Kathie Shaw - Fearless Leader.jpg

Our Director and Principal

Kathie Shaw MSW, RSW, BCBA

Kathie Shaw has been working in the field of Autism and Applied Behaviour Analysis since 1993 and has specifically worked in the field of Intensive Behaviour Intervention since 2000. After completing her undergraduate degree at Trent University, she went on to receive her diploma in Social Work, then later her Masters in Social Work at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University while at the same time completing her course work to become a behaviour analyst through Dr. Vince Carbone.


Kathie is Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA); is a registered social worker and a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers; is a certified Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) instructor with the Crisis Prevention Institute; has completed training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) through Sir Wilfrid Laurier University; and has completed Mindfulness Based Group Practice including Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) through Sunnybrook hospital.

Kathie is passionate about supporting an alternative school in Waterloo Region. Oak Bridge Academy uses a model that has shown great success in several schools in the USA, following a model by Dr. Mark Dixon. This model uses the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. For those who may be unfamiliar with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, its aim is to maximize human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy does this by teaching behavioural skills to deal with painful thoughts and feelings effectively in such a way that they have much less impact and influence (these are known as mindfulness skills). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps to clarify what is truly important and meaningful, i.e. your values, and then uses this knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate positive life changes.

Academics is a core focus and an important part of each day at Oak Bridge, however, mindfulness and working to be flexible in thoughts and behaviours are the skills and strategies that are intertwined throughout the day and incorporated into all learning activities. Oak Bridge also intentionally teaches skills such as initiation, organizational strategies, interpersonal skills, collaboration, self-regulation and responsibility.

Kathie believes that these are the skills that will support our kids in being successful not only in school but in life. Kathie ensures that these are the skills that are pivotal in the teaching at Oak Bridge Academy to support our children on their journey into high school and beyond.