Mrs. Shannon Rattray (Principal)

Mrs. Shannon Rattray (Principal)
After graduating from the University of Waterloo with a BA in Psychology, I continued my studies at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY where I received my Certificate of Education. Over the last 20 years, I have taught both elementary and secondary students, obtained my Specialist in Special Education, and participated in writing English curriculum for the Ministry of Education. As an educator, I am thrilled to be able to witness and experience our children’s love of learning every day. Schools are learning institutions, but successful schools set high expectations for their faculty members and their students. Identifying and realizing that there are various methods of learning is the key to every child’s success, and a well structured school will continually assess and address the needs of their students and their families. My job as a Principal is to create a cohesive learning environment that focuses on improving student learning and getting our students to set and attain goals with the help and support of their teachers and families. This will be my eight year as Principal at Kanata Academy, and I am very excited about getting to know all of our new families and having another successful school year. I have four children who all attend Kanata Academy, and I am very fortunate to have my children at work with me each day. When we are not at school, we enjoy playing outdoors and traveling together as a family.

Tracey Cochrane(Grade 6)

Tracey Cochrane (Grade 6)
My name is Tracey Cochrane and this year will mark my 22nd year of teaching at Kanata Academy. This school and its staff and students have been my home away from home, and I am thankful to have been and continue to be a part of its incredible history. I grew up in the small village of Brooklyn, Nova Scotia. I attended Acadia University and went on to teach at many of the small elementary schools in the communities around my home. I had excellent mentors whose “old school” methods have shaped how I teach today. I want and expect the very best from my students, and enjoy the challenge of showing them what they can accomplish with hard work and determination. I teach my students how to be respectful, organized, independent, responsible and kind. Leadership, positive attitude, manners and empathy are a part of our everyday. I believe that it is an important part of my job to help my students grow into respected members of our society and to recognize the good in others. In a year of COVID, I will also be working with my students to be proactive in making choices about the things they can control and to develop resiliency - to look at COVID as a temporary season, filled with lessons that will help them deal with challenging situations in the future.

Ms. Tracey Cochrane (Vice Principal and Grade 6 Teacher)

Mrs. Brenda Prud'Homme (Junior Kindergarten Teacher)
I have been a proud member of the Kanata Academy staff since 2008. My journey to teaching began with a Bachelor of Social Work with honours from Carleton University. In 2006, I went on to receive a Bachelor of Education at the University of Wollongong in NSW, Australia. Living abroad for a year was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. When I arrived home, I was fortunate enough to receive a full time job teaching here at Kanata Academy. I have taught pre-school as well as junior and senior kindergarten. Teaching kindergarten is a strong passion of mine, something that I have wanted to do my whole life. I feel that being able to live out my dream each day is reflected in my teaching style and dedication to each of my students. Outside of school, I play competitive softball and hockey. I enjoy scrap booking and being outdoors doing both summer and winter activities such as swimming and skiing.

Stephanie Valentine(Grade 3 Teacher)

Stephanie Valentine (Grade 4 Teacher)
I am excited to start another year here at Kanata Academy as the grade 3/4 teacher. Following graduation from Ottawa University, I received a Graduate Diploma of Education in Australia in 2011. After completing my degree, I combined my two passions of teaching and travel. I spent time teaching in four different countries and exploring forty more. These opportunities and experiences have helped shape my teaching and personal philosophies. I believe it is important to create an inclusive learning community based on an excitement for learning, compassion for others, and the ability to think creatively in our ever-changing society. Now that I am back in Ottawa, I enjoy working at Kanata Academy because of the emphasis on not only academics, but also on kindness and community. When I’m not in the classroom, I love to play a variety of sports and enjoy spending time with my dog, Cooper.

Kristine Read (Preschool Teacher)

Kristine Read (Junior Kindergarten Teacher)
I am beyond words excited to be working at Kanata Academy! My journey at KA started in December 2016 as a Preschool Teacher, evolving to the Preschool Supervisor and now the JK & SK Core French Teacher and Jr. Kindergarten Teacher! . I am a proud mother of two wonderful children who have had a hand in guiding me towards my passion for teaching children. I am an active member in my childrens’ school, through volunteering and PTA and I can often be seen shuttling my children to their sports and social outings. I believe in advocating for a child’s right to learn, to be accepted, and make sure that their education and care is at the utmost highest level. I look forward to bringing my heart and mind into the JK classroom where I vow to always treat your children as I would treat my own, providing them with quality care, teaching and respect. “I hope to be the kind of teacher I would want for my own children. I hope to be the kind of colleague with whom I would like to collaborate. I hope to be the kind of learner I was when I was five.”

