Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Administration

Nasrin Matini

Nasrin
B.Sc. (Mathematics), COE
Nasrin Matini began her career at Linden in 1999 and currently serves as Interim Principal. With over 40 years of teaching and leadership experience, Nasrin brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Linden. Her feminist vision, innovative pedagogical practice, and ability to lead at the intersection of academic excellence, student well-being, teacher/curriculum development, and school operations earned her a key leadership role at Linden as Principal Designate, which she assumed 17 years ago, stepping in whenever needed, or when the principal is absent. As our former senior mathematics specialist, Nasrin has been highly regarded for integrating real-world problem-solving in her classes, and is known for inspiring her students to develop confidence in their math and critical-thinking skills, which serve as strong predictors of their future academic success. She has rich experience and expertise in guidance, admissions, and human resources, and she manages Linden’s complex schedule as well as high school course offerings. Read more about Nasrin here.
Nasrin can be reached at [email protected].

Beth Alexander

Beth
Hons. B.A. (McGill University), M.A. (University of Toronto), B.Ed. (OISE/UT)
Beth serves as Associate Principal. She loves to build things, whether it be a circuit, a robot, a play, a lamp, a computer program, or a computer studies program. Beth has brought her creative energy to a number of roles at Linden in the past 20 years, and runs our new CERES Lab to teach advanced coding, engineering, robotics, electronics, and science to Grades JK-11. Beth is a frequent speaker at conferences across Canada and the United States, giving workshops on topics related to girl-centered, social justice pedagogy, and is one of the founders of the Teaching for Justice conference in Toronto. She has published articles in Rethinking Schools, Elements and Crucible Magazines, and teachers' guides for Penguin Books and the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Education. In 2017, Beth received a Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence from Justin Trudeau. In 2019, she was awarded a Fellowship at the Lowell Milken Center in Fort Scott, Kansas.
Beth can be reached at [email protected] and @bethkalexander.

Jean Geary

Jean Geary
B.A. Glendon College, York University
Jean has served as Director of Admissions since 2016, and subsequently embraced the community engagement portfolio. Her career has spanned admissions, communications, community engagement and philanthropy in the health, education and not-for-profit sectors. She is especially proud of leading a groundbreaking awareness campaign to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness for CAMH, and campaigning for improved maternal and infant health globally by critiquing corporate marketing practices and monitoring compliance with WHO directives for an international NGO. Jean brings a personal commitment to her role at Linden: her daughter Monica is a proud alumna. When she is not introducing new families to Linden, Jean enjoys film, food and dance and can sometimes be found birdwatching at Toronto’s waterfront parks.
Jean can be reached at [email protected].

Laura Bellissimo-Greco

Laura Bellissimo-Greco

B.A (University of Toronto),1996, Masters of Science in Education M.Ed and B.Ed, Niagara University New York, USA.
With a passion for learning and advisement she is committed to student success at all levels. Laura Bellissimo-Greco brings over 17 years of teaching and five years of administration experience to her new role as a Guidance Counsellor at Linden. Previously, Laura worked as an educational advisor and Professor of English at Seneca College, where she guided students in achieving their lifelong dreams and goals. She also held the title of vice principal and guidance counsellor at Upper Madison College in Toronto. Throughout her career, Laura’s dedication to education and her holistic approach to student well-being have been evident. Laura believes in  providing a supportive and inclusive environment for her students, tailoring individualized education plans to accommodate their diverse learning needs. Her goal is to create an atmosphere where students can thrive academically and personally. She is particularly passionate about empowering young women and helping them realize their full potential. As a learning strategist and counsellor, Laura has developed numerous workshops on learning strategies, motivation and management and study skills for students. In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, and spending time with her family.
Laura can be reached at [email protected].

