“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., PSP I
Ms. McCullough has been a part of the VIS community for over 16 years. She pursued a Bachelor of Education and an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and English at York University. She has received her administration qualifications from the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) 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.
- Cathie Webb-Gillespie
Vice Principal of Operations
B.A. Hons. Theatre, Founding Teacher, Ed. Admin.
(Currently on leave)
As a founding teacher at VIS, Ms. Webb has acquired 18 years experience in teaching/leadership under Marie Lardino’s mentorship. She has helped to coordinate integrative education programming and staff development. She works to support the daily implementation of the VIS philosophy and its operations. She also serves as the VIS Event Coordinator as well as facilitates the Student Leadership Program with Mr. Milroy. Ms. Webb received a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre from University of Guelph and is the Director and Founder of the Children’s Theatre Company- Theatricks Theatre Co. 4 Kids (est. 1994). She has participated in on-going professional development including “Raising Peacemakers” with Esther Fine at the 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”. Ms. Webb has been maintaining a safe, encouraging and inspiring classroom environment at Voice Integrative School since 2000. Well known for her Theatre and “Living History” programs, Cathie won the Oxford “Educator of the Year” award. It is not unusual to walk into her History classroom and come face to face with Jacques Cartier or to feel as if one is interrupting the famous Conferences of Confederation. Ms. Webb not only makes a point of teaching in role, she also turns kids into historians by integrating role-play and engagement with historical events. Her strength is her ability to blend the traditional and creative approaches to teaching and learning, thereby making her programs in history and theatre come alive!
- Maria Andrade
Grade 8 Homeroom Teacher
B.A. Hons., Master of Teaching (MT) OISE, Special Education AQ Part 1 & 2, Teaching & Learning through E-Learning, Integration of Information and Technology Part1 & 2, Intermediate Mathematics & Science and Classroom Management
Leadership Role: Lead Teacher (Intermediate), Yearbook
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 6 & 8 Mathematics, Gr. 7 Science, Gr. 8 Spanish
Ms. Andrade completed her Bachelor of Arts Honours in Nutrition and Food Science and a Master of Teaching degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). She has also completed Additional Qualification courses in Special Education, Integration of Information and Technology, Classroom Management, Intermediate Math and Science. In addition to her qualifications, she brings 19 years of teaching experience in both elementary and intermediate schools. Ms. Andrade loves challenging students to think critically and see things from many perspectives. She believes in creating active and engaging lessons that will guide her students in reaching their full potential. She truly believes a warm, safe, and caring environment is essential to create a love for learning among her students. Ms. Andrade is so excited to be part of the VIS family and to work together with parents to guide their children to succeed academically, and become active members of the community.
- Nicole Atkins
Grade 8 Homeroom Teacher
B.Sc. Hons., Master of Teaching (M.T.) OISE, Special Education Part 1, Guidance & Career Education Specialist, Intermediate Mathematics
Leadership Role: Lead Teacher (Primary & Junior), Guidance
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 4, 5 and 7 Mathematics
Ms. Atkins is passionate about bringing integrative education into the classroom and fostering students to be successful in the “real world” so her lessons are exciting, creative and relevant. Ms. Atkins holds a Master of Teaching degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) and a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She was an English teacher in Thailand and a Grade 1 teacher at a Canadian International school in South Korea. Ms. Atkins strives to be a life-long learner and has participated in many professional development opportunities and completed Additional Qualifications courses in Special Education, Guidance and Mathematics. She is very excited to be part of the VIS community and to be supporting students to make their positive impact in the world!
- Lesley Marino
Grade 7 Homeroom Teacher
BES Hons., MES, Master of Teaching (MT) OISE
Leadership Role: Local 2 Global Social Action Coordinator, Eco Schools Coordinator
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 3-6 and 8 Science, Gr. 4-6 Social Studies, Gr. 5 and 7 Life Skills/Debate
Ms. Marino completed her Master of Teaching degree at OISE/UT in a cohort focused on environmental and social justice education. She understands the importance of creating real-world, hands-on learning experiences that are relevant to students’ lives, that draw on their own experiences, and incorporate their unique identities. She is also strongly committed to creating an equitable, welcoming, and inclusive learning environment where all students can thrive academically. Her on-going professional development has included a workshop series on Social Justice and Equity Leadership in Schools, the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity Ontario Educators’ Conference, and achieving an OISE Environmental Leadership Award. Ms. Marino also has a Bachelor and a Master of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. She believes in having students connect to the environment and community around them to equip them to become critical thinkers and agents of change in their classroom, their community, and, ultimately, their world.
- Jeff Gillespie
Coach & HPE Teacher
Leadership Role: Extracurricular Sports
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 4-8 Health and Physical Education
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.
