Meet our instructors
Adrian D'Avirro is originally from London ON but currently lives in St. Catharines. Having studied Therapeutic Recreation at Brock he currently works and lives in St. Catharine's providing special populations with the enjoyment of music therapy. He has played as a multi-instrumentalist in many St. Catharines based folk bands and continues to lend his talents to aspiring bands. Having learned ukulele from his father he continues to play and teach the instrument to both young and old. He describes the instrument as "one of the easiest and enjoyable instruments to play from beginner to professional.". He enjoys spreading the gift of music to anyone willing to learn and listen and looks forward to introducing the instrument.
As a graduate of Art Fundamentals Program from Niagara College and Graphic Design from the International Academy of Merchandising and Design in Toronto, Aldo Parrotta has channelled his passion for art, design and all things creative into a series of comprehensive hands-on design classes. Graphic design, typography, art and digital design is explored in each class and presented in an interactive learning experience. Active in pursuing new trends and media in graphic design, Aldo remains current with his skills so that classes are relevant and no aspect of this craft is ignored.
Amy Friend grew up on the outskirts of Windsor, Ontario, Canada where the Detroit River meets Lake St.Clair. For a few years I studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design before embarking on intermittent travels through Europe, Morocco, Cuba and the United States. I returned to my studies and received a BFA Honours degree and BEd degree from York University, Toronto as well as an MFA from the University of Windsor, where I received a Social Sciences and Humanities Grant as well as an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
Archie Hood has owned and operated a retail and commercial photography business which included major advertising and marketing campaigns for over 35 years.He has been teaching students photography for over 30 years and in 2004, he received the Niagara College Continuing Education Teaching Excellence Award.Archie believes in sharing his photographic skills with individuals that wish to advance their knowledge in photography.
Carol Prentice is a Registered Social Worker, Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner and Trainer, Yoga Instructor and Reiki Practitioner. With over 10 years of experience, Carol is known for her exquisite blend of Western Psychology and Eastern Healing traditions as she guides each of her clients closer to experiencing profound peace in their lives.
Chanpen Hayes has an M.A. in TEFL from Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand, and a Certificate in Teaching Adults from Niagara College. She has 20 years’ experience as a teacher in Thailand. She began by teaching Thai language and literature and English foundation courses for students in high school and was also manager of the teachers’ Resource Centre for her province. In this capacity she was a teacher-trainer with responsibility for designing and managing in-service courses for teachers of English. She was also a lecturer at Mae Fah Luang University, Chiangrai , before moving first to the UK and then to Canada. Recently she has been giving short courses and workshops for adults in the Niagara region, including some with a focus on Thai culture
Diana Bridges was introduced to meditation 40 years ago. She is a Chinese Medicine Practitioner as well as a Yoga teacher and is familiar with a number of different approaches to meditation. Diana feels that the attitude toward meditation is as important as the practice itself.
Gay Douglas Broerse is the Executive Director of Literacy Link Niagara, the Chairperson of the Early Childhood Community Development Centre and past Chairperson of Small Business Club Niagara. Over the past 30 years she has served on and reported to dozens of boards of directors.
Jenny Brown has a degree in Physical Education, and is certified by the National Coaching Certification Program; Level 3, with almost two decades of coaching experience to share with cyclists. With her extensive competitive background in 3 disciplines of cycling and her interest to develop more cyclists, her courses will ignite the cycling spark!
Jessica Potts is known for her energy, optimism and strong belief in pursuing the things you are most passionate about. Through her work in economic development roles with municipal and provincial government partnerships, she spent nearly a decade of her career consulting with entrepreneurs and developing comprehensive business support services to further their goals.
Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit, Jessica recently launched Inspired Communications, a company specializing consulting, training, strategic planning, speaking and writing services, most notably handling communications and outreach for Innovate Niagara. Potts is an engaging speaker with a passion for inspiring and facilitating the 'awesomeness' in others. Her motivation comes from her personal commitment to having the best day EVER - every day!
Lina De Nardi has taught French for the Niagara Catholic School Board, and have been teaching ESL for over 13 years. I am currently an ESL Instructor at Niagara College. I have my Honours B.A. in French and TESL Certification from Brock University, and a B. Ed (French) from the University of Windsor.
Jim Maunder is a sculptor and art educator who recently moved to St. Catharines wiith his wife and daughter. Born in 1959 and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – a small but culturally vibrant coastal city at the easternmost extremity of North America, he received his formal training at Memorial University in St. John’s and at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Jim is represented in Newfoundland and Labrador by Christina Parker Gallery and in Hamilton, Ontario by The Focus Gallery.
Taryn Plugers has a slight addiction to traveling, snowboarding, coffee and design. She believes that these things keep her balanced, allowing her to approach each project with a unique and creative lens that only comes from a lifestyle of new experiences.
As a freelance designer, Taryn has had the opportunity to transform the branding of numerous local companies. She has discovered many new relationships in the digital, business and creative community. Taryn has worked and volunteered with many professionals whom she is eagerly learning from while offering her expertise in software, design and marketing.
Tiffany Mayer is an award-winning journalist, who spent nearly 10 years as a daily news reporter covering just about everything at some point, but focused mainly on agriculture. Since leaving the newsroom, she continues to freelance regularly. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout Canada, including the Toronto Star, St. Catharines Standard, the Western Producer, Waterloo Region Record, Edible Toronto, Niagara Magazine and Business Niagara, where she also served as editor for two years. She has also contributed segments to CBC Radio Saskatchewan. In her free time, she blogs at Eating Niagara and is writing a book about food and farming in Niagara to be published by the History Press in 2014
Tina Robinson has been in the computer business for 28 years, starting out as a programmer/operator and has now been an Instructor for over 22 years. She is a computer systems technologist and is MOS Expert certified. Tina has trained with a few training companies over the years as well as run her own training and consulting business. From a sessional instructor at Mohawk College, to corporate training to doing Boot Camps at Brock University, Tina has a diverse background in teaching in various forums. Her specialties are SharePoint, Access, Project and Crystal Reports. Tina also builds and troubleshoots access databases. She believes that everyone can learn if you provide an environment of encouragement, patience and fun!