Board of Directors

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Executive Committee

With over Twenty-seven years of teaching experience, Terri-Lyn’s passion has always been to focus on the success of ALL children.  Presently the Head of Special Education at Vaughan Secondary School, and formerly the Literacy Liaison, Terri-Lyn has worked with five boards of education (Lakehead, Lambton, Lambton Separate, Kent County and now York Region), in both the elementary and secondary panels, and taught at the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University. Terri-Lyn has worked with all exceptionalities, age groups and curriculum and believes that a “Holistic” approach to education is imperative before you can begin to develop appropriate curricular expectations.  As the Literacy Liaise she developed a unique program that fosters self-confidence and academic awareness, is “Brain Friendly”, focuses on multiple modalities of learning and promotes a healthy attitude in academics and life.  Creating self-assured and literate people, who can function successfully in this ever-changing world, will continue to be the crux of Terri-Lyn’s ambition. Terri-Lyn is currently chair of the board.
Melissa Chung is a Financial Advisor at Assante Financial Management Ltd. and is responsible for managing and providing her clients with investment and financial advice. With over 7 years of financial experience, she began her career at BMO Nesbitt Burns as an Associate Investment advisor and continued her career at Blackmont Capital. Melissa has been an active board member for the LDAYR since 2007, and was elected to her role as Vice-Chair in 2008. She currently sits on the Vintages and Jazz committee and the LDAO Adult Advisory Committee. Melissa has a deep understanding and identifies with her challenges of LD through her ties with affected family members. She is dedicated to promoting the vision of the LDAYR through public awareness within the workplace and continues to spread her message among various diverse groups.
Jordana is a Junior/Intermediate Special Education teacher. She holds a four year Bachelor of Arts (B.A. Honours), a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed), an ESL Part I additional qualification, as well as a specialist qualification in Special Education. Both Jordana’s personal and professional journey through the world of Special Education opened her eyes to the world of learning differences and how important it is as an educator to be aware of those differences in order to best serve the educational needs of each child. To facilitate this process, Jordana believes strongly in the advocacy of students with special needs as well as the importance of raising awareness. In Jordana’s view, being informed is the first critical step towards positive change in anyone’s life.
Mark is currently a Director of Finance for a private real estate company and has previously worked for one of Canada’s largest REITS.  He completed his Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Windsor in 2003 and obtained his designation in 2005 while working for a regional accounting firm in South Western Ontario gaining experience working with private companies and not for profit organizations.

Mark joined the Board as the Treasurer in 2011 and has been involved with various other Charities and on various Committees with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.

Kelli Cote has been an educator for over twenty years with the York Region District School Board.  Over the years she has taught students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.  She has held many leadership roles – SERT, Vice-Principal and she is currently the Principal, Ramer Wood Public School.  Kelli holds a B.A., B.Ed. and Masters of Education.  She has been a trained Reading Recovery teacher and has a passion for Special Education.   Kelli is currently teaching the Special Education for Administrators course through the Ontario Principals Council.   She is married with two sons.  Kelli loves to travel and enjoys the time she is able to spend at her cottage.

Directors

Mary Fenuta is a highly innovative, inspirational individual who has embarked on a second career and a life-long dream of becoming a certified teacher at the Intermediate and Senior level.  She has always loved teaching in different ways as a Senior Manager, Entrepreneur, and Consultant in the areas of International and local strategic business, negotiations, and mentoring/coaching for over 20 years. She aspires to progress her new career in the area of Special Education because she witnesses the high-skill levels that teenagers with LD, ADHD, etc. possess and wants to ensure that she helps empower individuals to ‘empower themselves’ in reaching their full potential.
Ayesha Hasan is currently an Analyst with the Ontario Provincial Government. With over 15 years of international development, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief experience, with a special focus on vulnerable populations, she began her career with the Soros Network in New York and continued it with the International Organization of Migration. Ayesha joined the board in 2017 and is supporting LADYR engagement with the diverse immigrant and refugee communities. She is also deeply committed towards promoting social media advocacy on eliminating the stigma around learning disabilities.
She joined the LDAYR two years ago when her children were identified as being gifted with learning disabilities. She has since become a strong advocate for both of her children. She has had over ten years on school councils acting as fundraising coordinator and as co-chair, as well as volunteering for many other organizations.

Ms. Henderson has a background in special education and was an educational assistant in the early 90’s. She received a BA from York University before receiving a diagnosis of ADHD with learning disabilities. She has since found her niche training horses.

Ms. Henderson has watched both of her children flourish after being identified. She hopes to help other families and children have such a positive experience.