- Maya Solomun
Degree from UofT and Trinity College London, Additional Qualifications in English, Project Based Learning & Educational Psychology
Grade 7 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 7 & 8 English, Gr. 7 & 8 History, Spanish 6 & 7
Ms. Solomun is a passionate and creative educator with over a decade of teaching experience in international and IB World Schools, and expertise in child development and child psychology. She has worked with students with diverse learning needs and is proficient in developing early intervention strategies and programming. In her classroom, she nurtures a place of learning where students grow and learn socially, emotionally, and academically. She strives to foster an innate love of learning in every student and encourages them to express their individuality and feel motivated to succeed. She is committed to inquiry-based learning, conceptual understandings, and differentiated instruction. Her educational style is rooted in the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework, and she is focused on educating the whole child and promoting a Growth Mindset.
- Jennifer Watts
Primary Teacher & Grade 3 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 3 Core Subjects (Math, English, Social Studies, Life Skills/Debate, Keyboarding & Handwriting), Gr. 2 Math, Gr. 1/2 Social Studies, Gr. 1/2 Building
Jennifer comes to VIS from Calgary where she taught early childhood through to Grade 6. She also brings experience in coaching, fitness training, dance, and choreography along with guide dog training. Her work at the Heartland Agency and the Calgary Arts Academy provided her with strong foundations in community, communication, collaboration, diverse learning and teaching approaches to create an environment to allow children to be leaders in their own growth. Jennifer encourages continued discovery and growth in her classroom to foster confidence, independent thought, and problem solving in her students.
- Kathrin Cornibert
Primary Teacher & Grade 1/2 Homeroom Teacher
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 1 Math Gr. 1/2 English, Science, Centres and Life Skills/Debate, Gr. 1-3 Theatre, Gr. 1-3 Phys Ed
Ms. Cornibert is excited to be joining the VIS team as one of our core primary teachers in September. She holds a Master of Arts (MA) from OISE in Child Study and Education and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in early childhood studies. She believes that optimal learning occurs with a balance of both teacher-directed and child-centered instruction. Teachers need to provide time for children to direct their own learning, but should be supported through facilitation, which includes the use of scaffolding, zone of proximal development, learning trajectories and open-ended questions/dialogue. All children are unique and develop at different rates. Thus, a key aspect of teaching is to be adaptive and to foster inclusion. Ultimately, Ms. Cornibert strives to always encourage her students to make connections in their own learning, with their communities, and the world around them.
- Zeljka Colic
B.A. Music, Additional Qualifications in teaching English and Music
Grade 6 Homeroom Teacher
Leadership Role: Outdoor Trips Coordinator, Local 2 Global Social Action Co-Coordinator
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 4-6 English, Gr. 1-8 Music, Gr. 4 Life Skills/Debate
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.
- Rebeka Ly
Hons. B.A. (English & IEE), Masters of Teaching – OISE, Environmental Education Specialist
Teaching Assignment: Grade 7 & 8 Global Studies, Grade 8 Philosophy/Life Skills
Mrs. Ly is passionate about creating meaningful opportunities for students to connect with, care for and learn about our world through hands-on experiences, stories and thoughtful discussions. Some of Mrs. Ly’s teaching experiences before VIS include: Adult ESL teacher and Children’s Program Director in places like, Thailand, Philippines and Quebec. Mrs. Ly completed a B.A. Honours at the University of Toronto with majors in English and IEE (Intersections, Encounters and Exchanges) and a Master of Teaching degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She is a lifelong learner and one of her more recent Certificates and Qualifications include: Environmental Education Specialist (OISE).
- Andrew Chung
Teaching Assignment: Gr. 6-8 Dance
Mr. Chung is an experienced dancer and choreographer who teaches dance to all grades, focusing on Hip Hop.
- Anoshinie Muhundarajah
Teaching Assignment: Grade 1-5 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.
- Raffael Iglesias
B.A. of Fine Arts – OCAD, Masters of Fine Arts – York University
Teaching Assignment: Grade 1-8 Art
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.
- Meaghan Bedal-Grunberg
B.A. Film & Media Studies, B.Ed.
Teaching Assignment: Grade 4-8 Theatre (LTO)
Ms. Bedal Grunberg is thrilled to be teaching theatre at VIS. She has a passion for bringing the arts into her classroom and sharing how theatre skills are transferable to many different aspects of life. She has over ten years experience in theatre performance and has taught children’s musical theatre for four years. Ms. Bedal Grunberg holds a Bachelor of Education with a concentration on Social Justice in the Classroom, as well as a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Film and Media Studies, both from Queen’s University. She recently returned from teaching Grade 2 in Thailand at the International School Bangkok and has previous experience working in elementary classrooms of all grades, as well as in support roles for students with special needs. She is more than excited to be part of the VIS team and share her passion for Theatre!
- Juli Day
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!