STAO’s Management Team
Amy brings a passion for creating high-quality resources and professional development opportunities for Ontario educators to STAO. She has over seven years’ experience in the non-profit sector and her most recent role was as Vice President of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. In this role, she led a bilingual project financed by the Ontario Ministry of Education, LD@school/TA@l’école, which provides resources to Ontario K-12 educators working with students with learning disabilities.
Amy holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a Chemistry major and a minor in French Language Studies from the University of Guelph, a Bachelor of Education degree at the intermediate/senior level from the University of Ottawa, Teacher/Trainer of Adults certification from Humber College and is an Ontario Certified Teacher and Project Management Professional. Amy believes that a solid STEM education is vital for the future success of all of Ontario’s students and looks forward to expanding STAO’s reach in Ontario’s school boards in her role as STAO’s Executive Director.
Director of Events
Chuck has been a volunteer for close to 40 years with STAO/APSO. In that time, he has been blessed to be President of the Association, a Life Member, Recipient of the Provincial Service Award, Chair to conferences and a member of many committees. In his new role as Director of Events he will be helping committees to plan and execute STAO events. This will include expanding STAO event offerings to membership with diverse needs in all corners of the province.
Director of School Board Relations
Director of Membership
Leila Knetsch is a Biology/Chemistry teacher and an ACL of Science at Albert Campbell CI in Scarborough (TDSB). Leila’s educational passions include: hands-on and inquiry learning, co-operative learning and more recently, the use of technology in education. She has been involved in STAO for 20 years, writing articles and conducting workshops (and more recently, webinars). She started out with the Crucible committee and more recently has joined the Secondary Curriculum Committee and ScienceWorks. She is excited to become more involved in STAO as the Membership Director and work with other like minded teachers to support the Science Teachers of Ontario. Look out for articles and webinars by Leila Knetsch in the future.
Director of Professional Learning
Malisa Mezenberg enjoyed teaching high school sciences, math and cooperative education with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board for over 20 years. She took an active role in the Ministry of Education’s Science curriculum review and developed resources to support science teachers.
Developing a keen interest in the professional learning of teachers, Malisa created and coordinated a variety of professional learning programs for teachers in her position in the Professional Development Department at the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and as Project Manager of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation Professional Learning Project. She has had the opportunity to work with international teacher education programs in the Caribbean and Africa. Malisa is currently working at the OECTA Provincial Office in the Counselling and Member Services Department. In addition to general counselling and advice to members on employment-related matters, she is coordinates OECTA’s Leadership Training Program.
Malisa cannot remember when she was not a member of STAO. She has served in a number of roles within the organization, including President in 1994–1995 and Chair of the joint STAO-NSTA Conference in 1996. In her current role of Director of Professional Learning she coordinates the professional learning activities of the association. Malisa was the proud recipient of the STAO/APSO Life Member Award in 2014.
Director of Elementary Resource Development
Sheila is the Director of Elementary Resource Development for STAO. She was Co-Chair of STAO 2015, which celebrated 125 years since the founding of STAO and was the Partnership Coordinator on STAO’s Executive Committee. Sheila has a passion in the delivery of quality professional learning to meet the needs of Science and Technology Instructors.
Another interest of Sheila’s is Environmental issues, and she organizes the Enviro Ed Conference at UOIT Faculty of Ed. Sheila was instrumental in acquiring the NSERC grant to support Promo Science for 3 years for Science Encounters for STAO. Sheila is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Faculty of Education, Ontario Tech University. She teaches STEM, Environmental Education, Coding and Communication.
Director of Volunteer Engagement
Kathryn has been volunteering with STAO since 2012 when she joined the Secondary Curriculum Committee (SCC). She served on the SCC both as a member and as the Chair of the committee before moving into the Communications Coordinator role on the Executive Committee. Kathryn graduated from Trent University with a degree in Environment and Resource Studies, then went on to Queen’s University where she completed her teaching degree. In the past 14 years, Kathryn has taught high school courses in science, biology, geography, physical education, special education, with her favourite, by far, being environmental science.
She is a self-described “Professional Earth Geek” and loves to share her love of the natural world with her students, friends and family. Kathryn has taught for the last 14 years in the Halton District School Board. She currently works at Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School in Burlington, where she also lives with her husband and two young sons. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time outside, swimming, camping, hiking, catching frogs, coaching rugby, reading and working on various crafts. Kathryn’s favourite part about volunteering with STAO is working with other teachers to provide the best possible learning experience for young people both in and out of the classroom.
Director of Secondary Resource Development
Laura Wodlinger has been a STAO member since 2008 and has previously been the Secondary Curriculum Committee Chair (2016-2019) and the Professional Learning Team Chair for STAO2020 (2019-2020). Laura is passionate about helping teachers deliver curriculum through relevant and innovative resources. She has presented multiple times at STAO, OTF, BIT, and YRDSB conferences and is a strong believer in Professional Development. Laura has created multiple resources for STAO/APSO (including the Tech Tools Collection) and written several articles for OSCA Magazine. Laura is currently Assistant Head of Science in the YRDSB and describes herself as a citizen scientist, amateur tap dancer, karaoke enthusiast, and full time nerd.