Everest Academy

Faculty – Everest Academy Thornhill

Everest Academy students actively pursue excellence in their chosen endeavours  They combine a willingness to explore with a willingness to dedicate significant time and effort to fulfilling their full potential. Everest students become independent, confident, and engaged learners. If you have or want to develop these attributes, Everest Academy is where you should be.


Everest exists to provide students with a unique and innovative platform that allows the simultaneous pursuit of excellence in four key pillars of development – Skill, Education, Leadership, and Fitness.

“Excellence Happens Every Day”, is a promise to parents and students that we make each day count toward achieving student goals. Balance and efficiency anchors the S.E.L.F. platform, and ensures students are given well-rounded opportunities to strive for excellence in every endeavour.


Everest envisions a future in which students do not have to choose between passions. The Everest Academy team of academic, technical, and administrative experts have worked to develop the Everest S.E.L.F. platform as an answer to the challenges that high achieving students pursuing excellence in other extra-curricular activities face in the current educational system.

Everest combines the best of conventional classroom instruction with the latest innovations in e-learning to provide students with the necessary time, flexibility, and training expertise to achieve success in a Skill while ensuring that elite post-secondary opportunities remain open. Everest believes that excellence in academics and an endeavour in athletics can and should go hand-in-hand

Specialized leadership and citizenship programs form an integral part of the Everest experience. We guide students through a creative exploration of the various cultural and moral currents that form the basis of our experiences. We believe that treating questions of ethics, values and personal choice as foundational aspects of the educated life provides students with a profound sense of purpose in both their personal lives and in their lives as members of a greater global community.

Meet Our Team

*Everest Academy teachers are certified, accredited and are members of the Ontario College of Teachers.


CEO – Mr. Stephen Pollack

Stephen has almost 30 years experience working with successful and fast growing businesses. His most recent company, PlateSpin Ltd, was the 2nd fastest growing technology company in Canada from 2003-2008. Stephen was also a finalist in 2008 for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award. He has extensive background in a variety of industries and fields and brings to Everest the business leadership and direction that will allow the Everest platform to flourish.


Principal – Mr. A.T. Sim

Tim has been an outstanding teacher, curriculum leader, system leader and administrator with the Toronto District School Board for the past thirty three years. Over the past eighteen years of his career, he has effectively managed all major principal portfolio responsibilities involved in the leadership of a school including; visioning, strategic planning, innovation, change management, vision into action and accountability.

Malone C.

Vice Principal and Guidance – Mr. Chad Malone

Chad is a dedicated educator with over 11 years of experience in public and private education in the United States and Canada. As a teacher, counselor, and administrator, Chad’s focus is on providing students the personal skills and strategies that enable them to lead more focused, successful, and balanced lives. At Everest, he works closely with the student-athletes and their families towards the development of strategic academic plans that prepare them for academic and athletic opportunities in the NCAA and CIS. Additionally, he coordinates the SAT and ACT exam preparation programs and the development of the Advanced Placement (AP) program and the Springboard Pre-AP program.

Chad graduated with honors from Middlebury College and served as captain of his NCAA basketball team. He completed his master’s degree in education at Clark University.


Athletic Director/Assistant General Manager – Mr. John Winstanley

Mr. Winstanley brings over 10 years of experience in private school education. During his tenure as Athletic Director, Mr. Winstanley has built and managed a student scheduling system that allows students to participate in multiple sport activities while still allowing them to focus on academics.

Mr. Winstanley also holds the position of Assistant General Manager with Everest Academy. Working with different teams across the organization, Mr. Winstanley prides himself on the many relationships he’s established and enjoys meeting new staff and students as the school continues to grow.

Married and father of two beautiful children, Mr. Winstanley is a family man with a passion for education and an upbeat sense of humour.


Admissions – Mr. Sean Kelly

Sean brings an athletic and administrative background to the Admissions role. Having competed at a high level in a variety of athletic endeavours he can relate well to the goals and aspirations of our prospective student-athletes.


Marketing and Food Services Manager – Ms. Stephanie Hyde

Stephanie Hyde graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Minor in Nutrition while playing for the Waterloo Warriors Varsity field hockey team for four years. Following that she obtained a Graduate Certificate for Sport Business Management from Durham College. Stephanie has worked with the Ontario Hockey Federation helping organize events including the OHF Championships, OHL Gold Cup and OHF/OHL U15 Program of Excellence camps. She has volunteered and worked at events such as the Pan Am games, World Junior Championships and the World Cup of Hockey. She has a passion for sports and continues to play and coach ice hockey and field hockey.


