We are a passionate bunch. Passionate about education, that is. We have dedicated ourselves to building a school that encompasses the best learning environment for each child enrolled, working closely with their families and engaging in our community. We hope to meet you someday, be it on a tour of the school or out in the community! Let us introduce ourselves!
Adele MacLean B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. Co-Founder & Teacher Adele MacLean is passionate for helping children discover joy in their learning, feeling proud of their accomplishments, and recognizing that absolutely anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Adele strives to give students their own voice and recognize the power they can have over their own growth and learning. Over the past 20 years, her experiences have led her to helping students overcome challenges in their learning - be it academic, behavioural, physical, mental - and working with families to help support their young learner to see their own potential. She is an advocate for differentiated teaching styles to best suit the diversity of learning and an educational model that works to support individuality and teamwork. She has taught in both public and private schools throughout the Halifax area, as well as coordinating various children's recreational and school-based programs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and History, a Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Literacy Education. Adele focuses her professional learning primarily in working with students who are struggling to find their success and strategies for teaching to multiple learning styles. Her hobbies include hiking, yoga, and cooking. She resides in Middle Sackville with her husband, daughter, and dog Zoey. She’s originally from Hubbards, Nova Scotia and is overjoyed to be working in a school that encompasses what she believes in!
Meghan DrewB.A.A. (CHYS.), B.Ed. Co-Founder & Teacher Meghan Drew believes in education that is engaging, encouraging, and empowering. She strives to develop an experience for each child that allows them to take risks, learn from themselves and others, and grow up confident in who they are. Throughout the last 20 years working with children, she has worked towards building strong, trusting relationships with her students and their families to support and nurture each child as they grow. Meghan has taught in both public and private schools, as well as owning and operating various early childhood and community youth programs, both as childcare and recreational activities. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Child and Youth and a Bachelor of Education. Meghan’s professional development has primarily focused on early years education, self empowerment and empathy training. She is an active member in her community of Lower Sackville and contributes to many local family groups and programs. She resides in Lower Sackville with her husband, Christopher, her three children, Simeon, Ariella, and Asher, and her cat and dog, Ollie and Kipo. Her hobbies include reading, arts and crafts, singing in a choir and learning to play the cajon. She’s originally from Calgary, Alberta and is eager to be putting her beliefs and experiences in education into her own school.
Ryan Cox B.A., B.Ed. Teacher In his 15+ years of teaching in a variety of schools and learning spaces, Ryan’s primary motivation as an educator has been the art of inspiration. As a self-described life artist, Ryan approaches the symbiotic ying-yang of teaching and learning chiefly through the often contagious art of wonder, via a variety of methods intended to inspire both himself and his fellow learners to continue along their own chosen path of inquiry, toward a learning destination that may, wonder-willing, bring them to some new and exciting place, understanding, revelation, or question. Ryan’s own paths have inspired him to become very curious about a variety of creative arts--music, instrumentation, illustration, photography, composition, literature, conversation, poetry, lyrical expression, calligraphy, are high upon the ever-growing list of interests which inspire him in his life’s artistry. Additionally, in his time as a student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Saint Mary’s, and Mount Saint Vincent, Ryan has collected, built, and discovered a variety of tools for better appreciating, exploring, and taking notice of the wonderful world of human endeavours we commonly call Social Studies. He is prepared to effectively and relentlessly work his wonders and interests into the time he has with his students, with the aim that they might then be inspired to explore their own wonders and interests with him. Ryan was born in Halifax and raised in Windsor Junction. He has a Great Pyranees named Louis. . Zoe Scott B.A, B.Ed. Teacher Zoe is passionate about emphasizing community, critical thinking, and creativity into the classroom. Through her years of learning how art can truly be an amazing vessel for learning, she aims to provide her students with opportunities to explore and develop their own interests through the curriculum. She has been working with children and youth for just over 10 years, working both as a Yoga Instructor and Music/Creative Movement Instructor for local organizations. She attended Saint Mary’s and Mount Saint Vincent University. As a classroom teacher, Zoe finds she is gravitated towards helping her students feel at ease with their learning, building their confidence, finding a connection, and ensuring they are comfortable to learn more. In this way, her calm and positive demeanor lends itself well to helping students overcome a variety of obstacles and challenges in their lives. She works closely with students, getting to know them and building a community atmosphere. Zoe lived closeby in Lower Sackville with her husband, son and cat. Her hobbies include reading, singing, acting, and songwriting. Zoe has a strong passion for holistic education, and is excited by the way in which Via Vita Academy educates all aspects of the child, as well as the “community” atmosphere that Via Via presents for both its staff and students.
