Faculty and Staff

Sonia Belli

Daycare Supervisor

Sonia joined the Hawthorn team in October 2018. She is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and has been working in the field for over 20 years. She is a mother of 3, and understands the importance of wanting a quality care environment for the children. She is dedicated to providing a nurturing environment and stimulating program to help each individual child meet their fullest potential.

Carrie Cameron

Lower School Teacher, Grade 2

Carrie Cameron holds a Bachelor’s degree in History (Honours), a Master’s degree in History, and a Bachelor of Education. She has been teaching for the past 14 years in both the public and private systems, and her experience includes teaching in Canada, Belgium, and Japan. As a mother of three, Ms. Cameron genuinely loves being around children and is passionate about education.

Marianne Cayetano

Lower & Upper School Teacher, French, Geography, Civics, and Careers

Marianne earned a Spec. Hons, B.A. in French Studies at York University and a Hons. B.Ed.,in Junior/ Intermediate, French at the University of Western Ontario. She has been a memberof The Ontario College of Teachers and The Ontario Modern Language Teachers’Association since 2008. Marianne began teaching at Hawthorn School in January 2009. Sheenjoys coaching our U13/ 14 Volleyball teams, and planning winter adventures to Quebec.These trips are opportunities for our students to experience French-Canadian language andculture outside the classroom.

Teresa Consuegra

Lower and Upper School Teacher, Physical Education

Teresa Consuegra was born and raised in Montreal, Québec. Upon completing her secondary studies, she completed two CÉGEP diplomas, one in Health Sciences and one in Music, while also playing varsity soccer and basketball.She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science (Honours) and has recently completed her Master’s degree in Kinesiology.

Balita Diaz Puig

Upper School Teacher, History, Technology, and Moral Theology

Balita received a MASc in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University, Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering from Univeristy of Malaga (Spain), a B. Ed. from Ottawa University. She joined the Hawthorn faculty in 2011. Balita enjoys having discussions with her students in her moral Theology class and teaching coding in her technology classes.

Joanne Douros

Lower School Teacher, Religion

Joanne has been a Religion Teacher and a Mentor at Hawthorn for more than 18 yrs. Prior to this she worked as a Registered Nurse and Prenatal Instructor. With a love for the great outdoors, she was a Co Director of a Girls’ Camp for more than 17 yrs. In recent years, Joanne has been active as a Youth Group team member and a Married Couples’ group leader. However, her favorite activity is to be at Hawthorn and teach the students!

Silvana Febbraro

Lower School Teacher, Grade 1

Silvana Febbraro first joined Hawthorn’s staff in 1999 with Bachelors degrees in Science and Education from the University of Toronto. Although she also possesses additional qualifications in Special Education, ESL, and Dramatic Arts, her focus has remained on teaching core subjects in the primary/junior division. At Hawthorn, Miss Febbraro has taught various subjects ranging from JK to Grade 3. She enjoys and appreciates the school’s pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness in delivering curriculum in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Irian Flores-Penalva

Lower School Director of Academics & Grade 7 Homeroom Teacher

Irian Flores comes to us from the AsociacionEducacion y Familia (AEF) where she has spent the last 8 years as the Director of Education Quality. She holds a Certificate in Pedagogical Foundation and Practicum from the Pan-American University of Mexico and a Bachelor in Communication and Advertising from the Central American Technological University of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She also studied in the International School System.

Anne Francis

Upper School Teacher, Ethics and Philosophy

Anne Francis joined Hawthorn in 2014, specializing in teaching Philosophy, Ethics, Politics and Economics. She has a Master’s degree in Economics, post-secondary studies in Philosophy and Theology, and twenty years of experience working in Canada’s federal government. In her spare time Anne loves to run, paint, and garden.

Maggie Gomez

Lower School Teacher, Grade 3 & 4

Maggie Gomez started teaching at Hawthorn in 2014. She holds an HBSc in psychology and a BEd in primary/junior education. She truly enjoys teaching at Hawthorn School and appreciates all of the rewarding experiences that come from using a Classical Liberal Arts curriculum. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, and spending time with her daughter, Faustina.

Regina Gutierrez-Cortina

Head of School

Dr. Regina Gutierrez-Cortina holds a Masters and PhD in Pedagogy from the University of Navarre. As School Head for Hawthorn School since 2014, she brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience that aligns exceptionally well with Hawthorn’s foundational values. She has worked as a teacher, director and education consultant in several educational institutions in Mexico City, Rome, Italy, Ottawa and Toronto.