Mrs. Stacey Edgerton (Office Administrator)

Mrs. Stacey Edgerton (Office Administrator)
I joined Kanata Academy in September 2013 as Office Administrator after being a stay at home mom to Joshua and Naomi. During that time, my husband Greg and I had the pleasure of living in Australia for 3 years. Since 2013 I have had the privilege of being the face of Kanata Academy. I’ve gotten to know the students and their families and have been able to support our amazing staff. I am looking forward to another great year!

Emily Shaw

Emily Shaw (Guitarist Teacher)
Emily is a classical guitarist, teacher, and luthier currently based in Ottawa, Ontario. She studied guitar with her father, Mike Shaw until university, at which point she moved to London, Ontario to study with Wilma van Berkel at the University of Western Ontario. Emily completed a master's degree (MMus) in guitar performance under the tutelage of Patrick Roux at the University of Ottawa in 2016. Emily spends a good deal of her time working with students in her home studio where she teaches classical and acoustic guitar, and piano. As a luthier, Emily has built a variety of guitar-type instruments including classical guitars, steel-string acoustic guitars, period instruments, and a ukulele. In performance, Emily strives to engage her audience with expressive interpretations of music from across the centuries. She has a weakness for emotionally charged, lush harmonies and amusing character pieces. When not practising, teaching, or building guitars, Emily enjoys biking, sailing, cooking, and gardening.


Jessica MacDonald-Gelhay
I am excited to start another year at Kanata Academy in the preschool classroom. While I am originally from Montreal, I moved to Ottawa and graduated from Algonquin College as a registered early childhood educator. As the preschool French teacher, I look forward to incorporating French into our daily curriculum while also providing an immersive program for the children. I believe in creating a nurturing and educational environment where every child can succeed. I ensure that all children who enter the preschool room are treated with respect, patience and knows how important each one of them are. The bonds we form create the heart of the class and allows for every child to flourish and blossom into their own being. When I am not at school, I can be found enjoying a variety of outdoor activities including horseback riding, hiking and camping. My other passion is volunteering at the Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton where I work with children and adults with physical, developmental, and learning disabilities.

Ashley Wilts- Grade 7/8

Cecelia Britz- Grade 9-12 teacher
I studied mathematics and applied mathematics at the University of Johannesburg and went on to obtain my Master’s degree in mathematics at the same university in 2017. I’ve been teaching for the past 8 years, first as a teaching assistant, later on as a mathematics lecturer at the university, and now as a high school teacher at Kanata Academy. My favourite subject to teach is mathematics, and I could go on for hours about the beauty of math if my students would let me. I try to create an open environment in the classroom where students feel safe to ask questions and express their opinions, and I try to impress upon my students that hard work and perseverance are the keys to success.

Dr. Douglas Britz

Dr. Douglas Britz, Ph.D- Grade 9-12 Teacher
I received my bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry and went on to receive my PhD in physics in 2016 from the University of Johannesburg. I lectured at the university for 2 years in various undergraduate and post-graduate physics courses and during this time I discovered my love for teaching. My years of working as a teaching assistant (2007-2015) built a solid foundation that enables me to explain the work to the students in a variety of ways. This is important as it ensures that they understand the concepts involved, which enables the students to achieve what they are truly capable of. I started at Kanata Academy (KA) in April 2019 and was immediately embraced by the amazing and supportive colleagues at KA and it instantly felt like home. I try to bring out the best in my students as that is what I expect from myself and I can only hope my students learn as much from me as I learn from them. When I am not teaching at KA I am either at the Dojo, in the kitchen or sitting on the couch reading a good book.

Sala Lavoie- SK

Sala Lavoie- SK
I am very excited to be teaching SK at Kanata Academy this year. I attended the University of Guelph and graduated with a B.A.Sc. (Hons) with a Child Psychology and Sociology major. During my 5 years at Guelph I met and married my husband Derek. We decided to have children early in our marriage and that I would take time away from my education in order to stay at home to raise them. In 2008 I returned to school to pursue my Masters in Education. After graduation, I spent 9 years teaching at Braemar House School in Brantford (Grades 2, 5, & 7). Over that time, I completed Intermediate Math, and Special Education qualifications as well as earning P/J/I standing. I believe that the choice for private education offers students, parents, and teachers an opportunity to reach for higher personal and educational gains in a supportive environment. Having recently moved to the Valley I feel blessed to have found another home away from home. The time I have spent supplying at KA has me thrilled to be a part of this enthusiastic, committed teaching team, and looking forward to partnering with you and your child!

