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
Education and Family Support Specialist
Tutor Development Manager
Admin Coordinator and Finance
Service Intake Coordinator
Blog Writer and Curator
Social Media: Facebook and Instagram
Heather has extensive experience and training in the field of education and learning disabilities and loves helping parents, students, and teachers through her knowledge and expertise. She enjoys helping students by finding the best way for them to learn according to their unique strengths, needs, and learning styles.
She left her position as the head of special education at a local private school in order to fulfil the calling to start a business designed to help families and students who were falling through the cracks of the educational system. She helps many families in the community through The Open Door, as well as through her work serving multiples terms as the Chair of the Board of Directors of The Learning Disability Association of Ottawa-Carleton.
She is a Forty under 40 recipient, winner of Businesswoman of the Year ̶ Established Entrepreneur, and the winner of The Bootstrap Awards ̶ Founder of the Year. Heather is very hands-on in managing The Open Door, always finding new ways to improve operations, support her team, as well as innovating ways to improve the experience for families, students, and tutors. Passionate about helping, she is always happy to take the time to answer questions for families or educators.
“My favourite thing is to see a student, who has struggled so much with reading, with their nose in a book – reading for pleasure!”
Leigha is a certified Barton Reading and Spelling System Instructor at The Open Door. She earned her Bachelor Degree in Intercultural Studies at Ambrose University in Calgary, studied Elementary Education at Taylor University College in Edmonton, and has her TESL Diploma (teaching English as a Second Language). She has also completed the course by Dyslexia International, offered through the University of London, which specializes in best practices in teaching literacy to children with dyslexia. She started working with The Open Door because she appreciates the value of working with students one on one to allow them to get the support they need to overcome obstacles and meet their goals.
Leigha coordinates and facilitates the first meeting with families and tutors, answering the family’s questions and screening new students with a short series of assessments to ensure correct programming. She is always available to families, answering any questions related to progress, education, and programming. She also works with our tutors providing training, support, and direction.
“I love seeing how quickly students gain confidence and improve their reading and spelling in a short period of time. It is always great to hear that students are reading more, have moved up a reading level, and have improved their writing.”
Andrew completed his PhD in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science at the University of Ottawa and previously completed a Masters in Inter-Disciplinary Humanities at Trinity Western University, Langley, BC. He has taught lower-level undergraduate students since 2013, mostly teaching courses in Ethics and Critical Thinking. While at Trinity Western University, he also taught undergraduate students in the Extension Program, a program designed in part to serve students with special needs. That experience required developing new types of curriculum and evaluation, often tailored to specific individual needs. He is passionate about the Open Door because of its effective method of teaching students, as well as the one-on-one interaction between student and tutor.
As our tutor development manager, Andrew supervises and facilitates each tutor’s training and development including training, support, session observations, and coaching. He oversees tutors to ensure quality control based on data compiled from observations, reports from admin, and tutor and family feedback.
Marla started working at The Open Door as a Barton Reading and Spelling System Instructor. She studied English at the University of Ottawa, and is very passionate about literature, language, and learning. She is a positive and supportive guide on her students’ journey to independence in literacy.
In her role of admin coordinator and finance she uses her organizational and creative skills for tasks such as invoicing and payroll, as well as overseeing administrative tasks to ensure they are assigned and completed. She is always on the lookout to discover or develop innovative ideas and solutions to help the behind-the-scenes processes run smoothly.
“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.”
Emily is a Certified Barton Instructor who originally comes from a nursing background and has a passion for helping others. She completed the University of London course “Supporting Children with Difficulties in Reading and Writing’, and enjoyed working as a tutor at the college level. Emily started working at The Open Door because she enjoys working one-on-one with students to help them overcome their struggles. She believes that everyone deserves a chance to succeed at reading, regardless of learning style.
As our service intake coordinator, Emily is responsible for new families’ intake process including answering questions and determining their needs, matching them with the right tutor, and arranging the first meeting between the family, the tutor, and our education and family support specialist. She also updates and maintains our tutor onboarding and progress records, as well as assists with various administrative and duties.
