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 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 she 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).
“I look 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 Coordinator. Before she joined Renaissance Academy at the Arts Connection, she had worked as an Academic Counsellor and client support officer at Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan, she was a Freelance Proofreader of Edited Course Materials at Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan. Peace has also worked as Administrative/Support Officer with Association of west African Book Editors. During her 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 served not only as a role model but has also mentored them to become more helpful, responsible, creative and resourceful.
Peace had her training in Nigeria at the University of Ibadan where she got her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in psychology and counselling respectively. In Canada, she had also completed a program of early childhood education assistant at Douglas College British Columbia in 2012, and she is in the process of completing her early childhood Basic Certificate at Burnaby Community & Continuing Education.
Spark STEM Instructor
Ms. Jen has worked at the Spark STEM teacher since she joined the team in 2015. She is our go to instructor for all things computer and technology! Jen has worked in many areas of the Arts Connection including Renaissance Kids, Wondercamps, Enrichment Programs and Reach to Teacher. Ms. Jen loves robots, graphic design, video storytelling, and creating exciting learning opportunities for the students in Spark. She also loves her pet cat named Blue and runs a doll hospital in her free time.
Spark Art teacher
Ms. Aliya joined the Spark team in 2020 as an art and leadership teacher. Aliya has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Ryerson and worked as a freelance wedding photographer for 6 year and a photography instructor for 4 years. Aliya moved to BC from Ontario in 2019 and has reignited her passion for working with children.
She is passionate, energetic and values relating with students in terms of their likes and interests. Ms. Aliya was the Gold Medalist Award winner from Camp Green Acres and was voted top instructor 4 years in a row for her GTA photography classes.
- Top instructor award 4 years in a row from GTA Photography classes
- Gold Medalist Award from Camp Green Acres.
Ms. Shakila has worked as a cooking and cultural studies teacher since joining the Spark team in 2020. Shakila has worked in childcare since 2014 and spends much of her time volunteering with children in the community and 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 from Polytechnic University of St. Petersburg 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. Ms. Yulia 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 University Valle de Mexico and Master of Marketing at 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 any talents and passions while working with children. Working with children doesn’t feel like a job, it is pure joy. A fun fact about Ms. Veronica is that she had one of her photographs she took selected to be in National Geographic.
- Veronica has a photograph she took selected to be in National Geographic
What are families are saying
“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.”