Josh Rupert

Josh Rupert- Grades 9-12
I worked at Kanata Academy for seven years as a grade 7/8 teacher, before moving to an international high school outside of the city for the last two years. I am happy to be back at KA this September teaching as part of the high school program, specializing in Math, History, Computer Science, and Phys. Ed. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (History major, Math minor) in 2010, I obtained my Bachelor of Education in 2011 specializing in secondary education, both from the University of Ottawa. Since graduating, I have obtained additional qualifications in junior education and teaching English language learners. In my spare time, I enjoy playing a variety of sports, fixing computers and other devices, and carpentry. I am very excited to meet our high school students this September and do everything I can to help them grow and be successful.

Mr. Hay

Mr. Hay ( Grade 4-8 Music Teacher)
I’m delighted to be joining the Kanata Academy staff and sharing my love for music and the creative process with my students. After completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa in 2010, I went on to earn my Bachelor of Education in 2011. Around this time I founded The Spark Music Academy, a studio focusing on music lessons, performance coaching, and recording. For the past decade, the studio has given me the opportunity to help students of all ages and abilities reach their goals and discover the joy of playing, writing, and performing. I’m looking forward to creating an engaging and creative classroom environment, where students are encouraged to work hard, develop new skills, and express themselves through music.

Alicia Gillespie

Alicia Gillespie (Grade 7/8 Teacher)
I am excited for another year as the Grade 7/8 Math and Science teacher. I have been with Kanata Academy since 2017. Prior to that I taught in Bishops Stortford, England and supplied in the Ottawa area. I graduated with a BSc in Biology from UPEI and went on to obtain my BEd form the University of New Brunswick. I furthered my education and have AQs in Special Education Part 1 and Primary Division. What I find most rewarding about my career is the relationships I build with my students and being able to watch them grow as they learn important academic and life skills. When I’m not teaching I enjoy listening to podcasts, crocheting and of course spending time with my fiancé, daughter and dog.

Jenna Woodward

Jenna Woodward (Grade 7/8 Teacher)
I’m excited to be returning to Kanata Academy for the 2021-2022 school year! In 2015, I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Sports Administration from Laurentian University. I continued my education at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, where I received my Master of Education degree, specializing in Physical Education. After graduating in 2018, I travelled to Australia to teach for a year. When I returned to Canada, I moved to Ottawa to continue my career with OCDSB as a secondary teacher. When I’m not in the classroom, I love being outdoors and staying active. I’m looking forward to another exceptional year at KA!

Tamara Haider

Tamara Haider (French Teacher)
I’m very excited to enter my second year at Kanata Academy as the core French Teacher for Junior Kindergarten to Grade 4! I graduated from the American University of Beirut in 2020 in Elementary Education, and I completed my Master of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, Evaluation and Policy Studies at uOttawa in 2021. I’ve volunteered and tutored young children in many subjects, therefore, I am excited to continue my journey here at Kanata Academy! My ultimate goal is to ensure that my students have an exceptional learning experience through an inclusive and fun environment, and I hope to do so in this journey. Some of my interests include traveling, playing sports, staying active and even reading a nice book on a calm weekend. I am looking forward to working with the staff and the students again this year!

Chloe Tylenol

Chloe Tylbor (Grade 3 Teacher)
I am thrilled to be starting my first year teaching at Kanata Academy as the new grade 3 teacher! I grew up in Montreal, Québec where I became bilingual in French and English. I moved to Ottawa around 5 years ago, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology from Carleton University in 2020. During COVID I did some reflecting and decided to return to my first love, teaching! After working as a tutor, I completed my Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University. Through my degree I studied educational technology and I am very excited to integrate the newest technology into my classroom. I believe in promoting inclusion, kindness, and most importantly, acceptance among my students. Each child is different, so I love catering their learning to their unique interests and tastes! I try to create an environment of curiosity and creativity every day. When not teaching, I enjoy playing with my dog and cat, reading, camping, and crafting!

