“When teachers are trusted, respected and supported, they are much more willing to role model their confidence in the classroom, take on leadership roles and impart knowledge to their students in creative ways.”
VIS teachers are committed to making a difference in their students’ lives. They are knowledgeable, creative, caring, inspirational and highly qualified. They communicate effectively with parents; but most importantly, they communicate effectively with each other and their students. In essence, they know their students well and are able to devote their attention to their strengths and areas of potential growth. As such, they focus on delivering programs that inspire students to participate, reflect, think critically, analyze, create and excel academically. Most important, they create classrooms where students can feel a sense of belonging, and develop programs that inspire learning, and motivate students to want to come to school day after day.
The qualifications of our teachers range from having obtained B.Ed’s to Ph.D’s. Several of our teachers have completed their Master of Teaching, and most have a B.Ed from other faculties of education. Teachers who teach non-core subjects such as Dance, Music, Theatre, Culinary Arts, Visual Arts and Athletics, are experts in their field and/or practicing artists with extensive teaching experience.
All of our teachers demonstrate a love of children and a commitment to education.
Teacher and Staff Profiles
- Marie Lardino
Founder and Director
B.A., B.Ed., Ed. Admin., M.Ed., Ed.D. Candidate
Marie Lardino is the Founder and Director of Voice Integrative School. Please click here to visit our Founder Page.
- Kristin McCullough-Sawh
B.A. History and English, B.Ed., Principal & Administration Qualifications
Teaching Assignment: Philosophy/Learning Skills 8, SK/1 Story Time and Guidance (K-8)
Ms. McCullough has been a part of the VIS community for over 17 years. She pursued a Bachelor of Education and an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and English at York University. She received her administration qualifications from the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) in 2018 and has participated in ongoing professional development including Reading for the Love of It, “Raising Peacemakers” with Esther Fine at York University, and a workshop series by renowned author Barbara Coloroso on the topics of “The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander” and “How to Teach Children to Think and Act Ethically”. Her passion for life-long learning has always been the driving force behind her desire to be a teacher. She feels it is imperative that students be given opportunities to evaluate and clarify their own value systems through perspective-driven inquiry and the use of critical thinking skills. Her goal is to establish a safe and nurturing environment where students feel confident to develop their own personal voice, and learn to be responsible global citizens who meet the world with their own sense of compassion, empathy and accountability.
- Zeljka Colic
B.A. Music, Educational Qualifications from University of Alberta and Teacher’s Diploma (Europe)
Grade 7 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 6-8 Math, Gr. 8 Science, Gr. 4-8 Music
Ms. Colic has been teaching music performance and directing choirs for over two decades in Canada. Her choirs won awards at competitions and performed internationally. She completed her BMus degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, studied education courses at Burman University in Alberta, and obtained teacher’s Diploma in Europe. She has extensive classroom experience teaching music and English and took professional development classes at master’s level from Andrews University, Michigan. She is a concert pianist, organist, and educator that takes a holistic approach to education and believes students are young artists that develop skills and competences that can be applied in any chosen profession. She loves reading and spending time in nature.
- Raffael Iglesias
B.A. of Fine Arts – OCAD, Masters of Fine Arts – York University
Grade 8 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: Gr. SK/1 Music, Gr. 2/3 – 8 Art, Gr. 4/5 – 8 Theatre, Gr. 6-8 Spanish, Gr. 7 & 8 World Geography, Gr. 7 & 8 Indigenous and Cultural Perspectives
Mr. Iglesias is an alumnus of the Ontario College of Art and Design University with a master’s degree in fine arts (specializing in drawing and painting) from York University. He is an internationally recognized artist and painter. His work has been exhibited in such places as the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Museum of contemporary Canadian Art. He also has an extensive résumé of international exhibitions and has received multiple art awards and grants from the Ontario, Toronto, and Canada arts Council. Mr. Iglesias comes to us with over 20 years of teaching experience, in all mediums both with the TDSB, private schools and independently with youth programs. The different disciplines he is familiar with include, all types of painting, (Mural Painting) printmaking, photography, illustration, graphic design, and digital media such as video editing, web design and animation.
- Hayley Cable
Grade SK/1 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: SK/1 – English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Gr. SK/1 & 2/3 – Theatre, Literacy Centres, Gr. 2/3 Music
Ms. Cable holds a Bachelor of Education from Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and is certified to teacher primary aged students. After graduating, she spent time in Australia teaching a multitude of subjects to students of different ages, including at a school that predominantly supports students with exceptionalities. She plans on obtaining her Master of Education within the next few years. She holds her standard First Aid & CPR and is certified in diabetes, epilepsy, and anaphylaxis training. Ms. Cable has a passion for working with children and has been teaching in some form or another for many years, including being a tutor to her fellow peers in high school and throughout her post-secondary degree. She is dedicated to helping all students succeed no matter the age or grade. She is very patient, energetic, and fun-loving. As an educator, she has a teaching philosophy that fosters a student-centered approach, a place that fosters a safe and supportive environment, and one that gives the students the tools to apply what they learn in all subject areas. She is really looking forward to making her mark as a teacher at VIS.