Maggie Hamza

Lower School Teacher, Music & After School Programming

Mrs. Hamza joined Hawthorn School in 2005. Her music studies started from grade one in Hungary where she was accepted to a music elementary school. She also studied several instruments and finished the Liszt Ferenc Academy with a music teacher and conductor diploma. After moving to Canada she graduated from Seneca College as an Early Childhood Educator with High Honours. Mrs. Hamza’s favourite quote about music is from a Hungarian poet: Mihaly Babits: “In every person’s soul there is a song. In every song you hear you soul. If the song in your soul is beautiful you hear everybody’s song beautiful.”

Catherine Ionno-Dias

Upper School Teacher, Visual Art & Drama

Jeng Jurado

Administration Manager

Jeng joined Hawthorn in June 2018. She holds a B.S. in Computer Studies and a M.S. in Information Technology from De La Salle University. Prior to joining Hawthorn she was an Assistant Professor in the College of Computer Studies at De La Salle University, Manila and worked in the industry in Toronto in the field of Software Quality Assurance. Jeng is the mother of Viktoria in the Lower School.

Theresa Kim

Lower School Teacher, Grade 6 & 7

Theresa joined the Lower School of the Hawthorn family in 2003. She is grateful for and committed to the pillars of Hawthorn, notably: pursuit of academic excellence, through its classical, liberal arts education and focus on cultural literacy, as well as personal mentorship, through its character education and Catholic education. In addition to obtaining Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degrees at York University, Theresa holds an Associate Diploma (ARCT) in Piano Pedagogy from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Within and outside of Hawthorn, she is guided and inspired by the three transcendentals of truth, goodness, and beauty. This includes when she serves as church organist of sacred music.

Deedi McKernan

Upper School Teacher, Religion

Graduated in 1975 with a degree in Social Work.
As being one of the founding parents of Hawthorn I have participated in various aspects of the school throughout the years, teaching, mentoring and past Director of Character Education. I love coming to the school interacting with all the wonderful students, parents, teachers, and administrative professionals “Living the Truth in Charity”.

Alice Mienkowski

Lower School Teacher, Religion

Alice earned her education and B.A. Degree in English Literature from the University of San Diego with coursework at Richmond College, London: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; and University of California at Santa Barbara. She has furthered her education at the University of Toronto, and holds an M.Ed. Degree in Curriculum and professional designation in the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). A longtime advocate of education, Alice has served on the Board of a North York independent boys’ school and has been a member of the National Catholic Education Association and California Reading Association promoting literacy. Currently a parent educator, mentor/education consultant, and teacher at Hawthorn School, Alice and her husband, Richard, are the parents of six children, including Anne, Hawthorn Class of 2013.

Rosario Murillo

Junior School Teacher

Mrs. Murillo came to Hawthorn as a Junior School teacher 16 years ago and has devoted herself to our youngest students, teaching in the Preschool, Junior and Senior Kindergarten programs. She completed a B.A. in Architectural Design and a postgraduate course in multiple intelligences at CE-ART College and PONTIFICIA JAVERIANA University in Bogota Colombia. Mrs. Murillo enjoys teaching math, art and printing and she delights her young students by playing many musical melodies on the guitar.

Fr. Eric Nicolai

Chaplain

Fr. Eric Nicolai received a B.A. in art history from the McGill University (1987), and an M.A. in art history from Laval University (1990). In 1994 he was ordained to the priesthood for the Prelature of Opus Dei in Rome, where he obtained a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (1995). He is currently a chaplain at Hawthorn School and  Ernescliff College.

Kathryn Nijssen

Communications Manager, Lower & Upper School Teacher, Math and History

Kathryn Nijssen brings a diverse skill set to Hawthorn stemming from her educational background in Chemistry (Dalhousie University), Education (University of Calgary) and Business (Thompson Rivers University). She has spent the past 6 years working in the non-profit sector and is excited to be back in the classroom. Kathryn comes to Toronto from Calgary via Ottawa where she has spent the last 6 years.

Norina Petre

Lower School Teacher, French & Art

Mrs. Petre joined Hawthorn during the 2003-2004 school year. After studying Fine Arts and Architecture at the University of Bucharest, Romania, she did a Post Graduate program in France at the University of Rouen and in Great Britain at the University of Dundee.
She has a broad knowledge of curriculum with particular emphasis on Arts and French. She provides a stimulating, loving, fun-filled learning environment, has a lively, animated teaching style, uses humor, music and multi-sensory instruction that capture students’ attention and facilitate learning.Mrs. Petre has two sons. Her hobbies – visual arts, music, literature and traveling- help her gain experience and improve skills.She believes that Hawthorn is an amazing place to start school and a great one to stay in order to acquire and develop virtues, good character, pursue academic excellence and feel valued. She is happy to have had the opportunity to work with a team that strives to teach with passion and intensity.

