At Calvary Christian Academy, we value the impact teachers and volunteers can have on our children. We recognize the importance of role models in children’s lives. Staff members and volunteers at our Academy are expected to express a sincere commitment to Jesus Christ. They must be in good standing, and regularly attend a Bible-believing church. We view their personal character, qualities, gifts and abilities as a silent teaching witness to our students. CCA offers a program beginning in Preschool continuing to Junior Kindergarten through grade 8. CCA offers both Junior and Senior Kindergarten on a part-time basis (3 days per week) or an extended program (5 days per week).

Kindergarten – Vice Principal

Christine Martel

Christine received her diploma in Early Childhood Education in 1991 from Algonquin College, She has been actively working with Preschool and Kindergarten children and their families for over 25 years. She is a registered member of the College of Early Childhood Educators. Christine has also completed both Grade 8 piano and Grade Two theory with the Royal Conservatory of Music.  She was Calvary Christian Academy’s first teacher when the school opened its doors in 1997.  Teaching this age group has always been one of Christine’s passions. She finds their energy and enthusiasm inspiring. She considers positive early learning experiences with school to be important for young children as it influences their development and their future. Even in Kindergarten we value attitude, effort and character over aptitude, ability and talent.

At Calvary Christian Academy, Christianity is interwoven throughout the fabric of each child’s learning experience. The Kindergarten program offers a safe learning environment while nurturing the whole child. Christine considers regular communication with family to be one of paramount importance. As it benefits each child individually, home and school are encouraged to collaborate closely together.  Numerous opportunities to celebrate each child’s strengths are provided. They are also equipped with tools to achieve their maximum potential. Parents can be comforted in knowing that their child is valued.

Christine has always believed strongly in Christian education.  Her own son and daughter have graduated from post secondary education but years ago they attended Calvary Christian Academy from Kindergarten to Grade Eight.


Suzanne Whitems-white-thumbnail

Suzanne has over 15 years’ experience working with children and youth from diverse backgrounds.  She has experience working with economically impoverished children through Christie Lake Kids, children with developmental and literacy needs through Upper Canada District Scholl Board, children’s play based learning at Ottawa Montessori School, faith based teaching through Vacation Bible School and Sunday School.   Suzanne attended Capenwray Bible school in Chertsey, Quebec she has a solid foundation in her faith and seeks to follow the Lord daily in all areas of her life.  Suzanne trusts His love, guidance and wisdom in being a member of the CCA teaching team.  She is continuing her Early Childhood Education program with Algonquin College as an on line student.  She is also certified in Standard First Aid and CPR Level C + AED.

Junior and Senior Kindergarten Assistant

Kim ValaVala

Kim Vala has an Honours Degree in Urban Geography from McMaster University. After university, she worked for the Ministry of Environment before leaving to raise her family. Her three children keep her extremely busy as they are all very active in sports. She has been a devoted mother to her family for the last 13 years, while providing some home daycare, volunteering in the community and teaching Sunday School at her church. Kim enjoys being active and participates in yoga, hockey, skiing, walking and gardening. She loves working and playing with children and cherishes every moment with the CCA kids.

Grade 1 and Leader of Athletics

Laura Barkley

Laura is super excited to be part of the Calvary Christian Academy staff. She graduated from Lakehead University with a BA in Sociology and a BEd in Primary/Junior. Laura has enjoyed serving God as a youth director at Bethel Church in Kingston and more recently as Camping Coordinator at Camp IAWAH. She enjoys bringing her camping experience into the classroom. Before joining the CCA team she supply taught for the Upper Canada District School Board as well as the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. She enjoys traveling, both coaching and playing many different sports, as well as scrapbooking. She looks forward to being part of her students journey in education as well as creating a loving, Christ-centered classroom.

Grade 2

Jessica Hamelinhamelin

Jessica graduated with a BA in Sociology with a background in Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston. She went on to achieve her Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Canterbury Christ Church University College in Canterbury, England. Jess has worked in schools in England, as well as many Public and Catholic schools in the Beckwith area, but found CCA to be the only school which embodies everything she loves about education. She is deeply committed to CCA’s philosophy of well-rounded education. From “day one” children are immersed in literacy in her classroom because it is the cornerstone to success. She provides a safe classroom environment that allows each child to gain the confidence needed to learn from mistakes and be independent thinkers. Jess is passionate about celebrating each student as a unique individual and feels it’s important for each to embrace their own strengths and weaknesses to meet their full potential.

