2454 Bayview Avenue Toronto, Ontario M2L 1A6 | SEE MAP

Faculty

Junior Academy’s community is reflected in the commitment and capabilities of our teachers. With diverse backgrounds, life experiences and teaching methods at their disposal, teachers at Junior Academy work together to know and understand the individual learning styles of their students as they progress through the various grades of the school. Our teachers embrace the fact that they can provide a positive influence that students will carry forward for the rest of their lives.

Mr. Paul Bamberger | Principal

Mr. Bamberger is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and Queen’s University and he has been working in education since 2001. Mr. Bamberger brings a wealth of classroom experience and was nominated as Educator of Character for the Region of York in 2015. In addition, Mr. Bamberger holds many qualifications including the Private School Principal’s Qualification as well as Special Education: Parts One & Two.

Mr. Bamberger has a firm understanding of Junior Academy’s philosophy and academic procedures. Prior to joining Junior Academy, Mr. Bamberger was Co-Principal of Foundations Private School in Aurora for 3 years and Vice Principal for an additional 3 years at the same institution.

Mrs. Cathy Hibbert | Vice-Principal

14th year at Junior Academy

Mrs. Hibbert has a BA from Western, Counseling Diploma from George Brown and a Masters in Education from Canisius College. Teaching is her 3rd Career! She previously worked as an Addictions Counselor for CAMH and as a Professional Water Skier before teaching.

“I love the celebrated individuality coupled with the enormous sense of belonging here at Junior Academy. I love knowing each student’s name! Coaching badminton and leading the dance crew are among my favourite extra-curricular activities.”

 

Mrs. Sarah Fox | Homeroom Teacher

14th at Junior Academy

Mrs. Fox completed her Undergraduate degree in Communications at the University of Windsor. After completing her Undergraduate Degree, Mrs. Fox moved to Australia where she went to teachers college. From Australia, she moved to London, England where she taught for 3.5 years before moving back to Toronto. Mrs. Fox has been with the Junior Academy since 2003.

“One of the things I love most about Junior Academy is that we offer a wide variety of leadership opportunities for students, allowing them to contribute in a positive way to the school community. Our Leadership Crew and “Helping Hands” program helps students in grades 5-8, especially those who might not otherwise be in a leadership role, gain important skills to become role models.”

 

Mr. Mark Sidler | Homeroom Teacher

4th year at Junior Academy

After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor’s degree, Mr. Sidler moved abroad to Seoul, Korea where he lived for four years teaching Kindergarten and Grade One. This reinforced his passion and commitment to teaching and he decided to pursue his teaching degree at the University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia. Afterwards, Mark returned to Ontario and was supply teaching in Toronto prior to joining the Junior Academy team. Mark has an extensive background in athletics and has competed in volleyball at the national and international level. He loves photography and film and is a canoeing enthusiast.

“I like the fact that there are so many opportunities for students to get involved in sport at different levels of competition. As part of the SSAF we send teams to compete against other small private schools in Toronto. We also have a variety of athletic clubs that allow students of different ages and skill levels to participate and improve in a supportive and friendly environment.”

 

Mrs. Bonnie Reiter | Homeroom Teacher

2nd year at Junior Academy

Mrs. Reiter has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and has recently completed her Master of Science in Education at Canisius College in Buffalo. Prior to teaching Mrs. Reiter ran an engineering and technology school where she taught as well as developed early literacy programs, educational software and curriculum for children. Mrs. Reiter most recently worked at Havergal College where she developed and delivered their After School Program and worked as an Educational Assistant.

“I look forward to being part of a team that is so community minded. I am passionate about giving children many meaningful opportunities to give back to the community and I know that Junior Academy does that!”

Mr. Graham Douglas | PIE Program/Outdoor Education/Drama

3rd year at Junior Academy

Upon graduating from Bishop’s University with a degree in Drama and English he ventured to South Africa where he ran a shelter for street children. He became involved in music there, running a recording studio and singing in a popular local band. Returning to Canada he taught Drama and English at Metro Prep. Since completing his teaching diploma at D’Youville College in Buffalo he has had opportunities to teach at Crestwood Preparatory Academy as well as run his own businesses in a variety of fields including elevator contracting and fine carpentry. When he’s not teaching Graham other interests include; canoeing, yoga, running and reading.

