Sarah Arnold, Founder & CEO
You won’t find another human more invested in reading than this woman! When Sarah says SpellRead works, you can believe her, she was a student herself. Sarah began the SpellRead program as a Bishops University Alumni. Despite being a high-achieving French Immersion student, Sarah felt she 'missed the day in class when the students all learned how to read well'. In spite of her success as a student Sarah always struggled with efficient reading, until she met Dr. Kay MacPhee, her would be SpellRead teacher. SpellRead unlocked untapped potential in Sarah and inspired her future to become the entrepreneur she is now. Today, Sarah is driven to ensure all students in Canada receive the foundational skills required to read, but more importantly, to read efficiently. Sarah has supported literacy initiatives in the United States, China, Europe, and Atlantic Canada and has no intentions of stopping there. When Sarah isn’t hustling to bridge the reading gap, she is raising her own reader, Ms. Anna.
Check Anna out on CTV Morning Live achieving, what we like to call, Super Sonic Sublexical Automaticity ... we're still working on our Super Hero character!
Melinda Cameron, Partner & CRO
Melinda's life's work to teach as many people as possible to read. She has been teaching for more than half of her life, including two years in South Korea and almost fifteen years in Halifax. She received an honors degree from Carleton College in International Relations as well as a certificate in TESL from Saint Mary's University. Now she's completing her Research Master of Arts in Education from Mount Saint Vincent University, contributing to the knowledge of best practices in reading instruction. Melinda joined the Halifax Learning team in 2006 and quickly became an expert in all facets of literacy education, as an instructor, assessor and trainer. Melinda became a partner with Halifax Learning in 2017. Melinda’s daughters, Cordelia and Rosalind, are named after two of Shakespeare's most fearless female characters.
Megan Brooks, Clinic Director & Marketing Manager
After completing her undergraduate degree, like most young, wanna-be professionals, Megan was unsure of her future but had a hunch she wanted to be a teacher. Wanting to be sure of her decision, Megan responded to a job posting for a SpellRead instructor. The pride, joy, and fulfillment Megan felt in meeting the needs of struggling readers was undeniable. In 2012 Megan completed her Bachelor of Education Degree from Mount Saint Vincent University and became the location lead for our Tantallon office. Megan now has a beautiful family, loves yoga, volleyball, spending time outdoors and is committed to providing evidence-based programs to those in need explicit, systematic instruction.
Becoming a parent has enriched Megan's understanding and passion for early intervention and foundational literacy skills. She shares that passion for sports and recreation and is dedicated to providing youth with the opportunities to excel on their chosen path. With a coach's background, Megan believes wholeheartedly in the philosophy of "Players Win, Coaches Lose". Megan's mission is to ensure that at Halifax Learning, our students always win and our teachers never lose.
In addition to Megan's role as Clinic Director for the SpellRead program, she is also our Marketing Manager. If you are a marketing professional or interested in taking part in our monthly newsletter, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to collaborate! We look forward to hearing from you.
Shakisha Downey, Administrative Coordinator
Shakisha is the like the lifelong friend you never get to see, but when you do, everything just feels right. As a recent graduate of Dalhousie University, with a BA in Sociology and Social Anthropology, Shakisha brought innovation, productivity and a meticulous attention to detail. She immediately embraced our mission, embodies our values and makes a mean Philly Cheesesteak Burger.
Shakisha plans to go back to school for her Masters in Sociology, with the goal of eventually becoming a parole officer. She is very interested in studying and understanding crime and criminal behavior, as well as the social circumstances (including literacy) that impact the lives of those who find themselves in the grip of the Canadian Criminal justice system.
When Shakisha isn't keeping us in line, you can find her by the ocean with her family and fur-baby, King.
Halifax Learning is pleased to participate in the Nova Scotia governments Graduate to Opportunity program. "Hiring well-educated post-secondary graduates in Nova Scotia is made easier for employers with the help the provincial funding program, Graduate to Opportunity (GTO). Eligible employers can receive 25% of a grad’s first year salary and 12.5% of the grad’s second year salary from the Government. This incentive made it easier for Halifax Learning to hire Shakisha right out of university." Read more of Shakisha's story, "Recent Grad's Career Journey Comes Full Circle".
Emily Stevens, Team Lead & Camp Director
Emily joined the team in 2016 and has quickly proven her skills as a teacher, administrator and Camp Director. Emily is a recent graduate from Mount Saint Vincent University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Emily is a lover of nature, animals, reading and youth. She volunteered as a tutor with Pathways to Education and has experience coaching horseback riding! When she isn’t studying or teaching you can find her with her dog!