Meet our Team

At oaks ‘n acorns it is our mission to find quality instructors who are professionals with a true passion for teaching young children and parents. When our instructors are not teaching a class you will find them out in the world dancing professionally, putting on huge theatre productions and performing in world class bands. As well our team is always improving their skills via further education and specialized training to bring only the very best skills and material to the oaks ‘n acorns programs. We invite to you review our team and put them to the test by joining one of their classes.

Sierra

Instructor

Sierra grew up dancing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, training in various genres and competing in regional and provincial competitions. Over the years she attended several summer intensives, including Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Goh Ballet, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company summer intensive. In 2018 she graduated from the Dance Performance program at George Brown College. Following her graduation, Sierra joined Canada’s Ballet Jörgen as a mentorship student for their 2018-19 season, and has most recently appeared in the premiere show of the Lofty Goal Project Arts Collective. Sierra has a huge love for small people and seeing them grow, whether that be in skill, maturity, or confidence. She has been everything from a tutor to a daycare worker to a kids church leader, and is excited to continue in her role as a dance teacher at oaks n’ acorns!

Mrs. Natasha

Lil Learners Director and Facilitator

Natasha is a graduate of the Educational Assistant Program from Sir Sandford Fleming College. She has over a decade of professional experience working with children of various ages in a variety of settings. She worked as an Educational Assistant for the Toronto District School Board and as a Child and Youth Worker for several social service agencies. Natasha also spent years in a leadership role working as a Supervisor in a residential treatment centre.
Natasha is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist & strives to provide her family with an active & healthy lifestyle and personally, Natasha has a keen interest in healthy cooking & nutrition.
Natasha is the proud mother of two children who both recently attended pre-school. This insight into various pre-school experiences and curriculum has helped give Natasha a fresh outlook into what parents want and need from a pre-school. These ideas and experiences helped to shape the Acorns lil’ Learners Preschool Program.

Mrs Julie

Lead Lil Learners Teacher Junction

Julie Kavelman is excited to join oaks n’ acorns as our new lead preschool teacher. She has loved oaks 'n acorns as a parent and cannot wait to get to know all of the families. Julie has been an early childhood educator for more than 10 years, working with children of all ages. Julie is a registered ECE and graduated from the ECE program at Conestoga College. Most recently, Julie was the supervisor of the before and after school program at St. Vincent Sunshine in Roncesvalles. Julie loves singing songs and thinking up new crafts and activities to help children grow. In her free time, Julie plays with her two-year-old son and pug dog Luther, as well as cheers for the Blue Jays (even this year!).

Avalon

Dance & Gym Teacher

Avalon has had a love for art and movement all her life. She started dance classes at a young age and studied ballet, modern, and jazz throughout her training. Avalon is currently working on a bachelor degree in Digital Communications at Humber College. She has a passion for teaching and loves watching her students grow. When she is not teaching class she can be found working in the cafe, parties, camp, and kids night out.

Mrs. Gillian

Lil Learners Teacher

Gillian has taught a variety of age groups from Nursery School to Grade Six. Prior to joining us, she worked as the Kindergarten Enrichment Teacher at Beez Kneez Nursery School. She absolutely fell in love with the Nursery School environment. Many of her past teaching experiences such as yoga, dance, and art activities have been incorporated into the Lil Learners Enrichment program. Gillian is a proud mother of a two year old little girl.

Lauren

Lead Instructor & Lil Learners Teachers Assistant

Ms. Lauren, Incoming Lil Learners Teacher
Lauren is a graduate from Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts where she completed a triple threat post secondary training program. Having grown up participating in all forms of music, dancing and acting, she has seen the value and joy it can bring. An avid believer in the way it teaches self expression, creativity, and even basic math skills such as counting, and self exploration, she is excited to have the opportunity to share it with everyone. You can find her at both locations where she has been teaching gym, music and art to all ages for the last two years. She loves children and is excited to be apart of the oaks 'n acorns family in this new and exciting way.

Megan

Dance Instructor

Meagan Griffiths was born in Edmonton where she began her dance studies at Marr Mac studio. After moving to Winnipeg she continued her studies at Studio One School of Performing Arts and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Meagan completed a BA in English with a focus on children’s literature at the University of Winnipeg while working at Harlequin Costume and Dance, fitting dance shoes and serving customers in the Winnipeg dance and theatre community. She moved to Toronto to study dance at York University where she focused on dance science and pedagogy.

