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Assistant Administrator

Before joining Oak Bridge Academy in it’s opening year, Heather ran a daycare in her home for 18 years. She wore many hats while working and volunteering as a parent administrator for a children’s choir. Heather has loved getting to know all of the parents and the students of the OBA Community and always looks forward to welcoming new families and keeping things organized for everyone.
Heather was raised in Kitchener and after some time in Ottawa and North Bay, returned to Kitchener where she and her husband have raised their 3 children. When Heather isn’t spending time with her friends and family, you can find her reading one of the 1-3 books she will have on the go at all times or enjoying an online yoga class.

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B.Sc, M.PEd ABA, BCBA - all grades

Stephanie is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and has completed her Masters of Professional Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis through the University of Western Ontario. She has worked in the field of ABA for 6-years, beginning in an IBI setting then moving into an Autism Interventionist position, providing services in various capacities. Stephanie enjoys supporting OBA students in the classroom as they learn, grow, and reach new milestones everyday. She thoroughly enjoys being a part of a school team that is passionate about providing effective support to students as they reach their goals, develop meaningful friendships and explore exciting ways of learning. Stephanie is excited to be supporting all of the classrooms this year at OBA in a clinical capacity, designing school-wide, class-wide and individualized strategies to foster the success of our students. During her down time she enjoys spending time with her family, dogs, crocheting, taking dance classes as well as teaching dance classes.

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B.HSc, M.ADS, BCBA / Primary Research / Behaviour Therapist - Junior Grades

Christina (Tina) is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and completed her Masters of Applied Disability Studies with a Specialization in ABA at Brock University. She has been working in the field of ABA for the last 9 years in various settings. After completing her Bachelor's degree at Western University, she completed the Autism and Behaviour Science Certificate program at Mohawk College. It is this first experience with ABA that established her motivation and compassion to support children reach their fullest potential in every way that she can.
Christina was born and raised in Cambridge and can be found spending her spare time with her husband and two children.

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BA, BEd (Primary/Junior) - Curriculum Specialist/Support

Reta has spent the last 15 years doing what she enjoys the most, being an educator. After receiving her Bachelor of Education in the Primary/Junior division at Lakehead University, she gracefully accepted the opportunity to teach abroad at a private school in Mexico where she taught English as a second language. Upon her return to Canada, she fulfilled her role as an elementary teacher in Grade 1 for 3 years and Grade 3 for 8 years.
While working with children is her true passion, she has always embraced and welcomed the opportunity to work with those with learning exceptionalities, which is what led her to embark on this new journey with Oak Bridge Academy.
Her role as Curriculum Specialist and Support Teacher has allowed her the opportunity to be a part of something amazing. Working alongside the students in an environment where they are encouraged to be their best and supported the entire way, is what she feels is the best remedy for any child to succeed. Reta works alongside the staff to design and implement programs, but she is also very active within the classrooms where she provides small group teaching and 1:1 support.
When she’s not spending time with family and friends, she will often partake in a Zumba class, or just relax and listen to music.
Reta is honoured to be a part of this amazing school and she is looking forward to many years of working with all the brilliant students.

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Behaviour Therapist / Mindfulness Instructor

Dannielle D’Amato is a graduate of Laurier University. Upon discovering her passion for working with children, Dannielle enrolled in the Autism and Behavioural Science program at George Brown College and began her career as an Instructor Therapist and has been working in the field for over 10 years. Dannielle is a Registered Behaviour Technician (RBT) and recently graduated from the Mindful Schools Teacher Certification Program and is pursuing certification. In her downtime she loves to travel, explore the outdoors and spend time with her family, friends and pets. Dannielle is so thankful to be a part of this school community and can’t wait to see the amazing things that both staff and students will achieve this year!

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Behaviour Therapist/ Outdoor Activity Co-ordinator /Library Clerk

Anessa’s journey into the field of ABA began when her son was diagnosed with ASD in 2010. Determined to help her son achieve his goals, she completed the Autism and Behavioural Science program at Mohawk College via Distance Education. She completed two field placements at A Balanced Approach in Waterloo and graduated with honours in 2015. Anessa also earned her RBT designation in 2018 and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo in 1995. Prior to joining Oak Bridge Academy, she worked as a home-based Instructor Therapist and spent many years working in the insurance industry. Anessa loves helping children achieve their goals. She enjoys the fact that every day brings new successes and challenges. Outside of work, Anessa is a busy wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys being with her family, reading, gardening, and spending time with her dog.

