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.
Lead Lil Learners Teacher Junction
My name is Randi Emanuelsen and I am excited to announce that I will be your new preschool teacher at oaks ’n acorns. I cannot wait to meet everyone and get to know each of you better. I graduated with honours from George Brown College with a diploma in social work and then I became an Early Childhood Assistant in a preschool classroom. I discovered that I loved teaching so I returned to school and obtained a Bachelors degree in Child Development. I have worked across the GTA in daycares, camps & community centers with children of all ages. I love to read, spend time outdoors, and play with my dog Gizmo. I love arts, crafts, and DIY projects and hope that we can enjoy doing these together. I look forward to meeting everyone and cannot wait to start our journey together
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.
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.
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.
Heather started at oaks n' acorns as a client when her son was only 4 months old. Fast forward 2.5 years later, she still attends our programs with her son, but is now part of our Instructor team, and over seeing our KidsTastic After School program for the 2017/2018 school year. Heather graduated from Humber College with a diploma in Early Childhood Education and has operated her own home daycare. Therefore bringing a lot of knowledge and experience working with children to her programs. She recently became a Certified Fitness Instructor and will also be working with Career Fit Mom, instructing Mom and child fitness classes. When Heather is not busy instructing, she enjoys spending time with her son and husband exploring the Danforth.
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!
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.
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!
Junction 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.
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.
Nicole & Winnie
``oaks 'n acorns`` was created 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, 5-years later, 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.
Instructor & Preschool Teacher
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 in our Lil’ Learners program, Fluent in English and Ukrainian, conversational in French and Polish, Lesia loves travelling and going on adventures with her husband.