Grade 3/4

Kathryn ChapmanChapman

Kathryn has been teaching at CCA since 2007. She received her Bachelor of Arts (major: History, minors: English, World Religions) from Carleton University. She went onto receive her Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University in 1997, and has been teaching ever since. Before coming to CCA, Kathryn taught in both the Renfrew and Upper Canada District School Boards. Within her first year at CCA, Kathryn transferred her own children so they could be part of the school’s amazing program. She found that one of the many appeals of CCA, as a teacher and a parent, is that children are loved for all they are and all they will someday be. Children at CCA are encouraged to be the person that God created them to be and to explore the gifts and abilities that he bestowed upon them. Character education happens constantly at CCA as the school endeavours always to teach the whole child. Kathryn appreciates the many “out-of-the-box” learning opportunities that CCA is famous for. School life should be chalk full of amazing memories – that definitely happens at Calvary Christian Academy.

Grade 5

Andy ChamberlainChamberlain

Andrew has been teaching at Calvary Christian Academy since 2010. He graduated from the University of Ottawa with a BA in Biology and went on to complete his Bachelor of Education there as well. He has enjoyed occasional teaching with the Renfrew County Public and Catholic School Boards in the past, and been involved with children’s camp ministries and Sunday School for over ten years. He is a father of a young family, enjoys rural life, reading, and the outdoors. Andrew is pleased to be teaching at the grade five level, and enjoys their energy and enthusiasm for learning. He recognizes the importance of the individual and the many different ways, and speeds, at which children learn. He looks forward to leading students as they continue to gain knowledge and develop their skills in a Christ-focused setting and will encourage their natural tendency to explore and discover!

Grade 6

Suzanne Reid

Suzanne Reid is in her eleventh year teaching at CCA. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours, majoring in Child Psychology. In 1992, she graduated from York University with her Bachelor of Education degree. From 1992-1997, Susanne taught in the Upper Canada District School Board (previously known as Lanark County Board) teaching children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 7/8. She stayed home full-time raising her three children until the fall of 2004 when she began her teaching career at CCA.Suzanne loves being a teacher, surrounded by children, and using the gifts/talents that God has given her. Seeing the children grow and improve in many different ways is a joy to her. Her love of sports and being active is evident in her teaching and how she presents herself to her class. Suzanne is passionate about CCA and how the school not only teaches the child excellent academics but how it molds the character of the child. The idea of an extended family comes to her mind when she thinks about CCA. It is not only a building, but a family where children came be loved, cared for, and nurtured in God’s abundant grace.


Grade 8

Graeme Appleyard

Graeme is very excited to be entering his third year as the grade 8 teacher at CCA.  Graeme grew up outside Renfrew, ON before moving to Ottawa for a number of years for school and work. He graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Science – Biology. He obtained his Bachelor of Education, with Science and Math as his teachables from the University of Ottawa this past spring. Graeme has a great passion with working with children and youth. He has been heavily involved in camp work since his teenage years and took on the role of Summer Director at Galilee Bible Camp this past summer. He likes being active, enjoys playing sports and being outdoors.

High School Teacher and Program Developer

Nathan Rice

Nathan has been teaching at CCA since 2009. He graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Science from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. Nathan and his wife currently live in Ottawa.

He enjoys finding new ways to connect with his students and bring life to the learning environment. He particularly enjoys sharing his love of music and athletics with his students. Nathan continues to be inspired by the community of CCA and thoroughly enjoys the family-like atmosphere. Looking ahead, Nathan is excited to see how God will continue to bless CCA in the future.