Pam is a special education teacher with many years of experience, particularly in the area of language disabilities and learning disabilities. She is passionate about helping each student to be successful and to find the joy of learning. She knows that children who struggle with learning become frustrated and lose their self-esteem. Pam loves that moment when a child starts to regain confidence and to realize that he/she CAN
Pam has her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Carleton University, and her Bachelor of Education from University of Ottawa. She also has her Specialist qualifications in Special Education with a focus on Learning Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities and Behaviour.
She brings extensive experience to her role as Assessment Specialist. She has years of experience working in special education for the OCDSB, administering phonological awareness testing, developmental assessments, and reading and language assessments. She has also worked as an EQAO Reading Assessor.
In her spare time, Pam is an enthusiastic world traveller, which allows her to learn about wildlife, archaeology and culture in far off places. She loves nature and enjoys contributing to citizen science. She is passionate about observing wildlife and has a particular fondness for amphibians.
Pam is excited to be working at The Open Door, as she believes in the Orton-Gillingham-based approach to reading that they use. Best of all, working with The Open Door gives her the opportunity to help students to regain their belief in themselves.
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.
In her spare time, she enjoys cross country skiing and hiking in Gatineau Park, spending time with family in the country, and will find any excuse to go explore an “off the beaten path” antique shop.
While working on the school board, she has seen students with dyslexia struggle to keep up with their studies in the classroom. She took the opportunity to work for The Open Door so that she would be able give students the chance to learn new strategies towards literary success through one-on-one guidance, which they are often not able to receive during their school day. Her goal is that through her tutoring sessions, students will gain the confidence and skills that will allow them to discover the fun in learning.
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.
Our Tutoring Team
Leigh Anne Carson
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.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art and English, and a Bachelor of Education degree in Primary, Junior and Intermediate divisions. Vicki also has her Special Education Qualification, with a focus on Learning Disabilities.
Vicki is a talented and experienced artist. She also has a passion for travel and other outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing.
She started tutoring with the Open Door because she believes in the Orton-Gillingham approach that they use. She wanted to use the best method to help a struggling child learn to read and spell.
“I love watching my students progress, and being a part of their world.”
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 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.
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!”
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.
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 is also certified and accredited in the program “Structure and Style Method” from the Institute of Excellence in Writing. This is the program we use in our Small-Group Writing Classes. She has also 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.
Heather is a retired elementary teacher who taught for over 30 years in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. She taught almost exclusively with special education students, showing a passion and infinite patience for helping children with learning challenges. Heather developed a positive rapport and supportive learning environment for children with many different exceptionalities including learning disabled, language disabilities, brain injuries, hearing impairments, autism and attention deficits. Her interactions with all students demonstrated support, care and respect.
Heather has her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Education from Ottawa University. She also has her Specialist qualifications in Special Education with the emphasis on Developmental Disabilities, Language Disabilities and Behaviour.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends and travelling whenever possible. She spends her spare time reading, taking walks with her dog, horse back riding and playing simulation games on the computer.
Heather is excited to be working at The Open Door, as she believes in the Orton-Gillingham-based approach to reading that they use. Best of all, working with The Open Door with give her the chance to work one-on-one with students and help them regain their confidence, self esteem and a love for learning.
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.
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.
Jennifer is an educator who enjoys teaching students of all ages. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English (Degree with Honors) from the University of Ottawa and obtained a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. She has qualifications in Primary, Junior, and Intermediate divisions, as well as in Special Education. Currently an Occasional teacher, Jennifer has also taught second grade in California, tutored international students learning English in Ontario, and supported students with multiple exceptionalities in a MEP classroom. She is passionate about motivating students of varying abilities to reach their full potential in a safe and caring environment.
When she is not teaching, she can be found baking goodies in the kitchen, spending quality time with family, and going on long walks with her dog Sydney.