Elementary – Ms. Ashley Rutz

Ashley has a passion for teaching which is inspired by her belief that each and every child has the ability to bring something irreplaceable to the world.  Ashley believes in creating a learning community in which students feel safe, comfortable and can be themselves. She is a strong believer that children learn through many different learning styles therefore she teachers using many different methods to reach ALL children. Her classroom is primarily a student-centered environment driven by student’s natural curiosity and interests.  Ashley strives to develop young students both academically and socially, as capable individuals who can think independently. Ashley has been a competitive lacrosse player competing at all levels, provincial, national, NCAA and OUA.

In addition to teaching, Ashley continues to lead the Everest Girls Lacrosse Program where she is a highly respected coach that prides herself in strong athletic development.

Elementary – Ms. Celia Conte

Celia has a passion for teaching inspired by her love of learning and seeing each student reach their potential. Celia graduated from Brock University with a B.A. in Italian and French, and from Medaille College with a Master’s of Science in Elementary Education. She believes in a student-centered atmosphere in the classroom, allowing students to take risks and encouraging individual inquiry. Celia knows that students thrive in a learning environment where they feel safe, welcome and encouraged. Her philosophy is that all students can achieve their highest goals when given the tools and encouragement they need!

Elementary (Curriculum Leader)- Ms. Lara Snucins

Lara graduated from Queen’s University with an Honours B.Sc. in Life Science and Mathematics, and from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Education. Her teaching is based around the belief that students learn best in an inclusive classroom environment that encourages individual inquiry and risk taking. She has been teaching at Everest for several years now and looks forward to helping the elementary students achieve their goals inside and outside of the classroom. Lara came to Everest with a background in figure skating, where she competed at the national and OUA level. She is currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.


High School – Mr. Chris Begg

Chris joined the Everest team after a career as a professional baseball player. He believes that every student can find success when they have direction and purpose. Through a leadership and mentoring role, Chris helps students develop the same goals and passion that have helped him thrive. Chris believes that students should be accountable for their own education and encourages them to be inquisitive in class during discussions. While he was a baseball player, Chris represented Canada at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics, and the 2005 and 2009 World Cup. He played in the San Francisco Giants organization from 2003-2008 and has served as the pitching coach for the Canadian junior national team. Chris is an accredited member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

High School – Mr. Trevor Small

Trevor Small graduated from Lakehead University with a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education. He comes to Everest with three years of teaching experience in the private sector as well as experience in both Europe and Central America. Trevor currently teaches mathematics at Everest Academy. He believes in providing a comfortable and enjoyable learning environment that encourages risk taking while maintaining a high academic standard. Trevor is currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

High School – Ms. Rebecca Feilders

As an English teacher, Becky hopes to create an accepting and supportive learning environment. She uses creative classroom activities to teach to a variety of learners and promote independent and critical thinking. Becky is passionate about literature, and hopes to engender the same love of the written word in her students. She encourages her students to communicate effectively and to think outside the box. Her hope is that students will develop confidence in their abilities, and continue to excel outside the classroom. Becky has a strong background in both ESL and academic English. She enjoys long distance running, writing, and travelling and is a a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.


ESL, Science, Dance and Literacy – Ms. Kelly Migchels

Kelly is an inspiring OCT-accredited language teacher working daily with our International students to master the basics of English. She is passionate to support their desire to be successful and is very much a backbone of our International program overall. Kelly believes that an engaging classroom is the key to student success.  Kelly incorporates various activities and educational strategies to make her student’s feel comfortable in their learning environment. In doing so, Kelly helps explore her student’s creativity and passion. Kelly also works through the special education needs of the secondary students. Kelly brings to Everest her extensive dance background that has permitted her to travel throughout North America for over 20 years.


Middle School and High School – Ms. Amanda Russell

Amanda graduated from Nipissing University in 2008 with a B.A. (Honours) in English and Sociology and again in 2009 with her B.Ed. Since then, Amanda has been committed to developing, improving, and nurturing her teaching skills to provide the best classroom experience for her students.  Amanda’s skills as a teacher have flourished over the years and she is exceptionally excited to bring her creativity, enthusiasm, and leadership to Everest. Growing up in Northern Ontario and opting to attend university in the north, she has deep roots in recreational hockey as a player and fan, as well as in community theatre programs, and hopes to share those passions with her new Everest family.


Teacher – Ms. Taylor Milburn

Being a part of the concurrent education program at the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology, Taylor graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education. Taylor has competed at a high level in a variety of sports and is currently still involved in competitive lacrosse in the summers. Growing up as a student-athlete herself, Taylor acknowledges that the students will face challenges balancing school work with athletics and therefore works to support the development of good time management skills. As an educator, Taylor’s goal is to create an inclusive classroom environment that encourages students to take ownership of their learning. Taylor is currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.