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OBHS Teacher

Tara is beyond excited to join the Oak Bridge Academy community. She has been following the school’s
development since its opening, and has been eager to share her education and experience here. With a Bachelor of Arts in both Drama Studies and French Studies from Glendon College, York University, as well as a Bachelor of Education from OISE – University of Toronto, Tara has a keen awareness and understanding of the importance of differentiated learning and the unique qualities that each individual student brings to their learning.
Over the past 20 years, Tara has worked with adults and children with varying developmental needs, primarily in her work with Famous PEOPLE Players Dine and Dream Theatre in Toronto. She is a Certified Dance Instructor with Rhythm Works Integrative Dance, and is passionate about blending her love of the theatre arts with the development of life skills (both on and off the stage.) Tara is thrilled to bring her creativity to the launch of Oak Bridge High School this September, and looks forward to a memorable and successful year ahead for all!

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Behaviour Therapist - OBHS

Meet Gloria Bakker, she is a graduate of the Autism and Behavioural Science Program. Besides this diploma Gloria has a degree in Sociology from York University as well as two other diplomas in Developmental Service Work and Early Childhood Education. She has worked in various group home settings supporting adults with developmental and physical disabilities, as well as in school environments as an ECE and an Educational Assistant. Gloria has five years of experience delivering ABA therapy in various settings such as therapy centres, in-home and in the community.
She is a busy and loving mother of 4, 2 of whom both have autism. Local community services and ABA providers have been a great support for Gloria and her family and she wants to give back to the community by using her experience and knowledge to support and help families and their children.
Gloria’s hobbies include spending time with her family and friends, travelling and being involved in the community through groups and organizations.
She enjoys being a part of the wonderful staff at Oak Bridge Academy and the Oak Bridge Academy community.

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Junior Behaviour Therapist - OBHS

Stephanie (or North as everyone calls her) has worked with children with autism for over 10 years. She started her career as an instructor therapist and worked for the Hamilton School Board before she joined OBA last school year. Stephanie completed the Autism and Social Sciences program at Mohawk college and is a Registered Behaviour Therapist. Stephanie looks forward to joining OBHS this school year and connecting with families and students.
Stephanie is very grateful to be a part of such an amazing and supporting school.

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BA, BEd - Senior Teacher

Erin graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Advanced Bachelors Degree in Canadian Studies and English and furthered her education by graduating from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Education. Erin taught for four years for the Halifax Regional School Board in a variety of roles before moving to Kitchener in 2014. She has been working with students with exceptionalities for over 10 years and is proud to be a part of all of the incredible things that Oak Bridge Academy has accomplished since it opened its doors in 2018. When not in the classroom Erin enjoys reading, spending time outdoors with her two children and husband and making trips to the east coast to visit family.

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Behaviour Therapist - Senior Grades

Marina graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Brock University. To pursue her passion in working with children with exceptionalities, Marina continued her education at the University of Waterloo completing a Bachelor of Arts in Therapeutic Recreation. During this time, she interned at Arts Abound, an inclusive community art studio, supporting children explore their creative sides. Marina was working in the field of ABA as an Instructor Therapist until her move to Oak Bridge Academy. In her leisure time, she values travelling and spending time outdoors with her family, friends, and her dog named, Charlie. Marina is proud to be a part of the Oak Bridge community, watching students reach their potential and be their true selves.

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Junior Teacher

Devon completed Teacher's College and his Bachelor's of Education and Science at Brock University in St. Catharine's, Ontario. After graduating, Devon moved to the United Kingdom for a year to teach high school science in the town of Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Since begin back in Canada, Devon has been tutoring students with a variety of different exceptionalities and taking additional qualifications online. Devon enjoys to travel the world as much as he can and spends his free time playing sports, guitar, hiking, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. Devon is excited to be starting at Oak Bridge and thankful to be a part of an amazing and supportive school community."

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Behaviour Therapist - Junior Grades

Holly Kane is a registered behaviour therapist, who began supporting individuals with exceptionalities at a young age. She is currently working towards her Masters of Applied Disability Studies, Specializing in Applied Behaviour Analysis at Brock University. Prior to this, she received her undergraduate degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Social Work as well as her Postgraduate certificate in Autism Behavioural Science. In her free time she enjoys outdoor adventures, traveling and cuddling her dog.

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BA, M.ED - Junior Teacher

Jen has wanted to work with children for as long as she can remember. She started out her career path by completing the Early Childhood Education diploma at Mohawk College and it was there during her final practicum in a classroom that she knew that her place was meant to be in a classroom. From there she studied at Wilfrid Laurier University, received her Bachelor of Arts and moved on to Griffith University in Australia to complete her Masters of Education degree. Throughout her schooling she worked in summer camps and daycares, but it was when she was hired on as respite care worker for Lansdowne Children’s Centre that she discovered that she would love to mix both aspects of teaching in a classroom and working with children with exceptionalities. Before being hired at Oak Bridge Academy, Jen was an occasional teacher with the Grand Erie School Board for several years.
If you cannot find Jen in the classroom, she’s probably trying to keep up with her 2 very energetic boys or spending some time at the trailer with her husband.