Jennifer started working with The Open Door because she wants to help students on their learning journey. She feels that her education and previous teaching experience will be an asset to helping each student gain confidence in their ability to learn and succeed. She also thinks it is important to have fun while learning, which makes acquiring new skills that much more enjoyable for her students.
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.
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.
Jaden has earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and a Bachelor of Education (Primary/Junior) (B.Ed.). As part of her educational training, she has taught children in JK, SK, Grade One and Grade Two. She has also worked as a volunteer tutor at a public library, assisting with both the homework club and adult literacy program.
In addition to working for The Open Door, Jaden is also currently employed as the National Customer Service and Finance Coordinator with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and has worked in the non-profit sector for most of her adult life. This has included working in shelters for abused women and their children, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and the Office of the Fairness Commissioner.
In her spare time, she loves creating happy memories with her family and friends. She also loves to write and is currently pursuing the publication of a middle-grade novel she has authored.
Jaden has started working with The Open Door because despite loving her full-time job, she is most passionate about working with children, helping them to overcome their individual challenges and attaining their personal goals.
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.
Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree with honours, specializing in Psychology, from the University of Ottawa. She went on to earn her Masters of Science in Teaching from the State University of New York at Potsdam. Throughout her 10 years of teaching experience, Jennifer has taken many courses including Additional Qualifications of Special Education Specialist through Nippissing University.
Jennifer has been teaching with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board for ten years, and also began tutoring two years ago. She has found she enjoys working with students both, as a class as well as one-on-one. She gains great satisfaction helping children build self-confidence and self-esteem and believe in themselves, as they overcome various obstacles.
In her spare time, Jennifer loves to take on new adventures with her family. She also enjoys quiet time reading and having long thoughtful conversations with most anyone. She has a love for music, and taught piano for many years. She also enjoys taking part and volunteering for community events that help others in the community.
After learning about The Barton Reading System and The Open Door Educational Services there was no turning back. Here she found a system that could reach children with various learning disabilities including dyslexia. A system that would help children strengthen many facets of their language skills. After hearing about the results of the Barton Reading System, she was thrilled to join The Open Door Educational Services to be part of this incredibly successful system which is actually giving children the necessary skills and tools needed for them to actually read and begin enjoying books!
When Kate is not teaching or attending classes herself, she enjoys to travel, bake, and play with her dog and cat. Kate also enjoys volunteering with local groups and spent the last 5 years volunteering with Best Buddies in St. Catharines, where she supported adults with intellectual disabilities.
Through her work in various schools, daycares and camps, both in the Ottawa area and in Jasper, Alberta, Kate has seen the importance that individualized learning has and the success that students have when they are able to work one on one with a teacher to identify and work through their challenges. Kate has a passion for special education and has started working with the Open Door to help students develop their own passion for education and become life-long learners.
Her hobbies include singing with the Ottawa Choral Society, reading, playing piano and saxophone, keeping young with yoga, and walking her little dog, Benji.
The decision to work with Open Door Education was an easy one. It is a wonderful opportunity to empower students with the gift of language.
She enjoys playing and watching sports, hiking, reading books, and exploring new places.
Amanda is thrilled to be working at The Open Door and believes that every child deserves the opportunity to learn in a way that makes sense to them, and allows them to succeed. She looking forward to helping her students learn and grow in a comfortable and inclusive environment.
Alex is completing his Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Honors) at the University of Ottawa. After undergraduate studies, he will focus on a PhD in Neuroscience or Neuropsychology. Alex currently volunteers in several neuroscience laboratories, studying everything from the effects of stress to the role of white matter in brain function.
Alex played baseball from the age of 6 to 19, including AAA as well as coaching. He loves rock climbing, reading, and playing games online with friends. Alex enjoys working for The Open Door because that work gives him the opportunity to use his knowledge of the human brain to help students overcome their challenges with reading and spelling.
