Academic Leadership

Patricia Donnelly

BA, B.Ed, MA (English), M.Ed (Administration)
Chief Academic Advisor

Our Chief Academic Advisor, Patricia Donnelly, brings a breadth of experience and a passion for learning and teaching. An educator for over 40 years, she has worked as a high school English teacher, a coordinator of a program for gifted students, as a department head, a principal, and a headmistress, most recently at Sacred Heart School of Halifax. She has worked in public and independent schools both small and large, in rural and urban settings.

A believer in educational choice, she spearheaded the establishment of the senior boys’ division at Sacred Heart and is pleased to be part of building an outstanding academic program in a school focused on active learning both inside and outside the classroom. Patricia holds a B. A. and a B.Ed. from Memorial University of Newfoundland, an M.A. (English) from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and a M.Ed. (Admin.) from OISE at the University of Toronto.

Patricia is a Docent and Board Member at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, a debate coach, a voracious reader, and a fitness participant. Her two daughters, one of whom is also a teacher, live in Toronto, and her husband practices law in Halifax.

Shauna Wall
B.Sc (Hons), B.Ed., M.Ed (Curriculum)
Head of School

Shauna Wall comes to Summit Academy with a wealth of experience in both teaching and leadership at leading private schools in Canada and has worked alongside some of the most talented leaders in private education in the country. With Education degrees from McGill (B.Ed) and Acadia (M.Ed) and a B.Sc Honours in Microbiology and Immunology from Dalhousie University, her education and academic rigour speak for themselves. She acted as both Dean of Students and a classroom science teacher at the Sacred Heart School of Halifax for several years and most recently occupied the role of Vice Principal at Sacred Heart.

Ms. Wall receives glowing references as she is highly respected by those in her field and beloved by students, parents and staff alike. She is excited about the role of Head of school and this enthusiasm, paired with her special interest and specialization in Curriculum development, School Policy and Staff and Student Leadership; we are convinced that Shauna will take Summit Academy to the next level.

Christianne Chappell
B.Ed (Hons)
Teacher – Junior Primary

Christianne graduated from Liverpool John Moores Univerisity in England with a BEd Hons degree in Primary Education. She has 20 years of experience teaching young children and developing Early Years programs in leading independent schools in the UK, China and in Nova Scotia. Christianne believes in education ‘the whole child’ from the basics in reading, writing, and math to developing independence, sharing and cooperative play. She knows the first experience with school must be a positive one and her extensive training and experience help to facilitate this for each child.

Michele Barr
B.Ed, M.Ed (candidate)
Teacher – Grade P/1

Michele has been an elementary school teacher for more than a decade. She earned her Bachelor of Education with a specialty in Elementary Curriculum at the University of Victoria and is in the process of completing her Master’s degree in Education at Mount Saint Vincent University with a focus on early literacy and numeracy.

Michele encourages students to take risks and make mistakes to engage them to unlock their full potential. Her extensive world travels bring experience and enthusiasm to the classroom.

Kathryn Arseneau
Teacher – Grade 2/3

Kathryn is entering her eleventh year teaching at the elementary level. Beginning in the public school system, she has spent the last nine years teaching in private schools in both Ontario and Nova Scotia. Her passion for teaching is evident; she is dedicated to educating young minds, learning her students’ individual needs to guide her students to reach their full potential both in and outside the classroom.

Justin Desrosiers
B.Comm, B.Ed
Teacher – Grade 4/5 & Physical Education

Justin is entering his seventh year teaching at the elementary level. He has experienced many roles during his time in the public sector, including classroom teacher, Phys. Ed teacher and guidance counselor. While he has only been teaching for seven years he has been working with youth in a variety of roles for over twenty. One of his passions being youth sport, he has volunteered countless hours over the past two decades as a coach (15 coaching competitive baseball), manager and statistician.

Justin strives to make his classroom fun and exciting, a place where students feel free to express themselves. He engages his classes fully in all areas of the curriculum but holds a special place in his heart for his favorite subjects; math & science!