As a staff we have the flexibility to create programming that is unique and engaging on a variety of levels and appealing to a student body with a diverse learning spectrum. Being given the opportunity to build a gifted program from scratch is a perfect example of how JA seeks to distinguish itself.”

Mrs. Jacqui Robbins | Kindergarten Teacher

Jacqui graduated from Yale with a degree in theatre and anthropology, but she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She has a Master’s in Child Development and Early Childhood Education certification from the Erikson Institute in Chicago. Prior to coming to JA, Jacqui taught for nearly 20 years in inclusion, special education, preschool, and elementary classrooms, most recently at Centennial Infant and Child Centre, a preschool for children with special needs in Toronto. She is also the author of several picture books for young children. Jacqui fell in love with Junior Academy because the school is so responsive and supportive of the students and teachers!

Ms. Laura Simpson | Homeroom Teacher

Ms. Simpson graduated from Sheridan College with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, where she also completed her Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership. She went onto complete her Bachelor of Education Primary/Junior Consecutive Teacher Education Schulich Program at Nipissing University. Prior to Junior Academy, Ms. Simpson worked as an ABA Therapist to children living with Autism. Laura has been at Junior Academy since 2016.

“I love working at Junior Academy because it is an inclusive school that focuses on the individuality of each student.” 

Ms. Lisa Groskorth | Homeroom Teacher

Lisa has vast experience working with students both in and out of the school setting and even spent three years living in Australia where she taught for the Queensland Government. She fell in love with the country and her passion for teaching and learning grew larger and larger while there. Ms. Groskorth obtained her teaching degree while in Australia at the University of the Sunshine Coast after completing her Bachelor of Arts Honors degree at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario with a major in History. Lisa is Qualified in the Primary, Junior and Intermediate Levels of Education with her specialization being History. Lisa will be completing her Special Education Qualification this year and has worked as an ABA/IBI Therapist and for Autism Ontario.

Ms. Nicole Doiron | STEPS Program & SSP Coordinator

Ms. Doiron’s teaching career started back in her hometown, Charlottetown, PEI.  She graduated with a B.Ed specializing in Early Years and International Education. After teaching at a primary school in Meru, Kenya, as part of the international program, she moved to London, UK working in various classroom settings until finding work as the Speech and Language Resource Provision Teacher at a school for grades 4-8. Upon returning back to Canada she decided to move to Toronto to pursue a Masters in Education at OISE. Course work was completed in the Developmental Psychology and Education program, with a focus on special educational instruction.

“I am very much looking forward to being part of the Junior Academy team this year. It is my aim to create an inviting and engaging environment for all students to reach their full potential.”

Mrs. Lisa Silver | STEPS Program

2nd year at Junior Academy

Ms. Silver has a BEd from McGill University and is a Special Education Specialist. Upon graduation, she spent time teaching in Mexico before coming back to Toronto where she worked as a classroom teacher, private tutor, and education consultant for more than 15 years.

“What I love about Junior Academy it is a collaborative community where teachers have the opportunity to get to know students as learners and individuals, helping them develop a love for learning and the foundational skills to succeed.”

 

Ms. Allison Leach | STEPS Program

Allison Leach has joined us this year as a previous Preschool Director for over 10 years. She has many years experience working with those with special needs, and those requiring additional assistance within the classroom. Her background lies within Applied Behaviour Analysis and many evidence based programs. She completed her undergrad at York University, graduating with Honours, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Education at the University of Windsor.

 

“I am beyond excited to join such an amazing team this year and work closely with each student. The inclusive environment and attention to each individual child is inspiring in the world of Education.”

 

Mrs. Nicole Burul | STEPS Program

2nd year at Junior Academy

Mrs. Nicole Burul has a B.A. from McGill University and a M. Ed in Special Education from Loyola University Chicago. After teaching in Chicago public schools as a special education teacher, she worked as the head of special education at Children’s Support Solutions.

“Junior Academy is a wonderful community dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of the students. All ability levels are supported and celebrated.”

 

Mr. Margaux Brown | Music Teacher

New to Junior Academy Ms. Brown has recently completed her Masters in Teaching from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Prior to studying education, Ms. Brown studied jazz performance at both Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta followed by the University of Toronto where she completed her Bachelor of Music. In between her studies Ms. Brown has performed professionally in Toronto alongside opening her own music studio where she teaches private music lessons in the evenings and on weekends.