Sandra Pietrobon-Lettieri

Upper School Teacher, English as a Second Language

Sandra Lettieri Pietrobon graduated from York University in 1985 in French and Italian. A few years ago she went back to York University to studied English as a Second Language and after 2 years received my TESOL Certification which allows her to teach English as a Second Language anywhere in the world. She interned for one year at Hawthorn after finishing her certification and is now teaching EAP (English for Academic Purpose) on a part time basis to 5 grade 10 students.

I am happy at Hawthorn because I am very familiar with the mission of the school which is aligned with my character and philosophy of life.

Roxanna Rodriguez

Caretaker

Zohreh Shafaghi

Daycare Teacher

Registered Early Childhood Educator

Andrianna Shchuka

Junior School Teacher

Mrs. Shchuka joined the Junior School as a kindergarten teacher at Hawthorn in 2010, after working as a kindergarten teacher in several Catholic schools in the Toronto area. She completed her education at the University of Toronto with a B.A. in literature and B.Ed. in the primary-junior field and has worked with young children in both scouting and education for most of her life. Her love of language and literature has been the cornerstone of her work in expanding and developing the Kindergarten Program at Hawthorn.

Elena Terekidi

Upper School Teacher, Math & Physics

Elena holds a degree in engineering and B.A. of Education. Elena has more than 25 years of experience teacher in college and high school in Russia and Canada. Elena Terekidi began teaching at Hawthorn in 2003. When asked what she particularly likes about teaching at Hawthorn, Elena responded, “I especially love students. Their joy, their humor, and motivation make me enjoy every day I spent with them.”

Sonya Thadikaran

Lower and Upper School Teacher, Math & Sciences

Sonya has a Masters in Chemistry, Bachelor of education, IB certification for middle years program and is certified in the junior, intermediate and senior levels for Science by the OCT.
She has been teaching at Hawthorn for the past 3 years. Her favourite part about teaching is watching students explore and experiment with the world of Math and Science and finding their own ” aha” moment!

Margaret Thibideau

Strings Director

Margaret Thibideau brings her more than 35 years of teaching experience to Hawthorn’s String program. She holds a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from The University of Western Ontario, and a DipFA from The University of Calgary, specializing in Kodaly pedagogy, and has studied with some of the world’s great musicians. She is a well-known conductor, singer, teacher, and writer, and has performed internationally.

Angelica Trevino

Upper School Director of Academics & Math Teacher

Angelica Trevino holds a Teacher Certification and a Master’s degree in Education from University of Toronto. Mrs. Trevino taught at a university level in Mexico, at the ITESM. She joined Hawthorn School for Girls in 1999 as a teacher first, as a vice principal of the upper school later, and as a mother of three girls who graduated from our school. She has experience in owning and managing several businesses and more recently has been introduced to the financial services industry.

Marina Urrutia

Director of Finance

Net holds a bachelor degree in Accounting with over 25 years of corporate banking experience, mostly in the field of credit. She joined Hawthorn School in 2015 as the Finance Director. What she loves most about her job is the interaction with the kids.

Rhonda Wood

Director of Admissions

Rhonda Wood graduated from the Humber College Psychiatric Nursing program in 1977. She presently sits as the President on the Board of Directors for Promotion of Education & Values (PEV) Society, a registered charitable organization. She has been associated with Hawthorn School for Girls since 1991 as both an alumnae parent, and a member of staff. She presently holds the position of Admissions Director and Parent Relations.

Valentina Weuston

Accountant

Valentina attended the Panamerican University (Mexico) where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with Honors. She began her career at Ingredion Incorporated as Payroll Tax Analyst and held subsequent positions as Financial Statements Consolidation Supervisor (International Accounting) and Plant Controller. She has taught Accounting at Palmares High School (Mexico). She has worked and Weston Foods Canada Inc. as AP/AR Analyst. Valentina joined Hawthorn in May 2017 as Accountant and is the mother of two Hawthorn students.

Luisa Zeni

Upper School Teacher, English and Writers Craft

Luisa has a BA in English and History, a BEd, a M.A (T) in English Literature, and an MA in the Philosophy of Education, all from the University of Toronto. She has 15 years of experience teaching grades 9-12 English, the final 5 of which she served also as Head of the English Department at a high school in Newmarket, Ontario. She has much passion for literature and for teaching and is delighted to be at Hawthorn School.

Tiffany Zupan

Lower School Teacher, Grade 5

Born and raised in Toronto, Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours Degree in Political Science and Communication Studies from York University, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. With a diverse portfolio including work in Canada and Europe, she also has experience in broadcasting and the performing arts. Tiffany has a passion for teaching/tutoring, singing, and guiding others on their spiritual journey. In her spare time, she volunteers for her community and is pursuing a graduate degree in Theology. She is elated to be a member of the Hawthorn family fostering a love of truth, goodness, and beauty in order to enrich her students’ academic success and character growth.