Helena Trenholm
Teacher – Grade 6

Helena has been involved in educating children and adults for over twenty years. She has worked in many different settings including classrooms, group homes, and tutoring businesses. She has taught and coached all age ranges and found her niche with the upper elementary grades. Helena believes that her job as an educator is to prepare students to navigate in the world and make a difference, she knows that school is much more than just the core subjects. Helena has also coached basketball from elementary to university levels and believes activity and sports build character and enhance a child’s ability to focus in the classroom.

Danny MacCalder
B.Sc, B.Ed
Teacher – Grade 7-9

Danny’s background includes 11 years of teaching experience both domestically and internationally, in both the public and private sectors. Danny completed his Bachelor of Science through Dalhousie University and his Bachelor of Education at the University of Ottawa. He believes that inspiring curiosity in his students is a central component in his role as an educator. Danny has an enthusiasm for diverse learning opportunities. His skill and passion for outdoor education and his confidence in exposure to diverse cultural experiences are valued assets in his role at Summit Academy.

Nora MacEwen
B.Sc, B.Ed
Teacher – Grade 7-9

Educated at Bob Jones University where she attained her BSc in Education, Nora has been teaching for over thirty years. Sixteen of them spent at Grace Christian School, a private school in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island where she taught from K-12, and also acted as Vice Principal and administrator. She has worked in various public schools on PEI and has spent the last thirteen years as an instructor at Holland College, also in Charlottetown. Nora also worked two terms teaching various courses at three separate universities in China. Nora also brings experience in curriculum development, mentorship, and academic support.

Melissa Zwicker
BA, B.Ed
Teacher – French

Melissa has been teaching French and academic enhancement programs in private schools at the elementary level for over six years. Prior to pursuing a career in education, she taught English in South Korea. After receiving her B.Ed from Mount Saint Vincent in 2012, she completed her French language studies at Universite Sainte Anne. Her enthusiasm for teaching a second language comes through in the classroom with the inclusion of music, art, and dance to aid students learning and appreciation of the French language and culture.

Sonya Jampolsky
Teacher – Art

Sonya’s career began as a journalist at the CBC and evolved into television directing and producing. Sonya has taught workshops on TV production and has been a sessional teacher at NSCAD. She is currently enrolled at the University of King’s College to obtain her Masters in Fine Arts. Sonya has taught art courses for children in both Canada and abroad. She is an avid traveler who enjoys photography and knitting in her free time.

Jade Decoste
Teacher – Physical Education

Jade earned her Bachelor of Education Degree at Acadia University and her Physical and Health Education Degree at Nipissing University. She has coached a variety of sports from beginner levels to assistant coaching for provincial and varsity levels. While Jade may be new to her formal teaching profession, she has worked with children through sport and physical activity for numerous years and is excited to bring fresh ideas to Summit Academy. She believes in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, both in the classroom and in the gymnasium, instilling the skills for students to achieve their goals and become confident leaders.

Neven Prostran
B.Mus., M.Mus, CLT
Teacher – Grade 7-9

Neven is a musician and educator with a passion for making musical education enjoyable and worthwhile for all ages and levels of students. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, a Master of Arts in Musicology and a Certificate in University Teaching and Learning from Dalhousie University. Neven is the Events Coordinator for the East York Music Festival in Toronto, as well as a faculty member at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

As a private and group instructor, Neven has taught thousands of hours of guitar, ukulele, piano, bass, and theory lessons to individuals and a variety of ensembles. As an academic, he has guest lectured and offered workshops on many topics such as music history and implementing music as an educational tool in the non-music classroom. His teaching philosophy centres around the premise that music is a subject that everyone can engage with in a highly meaningful and personal way. He believes that everyone has the capacity for music-making and that this process should be fulfilling, fun and educational. His background in musicology allows him to draw links between music, history, society, and culture for a well rounded educational experience.