The Open Door’s Philosophy
We are passionate about helping families! We provide appropriate reading and spelling remediation in a caring and supportive environment, tailoring our lessons to meet each student’s own pace. We continually assess for mastery of the material to ensure the continued success of the student.
The Open Door’s Philosophy
We are passionate about helping families! We provide appropriate reading and spelling remediation in a caring and supportive environment, tailoring our lessons to meet the student’s own pace. We continually assess for mastery of the material to ensure the continued success of the student.
Our Administration Team
The Open Door Owner and Founder
She loves helping parents, students, and teachers with her knowledge and expertise, and enjoys helping students by finding the best way for them to learn according to their unique strengths, needs, and learning styles. She helps many families in the community through The Open Door, as well as through her work as the Chair of the Board of Directors of The Learning Disability Association of Ottawa-Carleton.
Heather is very hands on in managing The Open Door. She conducts all testing and dyslexia assessments, mentors the tutors, and oversees the progress of the students of The Open Door’s tutoring and reading remediation programs. She is always happy to take the time to answer questions for families, regardless of whether or not they are clients.
“My favourite thing is to see students, who have struggled so much with reading, with their nose in a book – reading for pleasure!”
Student Screener and Tutor Trainer
Admin Coordinator and Online Liaison
As our online liaison, Marla connects with remote schools, educators, students and their families to provide information and to prepare them for our online tutoring services. She then screens the students with online assessment tools to ensure readiness for our online programming. She uses her organizational and creative skills in her role in administration for everything from invoicing to discovering and implementing innovative ideas and solutions.
“I love all of the little “aha” moments. When you see the child’s face light up because they just made a connection and that is going to make everything just a little bit easier for them moving forward. Once you have enough little moments they can look back and see how much they have accomplished.”
As our administrative assistant, Emily performs various administrative and clerical duties including invoicing, communication, and bookkeeping. She works behind the scenes using her organization skills to assist with a variety of areas that keeps things running smoothly.
Blog Writer and Curator
Marion is a freelance writer, watercolour artist and literacy tutor who delights in teaching and sharing her love of reading and writing with children and youth.
Since graduating from Humber College in Radio Broadcasting, Marion has enjoyed a fulfilling career in journalism, copywriting, marketing, fundraising and food writing. She began her career in Newfoundland as a news writer for the St. John’s Daily News. Since returning to Ottawa in 1987, she has worked as a writer and project manager for various agencies and government clients including the National Research Council as a freelance writer and Metroland Publishing as weekly food columnist. Seeing the effects of low-literacy among marginalized audiences, Marion became a passionate advocate for literacy and worked as a literacy tutor for students at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School for over seven years. From 2007 to 2013, Marion was elected Vice-President for Sage Youth, an Ottawa based literacy organization serving disadvantaged youth. In 2010, she was hired as a fundraiser and researcher for The Excellence in Literacy Foundation, where she wrote several winning grant proposals and raised awareness among key foundations and corporate donors about the societal effects of low-literacy.
Marion also holds a Narration and Voice-Acting Certificate, Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate (from Algonquin College) and a Business Development Diploma from Cambrian College. She is also trained in the Barton Reading and Spelling System. In her spare time, Marion enjoys running half-marathons, bread baking, reading, and writing short fiction stories. She volunteers weekly at her local library as a facilitator for a Teens and Adult Writing Circle and is the creator, host blogger and photographer for the food history and recipe blog, BarrhavenBites.
Marion joined The Open Door as a tutor, to help struggling students become confident in their reading and spelling abilities and to convince them that they can become successful people—ready and capable of taking on new challenges in their education and careers.
Chris achieves balance through physical activity, coaching teams in soccer, volleyball and basketball and running the county track meet during the school year, and playing on recreational sports teams in the evenings. Not too may evenings though, as he is a busy father of two young boys.
Chris feels that in order for students to feel comfortable and confident taking risks and feeding their curiosity in the classroom, they first have to feel at ease getting the information they need and expressing themselves in writing. Having seen many students struggle with this in his classes, Chris signed on immediately to start tutoring with The Open Door after attending a Susan Barton workshop.
“I have always liked sharing the experience of discovery with my students. The Barton System allows me to get out of the way a bit and let the students meet with success independently, which is a more authentic way of learning. I love it.”
When she is not teaching, Bianca appreciates spending time with her family and friends. Her favourite activities are playing board games and spending time in nature.
