MIKE GUZZI - CEO/DIGITAL ARTS
Driven by the strong belief in arts in education Michael was a force in development of Studio9 School of the Arts, and since then has championed learning through the arts and project based education. Teaching digital and media arts for 20 years has been exciting following careers in radio, television, entertainment management, non profits and even a brief stint with Crimestoppers. Michael loves video, (especially under water), photography and the outdoors. He considers himself an environmentalist and is currently learning about indigenous use of resources, spirituality and reconciliation.
CADENCE TRITES - PRINCIPAL
Cadence started painting, sculpting, drawing, and crafting at a very young age. She won the only visual arts bursary at OKM upon graduation and went on to study drawing and art history in university. Cadence graduated from UBC with a BA in Psychology and from UVic with a BEd Distinction prior to teaching visual arts courses to students from three to eighteen years old. Cadence previously held the positions of Art Adventures and Preschool Arts Coordinator/Teacher at the Kelowna Art Gallery from 2001-2006 and Head of the Visual Art Department at the Glenfir School from 2001-2003 prior to joining the Vedanta Academy/Studio 9 team in 2004. She continues to do acrylic painting, sketching, and crafts in her leisure time.
JESSICA IVANY- KINDERGARTEN / GRADE 1 (CURRENTLY ON MATERNITY LEAVE)
Full of enthusiasm and fresh ideas for the K – 1 classrooms, Jessica is famous for costumes and coloured hair for every possible occasion of the year from the usual like St Patrick’s Day to the Cat in the Hat’s birthday. Active, creative artsy learning is her trademark. She studied and graduated at UBCO with a bachelors degree in education prerequisites in science. Hobbies and interest include Horseback riding, cooking and nature (anything outdoors).
BEN MOODY- GRADE KINDERGARTEN / GRADE 1
Ben has called the Okanagan his home since he was a kid. He is passionate about research-based arts and academic education and brings his love of crafting and music into the classroom. He plays guitar and tries to incorporate this throughout the school day. Ben sings in a choir and joined Studio9 students in 2018 performing with The Tenors at Prospera Place.
MARSHA IVANY- GRADE 2 / 3
Marsha is a veteran teacher with experience in grades K-7 as well as teaching for 5 years in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She has a Bachelor of Education (UBC), a Diploma in Special Education and a Masters Degree in Education (SFU) specializing in Children’s Literature. Marsha loves the career that chose her and looks forward to each day with passion and excitement. She believes children need to be acknowledged for whom they are. For them to grow academically and socially, they should be recognized for their positive efforts. Her classroom focus is on making Global connections through technology, building a successful collaborative environment and using authentic learning activities that will help children reach their ultimate potential.
ROXANN BOCKING - GRADE 4
Ms. B grew up in Kelowna and graduated from KSS. As a child, she loved to be the “teacher” when playing. Ms B has a Bachelor of Education (Simon Fraser University) with minors in Learning Disabilities, Psychology, History, and Environmental Education. Ms. B is a certified Orton Gillingham tutor. Ms. B recently completed a Certificate in Inclusive Education at UBCO. She loves learning about learning and likes to keep up with current research to have the most positive educational impact possible on her students. Ms. B is always looking for ways to make projects/activities/learning more enjoyable for each unique student, with the hope that they will become life long learners. Her class has fun raising kokanee and making a classroom quilt each year. In her spare time, she enjoys her Book Club, walking, bike riding, skiing, bridge, and time spent with family.
JENNY YU– GRADE 6-7, AND CULINARY ARTS
Jenny moved from the heart of downtown Toronto to Kelowna. In the beautiful Okanagan, she has learned to love hiking and the great outdoors — something she did not expect. She graduated from the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University specializing in Junior/Intermediate ages. Jenny believes in lifelong learning and is always up for new adventures and trying new things. She has enthusiasm to spare and believes this makes her ideal for the Middle School age group."
LAURA DUNWOODY – SECONDARY SCHOOL MATH, SCIENCE & FRENCH
Laura has been working at Studio9 since 2008 in the math and science department. She has a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Science in Honours Physics and Math from UBC, graduating near the top of her class in both Physics and Math. During the year Laura enjoys examining rocks on Mt. Boucherie, dissecting flowers and frogs, playing with dry ice, analyzing the motion of go-karts, graphing beautiful drawings with mathematical functions, and dressing like a mad scientist at every opportunity. Laura is renown for her awesome Halloween costume designs, she also enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, playing board games, knitting, and sewing costumes in her spare time.
HEATHER CROWN - MIDDLE / SECONDARY HUMANITIES
Heather has been with Studio9 since 2012. She has settled into the role of middle and high school humanities teacher. Her background includes a Bachelor of Arts in English (with a minor in psychology) and a Bachelor of Education. Her experiences in the arts community make her a perfect fit for Studio9. Heather enjoys the technical side of many things, including theatre. When not working, she enjoys yoga, poetry, and painting.
LUCY HAZELWOOD - DRAMA AND DANCE
Lucy, She obtained numerous scholarships for internationally acclaimed dance institutions including The Laben Centre, Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, as well as Birds College, where she would go on to receive her BA (HONS) Degree in Dance & Performing Arts London, England. Lucy went on to perform on television in the Top of the Pops Christmas Special (2004). She was then successful in her audition for the Jean Ann Ryan Production Company of Florida and while with the company, Lucy performed at the South Florida Carbonell Awards. She started Luki Dance Studios in 2011 with the view to creating a working professional company in the Okanagan. She has taught a variety of youth in many different settings and projects with a special view of meeting the learner needs of each student.
