Our Team

We are so proud to brag about the excellent teaching staff we have at Halifax Learning.  As a team, we possess thousands of hours of education, teaching and coaching experience.  Our staff are athletes, coaches, volunteers, published authors, entrepreneurs, parents and so much more!  As a collaborative team we can offer the very best to every student that comes to us with a learning challenge.  We are addicted to being a part of our student's path to skilled, confident, learning and bearing witness to the joy that brings. 

The Teachers


JoAnn Stead

Jo-Ann completed her Spellread training in Charlottetown in 2002 before teaching for four years at Keyin College in Gander, NL. She also has experience working in the classroom with teachers and dealing with children who are ADD/ADHD. Her passion is people and she hopes to be able to make a difference and help her students find the joy of reading and learning that will last a lifetime. Jo-Ann joined the Halifax Learning team in May 2014.


Kelti Wagstaff

Keltie holds a Bachelor of Commerce with an Honours in Economics, from the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. Keltie wrote her thesis, "Behavioural resilience in sport: Mediation of effects of socioeconomic risk on child and youth behaviours through sports participation". Keltie has a rich background of teaching experience, including as an Educational Program Assistant for HRSB, as a Teaching Assistant at SMU and as a Statistics Tutor at the Sobey School of Business Math Help Centre. Keltie was the I am Potential Youth Drop-in Coordinator and a volunteer mentor and tutor for HRM’s Youth Advocate Program. Keltie recommends A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith, for a quiet weekend binge read and when she isn’t volunteering, studying or working with youth you can find Keltie watching an obscure movie or two such as Café de Flore.

SpellRead Halifax Learning Teacher

Rebekah Marshall

Rebekah joined the team in 2005 after her own daughter became a SpellRead graduate! She was so pleased with the results, she knew she wanted to get involved. Rebekah continues to be an outstanding teacher for our students in the Dartmouth location and is often called upon by new trainees as a mentor teacher!

SpellRead Teach Summer Camp Counselor

Kelly O'Brien

Kelly graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2017. In the Fall, Kelly will pursue her passion to teach at St. Francis Xavier University. Kelly has experience coaching the Halifax City Soccer Mini Program and has been a Summer Camp Counselor at Halifax Learning for two, going on three, summers. Kelly has volunteered at the Veteran’s Memorial Building for four years as a recreational activities facilitator. Kelly recommends Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult.


Nancy Wallace

Nancy Wallace grew up in Bathurst, N.B. and attended Mount Allison and Mount Saint Vincent Universities. Now “retired”, she loves travelling, volunteering, singing in a choir, and being a mom to two wonderful sons. She loves interacting with children at school and as a SpellRead teacher for Halifax Learning, especially encouraging them to develop a “love of reading” through their newly acquired, efficient reading skills.


Brittany Long

Brittany joined the team in 2014 as a graduate of Dalhousie University. In addition to a BA and BSW, Brittany is in her final year of an MSW. Brittany has worked as a volunteer, supervisor and educator with various agencies, including LINKS and Chisholm Services. Brittany is a Teacher’s Assistant and conducts research on animal therapy and adult education in collaboration with her professors at Dalhousie. Brittany is motivated by her younger sister’s ambition and drive to persevere through public education, despite a tumultuous experience as a student with a learning disability and ADHD diagnosis. Today, Brittany is inspired by her sister’s success and is proud of her accomplishments as a post-secondary student!


Linda O'Neil

Linda O’Neil holds a Bachelor of Education with Distinctions, specializing in teaching reading and has a longstanding relationship with Rock Church as a Greeter and Usher for the past 25 years. Linda joined the Halifax Learning team in 2006 and continues to build trusting and supportive relationships with her students allowing them to discover the joy of learning. Linda was an educator with the Adult Literacy Network and has worked as a Resource Teacher in the public school system. As a former tennis player, Linda was inducted into the New Brunswick Tennis Hall of Fame.


Emily Stevens

Emily joined the team in 2016 and has quickly proven her skills as a teacher and administrator. As our new Camp Director, Emily has been diligently planning an enriching and active Summer Camp itinerary. Emily is a recent graduate from Mount Saint Vincent University and now 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 or someone else’s as a runner for DogRunnin’ in Halifax.


Megan Courtney

Megan Courtney graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University in 2009 with her Bachelor of Education and has been substituting in the Halifax Regional School Board for the last four years. In 2007, Megan began working at Miller Lake Learning Centre, where she began teaching the SpellRead program and tutoring students in mathematics. Megan remains a reliable teacher at our Fall River location!


Heather Beall

Heather joined the Halifax Learning team in 2015 and brings with her an exemplary resume as a teacher at Halifax Independent School. Heather retired from her full-time teaching position in 2015, but her passion to teach led her to us and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on our team. Our students and staff are so pleased to learn and work with Heather! PS. Check out all those GOLD stickers. Our students are champs!!!


Linda Forsythe

Linda Forsythe's education includes a Bachelors Degree and Programs in Child Care Administration. Following experience working in day care centres, Linda became owner and director of a preschool in Fall River for 18 years. She has been a reading instructor for four years and has been teaching Spellread since September 2012.


Rose-Anne Smeltzer

Rose-Anne graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from The University of King's College and a Master of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University. Prior to joining the team at Halifax Learning, Rose Anne facilitated a family literacy program for three years. Her goal is to provide her community with a fun, non-threatening, participatory environment in which to learn.

Administrative Team

Sarah Arnold Founder Halifax Learning

Sarah Arnold, Founder

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 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 today. 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.

Melinda Cameron Halifax Learning

Melinda Cameron, Program Support Specialist/Software Development Officer

Melinda received an honors degree from Carleton College in International Relations in 2003. Upon graduation, Melinda traveled abroad to teach English as a Second Lanugage in South Korea for two years. Melinda received her TESL Certification from Saint Mary's University in 2013. Today she is completing her Research Master of Arts in Education from Mount Saint Vincent University. Melinda joined the Halifax Learning team in 2006 and quickly became an expert in all facets of the SpellRead program, as an instructor, assessor and trainer. Melinda became a partner with Canadian Learning Foundations in 2017. With her combined organizational skills, program expertise and passion for education and innovation, Melinda is an essential component of the Administrative Team for CLF as an Academic Director and Software Applications Development Officer. Fun fact, Melinda’s daughter, Cordelia, is named after a character from Shakespeare’s play, King Lear. Her academic record and preference for children’s names is evidence she is dedicated to lifelong learning.

Eryn Steele Halifax Learning General Manager

Eryn Steele, Academic Director

Eryn is a partner with Halifax Learning and has been working with the SpellRead program for 17 years in various capacities. Eryn has taken SpellRead all over the world, including as a facilitator for six public schools in Florida and ...

Halifax Learning Program Support Specialist Media Coordinator

Megan Brooks, Program Support Specialist/Media Coordinator

Megan joined the Halifax Learning team in 2009 as a teacher and instantly became addicted to teaching a person to read! With a coach's background, Megan believes whole heartedly 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. Megan is the Mom of two, a two time graduate of MSVU with a BA and BEd, passionate about sports and recreation and dedicated to providing youth with the opportunities to excel on their chosen path.


Administrative Coordinator

We are so excited to reveal our new Administrative Coordinator to our staff and family! Stay tuned.

Book a Free In-Depth Literacy Skills Assessment
Halifax Learning is proud to be locally grown, evidence-based and research driven.