Having taught in classrooms and one-on-one, Bianca believes that students learn best when teaching methods are tailored to the learning style and individual strengths of each student. She joined The Open Door so she can work one-on-one with students to help them overcome individual challenges and achieve their goals.
“I love watching my students progress, and being a part of their world.”
After teaching ESL abroad, Alyssa became passionate about education, she believes it has a huge potential for positive change on both a personal and social level.
After completing her Honours degree in International Development she decided to complete a TESL diploma and spend time teaching abroad. Her journey took her to South Korea teaching kindergarten, France working as a Nanny and personal tutor, and to Laos teaching adults. All of these experiences showed her how important and diverse education can be.
Since returning to Canada she has completed her Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree at the University of Ottawa, focusing on culture, societies, and languages. Alyssa loves learning about new cultures and languages, and she currently volunteers with OCISO, an organization helping newcomers transition to life in Canada.
When Alyssa is not working or studying she enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, and being outside. She loves to travel when she has the chance, as travel has been one of the best learning opportunities she has ever experienced.
Alyssa is excited to be working with The Open Door to help students break down barriers and reach their full potential.
“My favourite part of tutoring with the Open Door is watching my students gain confidence and get excited about reading. I love celebrating all the improvements my students make with them throughout the program, no matter how big or small!”
Dennis has a natural enthusiasm for learning and was drawn to the teaching profession through his desire to help others.
He is an avid reader (of both fiction and non-fiction), film buff and music fan who enjoys collecting vinyl records, live music and outdoor recreation.
Dennis is enthusiastic to be working with The Open Door as he has found the one-on-one style of instruction offered by The Open Door to be highly engaging and rewarding for both teacher and student. He is excited to help students develop their literacy skills and meet their educational goals in a meaningful and impactful way.
Leigh Anne Carson
Leigh Anne is a Certified Barton Instructor who has been teaching children with dyslexia and other learning differences using the Barton method for over eight years. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University, Leigh Anne enjoyed working as a pediatric physiotherapist with children of all abilities. However, when her son was identified as having severe dyslexia, she became a Barton tutor and successfully homeschooled him to the point where he is now a confident honour roll student in high school.
In addition to helping those with dyslexia, autism, and other learning differences, Leigh Anne is keen to promote the importance of physical well-being, with an emphasis on helping everyone, both old and young, achieve an optimal level of health through nutrition and physical activity. A former competitive road, track, and mountain bike racer, Leigh Anne can often be found riding the local trails with her husband and their two children.
Leigh Anne joined The Open Door because she finds that there is nothing more rewarding, nor more important, than helping a child go from loathing reading to loving it. From personal experience, she knows that every single student, with the right instruction and progression, has the ability to learn to read and write with ease. Moreover, every single student deserves the chance to do so.
Since graduating from Humber College, Marion has enjoyed a fulfilling writing career. She also holds a Narration and Voice-Acting Certificate, Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate from Algonquin College and a Business Development Diploma from Cambrian College. Seeing the effects of low-literacy among marginalized audiences, Marion became a passionate advocate for literacy and worked as a literacy tutor for students at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School for over seven years. She was elected Vice-President for Sage Youth, an Ottawa based literacy organization serving disadvantaged youth, and has worked as a fundraiser and researcher for The Excellence in Literacy Foundation.
In her spare time, Marion enjoys running half-marathons, bread baking, reading, and writing short fiction stories. She volunteers weekly at her local library as a facilitator for a Teens and Adult Writing Circle and is the creator, host blogger and photographer for the food history and recipe blog, BarrhavenBites.
Marion joined The Open Door as a tutor, to help struggling students become confident in their reading and spelling abilities and to convince them that they can become successful people—ready and capable of taking on new challenges in their education and careers.
She has a BA in Sociology from Carleton University, and is certified with a Graduate TESL Certificate from Algonquin College. Devi has worked in the field of education and support for over ten years, both locally and internationally. She has worked as a teacher in both Korea and Japan with a focus on child centered, play based learning.
More recently she has worked at the Ottawa Carleton Board of Education facilitating programs for families, as well as Somerset West Community Health Center. She loves working with people from diverse backgrounds and learns from every relationship and situation.
Devi enjoys spending time with her husband and three growing children and is committed and eager to help them navigate their daily lives and future goals. She loves camping, cooking, and spending time with dear friends.
