Faculty

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 21st 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 organized, independent and responsible. 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.

Mrs. Kim Devlin (Grade 1/2 Teacher)

Mrs. Kim Devlin (Grade 1 Teacher)
I have been a member of the teaching team at Kanata Academy since 1999, and it has been my pleasure to see so many students develop over the years. After graduating from the University of Wales, I started my teaching career in the United Kingdom before moving to Canada. Most of my teaching experience has been in the Primary Division teaching grades 1, 2, 3 and 4. I love teaching and one of my main goals is to help every student achieve positive self-esteem and to have confidence in their own abilities. I feel it is important to help each student reach their full potential not only academically but socially. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, as well as reading and travelling. I am looking forward to another exciting school year.

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.

Heather McShane (Grade 5 Teacher)

Heather McShane (Grade 5 Teacher)
I am very happy to be teaching grade 5 again this year at Kanata Academy. This is my fifth year teaching here, and I love the community of staff, parents and students. I have a passion for teaching and I love working with children. In 2007, I graduated from the Concurrent Education program at Bishops University with a degree in Elementary Education. Since returning to Ottawa, I have worked as a behavioural therapist, taught at two private schools, as well as tutored several elementary students. My greatest reward comes from helping my students to learn and succeed on their own. On weekends I enjoy reading, cooking, playing sports and spending time with my family and friends.

Stephanie Valentine(Grade 3 Teacher)

Stephanie Valentine (Grade 4 Teacher)
I am excited to start another year here at Kanata Academy in a new role as the grade 4 teacher. Although this is a new position for me at Kanata Academy, I have taught grade 4 in three different countries and I am looking forward to bringing that experience to Kanata Academy. Following graduation from Ottawa University, I received a Graduate Diploma of Education in Australia in 2011. Since then I have combined my two passions of teaching and travel, 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. I enjoy working at Kanata Academy because of the emphasis not only on academics, but also on kindness and community. When I’m not in the classroom, I love to play a variety of sports and enjoy being outdoors and traveling.

Alicia Gillespie

Alicia Gillespie (Grade 7/8)
I am very excited to be the Grade 7 homeroom teacher this year. This is my third year with Kanata Academy and I am very happy to be a part of such a great school community. I am originally from Prince Edward Island, this is where I graduated with a Biology Degree at UPEI. From there I received my BEd. from the University of New Brunswick. In 2013, I moved to England to teach Math and Science. When I came back to Ottawa I supplied with various private schools and was fortunate to supply with the Upper Canada School Board. I have additional qualifications in the Primary division and have my Special Education Part 1. In the future I would love to work more closely with those with exceptionalities because it's close to my heart as my brother has special needs. When I am not teaching, I am walking on nature trails, crocheting or spending time with family and friends.

Niles Pic

Niles Matson (French Teacher)
I am thrilled to be returning as the Core French teacher of Kanata Academy! I graduated from Lakehead University with a Bachelor of Education and an HBA in Philosophy in 2013. I have since lived and taught overseas in South Korea for 2 years gaining a ton of life and professional experience. Once returning to Canada I moved to Ottawa to continue my teaching career in the country’s capital. I thrive off of my ability to connect with students of any age with my enthusiasm, personality, presence and professionalism in the classroom. While outside of the classroom I am a professional urban axe throwing coach, love to dance hip hop and make music as a drummer, while keeping a healthy balance of a strong geeky side by loving technology and old school video games.

Kristine Read (Preschool Teacher)

Kristine Read (Preschool Teacher)
I am beyond words excited to be working at Kanata Academy in the preschool classroom. I completed my ECE program through Algonquin College and am now a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a love for all children. I am a proud mother of two wonderful children who have had a hand in guiding me towards my passion for teaching children. For two years I ran my own home daycare with love, encouragement, education and fun! I am an active member in my childrens’ school, thru volunteering and PTA; 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 preschool 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.”

