Our Faculty

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Our Lady of the Pillar Academy is fortunate to have attracted and hired some remarkable professionals. Please take a moment to become familiar with our team!

Teaching Staff

Tanya Snow studied at St. Clair College in Chatham. With a background as a Developmental Service Worker, she has numerous years experience both with the Thames Valley District and Lambton-Kent District School Boards. She has always been a firm believer in music education, which led to further studies on the topic including Education Through Music and Kindermusik. While on placement as an Early Childhood Educator, she developed an interest in the teachings of Montessori, and furthered her studies with the North American Montessori Centre. She currently lives in Bothwell with her husband Greg, whom she has known since childhood, and their daughter Della. An active parishioner at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Thamesville, Tanya is excited for the opportunities that Our Lady of the Pillar Academy presents its staff and students.

Leslie McKinnon  studied at King’s University College at Western University and completed her Bachelor of Education at Althouse College receiving a Specialist in Primary Education.  From there she went to work for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board teaching for five years with a one year teaching assignment in Special Education. After numerous years away from formal teaching, Leslie returned six years ago to supply teach for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board. She is married to Rod and they have six children. When away from formal teaching, Leslie taught her own children and continued to teach formally in various capacities. She has been involved in Children’s Liturgy, Vacation Bible School, Confirmation Preparation and Youth Group. Leslie also volunteers frequently to various Catholic initiatives.

Natalie Palko graduated from Western University with a Bachelor of Management and Organization Studies, Specialization Human Resource Management. Since graduation, Natalie has worked in HR, developing and consulting on policies and as a Business Development Officer, before recently returning to school to earn a second degree in Nutrition. Natalie has a passion for volunteering, illustrated by her 8+ year commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Born in Petrolia, Ontario, she also supports her community, through time on steering committees, event planning, and fundraising. Natalie enjoys spending her spare time with family, experimenting in the kitchen, and going for long walks. She is eager to teach at Pillar Academy and be an active member of the school community.

Monica Vandenberg attained her Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Ontario, she then studied a variety of teachable topics until deciding to concentrate on Biology, with Honours in Zoology. Monica achieved her Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor for the Intermediate and Senior Divisions with Biology and Chemistry as her teachable subjects. After finishing her studies in 1991, Monica married Marius Vandenberg and began her career teaching science at John Paul II Secondary School in London. With the arrival of their first child, Monica put aside her career to be a full time wife and mother. While raising her eight children, she continued to teach Children’s Church, Vacation Bible School and Confirmation classes at her local parish and volunteers often in support of many Catholic initiatives.

Krista Huver obtained her Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo and her Bachelor of Education degree from Queen’s University, certified in Intermediate / Senior divisions for Biology and Chemistry.  She taught science and math at an independent school in Toronto, and then earned her Master of Arts degree in History from Western University.  She is married to Stephen and they have seven children.  Krista homeschooled her own children for eleven years and has collaborated with many other families in providing various joint educational opportunities for children.  She is an active member of St. Mary’s Church, part of the Elgin County Roman Catholic Family of Parishes, where she has volunteered with sacramental preparation, Vacation Bible School activities, and the music ministry.  As a lifelong learner, she continues to study the riches of the Catholic faith and imparting Classical Education to students.  She is passionate about leading others to all that is good, true, and beautiful!

Elizabeth Roelands, our music teacher at OLPA, is a graduate of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, class of 2014. She holds a Certificate of Christian Humanities from the Academy. During her years there, she studied piano, voice, music pedagogy, and conducting. After this, she moved to Ohio to study at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, graduating with a BA in theology, with a minor in music, in 2015. Also in 2015, Elizabeth took the Music for Young Children course, making her a certified MYC teacher. For the past 4 years, Elizabeth has been teaching music, both private and group classes, as well as serving as a choir accompanist at schools and a member of the music ministry team at All Saints Parish in Strathroy. Elizabeth loves music and is excited to make music at OLPA, directing our students to sing of the glory of God in our weekly choir time.

Amandine Bouisset teaches French at OLPA. Born and raised in France, she moved to Canada in 2016 to follow her husband’s career with their 2 girls and had 2 other children since. As well as being a fulltime wife and mother in this country, Amandine started teaching French in homeschool co-ops and by tutoring private lessons. Amandine has been homeschooling her own children with material imported from France. She is very excited to see where God is taking her in her teaching vocation.

Christine Chenard obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from the University of Windsor, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from the University of Saskatchewan.  She taught a few continuing education art classes at Lambton College before marrying Guy Chenard.  While raising their four children, she volunteered at Queen of Peace Church in Sarnia in various capacities (Vacation Bible School, Catholic Girls’ Club, and Confirmation Preparation).  She was the editor of the Lambton Right to Life newsletter for a few years, and she had the honour of painting a small mural in the Confessional at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Sarnia.  The youngest of the Chenard children was homeschooled for a few years and completed her Grade 8 at Our Lady of the Pillar Academy.  Christine loves to help youth develop art skills and an appreciation for beautiful art throughout the ages.

 Support Staff

 Lily Braet is administrator at Our Lady of the Pillar Academy. As one of the original Pillar parents as well as a previous board member and volunteer, she has come to appreciate the administrative requirements needed to support the students and staff at the school. She graduated from Lambton College with a Diploma in Environmental Technology.  She loves the opportunity to engage with Pillar Academy’s students, staff and parents.