Devi started working at The Open Door to empower individuals and families living with learning differences. She is enthusiastic about imparting understanding and support skills that coincide with this. She enjoys working in a student-centered environment and is dedicated to creating a safe space that allows clients to flourish and embrace their potential. She is a dedicated problem solver and facilitator. Devi has a passion for education and is eager to provide the support for those that need it.
“I love when students begin to apply what they have learned and start to use these strategies for problem solving and self correction.”
Matthew Gallina is an elementary school teacher who loves connecting with students while helping them to overcome challenges. He obtained his B.A. at the University of Windsor, and his Bachelor of Education at Nipissing University. He has 7 years experience teaching students in Northern Saskatchewan, and has worked with children who speak English as a Second Language.
Matthew became a father in July 2017, and relocated with his wife from La Loche, Saskatchewan to Ottawa, in order to be closer to family. He is passionate about education, and wants to influence and inspire every student that he teaches.
He decided to work for The Open Door because he knows that the most important and rewarding part of his role as educator is to help and mentor students who are struggling, and then to celebrate with them as they make progress.
Laura is a Carleton University student who also works as an online English tutor. She is in the Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies program where she found her passion for sharing language with others. She is also minoring in European Russian Studies and Russian Language Studies.
Laura strives to empathize with her students and their struggles, while helping them build confidence in their own unique strengths.
Laura is an avid green-thumb, having many houseplants as well as volunteer-gardening in the community. Growing up on a farm in Northern Ontario, she has a love for the countryside and enjoys taking trips to Gatineau Park for hikes. She also enjoys reading, particularly comic books and graphic novels.
Laura began working with The Open Door as an opportunity to work one-on-one with kids after her time working online. She believes that the tutor and the student have much to teach each other in every class.
In her free time, she loves downhill skiing. She also enjoys cooking with her family, going for runs, and reading a good book. She is passionate about music and loves to play the guitar.
Sarah is so excited to be working at the Open Door because she knows how important it is to communicate through reading and writing. Additionally, she would like her students to have as many chances as possible. She would like her students to know that they are not alone, and that learning can be a positive experience!
My favourite part of working with The Open Door is hearing from the parents that their child is doing better in school and their grades are improving!”
Hannah is an ESL specialist with many years of experience in helping students to improve their language skills. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Honours in English Language and Education in the UK where she grew up. After moving to Canada, she earned her English language teaching certificate and started teaching English to students from all over the world. Hannah has experience working with students ranging from kindergarten through to adults and continues to teach online and in person in Ottawa. Hannah also works at the Family Reception Centre at the OCDSB where children who are new to Ottawa are assessed before attending school.
Hannah has travelled widely and lived and worked in Thailand, Nigeria and China. While overseas, she found that food was a great way to learn more about different cultures so taking cooking classes, visiting markets and trying local delicacies were favourite activities. Now in Ottawa, Hannah spends her free time exploring the city and countryside with her dog and trying out new recipes.
Hannah thinks that working at The Open Door is a great way to help students build up their confidence and develop strategies that will help them throughout their lives. She finds creating a fun, relaxed learning environment is important in bringing out the best in each student; working with students individually means that this can be tailored to suit each child’s needs.
Richard is a very experienced elementary teacher. He enjoys working with students to build confidence by employing various teaching strategies. By developing a positive and fun learning environment, he believes students can achieve successful results. He has taught for many years in elementary schools in Halifax and at two independent schools in Ottawa. Richard is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, The University of New Brunswick (B.Ed.) and the University of Ottawa (MPE).
With a background in Physical Education, Richard believes in daily physical activity. He stays active by cycling, skating, treadmilling, and Nordic Walking. He places emphasis on sharing time with family and friends, reading, and collecting books.
He joined the Open Door to be a player on a team which aims to make a difference in the lives of students by building a strong foundation of learning habits.
Anne was originally drawn to education as a teenager out of a desire to help her hearing-impaired younger brother. Later she specialized in Special Education in order to better understand how to help her young son, who was unable to read. After assisting these two loved ones to become successful scholars, she turned her talents to helping other students overcome their personal learning obstacles in order to achieve success.
She is a keen naturalist who enjoys spending time outdoors, camping and canoeing with her family. She also is an avid amateur horticulturalist and a pet lover, so she really enjoys both home gardening and relaxing in the backyard with the family dog. When the weather drives everyone inside, she enjoys reading and watching movies.
