designing routes to education and mentorship
mentorship programcurrent mentors

Current Mentors Mentorship Program

Steve Allen, although a new mentor of dream,
Mr. Allen is no stranger to Dunnville and community-based volunteer projects. Steve has been living for 25 years in town with his wonderful wife Joan. They have four children: Jennie, Jackie, Shane and Kyle—the eldest two have graduated from universities and the younger two are students of DSS. As a community volunteer, Steve coached soccer, helped raise funds for the new soccer park; assisted with the management of a local ball hockey league; and, is a member of the Dunnville Lions Club where he helps raise funds for local services and charities. Mr. Allen works as a Professional Engineer and is presently a Marketing Manager for a manufacturer of Power Generation Equipment.

Lee Smith taught high school—physical education and business applications for computers—for 30 years, 26 at Dunnville Seconday School and is now retired.
Lee enjoys the outdoors—cycling, sailing, hiking in the summer and downhill skiing in the winter. He also has interests in amateur theatre and has been involved in a number of Dunnville productions. Mr. Smith keeps himself very busy volunteering in his churches’ Community Kitchen Program, Meals on Wheels, and as a member of the Mission and Outreach Committee. Lee recently made two mission trips to Central America. He joined the dream team because he “liked the idea of helping students reach their academic potential and motivating them to consider post-secondary education. The biggest challenge,” Smith notes, of a voluntary attendance program, “is engaging students… encourage[ing] them in their academic endeavours.” Lee received his Bachelor of Arts Degree form the University of Western, Ontario and a Master of Science in Physical Education from the University of Wisconsin.

Jane Collins wanted to make a contribution to the community and a connection to its members that is why she became a dream mentor: “I feel I may have missed the opportunity to go to University if I didn't have peers who were planning to go” notes Collins. dream “provides a connection to others who have post secondary pursuits - a sense of belonging.” Hopefully, dream graduates “may see contributing to community as something they want to do [and] reach out to help others more.” Collins certainly has made this her own personal goal now in her third year as a mentor. A licensed Chartered Accountant, Jane is also a graduate of DSS who received her Honours in Business Administration from the University of Western. She presently, has her own accounting consulting business and is an instructor at Mohawk College. Jane has also published several articles including a bookkeeping manual for owners of small businesses. She has 2 children presently studying at college and university.

Candace Stern graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English Literature and studied Theology and Mythology at York University. Candace has worked as a legal assistant. She also owned and operated Video Tonight in Dunnville from 1992-2002. Candace has traveled extensively throughout Asia and her photography has been used for public displays. Presently, Candace is a licensed Real Estate Agent. Candace’s diverse experience and genuine enthusiasm will be a real asset to the dream program.

Reza Kazemi received his undergraduate training at the University of Western Ontario and completed a degree in medicine from the University of Toronto. Reza has been a residence of Dunnville for 18 years where he is a family physician, the Medical director of Grandview Lodge and Chief of Staff at Haldimand War Memorial Hospital. Reza has special interests in globalization and world poverty and has traveled extensively. He has organized and led educational trips to India and Chiapis, Mexico. Reza has 3 children and with his wife Dr. Barbara Falco-Kazemi co-founded the dream program. Reza is presently a mentor to students in the class of 2008 and 2009.

Joanne McGuire was born and raised in New Brunswick and spent many years traveling throughout Europe, Australia and North America. She moved to Dunnville in April 2006. Joanne studied Nutritional Sciences and is presently the Administrator of Grandview Lodge Nursing Home in Dunnville. The greatest joy of Joanne’s work is witnessing the growth of employees as they develop and challenge themselves in their work life. Joanne easily finds opportunities to extend herself to the community. She is a past board member of Adult Education and Literacy Programs and has been involved with mentoring single mothers in life skills. For the past 6 years Joanne and her 2 children have hosted a young girl, Nadia, from Belarus as respite from radiation caused by the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Joanne’s enthusiasm and experience will be a definite asset to dream. She joins as a mentor for the class of 2009.

Christine Boyko-Head is a graduate of DSS whose favourite teacher was
Mr. Cherns. She received a combined honours degree from Brock University in English and Dramatic Literature and a Masters and PHD in English Literature from McMaster University. Christine has taught at Niagara College, Guelph University and Brock University and has experience in Television, Theatre and publishing. Currently, Christine is employed as an adjunct professor for Lesley University in the Creative Arts in Learning Program where she teaches arts integration at the graduate level. She also is a playwright, poet and literary reviewer. Christine has offered her expertise as dreams Mentor Education Advisor and continues to provide workshops and educational support to the mentors.

