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Mr. Ryan Pearson
Ryan has worked with students of all ages and backgrounds in universities, colleges, corporate businesses and language schools across the world. Ryan has also taught all levels of General English (A1-C1), Business English, Academic English, Exam English (IELTS, PTE), public speaking and debating classes.
Moreover, he is a qualified teacher and also a qualified Australian lawyer. Ryan has completed a Master of Education, in addition to a Bachelor of Law and Graduate-Diploma in Law.
Though born and raised in Australia, Ryan has travelled extensively throughout Asia, North America and Europe. He now lives in the beautiful and historical Canadian city of Montreal as he studies the local language, French.
Ms. Allison Birch
Allison Birch holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honors), Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Manitoba. Ms. Birch has always had a passion for creative writing, learning and teaching. Throughout her university studies she worked as an academic writing tutor and was a sessional instructor for an introductory University academic writing course (ARTS 1110). She has also been a teaching assistant for numerous environmental science and geography classes ranging from 1000 level to 4000 level courses.
Since 2017 Ms. Birch has enjoyed working as a part time online English teacher and tutor for students learning English or wanting to improve their English language skills. Since joining Wells Academy in the Fall of 2021 Allison has thoroughly enjoyed teaching Public Speaking and Creative Writing classes and Critical Reading and Creative Writing classes for Levels 1-2 and Levels 3-4.
Ms. Birch enjoys encouraging her students to express themselves in their writing and speaking. She listens to her students interests and passions and includes fun activities that further their engagement, participation and enjoyment in the class. Ms. Birch is passionate about fostering student’s creativity, imagination and their curiosity for learning.
Mr. Patrick Cowley
Patrick Cowley holds a Masters of Arts in Political and Legal Thought as well a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy, both from Queen’s University at Kingston. He has been teaching competitive debate and public speaking for five years, as well as courses in global issues and the history of western philosophy. During his competitive debating career, he saw competitive success at the World Universities Debating Championship, the North American University Debating Championship, Canadian Parliamentary Nationals and more. He served as the 176th President of the Queen’s Debating Union, the oldest debate society in Canada, and as a Vice President of the Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate.
Dr. Curtis Tye
"Curtis is an award-winning educator, arts facilitator, and public speaking instructor and coach.
Originally from Toronto, Curtis holds a doctoral degree from the University of Toronto (OISE),
with his thesis focused on crafting public persona in educational leadership. He is a speaking arts
professional trained in classical theatre, children’s performance, and voice with a 35-year career
as an actor, director, and owner of theatre companies in both Ontario and Alberta.
Curtis was a classroom teacher, arts and assessment & evaluation consultant, and school
principal. In addition to published work on teaching and learning and the arts in education, Curtis
conducts research with members of Brock University’s Social Justice Research Institute. He
frequently leads classes in Spoken Word Poetry and Dramatic Arts with local non-profit
organizations, and presently teaches courses in Drama in Education and Sports in Arts and
Culture at university."
Ms. Nicole Angelucci
Nicole Angelucci is a writer, educator, and academic who holds a Masters of Arts in English Literature from York University and is TESOL certified with Coventry House.
In addition to teaching English Literature, Reading, Writing, and EAP / ESL courses to a variety of age groups since 2016, Nicole has also taught high school credit courses in English, ESL, and Social Studies. She has also worked with EQAO as a scorer for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Having a passion for the mechanics of language and how language is connected to culture, Nicole has studied many languages including French, Italian, Korean, and Swahili.
She is currently working towards obtaining a Korean Language Certificate from Seneca College. Her studies in language help her better connect with and relate to ESL students’ struggles.
Ms. Alisha Grech
Alisha Grech is a writer, performer, and academic based out of Toronto, Ontario. For the past several years, Alisha has instructed students in the arts and served as the educational lead for a children’s live entertainment company, working with brands such as Treehouse, Nickelodeon, and YTV.