Anne is excited to be working with The Open Door because she loves working one-to-one with students and developing a supportive relationship with those who are struggling to succeed.
“What I enjoy the most about tutoring with The Open Door is the super warm welcome I receive at the students’ homes. The excitement displayed over my arrival tells me that my students really love their Barton lessons!”
Jordyn is a Learning Strategist at Carleton University. She loves working with students to help them find the strategies and technologies that will support them in achieving their personal academic goals. Jordyn began volunteering as an assistive technology tutor back in 2009 and has been helping students ever since.
She has a bachelor degree in Cognitive Science from Carleton University, and is currently working on her Learning Disability Specialist in Assistive Technologies and Learning Strategies from Cambrian College.
In her free time, Jordyn loves spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys reading and working on her latest quilting project.
Jordyn started working at The Open Door because a program very similar to the Barton Reading & Spelling System was used to teach her how to read. She looks forward to helping students achieve their personal goals and build their confidence.
Monica has many years of experience working with children, including those who have special needs. She has worked at many summer camps and as a student teacher at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Since 2012, she has worked as a private tutor, tutoring children of diplomats English and French.
She enjoys attending and volunteering at different festivals, such as The Toronto International Film Festival and fundraisers in support of the SickKids Foundation. Furthermore, she currently continues to tutor and works for the City of Ottawa as a specialist instructor, teaching children gymnastics and various sports. Some of her interests include: watching films, travelling, reading, and learning new languages.
Monica is excited and extremely grateful about having the opportunity to work at The Open Door, and is looking forward to helping her students progress in the areas of reading and writing so they can reach their full potential as individuals and learners.
Jessica graduated from the University of Ottawa with a B.A. degree major in Second Language Teaching. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Education at Tyndale University College and Seminary. After graduating, she took some time to travel and work as a classroom teacher in the United Kingdom. Jessica has worked in a variety of schools with different types of classroom settings, environments, and demographics.
Jessica loves to see the world and travel. When she has free time, she loves to bake and tends to be making something sweet in the kitchen.
She started working with The Open Door because she loves being able to help students reach their full potential. She loves helping students to gain the skills they need to succeed.
She tutors at ELTOC (English Language Tutoring for the Ottawa Community), a non-profit organization that provides home tutoring for adult immigrants and refugees. She also volunteers at Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization by working with literacy students, as well as working as a teaching assistant and supply teacher. She enjoys reading books about mythology and history and learning new languages.
Lisa started working with The Open Door because she believes reading skills are crucial for academic success and wants to help students reach their full potential.
Emily is a teacher who enjoys supporting her students and seeing them thrive in all that they do. She has her Bachelor of Education in the junior and primary divisions, a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Psychology and an additional qualification for teaching English as a second language.
She has taught English immersion based education to children in South Korea and primary and junior grades in the public school board as a student teacher. She has also worked with various age groups in a daycare centre.
Emily loves to bake delicious goods and travel to different places in her free time.
She started to work with The Open Door because she seeks to be a part of the path which ensures every student reaches their full potential.
She obtained her Bachelors of Science from the University of Ottawa and looks to further her studies in pediatric occupational therapy. Currently she is taking courses in child behaviour and functioning to support the work she does with children.
In her spare time, Nathalie enjoys cooking, travelling, salsa dancing and spending time exploring the city with friends and family.
She started working with The Open Door because she wanted to continue to expand her experience working children with different learning needs, as well as continue to help children grow into successful and independent individuals.
Hannah is an elementary school teacher who has taught in Ghana, South Korea, Tanzania, and Ontario. For the past two years she has been a homeroom teacher in Gatineau, Quebec. She has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa and a degree in Political Studies from Queen’s University.
In her spare time, Hannah enjoys swimming, running, and cycling. She is an avid reader and loves spending time with friends.
Hannah believes in empowering her students by helping them to engage in social justice issues in a meaningful way. For example, her classroom students participate in Have a Heart Day at Parliament to advocate for equal education for First Nations children.
She is proud to work for Open Door Education because she believes children learn best when provided with a highly-structured program and feel a personal attachment to their teacher. She looks forward to watching her students develop both their literacy skills and their personal confidence.
Ashley is a recent graduate and ESL Teacher who has a passion for language and the power of learning.