Tori Portman B.A., B.Ed. Teacher Tori is excited to share her teaching philosophy that focuses on educating through individual differences, and creating a safe and encouraging classroom space. She has worked with students of all ages for the past 15 years, by teaching theatre school, tutoring, and among her diverse classroom experiences. Her attentions as a teacher rely in compassion for all, and being diligent in going above and beyond for her fellow staff and students. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a Bachelor of Education with a focus in English Language Arts. Her hobbies include board games, swimming, baking, and celebrating her passion of music with her husband. Tori is originally from Winnipeg, but has lived in Quebec, and Alberta! She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband, son, and fluffy cat, Monty. Tori is happy to be part of a school that shares her values, and embraces the relationships it builds with its staff, parents, and students.
Devin Boudreau B.Sc. Teacher In his 15 years of teaching experience as a Martial Artist, Fitness Coach and Math, Physics and Chemistry Tutor, Devin has taught students from age 4 right up to 70. He values respect, knowledge and getting to know each of his students so that he can be a mentor and support in their lives. He believes in getting to know their interests and learning style to better help them understand and engage in their learning. Devin believes everyone's greatest weapon is their imagination. He encourages creative thinking throughout his teachings and highly supports innovation and effort. Devin has studied Physics at St.Mary’s University, Marine Engineering with the Coast Guard, and the Martial Art of Taekwon-do for the past 20 years, obtaining his 4th Degree black belt and a World Championship Title. His hobbies are Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering, rock climbing, parkour, squash, reading, and writing. Devin currently resides in Halifax and is happy to be apart of Via Vita's school community and staff.
Daynisha (Day) Paynter B.A., B.Ed Teacher Day is thrilled to be a part of the Via Vita family. She enjoys being creative with her students and sparking their imaginations to grow as they grow. She’s passionate about inspiring young minds to explore their capabilities and encouraging their sense of wonder. Day believes in role modelling lifelong learning, while growing mindfully, creatively, and staying connected with one’s own genuine spirit. A lover of photography, dance, art, music, travel, and language, Day has no intentions of slowing down her education just yet! She is a proud Mount Saint Vincent University alumnae, holding a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Child & Youth Studies, minoring in Family Studies and a Bachelor of Education. She hopes to continue her education to pursue a Masters degree in Inclusive Education and is currently finishing her Certificate in French Proficiency. In her free time, she likes to paint, play the ukelele, teach dance, operate her own photography business and hike around Nova Scotia. Day is originally from St. David’s, Bermuda. She moved to Nova Scotia in 2015 and fell in love with the city! She is eager to get the creative juices flowing in the classroom!
Karyn Blackburn B.A. Teacher Karyn is thrilled to be working with VVA! First a parent, and now a teacher at VVA, she is happy to be a part of the inner workings of the VVA community and teaching team. Karyn has over 15 years of experience working and growing with children and their families. Trained and experienced in teaching ESL and supporting ESL teachers, operating her own childcare facility, volunteering with literacy support in schools, running the various roles within the restaurant service industry, backpacking across the globe, studying her Bachelor of Arts in English and Criminology, to even being a certified tour guide and more - Karyn’s diverse experiences lends easily to her philosophy of “learn through love and laughter”. She believes in keeping things ever changing and fun, and mentoring her students through the many opportunities to learn, often called “mistakes”. Karyn loves crafts, geography, camping and adventures! She resides in Lower Sackville with her family, 2 dogs, and a bearded dragon. Karyn is also our first staff member to have a VVA Alumni in her family!
Looking to work with our school? We seek out teachers who are passionate about education and open to continual learning, both from a professional development standpoint and from the rewards and lessons we receive from working with children and their families. We invest in our teachers, hoping to grow and build a long lasting school together. All teachers at Via Vita Academy hold, at minimum, a Bachelor of Education degree with specialized training in a field of study in educating children. All teachers participate in performance evaluations, professional development, staff morale development, and frequent meetings in order to work together, with our families, building and maintaining a strong, committed school. If you think you could work well with our team and offer a dynamic perspective valuable to our students, please look at our job openings by clicking here.
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