Meet The Staff

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 Michelle Knoll (RECE) – Executive Director

Michelle joined the Centre in 2000 as a parent and volunteer.  In 2004 Michelle was hired as the Executive Director.  Michelle has diplomas in Community Work and Early Childhood Education.  She has been a community advocate for the last 28 years in the areas of neighbourhood capacity building, family support, poverty issues, tenants’ rights and inclusion. Michelle believes that a community has all the gifts and talents it needs to meet the challenges within that community if people are given the opportunity to connect and contribute.

Renee LeBlanc  (RECE)  – Children’s Programming Manager

Renee LeBlanc is  a Registered Early Childhood Educator and a Child and Youth Counselor. She has over 10 years experience working with children and youth in a variety of capacities ranging from residential facilities, youth detention centres, classroom educator, childcare centre supervisor and most recently Children’s Program Manager at OPNC. Renee is excited about her new position here and is looking forward to bringing a new perspective and fresh ideas to our children’s programs. She believes that children learn best by doing and isn’t afraid to get messy. She often reminds her drop-in families to always have a change of clothes as you never know what kinds of sensory and creative activities will be happening in the program! Renee is an active member of The Halton Resource Connection (THRC) and Affiliated Services for Children and Youth (ASCY) and participates regularly in professional development as she is a true believer of lifelong learning.

Kelly Luscombe – Facilities Coordinator

Kelly is a customer service specialist, friendly, welcoming and aims to provide quality service. Kelly is a very active member in the Oakville community.With great interest in inspiring and supporting at risk or low income families with resources to help them achieve goals and avoid hardship. She is a wealth of information and ensures people get connected with resources.

Anne Ziernik (RECE)- Lead Preschool Teacher

Anne graduated with high honours as an ECE and has 7 years experience in the field, working in both the Reggio and Montessori approaches. In addition, Anne is currently a Quality First Mentor. Anne enjoys creating an environment that scaffolds upon each child’s personal learning style and interests to promote learning opportunities that increase social, cognitive, literacy, sensory and physical development.

Charon Varty – Bookkeeper

Charon is a long-time supporter of OPNC and volunteers her time (2 days per week) helping with accounting, administration, with the food bank and in a general capacity.Charon and her husband have lived in River Oaks for over 20 years and both of their children were born and raised in Oakville. Besides volunteering with OPNC she also spends time volunteering as a Program Director for the Ontario Track 3 Ski Association for the Disabled and as a volunteer with Links 2 Care and with other community organizations. Charon also has her own part time accounting and administrative support business. She holds an Accounting & Finance Diploma from Ryerson.

 Heather Tompkins – Community Support

Heather has worked vocationally as a school teacher, and leader in a variety of charitable organizations. Heather established a Canadian micro-enterprise to provide practical support for urban-poor in the Philippines. In frontline programming and as a board member for a Community Centre Heather has used her leadership skills to train, equip and encourage others. As a chaplain for 20 years with a bereavement support centre Heather provided leadership and multi-generational counsel to individuals and group support for the grieving. Over the years Heather has volunteered in many local and international faith-based organizations including work with Romanian orphans.

Greg Coffin – After School Program Coordinator

Greg started at Oak Park as a student from Sheridan College in the Social Service Worker program. He has experience working with diverse populations. He has a passion for working with youth. Greg has worked with youth throughout his high school, university, and college career. As a former athlete at Waterloo university, he became a team leader in the Team up program. He facilitated groups that went into schools to speak about the importance of being a good student, and teaching life skills. He always has a smile on his face, and loves to meet new people. Come and say hello!

 

Kristeen Sopeju – Senior’s Fitness Instructor

On a quest to find and share her journey to inner peace, joy, laughter and compassion.  Kristeen sees the positive and light in the challenges and celebrations that life lays before her. 

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