relevant to local lawyers. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Western University (also known as UWO), in the Faculty of Law where he teaches Advanced Intellectual Property. He has won multiple teaching awards, most recently in 2016-17. Jason and his wife Karyn are the proud parents of three wonderful and energetic boys. When he is not playing LEGO with his kids, you can find Jason on the golf course or playing hockey.

Dr. Heather Henderson (UW Professor)

Dr. Henderson is a community representative on the Oak Bridge Academy Board of Directors. She is a Developmental Psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Henderson teaches and conducts research in the areas of social and emotional development in childhood and adolescence with a special interest in social withdrawal and peer relationships. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland and was on faculty at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL before returning to Waterloo in 2014 with her husband and two children, Will and Sammy.


John Vickery (Associate VP, Sales Representative at Cushman and Wakefield) 

John has been involved in the design and development, management and Leasing of Office, Retail and Industrial space since 1982 when he joined Prudential Property Management with responsibility for the design and construction of all its commercial spaces across Canada. As a service oriented strategic thinker with a history of generating creative and innovative solutions, John’s focus at Cushman & Wakefield Waterloo Region is on the Commercial Office Space Leasing Market.

John joined the Oak Bridge Academy Board of Directors late 2019. We are thrilled to have him and his expertise.