English and Social Studies

Deanna Harris

Deanna
Hons. B.A. (Humanities), Hons. B.Sc. (Biology), M.Sc. (Biology), MT (OISE/UT), OCT
This is Deanna's sixth year at Linden. This year, Deanna will be teaching Grade 11 and 12 Biology, Grade 8 Science, Grade 10 Civics and Careers, and Grade 12 Data Management. She comes to Linden with a strong background in statistics and the biological sciences, as well as an appreciation for those interactions that occur at the interface of biology and society. As she is also a trained senior history teacher, her science teaching tends to take an interdisciplinary approach, with a considerable emphasis on Science-Technology-Society-Environment (STSE) curriculum connections. Principles of equity and inclusion are also foundational to Deanna’s teaching, as she seeks to shed light on issues of power and privilege that influence what scientific questions are asked; what sorts of research gets done and by whom; as well as how scientific endeavours may benefit some and exploit others. Through her teaching, she hopes to encourage her students to develop their social consciousness and become meaningful contributors to the society in which they live.
Deanna can be reached at [email protected].

Elizabeth (Eliza) Ward McCarthy

Elizabeth Ward McCarthy
B.A. (English and History), B.Ed., Diploma in Arts & Theatre, OCT 
Eliza is qualified at the intermediate and senior levels in English and History, and in teaching intermediate Drama. She has taught writing and learning skills at almost every level, including University Prep and Creative Writing, and is very passionate about literacy as a tool for inclusivity. This year she is teaching middle school English and Drama and high school English; and co-coaching cross country running and the newly founded tennis club! Linden's values and Eliza's are very much aligned, and she enjoys helping our students develop learning and communications skills to support their educational and life goals, as well as cultivating their creativity and sustainable citizenry.
Eliza can be reached at [email protected].

Computer Studies, Mathematics, Science & Technology

Beth Alexander

Beth
Hons. B.A. (McGill University), M.A. (University of Toronto), B.Ed. (OISE/UT)
Teacher/Curriculum Leader
Beth serves as Associate Principal. She loves to build things, whether it be a circuit, a robot, a play, a lamp, a computer program, or a computer studies program. Beth has brought her creative energy to a number of roles at Linden in the past 20 years, and runs our new CERES Lab to teach advanced coding, engineering, robotics, electronics, and science to Grades JK-11. Beth is a frequent speaker at conferences across Canada and the United States, giving workshops on topics related to girl-centered, social justice pedagogy, and is one of the founders of the Teaching for Justice conference in Toronto. She has published articles in Rethinking Schools, Elements and Crucible Magazines, and teachers' guides for Penguin Books and the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Education. In 2017, Beth received a Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence from Justin Trudeau. In 2019, she was awarded a Fellowship at the Lowell Milken Center in Fort Scott, Kansas.
Beth can be reached at [email protected] and @bethkalexander.

Biljana Cavic

Biljana
Ph. D. (Chemical Engineering), Certificate in Environmental Analytical Chemistry.
Biljana has been teaching intermediate science and senior chemistry and physics at Linden since 2005. She previously spent ten years at the University of Toronto, where she lectured and participated in fundamental and industry-related research projects in the area of biosensors and biomaterials.
Biljana can be reached at [email protected].

Deanna Harris

Deanna
Hons. B.A. (Humanities), Hons. B.Sc. (Biology), M.Sc. (Biology), MT (OISE/UT), OCT
Deanna has been a member of the Linden family since 2017. She has a strong background in the biological sciences and statistics, as well as an appreciation for those interactions that occur at the interface of biology and society. As she is also a trained senior history teacher, her science teaching tends to take an interdisciplinary approach, with a considerable emphasis on Science-Technology-Society-Environment (STSE) curriculum connections. Principles of equity and inclusion are also foundational to Deanna’s teaching, as she seeks to shed light on issues of power and privilege that influence what scientific questions are asked; what sorts of research gets done and by whom; as well as how scientific endeavours may benefit some while exploiting others. Through her teaching, she hopes to encourage her students to develop their social consciousness and become meaningful contributors to the society in which they live. 
Deanna can be reached at deanna@lindenschool.ca.