French Teacher

Mihaela Mihis

After completing a 5-year B.A. in French teaching, Mihaela obtained her Teaching Certificate from the Ministry of Education in Romania. During her seven years experience with grades 3 to 8, she had the opportunity to serve as an interpreter for a Romanian-French Sister Cities Association. Four months spent in Paris with a French family and another 10 months spent in Montreal offered her the best opportunity to strengthen her language skills. After relocating from Montreal to Ontario, she has worked as a supply teacher for YMCA day-care and taught French for one year in a Montessori school in Kitchener. Mihaela’s passion for French enables her to always look for new strategies to teach through fun and relaxing activities. She hopes to continue to find more ways to provide kids with an exciting learning experience in French that brings closer to their heart God’s message of grace and love. Since moving to Canada, God has also offered her the great opportunity and gift of teaching grade 6-7 Sunday School. Mihaela is thankful to God every day for CCA, an exciting and enriching place to be part of, for the staff and the students through whom God constantly teaches her life lessons. She looks forward to growing more and more every day professionally and spiritually and continues to pray for the wonderful present and future God has in store for CCA. Mihaela enjoys taking quiet walks and has on her heart to be used as much as possible in her free time to lift up to God the nations that still live without the light of the Gospel and the millions who hopelessly suffer without the wonderful truth that God loves us and knows us by name. Mihaela finds it a professionally enriching experience to teach French through Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM), a modern approach that uses gestures, music, dance, and theater to help students learn. The basic premise of AIM is that students learn and remember better when they do something that goes along with the words they are saying. For example, while the students say regard (to look), they hold their hands in front of their eyes in the shape of binoculars. This “Gesture Approach” includes defined gestures for hundreds of essential French words, known as “Pared Down Language.” The gestures are then combined with theater, storytelling, dance, and music to help students remember and use the language. Teachers have found great success with this integrative approach to language learning; in fact, some students achieve results comparable to those in full immersion programs, even when the AIM-educated students only study the language for a few hours a week.

French Teacher

Sandy MacFarlane

Sandy MacFarlane, a former French teacher at CCA returns to teach grade 7 & 8 French.
Although her degree is in Physical Education and Psychology, she was born and raised in Montreal and was immersed in the French Canadian culture at an early age. As a result, she entered her elementary years already bilingual. Her passion for teaching also developed at this time. With this passion, coupled with her love for the french language, she aims to equip and prepare her students for high school and beyond.


Tom Bourne


Tom Bourne is in his seventh year of principal at CCA. He brings education and ministry experience to CCA. He has a strong education background, graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education and a Master’s of Education. His love for God flows into every area of his life, and is evident by his involvement in church, camp and youth ministries over the past 15 years. Tom is an enthusiastic, energetic man who is excited to bring his gifts and talents to a school that is committed to “developing minds, building character, and nurturing faith”. Having all 5 of their children in CCA, spanning from grade 1 to grade 10, Tom and his wife Sylvia have a sincere desire to see the school thrive and are committed to seeing CCA continue to pursue excellence. Tom enjoys being a part of the wonderful CCA family and staff. CCA is a huge blessing to his family – thank you!

Office Manager

Trish Irwin-Kitt

With a degree in Communication Studies, many years of experience in the business world and 12 years of involvement at CCA, Trish brings a wealth of experience to the CCA office. She loves the busy-ness of the office and the constant challenge to her multi-tasking skills. Trish’s three children are CCA graduates. She and her husband consider CCA to have been instrumental in the lives of their children, building and nurturing their faith through the years. When not in the office, Trish enjoys spending time outdoors and marvels at God’s creative beauty. Running, cycling, skiing and swimming are among her favourite pastimes. She also loves word games such as crosswords and Scrabble!

Academic Advisor and Music Teacher

Coralie Gardiner

Faculty Coralee Gardiner
Coralie Gardiner is excited to be returning to CCA to teach music classes and private piano lessons to grades 1-8. Music has been a passion ever since she can remember. From her earliest memories unwinding at the piano to her current leadership in music at her church, she has thrived on this unique gift of God. Coralie graduated from McGill University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Education, and has been teaching in various capacities ever since: Sunday School, Bible studies, public and private education. Most recently she was with us at CCA from 2010-2014, teaching Grades 4 and 7. Coralie’s four children are either graduates of CCA, or still students there, and her family is grateful for the solid Christian foundation they received. When she is not teaching or being a mom, Coralie enjoys travel, reading, skiing, new challenges, and of course music!

Piano Teacher

Bethany Cousins

Bethany has been playing the piano since she was four and began teaching piano at the age of twelve. She received her Teacher’s License, as a teenager, from The Royal Conservatory and completed a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in General Studies & Recreation Management, with a Minor in Music. She has played on worship teams for many years and even played the pipe organ in local churches during her high school years.
Growing up a ‘country girl’ in New Brunswick, Bethany then went to University in Indiana, eventually moved to Ottawa in 2005, and moved to Carleton Place just this past fall. She and her husband Scott have two boys who now attend CCA as well.
She loves to share her deep passion for music and let her love for God shine through all she does, especially when teaching children as they begin to discover the life changing world of music. Bethany believes, as research has shown, that teaching children music at a young age has phenomenal benefits. Whether they stay with it for years to come, become a professional musician or just love it for a little while as a kid, it’s an experience that will impact their lives forever.

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