Jasmine Cape- Preschool Teacher

Jasmine Cape- Preschool Teacher
I had the pleasure of starting at Kanata Academy last March where I had a chance to finish off the school year working in the preschool classroom and in the After School Program. I look forward to this new school year, working with both age groups and being apart of the preschool teaching team! I graduated in 2017 from Algonquin College in Early Childhood Education. I also have experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum and various different behaviours. I am very eager to continue learning and applying my knowledge of child development throughout this upcoming school year. In my free time I enjoy running and fitness/health. I look forward to meeting you all!

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.

Sarah Keogan

Sarah Keogan- Grade 2/3 & Music Teacher
I am so pleased to be entering my second year at Kanata Academy as the grade 2/3 and primary music teacher! After obtaining my Bachelor of Music at Acadia University in 2005, I moved to Ontario to complete my Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University in 2006. Immediately after completing my Bachelor of Education, I began a teaching job in Brockville, Ontario. In 2007, I moved to Ottawa to begin my job at a local school as the music teacher where I taught for close to eleven years. Since I began my teaching career in 2006, I have completed my Honors Specialist in Music Education, as well as my junior qualifications through Queen’s University. I also have maintained my teacher status with the Royal Conservatory of Music in piano. I love being creative in the classroom, allowing students to learn through exploring and creating. I pride myself on having an accepting, comfortable classroom where students can reach their full potential through positive reinforcement, encouragement, fun, and hard work.

JessicaMacDonald

JessicaMacDonald-Gelhay Preschool Teacher
I am excited to be starting at Kanata Academy this year as a Preschool teacher. I grew up in Montreal and moved to Ottawa 6 years ago. I am bilingual and am excited to integrate French into the daily program. I graduated from Algonquin College in the Early Childhood Education Program and am now a Registered Early Childhood Educator. As a teacher, I believe in creating a safe, stimulating and nurturing environment where children are given the opportunities to learn, grow and be valued. When I am not working, I volunteer at the Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton where I work with children and adults who have physical, developmental and learning disabilities.

Ashley Wilts- Grade 7/8

Ashley Wilts- Grade 7/8
I am excited to join Kanata Academy for the 2019-20 school year. I have a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and a Masters in Education. I have taught overseas in Korea and have worked in Alberta , Ontario , Quebec and Northwest Territories teaching. I am going into my 11th year of education and I am excited to be back in the classroom after spending two years working in Special Education and Administration. My passion is teaching and creating a space where all students feel safe and a sense of belonging . I look forward to a great year of learning. When not at school you can find me being a cheer and dance mom. I am moving to Ottawa from Yellowknife with my husband, two daughters , shipoo and loveable bestie, my golden doodle.

Ashley Wilts- Grade 7/8

Cecelia Britz
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.

Stephanie Merriman

Stephanie Merriman- Preschool Teacher
I am very excited to be joining the preschool team this year. This is my first year at Kanata Academy as a preschool teacher. I graduated from Acadia University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and English. I went to the University of Maine at Fort Kent and obtained my Bachelor of Education in 2006. I taught in a few places around Ontario before leaving to teach English in South Korea from 2009-2010. I decided to go back to school in 2014 and graduated from St. Lawrence College with my diploma in Early Childhood Education. I have always loved working with children and considered it a tremendous privilege to be apart of their growth and learning. I look forward to getting to know all the families and be apart of the Kanata Academy family.

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.

Josh Rupert

Beth Ellis (Cook)
I am very excited to be starting with Kanata Academy this fall as their Cook. I graduated many years ago with a diploma in Food Service Management and I maintain membership with the Canadian Society of Nutritional Management. I absolutely love menu planning, catering, youth recipe development and healthy meal preparation. I have many years of experience with allergy awareness as well as therapeutic nutrition. When I am not working I enjoy remote camping, kayaking, down hill skiing, dinner parties and of course spending time with my husband Kevan and our daughter Hannah.