Our board of directors consists of a professionally diverse team of individuals who each bring unique perspectives to the ongoing development of program supports.
Georges Boissé is a retired career diplomat introduced to Teacher Mentors Abroad while serving as Canadian Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. After addressing and meeting participants of a TMA summer institute that included Dominican, Haitian, Canadian and American members of the team, he became a champion of TMA’s work. Georges is a vital member of our organization whose wide-ranging international experiences are particularly valuable. He now resides in the Eastern Townships, Quebec.
Laura Elliott is a highly recognized educator for her leadership, commitment to engaging community, and academic excellence. Her senior leadership experience extends to all levels of the education system in Ontario, having served as Director of Education with Thames Valley DSB, Superintendent of Education with Durham DSB, Manager of Membership Records with Ontario College of Teachers and as an Education Officer with Ontario Ministry of Education’s Student Success Branch. Her service with the Council of Ontario Directors of Education, Ontario Public Supervisory Officers Association, the University of Western Ontario Senate and Ontario Tech University Board of Governors provide a wealth of strategic thinking and commitment to all students’ learning and success that will richly enhance TMA’s future directions.
Sandra Cole is a Retired Vice Principal of Special Education with the York Region District School Board, who has been with TMA since its inception in 2005. She served as Program Committee Chair for many years and has led numerous teams to the Dominican Republic. Sandra has held many and varied positions during her career. Prior to joining YRDSB she worked in social services, which lead to a position in Regional Special Education Services with YRDSB. Sandra then became a secondary teacher (Special Education, Science and Math), Special Education Department Head, Special Education Consultant and lastly an Administrator responsible for special education programs and staffing in a large number of schools both elementary and secondary.
Abigail Falcon is a professional with more than 20 years of experience in banking and financial services in the area of Internal Control, Internal Audit, Quality Assurance and Customer Service, her experience goes back to companies such as Deloitte, ABN Amro Bank, Citibank and CTH S.A. in Ecuador. Abigail brings a commitment to high standards of customer service internally and externally and expertise in design of controls for risk management. Her knowledge of Spanish and the Hispanic culture are valuable additions to our board.
Dr. Beverley Freedman is a retired Superintendent of Programs with the Durham District School Board, Bev was responsible for curriculum, assessment, special education, and adult education K-12. Bev’s multiple engagements with the Ontario Ministry of Education, Manitoba, First Nations, OISE, Norway, Chile, Belgium, and the Dominican Republic, include the design and delivery of global competencies, pedagogical leadership, adult-focused learner-centered graduate and post-graduate courses and presenting at numerous international research/learning conferences. She consulted for TVO on digital learning and co-authored a text with Raf DiCecco on Collaborative School Reviews.
José Antonio Lopez Ventura is a visionary. He is also an electrical engineer, lawyer, pastor and community activist in Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic, who has dedicated his life to serving others. José and his wife Gloria have hosted TMA teams since our inception, and he articulated what TMA could become before we formally existed. An essential partner, José is known for his wisdom and commitment to education. His quotes are a poignant reminder of what TMA represents.
Nancy Threan Loraine is from the Dominican Republic. A ‘wanna be’ educator who was counselled out of teaching, she nevertheless taught physical education for a year in the DR before realizing teaching was not her vocation. Nancy remained deeply interested in education and after experiencing education in Canada through her four children attending public schools, she determined she wanted this same quality of education for children in her homeland. Her varied career includes having served as Director of Missions, a Trustee for Durham District School Board, General Manager of a Chamber of Commerce, and self-employment in public relations.
Juan Pablo Liriano Santana is a native from the Dominican Republic, immigrated to Canada in 1976. He completed a Master’s in Theology at the University of Toronto and pursued a career in education. Juan Pablo taught for twenty-one years, at the secondary level, and retired in 2007. Before retiring he, co-founded Canadian Aid For Education, (CAFE) in 2003, with the mission to provide education opportunities to vulnerable people in the developing world. After serving on a TMA team in 2006, Juan Pablo and his wife Betty Anne Platt, advocated for and led the expansion of TMA’s work to Santiago in 2015. They have been TMA site liaisons and coordinators in Santiago/La Vega ever since.
Doug Wilson has been in law practice in Uxbridge for over 40 years. Although his expertise is Business law, primarily real estate, wills & estates, and other non-education related areas, Doug is a long-standing education advocate as a charter member of Rotary Club of Uxbridge, and first Chair of the Board for both Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, now known as Ontario Tech.
Wayne Louie is a subject-matter expert in computer technology and cyber security, currently a Senior Manager at AMD, working with tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, HP, Dell, etc. A graduate of University of Waterloo, he wrote his first program in 1973 at age 13 when punch cards was the norm, and has worked in many different industries since then. Wayne has a community focus, participating with TMA, UMST, Scouts Canada, and other organisations. He enjoys volleyball, softball, sci-fi, and motor biking.
Denise Taylor-Edwards is retired educator and self-styled global citizen with a passion for teaching/learning, travel, language and intercultural experiences. Her own journey in becoming bilingual/bicultural began as an exchange student in Chile and sparked a lifelong inquiry into the science and psychology of multilingualism. After several years as a high school Spanish teacher in central New York, she immigrated and continued her career teaching English to newcomer adults and adolescents with Thames Valley District School Board in London, Ontario. Over the years she has held positions as Department Head, Learning Coordinator and lead intake Language Assessor welcoming newcomer students and their families. Denise holds a Masters of Arts in Linguistics, has co-authored a Spanish language textbook and has written several Additional Qualification courses. In retirement she works with Western University teacher candidates and in the continuing teacher education program. She has been part of the TMA ‘family’ since 2012.