Our Team

Halifax Learning has a long history of developing strong, confident readers, with thousands of lives changed since we opened our doors in 1999. We have built our success on the science of reading and continue to invite experts of all fields to review and actively research our results.  Our expertise in program delivery and training is unparalleled.

Our Founder, Sarah Arnold, had the good fortune of training with Dr. Kay MacPhee; an accomplished educator and entrepreneur who created the renowned program SpellRead. Sarah had excelled in school but always struggled with reading efficiently. Upon meeting Dr. MacPhee, she realized she had just never been taught properly. This formative experience spurred her to establish Halifax Learning.

Today we teach students and provide professional development at our private clinics, at private schools, and through distance e-learning. 

Sarah Arnold

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 all learned how to read'. 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 to become the structured literacy advocate 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!

Staff Images-ROUND_Melinda Cameron

Melinda Cameron'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.

Sarah Dalton

Sarah Dalton has been an educator for the past 20 years. She has worked with children in the Halifax public school system, as well as adults at ISANS and Metroworks. Sarah obtained a BEd in Elementary Education and an MEd in TESL from Mount Saint Vincent University. She is a dedicated teacher who believes in equitable education for all. Teaching literacy skills is her main focus and Sarah ensures that all her students feel supported and validated. Her teaching view is that “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Barb Davis-Musgrave

Barb Davis-Musgrave joined the Halifax Learning Centre team in the fall of 2022. As a teacher with over 25 years of experience in both public and private schools, Barb has taught students from kindergarten to high school. Barb easily connects and motivates each child in a personal way - building skills and confidence, as well as having fun. Every child is met at his or her level of learning and given the tools they need to achieve success.

nbpolhakisha Downey

Hello, my name is Shakisha Downey, and I am the Administrative Director for Halifax Learning. I have been working with Halifax Learning for over two years as an administrator and began actively teaching the Spellread program in 2018. Many of the students that I have the pleasure of working with are considered at-risk children and youth from local communities. These youth have been identified as having learning disadvantages and sometimes severe behavioral issues. Although I wear many hats in my position, working with these youth is the most rewarding part of my job and where I can relate to my students in a lot of ways. To watch the shift in the attitudes and abilities of these students in an academic setting is truly an amazing opportunity. It is my pleasure to be a part of such an important change in their lives brought on by intensive, evidence-based remedial programming.


Shannon Garrett is armed with a BA and a heart full of enthusiasm. Shannon shows genuine care in her instruction to students of all ages and all backgrounds.


Sabiha Khan joined the team as an administrative assistant in 2023. With strong organizational skills and attention to detail, she strives to ensure efficient operations within the office. She handles various administrative tasks with professionalism and a friendly demeanor. She is committed to making a valuable contribution to the team's success.


Sarah Koegler-Clarke joined the team in 2023 after spending 10 years teaching at International Middle and High Schools in China. She graduated from the Drama in Education and Community program (Honours BA), has a BA in History and completed her BEd all at University of Windsor, Ontario. Sarah is extremely passionate about teaching and has many years of online and educational technology experience. Currently she is living and working in Truro with her hubby and fur daughter.


Charlotte Lance joined the team in 2022. She is a lower elementary school teacher and came to Spellread to be able to further support students' phonemic and literacy skills both in her classroom and at SpellRead. She loves helping her students to succeed and seeing their enthusiasm for reading and learning grow.

Kim Larkin

Kim Larkin joined Halifax Learning soon after she completed the Business Administration program at NSCC in 2017. With her intense attention to detail and passion for coaching, Kim was an excellent fit as our location lead in Bedford. Kim has spent many years as a youth soccer coach and volunteer at "The Hub", a youth center in Canmore, Alberta and Feed NS. Kim is passionate about Yoga, nutrition and inner health. Her favorite children's author is Robert Munsch. Fun fact: You may find Kim calling out Bingo at a senior home near you!

Doreen McAleese

Doreen McAleese is a retired teacher from NB who decided to retire in Bedford to be closer to family. She taught for 30 years at the elementary level and served as a Literacy Lead at her school and in her district for the last 6 years of her career. Doreen has a B.Ed in Elementary Education and a M.Ed in Exceptional Learners from UNB. She continues to be passionate about teaching young children and is a strong literacy advocate. Doreen loves to read, travel, and is an avid runner. Since moving to Bedford, she has enjoyed discovering the beautiful trails in the greater HRM area.

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller joined our team in January 2023. Jennifer has a background in Child Development, Life Coaching with youth, Therapeutic Art and Business Administration. She is also an art teacher for all ages and a published Author. Jennifer is passionate about creativity, education and self expression. She loves to paint, read and spend time with her two teenage boys, Gregory and William.


Wenisha Morris: Before moving to Nova Scotia in 2021, Wenisha received their Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph, and continued their education at Humber College. As a Child and Youth Care Worker, Wenisha has worked with various agencies dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable populations. With the Halifax learning team, Wenisha aims to bridge learning gaps and empower students.


Amira Naffa has taught with Halifax Learning for the past two years.

Linda O'Neil
Linda O’Neil has a Bachelor of Education with Distinction, specializing in teaching reading. She has enjoyed teaching the Spell Read program for 17 years with Halifax Learning. She has also worked with adult literacy networks, early childhood education and is a former resource teacher in the public school system.
Staff Images-ROUND_Eryn Steele

Eryn Steele, our Chief Operations Officer, began on her path to Halifax Learning in 2000. Since that time, Eryn has had an impact on all facets of the program. From delivery, development, training, and implementation. She has facilitated the implementation of SpellRead to over 800 students at 6 public schools in Florida and was the Regional Director in New Brunswick for three years before moving to Halifax in 2006 to join Halifax Learning. 

Michele Wright

Michele Wright has a BEd and MA in education along with 20 years of experience in literacy, TESL and effective communication. Michele’s background in the arts and sense of humour help bring her classes to life. She is passionate about helping the next generation improve their literacy skills and develop a lifelong love of reading.