Teacher – Mr. Luke Sim

Luke has recently joined the Everest team from a successful professional volleyball career. After completing his Honors Specialization in Kinesiology and Bachelor of Education from Western University Canada, Luke pursued his volleyball career in Stockholm, Sweden where he would go on to play two seasons with Södertelge VBK in the Swedish Elitserien. Luke also joins our team from an extensive teaching background. During his two years overseas, he taught full-time at an international English private school. Fully understanding what it takes to succeed as a professional athlete, Luke offers a great deal of expertise in strength and conditioning for our athletes here at Everest Academy.


Elementary and High School – Ms. Meagan Blackett

Meagan received her undergraduate degree in History and Geography from the University of Guelph in 2009 and completed her Bachelor of Education in Intermediate/Senior from the University of Ottawa in 2010. Meagan has since completed her Primary and Junior qualifications to teach from K-12. Meagan teaches within the Secondary Social Science, Canadian and World Studies and Elementary departments at Everest Academy. She has specialized in working within special education and has enhanced her professional practice through the completion of a number of professional development opportunities. Meagan’s professional practice is rooted within the tenets of differentiated instruction, which is displayed through the authentic and real life learning opportunities that she creates for her students. Meagan is committed to creating a safe, comfortable and caring learning community for all of her students. Lastly, Meagan has over ten years of coaching experience in Alpine Ski Racing at the Toronto Ski Club and Osler Bluff Ski Club with elite athletes.


Elementary and High School – Ms. Kelly McDonald

Kelly graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Secondary Education.  She is a former student-athlete who played NCAA Division I hockey for the Maine Black Bears and played professionally in the National Women’s Hockey League for the Buffalo Beauts. Kelly’s educational pedagogy is founded on the use of various instructional strategies and diverse means of assessment in order to provide optimal learning opportunities for her students. Not only does she emphasize the value of education, but she also creates an environment that fosters character development. She is excited to have the opportunity to work with both elementary and secondary students to help them achieve their goals. Kelly is a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

High School – Ms. Thea Rotteau

Thea encourages students to both critically analyze the ideas of experts and to develop their own ideas.  By teaching students to be critical thinkers, Thea believes they will question the world around them, become lifelong learners, and make educated decisions throughout life.  Thea has an Honours B. Kin. and an MSC in Kinesiology.  She currently teaches French and Science at the high school level.  Thea is also a member of the Guidance Department, where she works with students and their families to ensure the students are meeting all of their academic goals.  She is a currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

High School – Physical Education – Clem D’Orazio (Lacrosse Director)

Clem is the Department Head of Physical Education at Everest Academy. His teaching philosophy is based around character programming that will give the student-athlete the best opportunity to learn the necessary skills to succeed in post-secondary schooling. Clem is also a highly respected lacrosse coach with the Brampton Excelsiors Major Lacrosse Club and Team Ontario Lacrosse program. Clem graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor in Physical Education and a Master of Science in Education from Medaille College. Clem is an accredited OCT teacher and a successful coaching winning national and international titles throughout his playing and coaching career.


High School – Mr. Nate Reid (also Lacrosse Assistant Coach)

Nate teaches Science and Physical Education at Everest and is also an assistant coach with the Men’s Prep Lacrosse team.  He is a Brock University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Science and Education.  From 2013 to 2014 Nate was overseas teaching ESL in South Korea.  As a Science teacher, Nate brings enthusiasm and energy to the classroom, providing his student’s with engaging lessons and hands-on scientific activities.  As a member of the Physical Education department, Nate brings a wealth of athletic experience having played and coached lacrosse for almost 20 years.  Nate has both played and coached with Everest colleagues Clem D’Orazio and Michael Bentivegna.  As an accredited OCT teacher, Nate looks forward to helping students be successful within the strong cultured setting of Everest Academy.


Intermediate – Clark Robinson

Clark has come to Everest Academy after starting his teaching career internationally. Before living and teaching in both Sweden and Thailand, Clark received his undergraduate degree from Brock University and was certified to teach in Ontario after graduating from Trent University. Clark strives to create a classroom environment where students are encouraged take risks and  ask questions. He is passionate about teaching and helping all students achieve their goals and make new ones. Away from the classroom, Clark enjoys the outdoors through various recreational sports and always enjoys the challenge of learning something new. Clark also has an extensive lacrosse career, highlighted by winning two National Championships with the Six Nations Rebels and one more with Brock University.



Elementary – Samantha Green

Samantha graduated from the concurrent education program at Brock University, receiving an Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Education. Samantha has spent her last year overseas in Hong Kong teaching Mathematics and Physical Education at the secondary level and is thrilled to bring back what she’s learned to the students at Everest Academy. She has committed time to furthering her studies within the Special Education sector and believes this development in alternate education helps her adhere to individual needs within the classroom in a holistic and integrated manner. Samantha is a passionate educator committed to student achievement and well-being. Through the implementation of different teaching strategies and her use of differentiated assessment and evaluations, Samantha creates a comfortable learning environment that fosters growth and success for her students. Samantha is excited to start her career at Everest Academy teaching Mathematics, Science and Physical Education at the intermediate level. Samantha is currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.



