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.

High School – Amanda Russell


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.

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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 many years experience in private school education and in hockey and sports development coaching. John has worked with many elite players in all age categories through professional. John has been coaching and running elite skills camps for many years and is very excited to apply his leadership and coaching skills to his role as Athletic Director and his newer role of Vice Principal. Known in hockey circles for his high performance puck handling and offensive skills training, John has successfully coached the AAA Toronto Junior Canadiens to both a Silver Stick and GTHL Championship. Priding himself on his direct approach, his assertiveness and his competitiveness, John is excited to be part of the Everest Academy team and is eager to lend his experiences to our student-athletes.


Sean Kelly, Director Admissions

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.


Elementary – Ms. Ashley Rutz, B.Ed.

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.

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Elementary – Ms. Celia Conte

Celia has a passion for teaching inspired by her love of learning and seeing each student reach their potential. She 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!

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Elementary  – Ms. Daniela Dal Colle

Daniela graduated from Niagara University with a degree in childhood/special education. Like many of our Everest students, she was also a former student athlete who played NCAA hockey for the Niagara Purple Eagles. Daniela enjoys being a mentor for students who wish to pursue an education while playing a high level sport. She believe that every student is a unique individual with different needs. By considering varied learning needs, Daniela enjoys creating personalized instruction so that all students in the classroom can learn effectively. Daniela is currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

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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 is excited about the opportunity to work with both elementary and secondary students, and looks forward to helping them achieve their goals inside and outside of the classroom. Lara is currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

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Middle School – Mr. Dan Le Gresley

Daniel earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Guelph, where he was also a member of the Varsity football team. He received his Masters in Education at Medaille College. His focus on language studies throughout all his schooling has led to his passion and enthusiasm toward teaching French at Everest. Daniel is both a leader and a supporter in the classroom, encouraging each and every student to be truly engaged, while taking pride and enjoyment in their own learning. Daniel brings his love for athletics and the French language to Everest and believes that language studies are an integral part of every student’s life, both in and out of the classroom. Daniel 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, B.A., B.Ed.

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 joins Everest with 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.


Middle School – Michael Bentivegna

Michael Bentivegna graduated from Brock University with a Bachelors of Arts degree majoring in History and a Master of Science in Education from Niagara University. Michael believes that within the correct environment all students can not only learn, but flourish academically. Michael brings energy and a great work ethic into his classroom every day and expects all his students to bring the same qualities. Outside of Everest, Michael coaches Jr. B lacrosse and Midget AAA hockey.


Kelly Migchels – ESL, Science, Dance and Literacy

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.

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Amanda Russell – Gr. 7-12 and ESL

Amanda graduated from Nipissing University in 2008 with her BA (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.


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 several levels and is the lead instructor for the sport and health fitness program where a combined cardiovascular and muscular training program, with a focus on healthy living has been implemented.  Thea is also an accomplished gymnast, is an active competitive judge and works with students interested in pursuing gymnastics at an elite level. She is a currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

High School – Ms. Oksana Mandryk

Oksana Mandryk graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science from University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University.  Oksana comes to Everest with 6 years of Canadian and international teaching experience.  As an educator, her goal is to maximize her students’ individual strengths in an environment that is positive, stimulating, and engaging.  Oksana has a passion for mathematics and science which carries through into her teaching.  Oksana is currently a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers


High School – Physical Education – Clem D’Orazio, MS. ED (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. Richard Russell, B.A., B.Ed. (also Baseball Coach)

Richard comes from an extensive family of teachers, all of whom have helped influence his teaching philosophy. He believes that true learning can only take place in a warm, compassionate and inclusive environment, based on acceptance, respect and the students understanding and knowing that he cares about each and every one of them as a young adult and a learner. He brings enthusiasm to the classroom and that enthusiasm is contagious and needed in order for students to learn how to love the learning process as well as gain the confidence to follow their passion and pursue it to the fullest. Richard was a catcher and co-captain at Marshall University and is currently part of the Team Ontario coaching staff.  Richard is a currently a registered member of 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 Admidovski

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.

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.


Strength and Conditioning Coach – Joe Costa

Joe Costa is one of the founding members of Mind to Muscle Sports Medicine and Conditioning Center. He is a graduate of York University BA Physical Education as well as a graduate of the Sheridan college Sports injury management program and is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA).  Joe has extensive experience in working with hockey, soccer, and numerous athletes from different sports.  He currently works with all pro athletes and Canadian National athletes including the National Snowboard team at Mind to Muscle, as well as being the strength and conditioning coach of the Mississauga St. Michaels OHL hockey Team.

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”.