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.
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.
Lil Learners Teacher and Class Instructor
Rachel is thrilled to be a part of the oaks ‘n acorns team! She recently graduated from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) with a Master in Teaching and is an Ontario Certified Teacher (Primary/Junior). She did her undergraduate degree in psychology at Queen‘s University and has additional teaching qualifications in Special Education. This background has given her an appreciation for the different development and needs of each child. Rachel has also worked in childcare and education for over six years and will carry over this passion and experience into the Acorns Lil Learners program at the Junction location. Currently, she is shadowing all areas of the business and will be teaching some classes at both locations as well!
Lil Learners Teacher (currently on mat leave)
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.
Lil Learners Teachers Assistant
Matthew began teaching as an assistant art teacher at Harbourfront School By The Water, teaching all ages from kindergarten to high-school children. He has created a cartooning course for children, which he taught through local Studios. He has also designed and taught both animation and filmmaking courses for children, and through a grant from the Ontario Arts Council and successful completion of the Artist In Education Certificate Course at York University, has brought his courses into the school system. He currently enjoys life with his family living in the Beaches area of Toronto, working part-time out of the house with children, and full-time within his home with his beautiful little boy.
Lil Learners Teacher
Sara has always had a passion working with children. She has recently graduated with her Masters of Teaching at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is an Ontario Certified Teacher with a specialization in working with students in the primary/junior sector as well as Special Education. Sara finished her undergrad in sociology and developed a thesis and grad paper focusing on supporting students with mental health issues in the classroom. Throughout her experiences teaching and working with children, she has gained knowledge of current principles and practices in early childhood education that she will implement and strengthen into the Lil Learners Program at the Junction location. She is ecstatic to be a part of the team and working in a positive and warm environment!
Lauren is a graduate from Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts where she completed a triple threat post secondary training program. You can currently find her music directing Mary Poppins through Liberty Junction Theatre Inc in Mississauga or spending time here in the studio. Having grown up participating in all forms of music 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. She loves children and is excited to be apart of the Oaks 'n Acorns Family.
Dance / Gym Instructor
Carolyn Purvis is triple threat performer and avid believer in all things creative. She was born and raised in the beautiful city of Toronto. Growing up she trained in ballet, modern and Jazz at her local studio. She is a graduate of the dance program at Etobicoke School for the Arts and the full-time College program at Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Carolyn loves working with children and using movement to help them tell authentic stories. She is a certified Fitness Instructor Specialist with CanFit Pro and is currently completing her Pilates Mat Foundation with Meaghan O'Neill at Serendipity Yoga and Pilates. When Carolyn isn't in the studio, you will most likely find her hanging out on a TRX or singing her way through the more ordinary parts of the day.
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 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!
Bio coming soon...
Maria has been working as a gymnastic coach for the past few years, which she really enjoys, she loves teaching younger kids as is her speciality. As a mother of two, herself, she knows the importance for kids to feel comfortable with the teacher to be successful and enjoy the class. She also has a business making custom piñatas. She has a BA in Psychology which gives her a great insight to the cognitive abilities of children, and currently is studying a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology.
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.
CareerFit Mom Owner/Instructor
Instructor Beth is a mother of twin girls, a certified Fitness Instructor Specialist and certified Personal Trainer Specialist through Can-Fit-Pro. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Trent University and has completed post-diploma studies in Human Resources Management. Pre-babies, Beth worked in Human Resources and Executive Recruitment. Over the years she hired hundreds of employees and reviewed thousands of resumes, so she knows what candidate qualities really resonate with potential employers. Beth struggled with her weight and body image for most of her life. Once her twins were born she wanted to make healthier choices not only for herself, but as a role model to her daughters. As a busy mom with infant twins she worked out whenever she could fit it in – during nap time and utilizing her stroller. Beth lost the 90 pounds she gained in pregnancy and continued to tone, taking her total weight loss to over 100 pounds. After maternity leave, deciding not to return to her full-time job in corporate Human Resources was tough. But recreating a career on her own terms, allowing her to help other moms with the same challenges she faced is incredibly exciting. Beth is coaching other mothers to live healthier, richer and more balanced lives; awakening their inner confidence; and inspiring them to be “moms on the move” – through fitness and career advancement.
Junction Studio Manager and Instructor
Breanne is so thrilled to be a part of this amazing oaks 'n acorns family! As a full time manager and instructor, she has the opportunity to develop relationships with so many of our wonderful clients and loves being in such a positive space day after day. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from York University with a focus on Theatre Studies and Drama in the Classroom. Since then, she has worked for many children's theatre companies in the city such as Young People's Theatre, Canadian Opera Company After School Opera Program, Artistic Edge Dance Company, and Children's Arts Theatre School. Hey focus has always been process-based creativity which allows children of all ages to grow and develop into their own incredible personalities!
After spending many years as a stay-at-home mom, raising two amazing little girls (who are not so little anymore!), Laurie is thrilled to have re-joined the paid workforce as a member of the oaks 'n acorns team at the Danforth Studio and actually looks forward to waking up and coming to work in the morning!
Drawing on more than a decade of HR, administrative and program management work experience at non-profit associations (such as the Association of Ontario Midwives, the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors, and the Human Resources Professionals Association), as well as volunteer leadership positions with her school council, the TDSB's Model Schools for Inner Cities Parent Committee, and the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, Laurie is excited once again to put her skills to good use, with the ultimate goal of making every client's experience the very best one at oaks 'n acorns. Laurie also loves to hold babies so please pass them over...it turns a good day into a GREAT day for her!