We are so excited to shine the spotlight on our elementary crew! We are incredibly thankful to have these wonderful teachers join us as we launch our full elementary program, and are delighted to introduce them to you:
Alanna Devereaux, Grade 5
Alanna graduated from Lakehead University, Orillia campus in 2016. She started her career working at Huron Christian School from September 2016-June 2019. She mostly taught grades 1-3. Shortly after, she ventured into supply teaching with Avon Maitland District School Board, working in a variety of classrooms. She received her first Long Term Assignment at Exeter Elementary teaching health and art for children in Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 in the online learning platform.
Alanna also enjoys being active and playing sports. She coached several teams while working as a full-time teacher. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, and reading in her spare time.
Johana Salas, Grade 6
Johana grew up in Paraguay where she obtained her first bachelor’s degree in Marketing and learned about communications, graphic design, and statistical analysis. Having a passion to be at the service of people, she moved to the USA where she earned a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She specialized in research, training and human development and began a career occupying teaching and mentoring roles in academic and non-profit organizations. At Emporia State University, Johana served as a Psychology Instructor for undergraduate students. At Goodwill Industries’ Training and Education Center, she taught and customized curriculum for at-risk youth and low-literacy adults. At Wichita State University, Johana served as the Financial Literacy Coordinator for TRIO Talent Search, where she supported low-income middle and high school students in preparing for college.
After moving to Ontario, she continued supporting others in their personal, academic, and vocational development. At WIL Employment Connections, she developed webinars and training seminars for professional newcomers to Canada. She also led their GED Lab, where she assessed and taught Canadian students with learning challenges the high school equivalency testing curriculum.
When she realized that in all these helping and teaching roles, she could not mention the Gospel to offer meaningful encouragement, she decided to serve and honour our Holy Father as a Christian school teacher. Johana obtained a Bachelors in Education at UWO and completed her practicums at London Christian Elementary School. She has recently joined CVS, looking forward to share God’s love with children. She says: “I strive to instill in my students a growth mindset, creative and critical thinking, a genuine excitement about learning, and most importantly, a deep love for our Father.”
Johana’s husband is also a school teacher and a musician. They have three young boys together. She enjoys dancing in the kitchen, playing the drums with her family band, and painting and decorating her home. She would like to learn more about gardening, carpentry, sewing, and photography.
Matthew Vanderheide, Grade 7
Mr. Vanderheide graduated from the King’s University College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Political Science. A year later in 2009, he graduated from UWO with a masters degree in History, going on to get his bachelor’s degree in Education in 2010.
After graduating, Mr. Vanderheide began teaching in London as a secondary school teacher but eventually landed teaching elementary school where he now teaches grade 6 and 7. Since 2020 Mr. Vanderheide has had much experience teaching elementary students remotely for an entire year, tackling all subjects.
Mr. Vanderheide came to work with Christian Virtual School as a curriculum writer and now also teaches grade 7 and Civics and History at the secondary level.
Aside from teaching, Mr. Vanderheide’s other interests include fitness, woodworking, cycling, playing with his kids, and reading.
Lidia Petrone, Grade 8
Lidia graduated from McMaster University in 1994 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and History. After graduating, Lidia began teaching high school English and ESL at a private school in Mississauga, which catapulted her to teach at other high schools along with a brief tenure teaching English / ESL at Seneca College.
As an educator, Lidia is tempered with compassion, wisdom and social justice. Her goal is to offer her online students the very best education as they are the focus of education. With 25 years of teaching experience, Lidia embeds strong virtues, differentiated instruction, and critical thinking skills for her 21st century global virtual students.
Lidia is very excited to join the extraordinary team of elite teachers at CVS. Her many years of teaching grade 9 is a true asset to the grade 8 students as she can guide them with their current courses while seamlessly preparing them for their transition into grade 9.
Outside of teaching, Lidia really enjoys reading while sipping coffee, and taking long walks with her family while talking about ideas.
Lidia began her teaching career with the pursuit of encouraging each and every one of her students to envision a world where they can create the miraculous. So, let’s begin by beginning as Ray Bradbury so eloquently stated in his brilliant novel, Fahrenheit 451.
Karen Traynor, French
Karen graduated from York University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Business & Society with minors in Geography and Political Science. After graduation, she spent 12 years working for a Multinational Insurance Company in Toronto. In this career, Karen worked in many roles including business production, product development, training, and management. She was also involved in the development of an online platform for insurance programs, which fueled her interest in online learning and teaching. From here, Karen knew she wanted to pursue a career in teaching.
In 2017, Karen graduated from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York with a Masters of Science in Education degree. Shortly after graduation, she began teaching a variety of courses including Business, French, Science, Social Studies and Mathematics.
Aside from teaching, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and their cat. She enjoys playing sports, exploring the outdoors and travelling whenever possible. Karen came to Christian Virtual School with a love of learning and teaching in online environments. She strives to empower her students to use their unique talents to achieve their highest potential.
We are so grateful to have such an exceptional group of teachers guiding our elementary students through their learning journey. Would you like to stay on top of what’s happened, what’s happening, and what’s about to happen? Join our mailing list for our newsletter, Friends of the School.