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100-321 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3A 0A1| Phone: (204) 589-9854| Fax: (204) 944-0213
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Exchange Met School
Apr 21, 2024
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Staff Directory

​​​​​​2023/24 Faculty Directory


Name​
Biography
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Aira Villanueva
​Hello! My name is Aira Villanueva (she/her). I am a proud Ilokano teacher from Pangasinan, Philippines. I was raised by the division, having attended Edmund Partridge and Garden City Collegiate (also a former Wayfinders student). I hold a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education from the University of Winnipeg. My interest lies in STEM education, especially the study of flora, fauna, and fungi. In my spare time, I love to go foraging for edible plants and mushrooms of Manitoba, and creating floral arrangements. I am the founder of E-Waste Manitoba, Winnipeg Mushroom Hunters, and the outgoing Site Coordinator for Let's Talk Science. Through LTS,  I make science accessible, interesting and relevant to young people, traveling across Manitoba and Northern Canada for classroom visits. 


Last May, I was teaching in Rankin Inlet at Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik and this August I will be going to Iqaluit to collaborate with Pinnguaq summer camp. I am both honoured and excited to be starting my teaching career at Met Centre for Arts and Technology as a Grade 9 advisor. My goal is to bring STEM to life in meaningful ways that build diversity and inclusion, and awareness of future opportunities. I hope to empower students to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and active citizens who are well-prepared for success in the 21st century.

Salamat po.


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Jon McPhail

Hello to the Exchange Met community! I am Jon McPhail - and I am beyond thrilled to be joining this amazing group of advisors, admin staff, and students.  I love to make things happen. Before entering education, I spent a decade running a successful small business in the food industry.  Prior to that, I had a career in the Winnipeg film industry while working in independent theatre and music.  My interests are quite varied, but one of my favourite things to do is making a meal out of whatever random ingredients are in my kitchen while listening to CBC or a non fiction podcast that challenges my assumptions or explains something I find confounding.


While my formal education is focused on the arts and psychology, I find great joy in exploring science, politics, astronomy, history, climate and social justice.  I also love finding “a way into” challenging content for students.  In this regard, mathematics education has been a focus for me.  I believe that how we teach math is a social justice issue that connects directly to education's role in Reconciliation.  


Having spent my practicum year at MCAT, I look forward to continuing to build on my relationships with current staff and students, while forging new ones within my grade 9 advisory.  My family and I are excited to join this vibrant, diverse, eclectic and creative community of learners! 



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Kurt Hangle
​I’m Kurt Hangle and believe strongly in cultivating a healthy community with the people around me, supporting each other in both laughter and personal challenges. I subscribe to many environmentalist ideas, whether it be active transportation, reducing the amount of grass in my yard or cooking more vegetarian meals, there are few activities in a day where I do not consider my environmental impact on this planet. I have traveled with my family to many different countries around the world, enjoy ethnic cooking, backcountry canoeing and cross country skiing.

I have been an industrial arts teacher for eighteen years and believe in practical/project based learning while building a foundation of inquiry and design with my students. Recognizing the importance of reconciliation in education and working in a division with a large indigenous foster population, I worked to build relationships with the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation. This relationship with community elders exposed me to many different cultural and spiritual experiences, enabling me to grow as an individual and share those experiences with my students. For ten years I ran an outdoor ed program, taking students on a four day backcountry canoe trip in Northern Ontario, something I am hoping to bring to Seven Oaks.

I am looking forward to meeting my advisory as we both share and learn from each other through our time together. I grew up in Winnipeg and graduated from a joint program with the University of Winnipeg, and Red River College completing my Industrial Arts/Technology BED degree.​


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Tom Obendoerfer

My name is Thomas Obendoerfer. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba. Prior to coming to the Met Center for Arts and Technology, I worked as a teacher at West Kildonan Collegiate, where I taught general science, mathematics, and physics. My recent experiences as a volunteer include coaching a variety of hockey programs, helping out as a bike mechanic for various Seven Oaks School Division bike programs, and as a member of the Manitoba Middle Years Association.

 I am passionate about experiential learning, and have made the “hands-on” approach central to my teaching philosophy. I believe that applying a concept is critical to developing a deep understanding of it. As a Met advisor I look forward to helping create rich experiences for students that promote curiosity, depth of understanding, and lifelong learning skills.



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​Niall McFadyen


I am a former graduate of the Seven Oaks School Division myself, having graduated from the French Immersion program at Collège Garden City Collegiate. I hold a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, and PBDE Diploma from the University of Winnipeg, as well as a Master of Education degree in Educational Technology and Design from the University of Saskatchewan. As a graduate student, my research areas included educational technology, video production in school, media literacy, digital literacies, game-based learning, and project-based learning.

Prior to coming to Exchange Met School, I worked at École Leila North Community School as a homeroom middle years teacher and as a middle years multimedia technology specialist teacher. I have taught subjects that include language arts, basic French, mathematics, multimedia, social studies, health, and more. During this time, I also taught students from other schools such as Elwick, Arthur Wright, O.V. Jewitt, and École Seven Oaks Middle School. I am a strong believer in lifelong learning, having continued to take courses throughout my teaching career in areas such as educational technology, creativity in the classroom, and special education. As a teacher, I have been a volunteer coach, and I have been taken part in programs and initiatives such as the 7Oaks Student Film Festival, Arts In The Park, and Student Vote. My previous work experience includes being a lab instructor at the University of Winnipeg, working as a childcare assistant at a local daycare, and running youth programs at the University of Manitoba and multiple North End community centres.