Lynne has worked in the public education system for over 16 years. She brings a variety of experience to the Board of Directors including program evaluation, strategic planning, research and web development. She is particularly interested in assessment practices to support all students in their learning. She is an advocate for learning environments that are responsive and inclusive and is particularly interested in supporting educational pathways of young adults with learning disabilities. Lynne is a life-long learner having completed a B.Mus., B.Sc.(CS), MA in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, and most recently a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Education with an additional lens in policy.
Lisa started with LDAYR in 2008 as a volunteer with the annual Vintages and Jazz event hosted by LDAYR. In 2009 she took the role of Chair of the V&J event planning committee. Lisa has a lengthy career in Business Continuity and Risk Management in both the Energy and Financial sectors. She has developed recovery and response strategies for various divisions including global operation teams, customer call centres and vendor and supply chain management contracts. An accredited Business Continuity Professional, Lisa partners with a myriad of companies and government organizations across Canada and the US. In 2015 Lisa officially joined the LDAYR Board of Directors, and was appointed Vice-Chair of the LDAYR Fundraising Committee.
Sarah is a Speech Language Pathologist currently working in the York Region District School Board.  Her connection with LDAO is new but her interest in Learning Disabilities has existed since the early days of her career.  In addition to her B.A. in Linguistics, Sarah holds a Masters of Clinician Science and has participating in professional training related to language and learning development.

As an SLP working in the schools and on a multidisciplinary team, Sarah is always looking to strengthen partnerships with teachers, parents and the community to enhance advocacy efforts and quality education for ever learner to help every student reach their full potential.

Steven McEwen is an Associate Vice President of Category Management at Canadian Tire Corporation where he is responsible for managing multiple categories across their Living portfolio. With over 10 years of retail experience, he began his career at Loblaw Companies Limited where he progressed through various levels of management. In 2014 he obtained his Master’s in Business Administration at the Queens School of Business. In an effort to become more actively involved in his community he joined the LDAYR Board of Directors. With his experience and skill sets he hopes to better enable the organization to assist individuals living with Learning Disabilities to achieve their full potential.
Sherrin Pacione recently retired from a rewarding 33 year career with Bell Canada in a variety of positions, most recently as a Senior Solutions Consultant with Bell Mobility. Her last role involved consulting on client business problems related to cost reduction, increased efficiencies and improving the bottom line through the use of mobile technology. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto, is married to a retired educator and has two grown sons. She understands the challenges that many parents and kids face and strongly believes that having the right resources and relevant supports in place can make a big difference in a child’s academic life. Her interest in serving the LDAYR stems partly from her belief that teachers and administrators have a responsibility to build every child’s confidence and learning, regardless of his/her disabilities. Volunteering and contributing to her community provides an opportunity to share her business experience to further the LDAYR’s mission and goals.
Theresa joined the Learning Disabilities Association of York Region in 2014 from a growing interest to promote the Ministry of Education’s mandate and moral imperative to continue to foster inclusive education through knowledge, stakeholder collaboration and training, resources, supports, and interventions to nurture the rights and needs of each individual student with learning disabilities towards their independence and well being so that they can reach their full potential and thrive. In her twenty-eighth year working in the field of education in various capacities within the Greater Toronto Area, she holds a Combined Honours Specialist Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education Degree, Master of Education Degree and five specialists, one being in Special Education. Her passion for social justice has become her vocation and greater purpose to build community by continuing to learn from and serve its members within her volunteer capacities.
Minnie Wang is currently a marketing and advertising professional. Her passion with education came from her previous high school teaching experiences in China. She was also a Chinese official language trainee and examiner in China for Guangzhou District school board responsible for training government officials, teachers, TV news reporters and university students who needs a official language profession certificate. Minnie has never given up her passion in education. She serves as an interpreter and Multilingual assessor for YCDSB. Minnie is also passionate about the community. She has been actively involving in multiple diverse non-profit organizations as a board member helping in the area of event planning, fundraising and communications, etc. She was awarded by MPP Reza Moridi’s office as 2016 Leading Woman in recognition of her contribution to the community. Minnie would like to use her combination of experiences, her good professional and interpersonal skills to add value to LDAYR.
Helga has been with the LDA-YR since 2008.
Helga is involved with the management, development and restructuring of all programs and services.
As Executive Director Helga:

Helga

  • ensures that the Mission Statement of the agency is promoted through the services provided;
  • ensures consistent application of practices and policies as they relate to service provision;
  • participates in Agency Strategic planning;
  • manages Special Program Projects; and
  • plays a role in fund development for the agency.
Helga has a background in Child Development and Education as well as a Human Resources Management Degree. Helga is currently the alternate of SEAC with the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) She has been a member of the Executive committee with York Region Association for Volunteer Administrators since 2014 and is also a member of the Provincial AVA (PAVRO).

Helga is also a Certified Resource Facilitator with the LDAO (2014) has received a Certificate from York Entrepreneurship Development Institute for Non-for-Profit Program for Entrepreneurship Development (2015), she was also the first recipient for the Bhayana Family Foundation Award for leadership trough the United Way of Toronto-York Region (2013).