Jillian

Dance Instructor

Jillian Schock is excited to be joining the oaks n’ acorns family! Originally from Moose Jaw, SK, Jillian has recently relocated to Toronto to further pursue her career as an emerging triple threat. She holds a diploma in musical theatre from The Canadian College of Performing Arts as well as a diploma in acting from Rosebud School of the Arts. Jillian has loved working with kids of all ages for a long time now. She has assisted The Rosebud Younger Company with their musical productions while at school in Alberta. Jillian then spent her first months as a graduate teaching theatre, private voice, dance and acting with the RuBarb School of the Performing Arts. She loves seeing how intuitive kids are when excited about learning! When she isn’t working in the theatre, Jillian is back on her family grain farm producing food to be shipped around the world! Just think, the next time you eat spaghetti, it just may have come from the crops she planted on her farm!

Lesia

Instructor

Lesia has a strong diverse skill set in the Performing Arts and since 2010, she has been teaching and preparing progressive lesson plans in dance and choreography for children from 2 years to 16 years. Her professional background is rooted in ballet, jazz, mod-
ern, and Ukrainian dance. After completing her ballet examinations at the National Ballet of Canada, Lesia attended numerous dance competitions and performed extensively throughout the world. Lesia is also a piano instructor who has completed eight grades of practical and theory RCM piano exams at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She loves teaching children and can’t wait to bring her musical and dance skills into the classroom, Fluent in English and Ukrainian, conversational in French and Polish, Lesia loves travelling and going on adventures with her husband.

James

Co-Worker

Say hello to James. When James is not cooking up a fresh batch of cookies, he is welcoming clients and making their favorite special order. In the summer months, James is busy with camp, running activities and being 'kids best friend', and during the school year, you can find James running Kids Night Out. He is a favorite of many of our young clients.

James has many years of hospitality experience, including most recently, being the hospitality manager of a Zoo in England. James loves all things sport, a good pub and exploring Canada with his girlfriend.

Shannon

Studio Manager

Shannon has worked all her life with children. She started her career in her mother's home daycare, and later worked as a full-time nanny. Shannon has many years of teaching behind her as she taught and managed everything from summer camps, programming and instructed recreational gymnastics to tots. She believes in getting kids to learn and have fun through fitness and movement. Shannon is excited to bring her bright attitude and years of management experience to the Junction's oaks n acorns. When she's not out finding new foods to line up for in the city, she enjoys camping in the summer and skiing in the winter. Please give her a warm welcome.

Iryna

Supervisor

It is fair to say that Iryna is the 'heart' of oaks 'n acorns. Her spark and charisma light the place. Iryna is always baking up a storm and ensures that all clients are attended too. She has the best humor and loves to delight children by dressing up for all occasions (and more). Iryna has a diploma in event management and brings her amazing talent to work every day to the joy of all clients, big and small.

Laurie

Instructor

Laurie grew up creating art, and taking lessons in voice, drums, guitar, piano, and band ensemble. She is a graduate of the Queen's University Drama Program, and studied Classical Acting at George Brown Theatre School for 2 years. Laurie has followed her passion for the Arts by guiding and encouraging children in Art, Music, and Drama. She also teaches Arts programs in Toronto schools with Arts Express. Laurie enjoys building each child's self-esteem and personal development through artistic expression, and loves to see each student's growth and joy when discovering Art! She is thrilled to be a part of the Oaks 'n Acorns team.

Nicole & Winnie

Co-Founders

``oaks 'n acorns`` was created in 2012 by Nicole & Winnie, two young moms who met in a local mommy group, became great friends and decided to build a place where parents could connect with their children and make friends for themselves while participating in fun recreational classes, workshops and social play. Today, oaks 'n acorns has expanded to two locations and a team of 25+ instructors and co-workers. When Nicole & Winnie are not busy running the back-end of the business you will see them in the studio running classes, checking clients in and serving up lattes alongside their amazing team of co-workers.

Amanda

Studio Co-Worker

Amanda is our part-time Studio Co-Worker, currently also studying 'Anthropology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology', at the University of Toronto. Amanda most recently was the 'Hand-on Facilitator' at the Royal Ontario Museum, educating visitors of all ages, and is now excited to bring her passion for learning (and bugs!) to oaks 'n acorns and be a part of both the studio/party team AND run seasonal camps & Kids Night Out events.