- Chelsea Hood
B.A. Science, M.Ed.
Grade 2/3 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 2/3 English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Circle/Life Skills & Debate and Gr. 4/5 Math & Science
Ms. Hood completed her Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas while on an athletic and academic scholarship. Upon returning to Canada, Ms. Hood worked as a kinesiologist helping people of all ages recover from post-operative knee surgeries. Ms. Hood completed her Masters of Teaching from OISE. She believes that the classroom is an environment where all students need to feel welcome and safe before learning can occur. This can be achieved by creating a community in the classroom where students respect each other’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions. An important aspect to learning is the connections that can be made between the students and their community. Ms. Hood feels technology plays an essential role in learning, as it connects people to the world and offers learners valuable information. This allows them to make informed decisions and have enlightened perspectives.
- Kristen Da Silva-Gopisetty
Grade 4/5 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 2/3 Cursive & Keyboarding, Gr. 4-6 Social Studies, Gr. 6-8 English, Gr. 7-8 History, Gr. 7 Science
Mrs. Da Silva-Gopisetty comes to us with 12 years of international teaching experience in both Primary and Secondary Schools in various subject areas. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre and her Practitioners Certificate in Drama in Education from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. She has professional accreditations as an Ontario Certified English Language Teacher (OCELT) as well as an Internationally Certified English Language Teacher (ICTEAL). Mrs. Da Silva-Gopisetty is also trained to teach students with learning exceptionalities and Dyslexia where she effectively assists students with pronunciation, reading and spelling by helping to re-train their neurological pathways. She is delighted to be part of our school community and looks forward to guiding and assisting the students at VIS to become the best version of themselves, by nurturing creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking.
- Laura Herzog
Grade 6 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 2-8 French, Gr. 4/5 English, Gr. 6 Science, Gr. 4-7 Life Skills/Debate
Ms. Herzog has been a French teacher for the past nine years to elementary and secondary aged students and has international experience teaching English. She pursued a Bachelor of Arts and Teaching Pedagogy (equivalent to a Canadian Bachelor of Education) at the University of Basque Country (Spain). She has participated in ongoing professional development including Drama in Education & Spoken Word, as well as personal development through her passion for international dances, such as Bollywood, Bhangra, and singing. As an experienced traveler, who is also trilingual, her passion for life-long learning and appreciation for world cultures has always been the driving force behind her desire to be an educator. Ms. Herzog feels that it is important to encourage all her students to learn multiple languages and experience the diverse cultures of the world through language and travel. Empowering critical thinking skills and helping her students through meaningful and assertive conversations to create their own truth is one of her life’s main goals. She strives to help students keep their unique voice alive and feel a true sense of belonging through engagement with language, words, and art.
- Jeff Gillespie
Sports Coach & Physical Education Teacher
Leadership Role: Extracurricular Sports
Teaching Assignment: Gr. K-8 Phys-Ed
Jeff Gillespie, otherwise known as Coach Jeff, provides an inclusive and healthy environment in which kids can learn to play cooperatively while engaging in vigorous physical activity that addresses the curriculum in dynamic and challenging ways. As a member of the SSAF, Small School Athletic Federation, Coach Jeff also runs a dynamic and diverse extra-curricular sports program at VIS that provides students with many opportunities to represent their school in a wide variety of individual and team sports. Coach Jeff believes that every student is an athlete and actively strives to provide opportunities for all the students at VIS to achieve their best and to learn skills for life by focusing on physical, social, and emotional awareness.
- Anoshinie Muhundarajah
Teaching Assignment: Grade SK-8 Dance
Ms. M is a professional dancer and choreographer who teaches our Primary dance program, with a focus on Hip Hop. She is trained in styles such a Locking, Indian Classical and Bollywood. Her experience in dance has led her to travel the world to perform, teach and judge. Anoshinie believes in using dance to connect with students while inspiring and empowering them.
- Juli Day
Office & Admissions Manager
Juli Day has been a part of the VIS community for the past 13 years. Her daughter is a graduate of VIS and she appreciates the impact it had on her life. She started working at VIS in 2006 as a Lunchroom and Study Supervisor. As the years went by, she began working in the office part-time and has been working as the school’s full-time Office Manager for the past 5 years. Her work to keep the office running smoothly is much appreciated!