Previously, she was a science instructor for children and teens at the University of Ottawa, as well as a counsellor at a culinary school for children. She has years of experience as a French tutor, as well as volunteering and working at summer camps and daycares.
When she is not working or studying, she enjoys cooking, doing yoga and going on hikes.
Asha started working with The Open Door because she strongly believes in their philosophy and wanted to be a part of the positive change. She is grateful to have the opportunity to help people who don’t always get the support they need in a typical classroom.
She earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Mcgill University and a Bachelor of Education from University of Ottawa. She has worked one-on-one with students with learning challenges in New Zealand, she also led programming for gifted students and learners who have dyslexia and autism.
She enjoys travelling, cooking new recipes and spending time with her dog Henri.
Amanda started working with The Open Door because she wanted to help students overcome barriers they may be facing and help them grow their self-confidence to reach their full potential.
She has worked and volunteered at Manor Park Summer Camps before and after-school programs with the Manor Park Community Council, where she became the lead for this group. She had the responsibility to plan, implement and supervise children at the primary level. As sports are on of her passions, she also coached various sports, mainly soccer, to children from ages 4-13.
It was during her final placement at the McHugh treatment unit at St. Luke’s that she truly discovered that her passion in teaching lay with children come from vulnerable backgrounds and need the social and emotional tools to be able to cope in a classroom with their peers. To her, this is what teaching is all about; helping children to acquire lifelong skills that will deepen their ability to learn and to form connections with others.
She started working with The Open Door because she saw a team of like-minded educators. She knew their shared purpose is to help children and adults reach their potential, to not let them slip through the cracks of the education system, to help them become lifelong learners, and to debunk the myths surrounding dyslexia.
“Everyone is capable of reaching for the stars. I like to think of the “Power of Yet” to guide me and others I teach when they are faced with what they perceive to be a road block. Teaching children and adults about the difference in a fixed mindset and a growth mindset is crucial to breaking those barriers.”
As a part of a 4th year community engagement project, she worked with Discovery University, a non-credit education program operated by The Ottawa Mission that offers university level courses to previously homeless and at-risk youth, where she promoted the program to various shelters and community services throughout Ottawa. She has also held volunteer positions as an assistant figure skating coach and a day camp counselor.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, watching live music, playing sports, reading and cooking.
Meaghan began working with The Open Door because she loves helping students overcome obstacles and watching them achieve their personal academic goals. She is also eager to gain more experience working with students with learning disabilities.
She enjoys travelling, being active, and baking in her spare time.
Madison started working with the Open Door because she enjoys working with others and understands that every child has a unique way of learning. She also is looking forward to gaining additional experience working with children and assisting them to overcome any challenges they may be facing.
She is an avid hiker and volunteer, and enjoys being outside whenever she can! Emma enjoys spending her time in the Gatineau Park as well as seeking new hiking trails in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. She also enjoys gardening, yoga and baking as calming activities, but she still hasn’t mastered the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe!
Having worked closely with students with learning disabilities in the past, Emma believes that it is essential for a student with reading and spelling difficulties to have an individualized approach to education. Her hope is to be a positive influence on a child’s development by providing a calm and judgement-free environment conducive to learning.
She enjoys spending time at her cottage with her family, and volunteering in different capacities at her home church, St. Maurice Parish.
Hannah started working with The Open Door out of love for teaching, and especially the joy that comes from working one-on-one and getting to know students personally. She is grateful for this opportunity and looks forward to working with many students for years to come.
Heather is also passionate about wellness and nutrition. She has a diploma in Natural Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and enjoys cooking and sharing her expertise with women and their families.
Heather started working with The Open Door because she saw a wonderful opportunity to put her former tutoring experience and current teaching experience to good use in working with students who need extra support. She recognizes the power of one-to-one support in helping students learn new skills and strategies that build confidence and success.