Lisa McTavish-Steffan

Lisa McTavish-Steffan (Grade 1/2 Teacher)
I am excited to be joining Kanata Academy. For the past 17 years I taught in international schools in Switzerland. After graduating from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Education degree I taught in South Korea, United States and Canada. Recently, I started my own tutoring company called Learning with Lisa and have been teaching online as well as in person to students around the world. In my free time I enjoy teaching yoga, baking, watching hockey, shopping and traveling. My husband Paul is currently a curriculum coordinator at the Canadian International School of Beijing. My son is in Grade 7 at PEAK Academy. We have just added a golden retriever puppy, Vinny, to our family.


Sean Spencer (Grade 9-12 teacher)
I have had a career in various roles within the private education industry for the last 18 years. I grew up here in Kanata and left in 1999 to study History and Education at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. While there I broadened my teaching experience and became a snowboard instructor, allowing me to share one of my passions with others. After graduating, I decided to use my teaching degree to travel and live overseas in South Korea for a year to teach kindergarten and middle school. I was also able to travel around Asia and have many adventures in marvellous countries. After I returned to Canada I moved to Toronto, where I started teaching various high school English, Business and Social Studies courses at a private school. I worked my way up to becoming the program manager, where i organized all events outside of the classroom. This included, clubs, field trips, activity days, and volunteering. After years at this position, I was missing being a teacher as well as family and friends here in Ottawa. I moved home with the hopes of getting back into the classroom. Where I did at K.A. So, here I am excited to start my 3rd year at at such an amazing school with exceptional staff and students. We have a great team of teachers that pay attention to each students unique needs and help them find the best way for them to achieve their goals.

Mr. Fillipoff

Mr. Fillipoff (Grade 9-12 Teacher)
I am excited to be returning to Kanata Academy as the high school humanities teacher. I graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a joint major in History and Religious Studies, before going onto Queens University to complete my Bachelor of Education. I am excited to share my love of learning with the students and help them prepare for real world challenges. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy playing various sports and reading. I am looking forward to another great year here at KA!

Stephanie Merriman

Stephanie Merriman
My name is Stephanie Merriman and I am thrilled to be starting my 4th year at Kanata Academy. My journey began at Kanata Academy in the preschool program. This year I have the absolute pleasure of becoming the Senior Kindergarten teacher. I am so excited to embark on this new journey. I graduated from Acadia University with a bachelor of arts in 2004. I then graduated from the University of Maine Fort Kent with a bachelor degree in Elementary education. I then went onto receive my diploma in Early Childhood Education from St. Lawrence College in 2016. I have taught overseas, the US and Canada working with children of all ages in many different capacities. Teaching is my absolute passion. I believe in creating safe, engaging, and enriching environments were children are valued and given space to be themselves. I look forward to bringing my heart and passion into the classroom as we grow and learn together. When I'm not in the classroom I can be found swimming, reading, playing board games, or taking in a movie with my 2 cats.

Stephanie Merriman

Krista Heyd- Preschool Teacher
I am so excited to be working at Kanata Academy and starting my journey here in September! I am an early childhood educator starting as a preschool teacher at KA. I have worked in many different centers in Stittsville/Kanata, with various different age groups including preschool and school age. I’m so happy I get to apply everything I’ve learned to assist the children’s development and help provide a safe and happy learning environment at KA for all the children. My goal is to create an engaging and creative classroom environment, where students are encouraged to always be kind, develop new skills and have fun at the end of the day. When I’m not at KA or at home making activities, you’d find me kicking a soccer ball on the field, on a walk or at the gym.

Janice Kochuk

Janice Kochuk (Grade 5 Teacher)
One of my philosophies of education that I find myself coming back to year after year, is that it’s okay not to have everything figured out, just know in time you’ll get there. As I enter my second year here at KA, I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to share my energy, creativity and optimism with our Grade 5 students. Keeping each student excited and engaged about learning is an essential part of my plan this year. As an educator, I have always encouraged my students to take risks in their learning and develop positive character traits so that they may become good citizens at school, at home, and in their community. I am the proud mom of 3 ridiculously amazing red heads who are all charting their own paths and finding ways to make the world a better place. I have a real passion for reading, baking, and travelling, and strive to fill my life with adventures and stories to share.

Catherine Young

Catherine Young
I am so excited to be returning for my second year to the Kanata Academy Preschool Team for the 2022-2023 school year.In 2001, I Graduated from St. Lawrence College in Early Childhood Education. Since then I have had the pleasure of working with children of all ages and capabilities. I am the proud mother of 2 teenage girls and aside from being their personal Uber driver, I volunteer in my community association and as a hockey Manager for my daughter's hockey team. Go Rangers! I believe in creating an open, loving and educational classroom where children feel free to be their authentic selves.