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 15 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 Elementary 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 walking the dogs, yoga, and cooking. Adele resides in Middle Sackville with her husband, daughter, and 2 dogs. She’s originally from Hubbards, Nova Scotia and is overjoyed to be opening 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 10 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. Meghan holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Child and Youth and a Bachelor of Elementary 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 Olivia. 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.
Alicia DeBaie B.Sc., B.Ed. Teacher Alicia DeBaie is dedicated to helping students discover their passions so that they may become enthusiastic, motivated, and innovative learners. During the last 7 years working with children, she has made an effort to get to know each child to ensure she is creating learning opportunities that are personalized and engaging for each individual. Alicia has taught in both public and private schools within the HRM. She is also a tutor and has in the past organized and facilitated WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) day camps for grade 8 girls. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Math, Chemistry, and Psychology, and a Bachelor of Secondary Education. Alicia’s professional development has been primarily focused on creating individualized programs that embrace and encourage different learning styles. She resides in Lower Sackville with her fiancé Matt, her three children, Levi, Lilly, and Lleyton, and her cat and dog, Rusty and Rosie. Her hobbies include cooking, baking bread, yoga, reading, and crocheting silly hats. She’s originally from the South Shore and is very excited to have found a school that shares her educational beliefs.
Ryan Cox B.A., B.Ed. Teacher In his 15+ years of teaching in a variety of schools and learning spaces, Ryan Cox’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 corgi named Gatsby. 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 8 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 has lived her life closeby in the town of Middle Sackville and 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 10 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 Secondary 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 is excited to settle down in Nova Scotia, along with her fluffy cat, Monty. Tori is very excited to be part of a school that shares her values, and embraces the relationships it builds with it’s staff, parents, and students.
Hilary Irving B.A. Teacher, Student Support & School Program Coordinator Hilary is excited to join the Via Vita family, supporting the school in a variety of roles administratively, educationally, and through a variety of programming for our students, families, and community. She comes to us with over 15 years experience working with children and families, as a childcare advocate both in the public and private sector. She believes in nurturing and supporting the enrichment of children through kindness, empathy, and creating new love and passions in their lives. Hilary graduated from Saint Mary’s University and holds a degree in Geography and Geographic Science. Originally from a small rural town in New Brunswick, she has lived in Nova Scotia for the last 13 years. She is an accomplished artist, while her passions also include yoga and gardening. Hilary is excited to be a member of the via vita team and very much looks forward to providing exceptional childcare in a healthy and productive child play environment.
Jenn Robar B.Sc. Health & Wellness Mentor Jenn Robar, has joined the team with a passion for supporting children holistically. Jenn has a deep desire to help students discover their individual learning potential, gain confidence, and use these skills to experience success both inside and outside of the classroom. She is driven towards making meaningful connections with others and strives to ensure the students she works with feel engaged, safe to be vulnerable, and motivated. With 7+ years experience working with children of varying ages in a variety of roles, Jenn offers experience in mental health, assessment, behaviour management, supporting students with special needs, and skill training for a variety of issues that impact learning. Jenn holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology from Dalhousie University. She attended the Masters of Arts in School Psychology Program at Mount Saint Vincent University and worked in this field servicing many public schools across the province. More recently, Jenn has worked directly in classrooms and Learning Centers in HRM with professional development in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mental Health Literacy, and Culturally Relevant Teaching. Jenn is also a Lifestyle Photographer with interests in healthy cooking, downhill skiing, and spending time at the cottage. She resides in Lower Sackville with her husband Gary, her two children, Lilah and Charlie, and their dog, Penny. She is beyond thrilled to join Via Vita Academy which shares her philosophy of education. Jenn is excited to learn, grow, and be inspired by the Via Vita staff and their families!
Anisa Brudy Bio coming soon!
Arlene Silang B.A., B.Ed. Arlene Silang is thrilled to join the Via Vita family and become a part of the school community. She has been working with children in the elementary school setting for the past 10 years. Arlene believes in establishing a positive and inclusive learning environment in which students can thrive and grow. By taking the time to get to know every student as an individual she tailors the educational focus to the needs and interests of each child. She has helped many students reach their academic goals through tutoring children of various grade levels and learning abilities. Arlene enjoys travelling and learning about different cultures – exploring art, language, food, and more. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toronto, majoring in Philosophy and Gender Studies, and holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Brock University. Originally from Mississauga, Ontario, Arlene is now living in Halifax and is excited about her new adventure as an educator in a new province.
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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