Technology has always been part of my life whether it was playing video games, creating websites, building computers, recording podcasts, or experimenting with the sound that I could create with my electric guitar amplifier. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active, playing board and video games, watching movies, reading, and taking on projects around my house. I am a major Winnipeg sports fan following every game of the Jets and Bombers. I still live in the Seven Oaks area, so you may also see me around in the community at the hockey rink, the soccer field, in local stores, or at community events.


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Niki Taylor

My name is Niki Taylor and I have always loved learning from new experiences and the people around me. This is one of many reasons that I have been so looking forward to being part of the Exchange Met School. At the University of Winnipeg I studied Theatre and English, and since I have started teaching I have become more passionate about Sciences and Sustainability, Land-based education and Indigenous histories in our province. These are all areas I am continuing to learn about in any way I can.

Taking part in things that connect me to others has always been a big part of my life and who I am. I’ve stayed active and played sports like basketball, handball and running. I spend lots of time outside, camping, hiking, looking after plants, growing food, cooking, and of course eating and enjoying it with others. I love reading and listening to music, as well as playing some guitar myself when I feel like it. I especially value being able to travel close to home and far away to experience all of these from different places and cultures.

As an advisor at MCAT, I am excited to be able to encourage lifelong learning by showing others how to find connections between their many passions and interests. Even our location in the heart of the Exchange provides so many opportunities to get to know our city, ourselves and the best way to love learning.​


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Stephanie Ringer

My name is Steph Ringer. I like being creative in the kitchen and bonding over delicious food. I enjoy being active, and owe a lot of thanks to sport for getting me to where I am today. I love to camp, cycle, run, hike, play hockey, play volleyball, play slo-pitch, volunteer, and coach. I also enjoy cheering on the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team.


I am passionate about teaching and learning. I hold a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education, and PBDE Diploma from the University of Winnipeg. I enjoy reading books related to experiential education, project-based learning, assessment, and transdisciplinary design. Prior to coming to the Met Centre for Arts and Technology, I worked at Collège Garden City Collegiate where I taught a variety of maths and science courses.

As an advisor at the Met Centre for Arts and Technology, I look forward to helping students become lifelong learners. I am excited to see students become active participants in their education and their community, for them to take notice and also to wonder about the world around them, and to make their learning authentic and relevant.


​Mahalia Lepage
​I am honoured to be starting my teaching career at the Exchange Met School. It is such a special school where I get to learn from and with students, see them nurture their unique interests, and help them figure out how they can use their gifts to support their community. Before becoming a teacher, I studied biochemistry / genetics, so my subject background is focused in the sciences and I'm a bit of a nerd about living things and the natural world. I'm also a bit crafty and like making things (I love trying out different art / craft techniques, cooking, and working on little creative projects), spending time outdoors (hiking, camping, gardening, cycling), and sharing these interests with others. I care a lot about social justice, sustainability, and reconciliation, and it is really important to me to regularly reflect on how I can better enact these values. I believe that we all have perspectives and gifts that can help our world, and that important work can also be joyful. The most meaningful part of my work as a teacher is to help students navigate this for themselves (alongside me as I navigate similar questions for myself).​
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​​My name is Tim Catcher and I am excited to be a new member of the Exchange Met School commu nity. I feel incredibly privileged to be stepping into the role of Wellness Advisor and playing a part in helping students navigate this challenging and exciting phase of their lives. This is my second year of teaching in the Seven Oaks School Division, where I spent the first part of the 2023-24 school year as a Middle Years Physical Education and Health teacher at James Nisbet Community School. 

I grew up in a small town on the coast of British Columbia before moving to Vancouver for university. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Bachelor of Education, followed by several years working in the rock climbing and film industries, before moving to Winnipeg and beginning my teaching career.

Being active and spending time outside are very important to me. I am especially passionate about rock climbing, running, and riding my bike for transportation in all seasons. I hope to show students the joy, connection, and personal growth that can come from exploring new physical activities and finding ways to be active in their daily lives in an enjoyable and sustainable way.
​​​Monica Gadsby
Tech Hub Coordinator

My name is Monica Gadsby (she/her) and I have always been driven by a deep love for learning, both from new experiences and the remarkable individuals I've had the privilege to meet along the way. My academic journey began at the University of Winnipeg and Red River College, where I pursued studies in Business Technology Education. My path as an educator has evolved and embraced new passions, particularly in identity, anti-racism and mental health, recently completing a PBDE in school counselling.  I remain committed to nurturing my understanding of these areas through a continuous learning journey and see how to integrate these into our daily practices in the Tech Hub program. 

I bring over 12 years of teaching experience within the division, drawing from a diverse background, including growing up in a family business. My passion for teaching extends into business education, technology and social justice, and I have had the privilege of sharing my knowledge and experiences with students.  Beyond that, I'm an avid enthusiast of technology. I'm constantly tinkering and exploring new technological advancements, particularly with AI in education, always seeking ways to introduce my students to innovative concepts and discoveries.

Outside the classroom, my life has been defined by a love for connecting with others and being curious. Embracing vulnerability and going beyond my comfort zone as a new mom has allowed me to set a better example for my children and students alike. My interests include a passion for dance, music, cooking, writing, debate and travelling. 

Moreover, I am deeply excited to introduce students to the incredible world of technology and its potential to enrich our lives while fostering a healthy relationship between technology and mental health. My commitment to teaching extends beyond the classroom, and I look forward to nurturing  STEAM education with the next generation of thinkers, innovators, and lifelong learners at Exchange Met School.



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