Alisha graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Drama and Philosophy, as well, she is the recipient of a certificate in Theatre Direction from Yale University. Most recently, she has completed her Master's at the University of Toronto in Performance Studies and is currently completing her Ph.D., as well, at the University of Toronto. Alisha is also the recipient of the Shane Baghai Fellowship in English Literature.
Alisha considers herself to be a lifelong learner and enjoys learning alongside her students. To her, reading and writing are some of the most foundational ways that we can connect with the world around us.
Ms. Ifra Jaffri
Ms. Ifrah Jaffri received her Bachelor of Engineering degree from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan in 2014 and masters in applied sciences degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 2020. Ifrah is a passionate educator by profession and has nearly 8 years of STEM teaching experience. She is always excited about working with kids, especially about girls getting into coding and STEM-related careers. She has very much enjoyed her engineering career and hopes that with her STEM teaching, she can encourage more kids to learn and enjoy computer science and engineering.
The idea of creating an easy, visual way of learning the basics of computer science came to her when her young cousins were in elementary school. She noticed that like many other kids their age, they were not keen on technology-related matters. The school curriculum lacked a structured discipline for teaching computer science-related topics unlike other subjects such as Math, Science, or History.
Dr. Wil Friesen
Dr. Wil Friesen has been teaching for over 20 years at the university, college and high school levels, teaching everything from ancient history and literature right through to cutting edge Science Fiction and Fantasy, though he earned his Ph.D. in medieval literatures. He has also taught various writing, university preparation and public speaking courses. In addition, he has served as Vice President of an academy, Director of a university writing centre, and Chair of a university academic standards committee. He loves spending time with his wife and three daughters, teaching, reading, hiking, camping, traveling and fishing.
Mr. Andrew Wood
Mr. Andrew Wood is a teacher with decades spent in front of students, having taught young people from Kindergarten to Grade 12. He retired from the TDSB in 2019 after many years of teaching a wide range of subjects at all elementary grades, including extensive experience as both an Immersion and Core French teacher.
Mr. Wood’s qualifications include an Honours B.A. (University of Ottawa); a Master of Fine Arts (New York University) and a Bachelor of Education (University of Toronto). In addition to these academic degrees he is also a longtime member of Toastmasters International, spending many years in leadership positions and holding the title of Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM).
Mr. Wood has had a close association with Wells Academy since its start-up. Among the many courses he has taught at Wells Academy are Critical Reading and Creative Writing for Gr.3-4, Gr.5-6 and Gr.7-9 students; French for Beginner and Intermediate students; Public Speaking; “Write Right in English” and “Boost Your Speaking Power” for adult learners.
Mr. Wood believes in actively engaging his students as much as possible, as well as in using a variety of education technologies, with the goal to promote among his students both a love of learning and a commitment to try their best.
Dr. Neil Stanley
Dr. Neil Stanley is a passionate educator with nearly a decade of classroom experience. Whether leading seminars and lectures in University, discussing literature and writing techniques with primary age children or providing one on one tutoring, Dr. Stanley is comfortable in a wide range of academic settings.
Dr. Stanley received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Guelph in 2011, his Master of Arts in History from Western University in 2012 and his Doctor of Philosophy in History from Western University in 2017. His research deals with sports, communal identity and the legacy of deindustrialization.
Dr. Stanley has been working at Wells Academy since 2018. He currently teaches Critical Reading and writing courses for Grade 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending long hours researching film history, snuggling with his dogs Buddy and Daisy, and composing songs on his guitar.
Miss Ashley Costa
Ashley is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto studying Peace, Conflict and Justice, which is an interdisciplinary look at various global issues through the lens of political science and sociology. At Wells Academy, she offers courses in Debate strategies and skills. Over the past six years, she has been involved in debate at both the high school and university level. In high school, she helped co-head her school’s debate team. She continued on and joined the Hart House debate team at UofT, giving her experience both debating and judging university competitions. Currently, she is on the Hart House debate executive. She runs weekly meetings and mentors new debaters joining for the first time, or transitioning from high school debate. Furthermore, she helps to run volunteer debating outreach through her school with members of the community and enjoys helping to spread her love of debating.