Our Spark Team
Get to know our Spark Team. We are all passionate about making a difference in the lives of the youth who step through our doors.
SPARK, Wondercamps and Enrichment Programs ManagerKate is our SPARK, Wondercamps and Enrichment programs manager. She has worked at Renaissance Academy of Learning for almost 10 years and she’s grown so much (with us) over the years. Her educational background is in psychology and counselling, which means she’ll be happy to talk to anyone about the importance of fostering good mental health in childhood.In her free time, Kate enjoys being part of both a book club and a supper club as the great bookworm that she is (talk to her about any book, she’s probably read it already). Kate looks forward to the many laughs and memories she will make with our students this year.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Plato
Spark Program Coordinator
Peace is one of the Renaissance Academy of Learning Before and After School Program coordinators. Before she joined Renaissance Academy at The Arts Connection, she worked as an academic counsellor and client support officer at Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan. She was also a Freelance Proofreader of edited course materials at Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan. Peace has also worked as an administrative/support officer with the Association of West African Book Editors. During her time with the Nigerian Youth Service Corp, she served at Irewole Local Government Ikire, Osun State, Nigeria as Social Development officer.
Peace thrives on building relationships with the students and families in the SPARK program. She has not only served as a role model but has also mentored students to become more helpful, responsible, creative and resourceful.
Peace completed her training in Nigeria at the University of Ibadan where she got her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in psychology and counselling respectively. In Canada, she also completed the Early Childhood Education Assistant program at Douglas College in 2012, and she completed her Early Childhood Basic Certificate at Burnaby Community & Continuing Education.
Ms. Aaliyah joined the SPARK team in 2022 after traveling from Ontario to British Columbia to pursue her goal of working in a child care setting. Prior to working with SPARK, Aaliyah was involved in multiple theatre performances such as The Greatest Showman and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Aaliyah plans to introduce theatre classes to the students as she believes expression is shown through many different mediums. Aaliyah teaches with the mindset that children of any age can find the most creative ways to express themselves. She says making an impact is her purpose and a child feeling safe and happy in an environment will always be her number one goal. Aaliyah strives to grow and learn and relate with the students every day to create a positive environment and a safe space.
Ms. Shakila has worked as a cooking and cultural studies teacher since joining the SPARK team in 2020. Shakila has worked in child care since 2014 and spends much of her time volunteering with children in the community and at schools. She loves children and strives to create a fun learning environment for her students.
Spark Art Teacher
Ms. Yulia has worked as an art teacher in the SPARK program since joining the team in 2020. Yulia has a Bachelor of Urban Engineering degree from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and began her career in Russia as an architect. When she moved to North America, she started working as an art instructor and discovered her passion for teaching art to children. Yulia strives to create unique lesson plans and inspire students through art and culture. She is a celebrated artist who has participated in various art shows in Europe.
Ms. Veronica joined the SPARK team in 2020 as a science and cultural studies teacher. Veronica was born in Mexico and has a Bachelor of Communication degree from the University Valle de Mexico and a Master of Marketing degree from the University of Communications. She worked as a director of marketing at Santander bank in Mexico until moving to Canada in 2013. Veronica started working in child care in 2015.
Ms. Veronica says working with kids brings her spirit to life. She has uncovered many talents and passions while working with children. Working with children doesn’t feel like a job: it is pure joy. A fun fact about Veronica is that she had one of her photographs selected to be in National Geographic.
Ms. Jashan (or Ms. Jass as kids love to call her) joined the SPARK team in summer 2022 as an administrative and After Care teacher. She grew up in India and moved to Canada in 2014, and attended Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where she studied business. Jas loves kids and says that working with them is something she looks forward to every day. She feels strongly that every child should be given the opportunity to express themselves. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and listening to music.
Spark English Teacher
Fara completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in English Literature in Iran. Upon graduation, she immediately started her career as an English teacher teaching adults and kids as well. Having worked as a full-time instructor and a tutor in some of the most reputable English institutes, Fara achieved enough experience in applying the most efficient teaching methodologies to improve the language skills of the students. It was only then that Fara realized she had a deep passion for teaching kids and a desire to help them thrive. In 2023, Fara was honored to be a part of the Spark team, where she hopes to create engaging, enriching, and educational experiences for the Spark young learners.
Miss Kyleigh’s journey with the Arts Conservatory started back in her early days when she attended Paddington Station Preschool. In 2023 she joined the Spark team and is excited to become a part of the community. Previously, Miss Kyleigh worked as a private nanny and has over five years experience working with children ages eighteen months to thirteen years. Miss Kyleigh believes in integrating art and fine motor skills into every subject to make learning more fun and engaging to young minds. In her free time you will find her working on paintings and decorating cakes & cupcakes.
What spark families say about us
“We can't imagine a better scenario for our daughter, the Spark program is more than a before and after school program, it exposes children to higher levels of art that they don't experience in public schools. The atmosphere that is created for the parents is very open with concerts and art shows, and lots of opportunity for the parents to speak directly with the teachers daily.”
Allison & Oliver Mah
“My son has been attending the Spark after school (and sometimes before school) care for a number of years, and we couldn’t be happier. He loves the different activities, teachers, and classmates. He has also attended many Wondercamps the last 2 summers and has really enjoyed exploring different themes and activities.”
“My daughter has been going to the Spark after school care program since she started Kindergarten, and we couldn't be happier with the services we receive there. Her after school care staff are wonderful; they are always responsive and kind, and the activities they organize for the kids are so varied. Heidi gets to enjoy a lot of different types of art, using different modalities, as well as a cooking course, computer course, and others. The program schedule also includes outdoor time and visits to the nearby playground when possible, which is lovely.”