She has her B.A. in Second Language Teaching and most recently, a Master of Education in Societies, Cultures and Languages, both from the University of Ottawa. She has taught English in Canada, Spain, and Korea to children as well as adults.
In her spare time, Ashley enjoys reading, playing trivia, and traveling.
She started working with The Open Door because she wants to share her love of learning, and believes every child just needs the right tools to reach their full potential.
Penny is an enthusiastic educator who loves helping children succeed with creative and engaging activities. She is an experienced educator who works in the Ottawa Catholic School Board as well as in daycare centres. She is also a respite worker, providing one-on-one support for families with children on the autism spectrum.
She is a life-long learner and enjoys challenging herself. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, spending time outdoors, and reading books.
She joined the Open Door team because she enjoys working one-on-one with students to help them overcome their struggles and gain the confidence to help them succeed.
Stephanie is a patient and caring educator who has a passion for shaping lives. She is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and has been working for the Ottawa Catholic School Board for several years. She also has experience working with children with learning disabilities and autism. All of the children she has worked with have taught her to be a compassionate, creative, and hardworking mentor.
When Stephanie is not teaching she loves to travel and explore new places. She enjoys being outdoors as much as possible and being physically active. Her favorite activities are figure skating, hiking, yoga, and baking.
Stephanie started tutoring with The Open Door because she is passionate about helping others overcome any challenges they may face and giving them the confidence they need to succeed. She wants to pass down her love of learning to every student she has.
Along with working for The Open Door, Ruth also works for The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board as an early childhood educator and a supply teacher. She has worked one-on-one with students in the Ontario Focused Intervention partnership program with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. This program was a very rewarding experience and sparked an interest to continue working one on-one with students. She has also been a home educator for the past 23 years, working with her own children as well as other students and youth individually and in a group setting. Ruth has been a director for the Rideau Valley Home Educators association and has worked very closely with the home school liaison at the university of Ottawa. She has also been taking courses at Algonquin in the ESL program.
In her spare time, Ruth enjoys volunteering for a dog rescue organization, and it is not uncommon for her to have two or three extra dogs in her home at a time.
Ruth joined our team at The Open Door because she has a vision that every child can learn and that one on one instruction is a key component to this. She connects well with students through humour and stories and is willing to work with individuals to reach their full potential with the best possible outcome.
Krista is passionate about helping students to reach their full potential, to develop a love of learning and to continue to pursue it. Krista earned a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University, a Bachelor degree in Administrative Studies from Western University and a certificate in French Language Studies from Carleton University. She started teaching French and then began homeschooling her 3 very different learners through their educational journey. From adapting and developing curriculum to help her children learn, understand, and love each subject, Krista became dedicated to identifying each student’s learning style and adapting the teaching to their individual strengths.
Krista and her family spent a decade living overseas in the Middle East. There Krista founded and chaired a homeschooling association in partnership with many families from different cultures, nations, faiths and experiences. Through many shared learning opportunities, Krista realized how many different ways there are to teach and learn yet how much we all have in common with one another despite our outward differences. Krista loves to create, whether it’s art, photography or handicrafts. Being creative is very important to her well-being and her need to express herself and engage with the world around her. Along with her family, Krista loves to travel, camp and visit family and friends. Spending time together learning or trying new things is always a highlight of any vacation or holiday.
She is excited to be working at The Open Door so she can help more students reach their full potential, love learning and see success.
Rosanne is a patient and caring person who has a desire to see all people succeed and develop a love of learning. She earned a B.Sc from Carleton University and after working in the field for several years decided to stay at home with her children homeschooling for a number of years. While doing so, she continued her education and earned a B.A. in Psychology from Carleton University. After graduating, she worked in a group-home setting with individuals with learning difficulties and behavioural issues. Rosanne also has experience working with individuals in the community who developed learning difficulties after a series of concussions. She has volunteered in classrooms and The Ottawa Mission to work with individuals struggling with reading. Rosanne has also tutored individuals in ESL, volunteered with refugees, worked with a family from Syria, and at an elementary school in Guatemala.
In her spare time Rosanne likes to read and do crafts. She loves to travel with her family visiting new places each time.
Rosanne is thrilled to be working at The Open Door as she loves working with the students to help them gain confidence and reach their full potential.
“Every child can learn. Just not on the same day or in the same way.”
– George Evans
Every student has unique needs, let’s discuss them!