High School – Farhez Lakhani

Farhez comes to the Everest team with a background in math and science.  Upon completion of his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from McMaster University he worked as a chemical analyst in the oil industry as well as conducted a project in cancer research at Sunnybrook hospital. He left this behind for what he describes as a much more rewarding career in education following the completion of a Bachelor of Education from Queens’ University.  Farhez has taught for many years at the high school and college level and is a certified Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate teacher.  Committed to life long learning, he is currently pursuing his Masters of Science on a part time basis.  His favourite saying is “don’t be an electron, always stay positive” resonates his belief that a healthy and positive approach to life will carry you forward in any journey endeavoured.  Farhez is very excited to be at Everest and embraces the S.E.L.F model as a means to shape our youth towards building a positive world community.  He looks forward to working with students to share his enthusiasm and passion for math and science.  He is registered with the Ontario College of Teachers.


Hockey Ambassador – Mr. Jim Thomson

Jim Thomson has over fifteen years of playing experience in the OHL, AHL, IHL and NHL. This experience has allowed him to become a mentor to many elite hockey players and to help them attain the mental and physical edge required to get to the next level. He is a hands-on coach and mentor whose passion is to help young athletes achieve their goals. His NHL style/approach allows the athletes to understand the commitment involved in reaching the highest levels, and he demonstrates to them the tools he has learned over his professional career.  Acting as our founding Hockey Director, Mr. Thomson is now a life long Ambassador for Everest committing to help with the long term success of our student-athletes.

Hockey Coach – Mr. Dave D’Ammizio

Dave joins Everest with over 14 years in coaching experience which included a two year stint in the Provincial “Jr. A” loop. He is currently coaching in the GTHL at the AAA Minor Midget level and has recently been named Skills coach for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario hockey League. Dave has worked with many high level athletes over the years which have included Matt Duchene, Corey Trevino and Tyler Seguin.  He prides himself on being a hands-on instructor with a big personality, he gets the most out of this students every time they are on the ice.


Goaltending Coach – Mr. Dave Dolecki

Dave brings over 17 years experience as a goaltending instructor. He is the owner of The Crease Goaltending Academy, an elite goalie school located in Ice Sports Etobicoke. Dave has a great reputation for getting goalies to the next level. He played CIAU hockey with Ryerson University, OJPHL with the Milton Merchants, and was drafted to the OHL London Knights. Dave has been a goalie coach for the OJPHL Georgetown Raiders, St. Mikes, Milton Merchants, Ryerson University. Dave has taught 100’s of goalies from all levels; NHL, OHL, NCAA, ECHL, GTHL and House league.


Goaltending Coach – Mr. Bujar Amidovski

Bujar brings over 11 years experience as a goaltending instructor. He played 7 years pro NHL, AHL, ECHL,OHL and signed 2 NHL contracts with the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes. Bujar has been the goalie coach for the OJPHL Streetsville Derby and Vaughn Vipers. He was the 1997/1998 OHL goalie of the year with the St. Michael Majors.


Strength and Conditioning Specialist – Mr. Andrew Martin

Marty is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Functional Movement Certified and Precision Nutrition Level 1. Marty has over 12 years experience mentoring/coaching/training athletes of all ages and levels including the professional level. He grew up in Brampton playing his minor hockey in Brampton/GTHL and played Junior hockey for the Bramalea Blues. Marty earned a scholarship to play for the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he was a 3 year captain. After school Marty played 5 years of professional hockey including 1 year in Belfast, Ireland where he attended the University of Ulster earning an MBA.

Golf Director – Mr. Henry Brunton

Henry Brunton Golf has an unparalleled record in Canadian golf for developing junior golfers who graduate to NCAA and CIS university golf teams. Beginning in September, student-athletes at the Everest Academy will have the opportunity to participate in the Golfer Development Program-a specialized golf coaching and training program designed to serve athletes who have interest in making golf their secondary sport of choice. This program will enable athletes to develop golf skill competency and confidence. As well, many of the skills taught and reinforced will have a positive transfer to their primary sport.

Everest Academy is Canada’s leading K to 12 S.E.L.F.™ private school; dedicated to the holistic development of high-achieving students.
Everest Academy is one of Canada’s fastest growing K-12 private schools dedicated to the development of high achieving students. Whether it’s excellence in sports, music, arts or academics, Everest Academy students ‘do what they love, love what they do.’ Built around our unique S.E.L.F.(TM) program model, Everest Academy students experience a fully integrated Skill, Education, Leadership and Fitness platform which is second to none. Combined with an innovative on-line learning platform, Everest Academy students can advance their skill development anywhere, anytime allowing them to “live their dreams”.