Sue Aldis moved to Dunnville two years ago from Caledonia where she owned and operated a busy public riding stable. Presently, Sue practices nursing at Grandview Lodge and in the Hamilton Health System. Sue has two teenage sons and enjoys competing with her horses in long distance endurance riding, as well as training and showing dogs. Sue’s enthusiasm and gift for asking good questions make her an ideal mentor for the class of 2010.

Geoff Johnston studied modern history at the University of Toronto, followed by a Diploma in Theology, a Masters in Theology from Knox College, and a doctorate in Church History from the University of Toronto. His positions have included the Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ile Perrot outside of Montreal, the parish Minister in Flemmington Park, Toronto and the Director of Pastoral Studies at the Presbyterian College. Geoff’s travels have taken him to Nigeria where he taught at a high school and to Jamaica where he taught at the United Theological College of the West Indies. As well, Geoff has published a number of articles on church history and two books. Geoff has been married almost 50 years, has five children and three grand children. He also makes his own wine and dabbles in carpentry. Joining as a mentor of dream 2010 class, Geoff’s experience will be a definite asset to the mentorship program.

Debbie Van Grieken is the mother of 5 children, all boys, and is the first person in her family to graduate from university.  She moved to Dunnville 12 years ago where she worked as a substitute elementary school teacher/teacher’s assistant  and held a position on the Haldimand Norfolk Literacy Council. In 2005, she left the Literacy Council to pursue a job as a librarian at the Dunnville Public Library. She remains an active member of the Board of Directors with the Literacy Council and volunteers with the Rockabye and Read Program which provides all new babies and their parents with a new board book and support materials to encourage families to read together. Debbie’s commitment to creating equal opportunity for all students makes her a perfect fit for the dream program.

David Cole was born and raised in Dunnville. He graduated from Dunnville Secondary School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Science in Exercise Science from Miami University, and a Bachelor of Education from Brock University. Currently, David is teaching grade eight at Dunnville Central Public School, where his ability to connect to his students is obvious to all. David has played and coached several sports and has a busy family life with his wife, Sherry, and their four children. We feel very honoured that David is taking on a DREAM mentorship position. His experience in working with young people will be a great asset to the program.

Judy O’neill was born and raised in Dunnville, attended Dunnville Secondary School and went on to study at Niagara College. She has worked in the Nursing and Activation Department at Grandview Lodge for 23 years. Judy is an active participant in the community. She volunteers at her church and is a keen athlete on local volleyball and softball teams. With her husband, Sean, Judy co- owns a family Welding and Machine business and manages a busy household. Sean and Judy have 2 boys, Shamus and Riley, three cats and a dog. They enjoy camping, traveling and playing sports. In her spare time, Judy takes part-time courses at Brock University and volunteers with Activity Professionals of Ontario, as the Convention Coordinator for its 400 members. Judy became familiar with the dream program and its objectives in 2006 and is very excited to be part of the mentorship team. Her experience, enthusiasm and approachable personality are sure to be of benefit to the dream students.

Lynn Jackson was born and raised in Liverpool England, and came to Canada just in time for Grade 8. She completed a Bachelor of Physical Education at McMaster, and a Bachelor of Education at Brock University. Presently, Lynn teaches Grade 8 and Special Education at Grandview School, Dunnville. Lynn is a firm believer in post secondary education as she appreciates that high school is not enough anymore to provide many opportunities in life and careers. Lynn states “I would like all my students to have goals, dreams and a positive work ethic. These are similiar goals for the Dream program. I hope I can offer something positive to the program.”
In keeping with these ideals, Lynn encouraged her daughter to go on to post secondary education and she has now graduated from Brock with a Bachelor of Kinesiology.
Not surprisingly, Lynn’s enthusiasm does not stop at the classroom. She continues to be an active athlete, cycling, playing volleyball and coaching school teams. For years Lynn has shown horses and she states that gardening is her one addiction. We feel very privileged to have Lynn joining us this year. Her teaching experience, resourcefulness and ability to connect with youth will be of benefit to us all.

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