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Behaviour Therapist - Junior Grades

Hillarie graduated from Fanshawe College in 2012. After graduating she worked at A Balanced Approach for 6 years, where she met Kathie Shaw. Hillarie began at Oak Bridge Academy when it welcomed its first group of students in September 2018. She has a very strong passion for working with kids and has loved watching her OBA students grow and flourish in a school environment.
Hillarie grew up in the small town of Fergus and continues to now live with her husband and young son. Hillarie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, curling and coaching soccer.

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Behaviour Therapist - Junior Grades

While working for the City of Burlington in their camp programs for individuals with exceptionalities, Kevin realized he had an interest in the field and wanted to continue his education. He graduated from the Educational Assistant program from Niagara College, and went on to complete the Autism and Behavioural Science program from George Brown College in Toronto. He has been working in the field of ABA for the last 9 years in both group homes and IBI centers in Toronto and the Niagara region. He is enjoying that both areas of his professional career have come together at Oak Bridge Academy.
Kevin enjoys spending his free time painting and drawing, hiking the trails in Hamilton, listening to podcasts, playing guitar, spending time with family, and visiting family in Scotland when he can. Kevin is thrilled to be a part of the Oak Bridge Academy team.

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B. Ed, M. Ed  - Junior Teacher

Mary is eager to be a part of Oak Bridge Academy where the unique learning potential of each child is embraced. Mary completed her Special Care Counseling training at Vanier College in Montreal, Quebec.
During her time as a child care worker, she had the opportunity of working with children with a variety of exceptionalities. Combining her love for teaching and working with children; Mary went on to complete a Bachelor of Education, at the University of McGill. Mary has been a teacher for the past ten years in Montreal and is a member of the Ontario College of teachers. Her time as a teacher has reinforced her belief that each child learns best when they feel safe and secure. Mary has recently completed her Masters in Education at the University of LaSierra with an emphasis on administration and leadership.
Mary loves spending time with her husband and son, and enjoys cruising adventures to various parts of the world.

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Behaviour Therapist - Junior Grades

Jessy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University and later graduated with the Autism and Behavioural Science Post Graduate Certificate from Mohawk College. In the last 12 years, Jessy has worked with a variety of individuals with ASD . She has volunteered in the Hamilton-Wentworth School Boards in an autism classroom, worked with teens and adults in a semi-independent living home through Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services and worked as an Instructor Therapist at Lansdowne Children's Centre.
When Jessy isn't working she is travelling! She absolutely loves it and looks forward to checking a few more places off her bucket list.
Jessy feels extremely grateful to be part of a welcoming and wonderful community.

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Junior Behaviour Therapist - Junior Grades

In 2019 while attending an ABA center with her son who has autism, Elexis heard about Oak Bridge Academy. That fall Elexis joined Oak Bridge Academy as a PSW and loved witnessing children reach their potential through the use of ABA and ACT. This inspired her to return to college where she obtained her Autism Studies Certificate with Honours from Algonquin College. She was also very intrigued by the positive impact ACT could have on children with Autism, and strived to use it in both her personal and professional life. In August 2020 she completed the ACT Immersion program with Steven C. Hayes. She is currently attending Seneca College to complete an Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Psychology (BBP). This year Elexis is excited to be entering the role of a Junior Behaviour Therapist.
When Elexis has free time she loves spending time with her partner and son doing outdoor activities. She also enjoys crafting, cooking and reading.

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Behaviour Therapist - Primary Grades

Christa is a registered behaviour therapist who has enjoyed working with children of various exceptionalities over the past 15 years. She is very passionate and grateful to be part of a team who works with the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis to help students be successful in school and in life. She loves watching the students be their true selves, be proud of their accomplishments and make many lasting friendships at Oakbridge Academy.
Outside of school, Christa’s life is filled with the adventures of 2 teenagers, boating with family and friends and snuggling with her many pets.

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Primary Teacher

It has been a dream of Crystal’s to teach since she was little, which is why she went on to get a B.A. in English and History from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Science in Education from Niagara University. She didn’t go straight into teaching, however, because she fell in love with what was supposed to be a part-time job: being an Instructor Therapist. She worked as an IT for four years before she started facilitating social skills and academic groups for children with ASD at a local therapy centre; and then after that, she became the centre’s Office Manager.  She is beyond grateful for the opportunity to work with such incredible kiddos in an atmosphere truly dedicated to help them reach their full potential.   Crystal loves spending time with her husband and two sons, camping (there’s nothing better than a campfire), crafting (she is a Pinterest addict), and organizing just about anything. 

OBA Support Staff

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Cara McLaughlin

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Madi Merkir

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Sarah De Amorim

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Charissa Sillanpaa

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Shari Nixon

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Kim Walker

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Hajira Sherzad

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Lina Casale