SANDI MOTTLE - BAND/MUSIC - ELEMENTARY DANCE
Sandi is a singer/songwriter/musician, who’s career has spanned the mediums of radio, television, recording studio and stage. She has performed across North America, including a recent one woman Bette Midler tribute show she performed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Sandi has sang in a number of local bands and has had her own vocal coaching business for many years. Her father, John Deschner, owned and operated Paramount Music in Kelowna and was well known for his Big Band. Sandi has a love of vocal groups and harmonies and loves to help children develop an appreciation of music and achieve their goals.
KRISTIN WOOLHEAD - VISUAL ART
Kristin is in her wheelhouse teaching Visual Art to Grades K-12, having both a degree in Visual Art and in Visual Arts Education. She joined the Studio9 team in 2021, and moved to Kelowna only a few years prior before having ever visited the city. Kristin grew up in Saskatchewan, but her favourite place to live was England, where she focused on teaching and travelling. In Kristin’s free-time she enjoys hiking, making art, cuddling her cat, and leading a micro-church alongside her husband.
TEANNA ELLIOT - EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT
Teanna has been working as an Education Assistant for the past 16 years. She graduated from Okanagan College and received her Human Service Worker Diploma. She enjoys musical theatre, singing and performing on stage. In her spare time you will find her being a mom and doing some embroidery.
SHAWNA GREAVETTE - EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT
This is Shawna’s fifth year as a teaching assistant at Studio9. She fell in love with the school during her practicum for the Human Service Work diploma program, which she graduated from in 2017. This year she is working with the K/1 class. She is also taking university classes with the goal of obtaining a Bachelor of Education so she can be a teacher one day (of course at Studio9)! In her free time, she loves playing with her two cats, painting, and writing.
ASHLEIGH KNORR - EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT
Since completing her 2nd-year practicum at Studio 9 and graduating from the Human Service Work diploma program in 2021, Ashleigh fell in love with everything about Studio 9 and has now become a teaching assistant. This year she is working with the grade 8/9 class, as well as the grade 4/5 class. When Ashleigh isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her outgoing, high-energy, four-year-old daughter, as well as cooking, baking, colouring, and aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Ashleigh has called Kelowna home for her whole life and couldn’t imagine raising her daughter anywhere else.
SIMON BUCK - EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT
This year, Simon is with the grade 2/3 and 6/7 classes. He holds a BA in French and Spanish with a minor in philosophy from UBCO and received his Education Assistant Certificate from Okanagan College. He has been teaching English as a second language for several years. Simon first started performing music in middle school playing in a Beatles tribute band. In his free time, he enjoys playing jazz drums and piano, learning new languages, and more recently, acrylic painting.
EVA ALIAGA-ZAPALOWICZ – EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT
TRISH COUSINS - EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT
Trish completed the teaching assistant program in 2000. She has been working on and off in the school district over the last 21 years as she raised her children. In her spare time Trish enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors.
KELCI VANDENBERG- EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT
Kelci moved from a small town to Kelowna just before the start of the 2021 school year. She enjoys spending time outdoors and going home to visit her family. Kelci has always had a love for helping children and she has as an extensive background in behaviour intervention. With 14 years of dance experience, leads in school productions and her love, passion and experience for all the arts she felt that Studio9 would be a perfect fit for her.
PATRICIA ROCKWELL - OFFICE MANAGER
Patricia fell in love with the arts as a very small child. After many years practicing her love of the visual arts, through painting and drawing, she turned her talents to the stage. It was there, she spent countless hours honing her skills in set painting, prop & set building, stage managing & lighting. Patricia also created a successful 25 year business operating a daycare before moving on to teaching visual art to young students during the afternoons and weekends. Having trained at Okanagan College for Web Design, she fell in love with the graphic design elements of the web. In her free time, she enjoys visual art, walking, biking, and baking.
ZACK MADER - ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
This is Zack’s second year with Studio9, coming from an 8-year career with Disney and Club Penguin. When he isn’t working or hanging out with his two cats Alice and Tiny, Zack is usually watching horror movies, playing board/video games with his friends (socially distanced of course!), making electronic music, and writing.
DAMON GUZZI - IT DEPARTMENT
Damon has worked with computers for most of his life so far in both Apple and Windows PC design and support. He has been with Studio9 for 6 years and has installed networks, desktops, laptops, wireless systems and even phone and telecommunication lines throughout the building. He knows every dark corner of the building from the upstairs to the crawl space. Damon’s free time is spent in music, serious video games and flying model helicopters.
Al STEEVES – MAINTENANCE & CUSTODIAL
Al comes from 20 years in area hotel custodial work as well as his own glass cleaning business. In his former life in the Army, he was a Physical Education instructor. He has been a valued member of our team for 4 years and has probably repainted, repaired and of course cleaned every square inch of our facility. Al is also the person who builds the coffin for the Halloween haunted house or the chance wheel for the Grad fundraiser. He spends a lot of his free time in his woodwork shop at home making almost anything. If we need a set piece or a picture frame, we call Al.