 

“I’m so excited to be teaching at Junior Academy this year! I love the inclusive community at JA that allows teachers to really get to know their students and to centre the learning around them!”

 

Mr. Andrew Perryman | Physical Education Teacher

3rd year at Junior Academy

Mr. Perryman graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History before attending Nipissing University in North Bay where he completed his Bachelor of Education degree. During his undergrad, Andrew competed for his University’s Golf team and continues to play a variety of sports at different levels. Prior to working at Junior Academy, Andrew was a supply gym teacher at Aurora Montessori School working with grades 1 to 8.

 

“The before and aftercare program allows me to work with students from all grades within the school. I like that I am able to connect with so many different students and develop unique relationships with each one of them.”

Ms. Jeanetta Dunn | Primary Educational Assistant

2nd year at Junior Academy

Ms. Dunn graduated from OCAD University with a Fine Arts degree in Photography before attending Trent University where she completed her Bachelor of Education degree. During both degrees, Jeanetta worked as a Swimming Instructor at the Toronto and Peterborough YMCAs and at Trent was a swimmer on the Master Varsity Synchronized Swimming Team.  She continues to teach private swimming lessons to all ages and enjoys every minute.  Prior to working at Junior Academy, Jeanetta was support staff for the Toronto District School Board and ran the grade 1 aftercare program with the daycare connected to Earl Beatty Public School.

“I am really looking forward to working with students from all grades in the aftercare program. I have had a wonderful welcome by all the staff at Junior Academy and look forward to a great year working with Mr. Perryman in the Kindergarten Classroom!” 

Mme. Rosa Safarian | French Teacher

Mme. Safarian has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French Studies from York University, as well as a Masters Degree in Linguistics from Yerevan State University in Armenia. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience in a variety of schools, institutions, and learning centers. Her passion is teaching students the French language and culture.

 

“I am so grateful being a part of Junior Academy’s welcoming and supportive community where everyone is valued as unique individual.”

Mr. Matt Johnson | Chief Business Officer

6th at Junior Academy

Mr. J majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Entrepreneurship while attending Bishop’s University. As an alumnus of the Junior Academy, Mr. J feels a strong connection to the school and it’s family values.

“I love the overall atmosphere of the Junior Academy. We are a small family-run school and in turn, our atmosphere is inviting, family oriented and close-knit.”

Mr. Nicholas Johnson | Admissions and Marketing Manager

2nd year at Junior Academy

Mr. Johnson graduated from Bishop’s University with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Prior to Junior Academy, Mr. Johnson was working in the business world for a number of different start-ups.  He has also worked with a number of different volunteer kids programs ranging from reading buddies, hockey H.E.R.O.S and rugby and hockey coaching at both the U-14 and U-18 level.

” I am excited to be apart of this amazing community of students and staff”

Ms. Jennifer Vinton Trataris | Homeroom Teacher

Mrs. Trataris attended Dalhousie University, where she completed two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Education and another in Physical Education. After completing her degrees, Jennifer moved overseas to teach.  She has been teaching overseas, in International Schools, for 18 years and has worked in six different countries. Jennifer has taught a variety of grades and subjects throughout her time overseas. She is excited to return home, to Canada, and to be joining the staff at JA.

 

“From the very beginning, I have felt welcome at JA and am thrilled to be working in such a friendly and supportive community. It is a wonderful environment where individual differences are celebrated.”

Ms. Jessica Jakymyc | Kindergarten Assistant

Jessica Jakymyc graduated from Humber College with a diploma in Early Childhood Education. Previously she worked as a preschool teacher for 4 years. This is her 4th year at Junior Academy, 1st year in the Kindergarten classroom as an ECE/ Assistant and previously as an Educational Assistant at Junior Academy for 3 years. 

 

I love working at Junior Academy because they focus on the individual needs of each student, they are inclusive and supportive of each and every student and staff member.”

Ms. Anna Banach | Homeroom Teacher

Ms. Banach has an Honours BA from Ryerson University in Child and Youth Work, Advanced Diploma in Child and Youth Work and a Masters in Education from Medaille College. Previous to becoming a classroom teacher, Ms. Banach worked for Children’s Aid as a child and youth worker and managed a music school in Toronto.

“We are especially impressed by the abilities of our child’s teachers.  The homeroom teacher has made such an impact and is positive, calm and adaptable.  She (and his tutor) have worked really well together, too.” — A New Parent

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