Laila is currently completing her Honours BA in Psychology at the University of Ottawa in the French stream. After her undergraduate studies, she strives to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Currently Laila is volunteering in two psychology laboratories. The first research laboratory is a child development laboratory that focuses on body image, trauma and eating disorders in children and adolescents. The second one focuses on human motivation, body image and eating habits in adults. Beyond her research experience, she has worked and volunteered extensively with children as a teacher’s assistant in a dance class, as a children’s camp counselor as well as in a daycare. Furthermore, Laila has also worked and volunteered with young adults at universities’ accessibility centres, as a community advisor in a university’s residence and as a student mentor in her faculty. Over the years, Laila has worked with various age groups and backgrounds and is looking forward to guiding your child or adolescent towards their learning objectives.
In her spare time, Laila loves rock climbing, biking, painting, travelling, and spending time with friends and loved ones.
Laila began working at The Open Door because she is passionate about learning and is excited to share this with youth regardless of the challenges they may be facing. In fact, she greatly believes it is imperative for educators to adapt to everyone’s learning approach because it is our diverse ways of learning and teaching that forge a creative, happy, and motivated society.
Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and a minor in History, a Bachelor of Education, and she is currently working on completing a Teacher-Librarianship diploma, all through the University of British Columbia. Upon completing her education degree, Lisa taught in various elementary schools in BC, with students from Kindergarten through Grade 6.
Recently, Lisa moved with her husband and toddler to the Ottawa area and is loving exploring their new city. In her free time, Lisa enjoys hiking, reading, baking, cross-stitching, and listening to podcasts.
Lisa was drawn to The Open Door because she loves teaching literacy and has a heart for students who struggle with learning. Lisa loves being able to help students overcome obstacles and help them learn in a fun and safe environment.
Jodie has a diploma in Early Childhood Education, an undergraduate degree in Child Studies, and a master’s degree in Health Science. She is an advocate for the health and well-being of all children and knows that literacy plays a significant role in that outcome. As a tutor with The Open Door, she has direct impact with helping children succeed in their literacy and well-being. She is kind, patient, passionate about learning, and strives to impart that enthusiasm with children.
Julia holds a bachelor’s degree in International Development from Trinity Western University, and a master’s degree in International Development from St. Mary’s University. Julia studied and worked in countries around the word, such as Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, the Philippines, and South Korea. She spent a year teaching kindergarten to grade 7 English in Seoul, taught ESL classes to adults in Canada, and is a certified Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessor.
Julia enjoys reading, spending time outside with her husband and two kids, and leading a Moms and Tots social group in her community. Julia started working with The Open Door because she loves working one-on-one with students and seeing them grow in their skills and love of learning.
Alyss completed her Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning at the University of Ottawa with courses in trauma-sensitive, inclusive, differential, and antiracist education. She obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts with Major in French as a Second Language and Minor in Geography in 2018. To complement her electives in second language teaching, she completed an additional year of courses in psychology, linguistics, and social work at the University of Ottawa, Saint Paul University and Athabasca University. She is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Education – P/J division (FLS cohort) at the University of Ottawa. Alyss has taught second language teaching and instruction with both adults and children. She has also held roles in universities as a library monitor, translator, academic assistant, and storywriter.
Alyss is excited to work with The Open Door because she believes that every child has unique strengths and talents that can be expressed with thoughtful and explicit instruction and feedback. She believes in a student-centered, strengths-based approach to teaching and learning and she is passionate about fostering an intrinsic desire to learn, improve, and succeed in every individual.
Andrea is an educator with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. She earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Geography from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. Andrea began her career as a Special Education Teacher in England, working with students with Autism and behavioural needs. She is taking additional courses in Special Education and English Language Learners to support this effort.
Andrea enjoys cooking, watercolour painting, hiking, and spending time at the cottage. Andrea works with The Open Door because of her passion for literacy and phonics, and the emphasis on one-to-one learning.
On weekends, she often frequents local farmer’s markets and goes for nature walks, or spends time with her adult children.
