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Louise Kool Events

Louise Kool Events

Find out about upcoming web workshops, webinars, conferences, and exhibits. New strategies, knowledge and resources for enhancing your learning environment!

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Upcoming Events

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Guest Speakers

Indigenous Teachings Leader @University of Winnipeg Child Care Centre

Samantha Boyer

Urban Indigenous EarlyOn Coordinator @Sault Ste. Marie Indian Friendship Centre EarlyOn

Samantha Boyer is an Ojibway, Irish woman from Batchewana First Nation and member of the buffalo clan. A graduate of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and Algoma University, she holds an Honours degree in Sociology, Anishinaabe Studies and Anishinaabemowin. Her passion is working with Indigenous people as a helper; helping to forge a stronger, healthier future for her community and family. Samantha fills the position of Indigenous Cultural Competency Facilitator and Urban Indigenous EarlyON Coordinator for the Sault Ste. Marie Indian Friendship Centre, though she is currently on maternity leave.

Indigenous Teachings Leader @University of Winnipeg Child Care Centre

Tara Myran

Indigenous Teachings Leader
@University of Winnipeg Child Care Centre

Tara Myran is from Long Plain First Nation and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Rhetoric Communications from the University of Winnipeg. She attended residential school when she was eight years old. She has always been passionate about instilling the importance of education to her five children.

At the University of Winnipeg Child Care Centre she volunteers her time where she teaches the children Indigenous teachings once a week. She does this through reading Indigenous books, puppet shows, teaching the 7 sacred teachings and the Ojibway language of each of the animals. She believes that the 7 teachings are universal and therefore can be adapted to different cultures and the importance of these teachings are lifelong. While pursuing her undergraduate degree she was part of the Indigenous Summer Scholar Program (ISSP) where she participated in field research for a project that delved into mental health issues and outcomes for Indigenous women throughout pregnancy, “Indigenous Doulas for First Nation’s Women Who travel for Birth”. The importance of having an Indigenous Doula present to incorporate traditional practices and knowledge into the birthing process is of particular interest for Tara.

She’s currently pursuing a Master's in the Development Practice program at the University of Winnipeg. She hopes to incorporate her Indigenous knowledge and experience when working in First Nation communities with sustainable development to address health-related issues that many Indigenous communities face. 

Amanda Benton

Early Years Support Specialist (RECE) @London District Catholic
School Board

An RECE from London, Ontario, with over 25 years of experience, Amanda currently is the Early Years Support Specialist at the London District Catholic School Board supporting fellow RECE’s in Kindergarten programs. Amanda also teaches in the Child Development Practitioner program at Fanshawe College.

In collaboration with Strive (London/Middlesex/Elgin’s professional learning organization), Amanda has facilitated various professional learning opportunities on topics including: Loose Parts, Deconstructing Provocations, Early Years Math, Outdoor Learning Community of Practice and Continuous Professional Learning. In 2017, Amanda was invited to the FRP Canada National Conference: The Power of Play to team facilitate a ‘Walk Shop’ that provided interactive learning about playgroups in the forest and exploring the outdoors with families. Amanda has a passion for sharing and developing engaging learning environments for young children that provoke and inspire inquiry.

Lesley Pike

Teacher Librarian

Lesley is a Toronto based educator who has taught Kindergarten to Grade 6 and worked centrally as a Math Coach for 5 years. She is currently beginning a new chapter in her career this fall by working outside of the classroom in a support role as a Teacher Librarian. Her main areas of interest are math and coding, she also loves looking for new and exciting picture books to use in her classroom.

Melissa Seco


Melissa has been both a teacher and Instructional Leader in Mathematics/Numeracy (K-8) and Early Years (K-2). Melissa’s main areas of interest include: early years, visual arts, mathematics, STEM, and inquiry-based learning. Currently she is a Grade 1/2 teacher and Digital Lead Learner (DLL), and she occasionally teaches AQ courses at OISE.

Usha Shanmugathasan


Passionate about the early years with a focus on mathematics, S.T.E.A.M and coding Usha was part of the original Faculty that opened Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy, the all-kindergarten school. There she was the Lead Math Teacher and created innovative programs such as Math Studio and Expressive Arts. Formerly a K-12 Learning Coach for the Toronto District School Board with Masters of Education at OISE/UT in Educational Leadership and Policy, today she teaches JK-1, delivers and facilitates professional development for educators across Ontario.

Diane Kashin


Diane is a registered early childhood educator in the province of Ontario and retired ECE professor. Diane taught at both the degree and the diploma level for over 30 years. Diane’s doctoral thesis on emergent curriculum was published in 2008 and she has co-written three ECE textbooks, Empowering Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education (2016), Playing and Learning in Early Childhood Education (2019) and Outdoor and Nature Play in Early Childhood Education (2019).

Hélène Pouliot-Cleare

Passionate about education, Hélène Pouliot-Cleare has worked in education for over 40 years in Central-Southwestern Ontario, in addition to leading workshops and training at the provincial, national and international, in French and in English. Her lectures cover a wide variety of topics related to early childhood, language learning in a minority setting, leadership and personal motivation.