A colleague told her that her son had made great gains working with an Open Door tutor. The colleague thought Shannon’s teaching style and experience would be a good match, so she opted to tutor with The Open Door so she could focus on what she loves – turning struggling readers into expert readers.
Caroline loves to spend her time volunteering. She has been a family event planner and soccer coach for the children and youth in her community. She also enjoys cooking, doing macramé, and learning about nutrition.
Caroline decided to work for The Open Door because she is passionate about supporting students by helping them build confidence and achieve their learning goals. She believes that working with students at the individual level allows greater understanding the student’s needs and fosters a positive student-teacher relationship.
Stephanie loves to visit her family in Nova Scotia and to visit the beaches. She also loves to read, knit and stay active by going for walks, doing yoga, and hiking.
She started working for The Open Door Educational Services because she is passionate about working with students with exceptionalities. Stephanie strives to be an inclusive educator and hopes to learn as much from her students as they will her.
In her free time, Emma loves traveling, reading, and baking.
She is thrilled to work at the Open Door because she is passionate about working with children and providing them with the support they need in order to succeed. She loves working with students one-on-one to help them become more confident and to develop a life-long love of learning.
In his spare time Daniel enjoys painting, biking, camping, and playing the guitar and piano.
He started working with The Open Door because he is passionate about helping students reach their full potential.
Megan enjoys getting outside to hike and explore. She enjoys paddle boarding, biking, skating, yoga and kayaking.
She started working with The Open Door because she believes in their philosophy and in providing support to students so that they can reach their learning goals and gain confidence.
Laura is an educator with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. She has spent the past seventeen years working with children with a wide range of complex challenges including autism, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, anxiety and language-based learning disabilities. Laura grew up in Nova Scotia, where she attended Acadia University, earning a B.A. with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Upon graduation, she spent some time living and working in Western Canada before moving to Ottawa where she attended Algonquin College in pursuit of a diploma in Social Services (honors). Following this, she spent the next two years travelling and working overseas before returning to Ottawa where she began her career in education and settled down to raise a family.
In her spare time, Laura loves participating in lots of outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, hiking, biking and camping. She also enjoys reading, cooking, cheering her children on with their various sports and spending time with family and friends.
Laura is thrilled to be working at The Open Door because she has a passion and keen interest in language development and loves working one-on-one with both children and adults and providing them with a warm, patient and supportive environment in which they can confidently achieve their true learning potential.
Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. She is excited to start her Masters in Counselling this fall. She also facilitates a group for individuals living with anxiety and does research on social-emotional learning and child maltreatment. She has worked with children from diverse backgrounds for many years and looks forward to helping students during the learning process.
In her spare time, Amanda can be found enjoying time with family and friends, cross-country skiing along the Ottawa river, and paddling her canoe in one of Canada’s beautiful lakes. She also enjoys the occasional Netflix binge and getting cuddles from Maya, her Australian Shepherd.
Amanda started with The Open Door because she values the customized learning approach taken to best meet student needs. Her ultimate goal is to empower students to effectively navigate their cognitive, emotional, and behavioural experiences so they can fully engage with the material and move towards their aspirations.
Melissa received her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in French at Carleton University, and is currently working towards her B.Ed. in the Junior/Intermediate division in mathematics at the University of Ottawa. She has just returned from teaching English in South Korea, where she taught various ages ranging from age 3 –12. Her favourite part about teaching was making connections with the students and seeing the positive impact on their learning. Melissa has also taught Art at a sleep-away summer camp where she was responsible for caring for ten children. She loves to use her imagination and being creative with her students. Nothing makes her happier than seeing her students feel confident and enthusiastic about their learning.
In her spare time, Melissa loves to camp, hike, read, and travel. She has lived in Scotland for two years before moving to South Korea for the past two years. Her life experiences have taught her a lot about being adaptable to change and creating a positive mindset.
Melissa is honoured to be working at The Open Door to continue to make an impact on her students so they can feel confident to reach their full potential. She is looking forward to meeting each new student to help them grow in a comfortable and safe environment.
“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!