Kelley Ruys de Perez

Kelley Ruys de Perez
B.A.(Business, Economics and Women's Studies), B.Ed.
Kelley will be teaching Grade 7 English, Math and Science, and Grade 8 Math this year. Kelley has been teaching for over 20 years in both public and independent schools, including the Bishop Strachan School (her alma mater). She joined the Linden faculty in 2019. Kelley has additional qualifications in Guidance, Mathematics (Specialist), Reading (Specialist), Health & Physical Education (Intermediate), ESL and Integration of Information & Technology in Instruction. Kelley recognizes the need for creating a compassionate and safe community with inclusive and differentiated instruction and assessment practices relating learning to real-life and global issues. Kelley can be reached at [email protected].

Sang Lee

Sang
Hons, B.Sc (Mathematics, Biology, Physics UT), MT(OISE/UT)
Sang teaches intermediate and senior math and science classes at Linden. Sang has a love of learning and continues to learn while teaching at Linden by taking courses at the University of Toronto SCS, Harvard Summer School, and the University of Helsinki. With his further studies at these institutions, he hopes to instill a love of learning and bring world-class education to his students at Linden. Read more about Sang.
Sang can be reached at [email protected].

Languages

Erika Sakaguchi

Erika Sakaguchi  

Hons. B.A. (Classics and Classical Civilizations),  M.A. (Classics), University of Toronto, 2023. 
Erika completed a master’s degree in classics from the University of Toronto in 2023, where she focused on animal studies and Greek epic. This is Erika’s first year at Linden during which she will be teaching first and second year Latin. Erika has over five years of experience instructing high school and university students in classics, English and humanities, and is passionate about making learning accessible to everyone. She enjoys creating her own classroom materials and is always seeking new ways to approach teaching the humanities. Linden’s commitment to inclusivity, innovation, and intersectional feminism suit Erika’s pedagogical philosophies. When she has free time, Erika enjoys walks in the forest, board game nights, and watching old movies.
Erika can be reached at [email protected].

Céleste Hamilton

Céleste
Hons. B.A. (English, French, Visual Arts), MT (OISE/UT), OCT
Céleste graduated from OISE’s Master of Teaching program with a teachable in French as a second language (Junior-Intermediate), and she has Additional Qualifications in Intermediate English and Senior French. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto in French Literature, English Literature, and Visual Arts. Céleste joined Linden in 2022, and is looking forward to teaching Kindergarten-Grade 8 French. She has over five years of educator, experience working with youth and children in a bilingual role at the Toronto Zoo, the Rouge National Urban Park, and the Toronto French School. She also lived in Trois-Rivières, Québec for a year as part of Odyssey, where she taught English in a French-language high school. Céleste is passionate about making language learning fun and relevant for her students. She was drawn to Linden’s student-centered vision and its welcoming atmosphere. In her spare time, Céleste loves to paint and go for long bike rides and hikes.
Céleste can be reached at [email protected].

Martin Ramirez

B.A. (Linguistics & Translation)
Martin has been at Linden since 2005 and teaches middle and senior school Spanish and English as a Second Language. He is passionate about not only teaching the language but also enabling his student to better understand the rich culture of Spanish-speaking people through exposure to Spanish and Latin American literature and history.
Martin can be reached at [email protected].

Wendy Marie Jeanne

Wendy
B.Ed.
Wendy has 15 years of experience teaching French to elementary and secondary students, including International Baccalaureate teaching experience in Canada. She speaks English, French, and Creole. She earned a Bachelor of Education at the Open University of Mauritius, and a "Maîtrise en Français Langue Seconde" from the University of Sorbonne, Paris. Wendy has participated in ongoing professional development including the ZEP (Zone d'education prioritaire) which emphasized adopting the right pedagogy to help students with learning difficulties and disorders. Her passion for life-long learning and appreciation for world culture fuelled her desire to be an educator. Wendy encourages all her students to learn multiple languages and experience the diverse cultures of the world through language and travel. Empowering students with critical thinking skills and helping them through meaningful and assertive conversations to create their own truth is one of her life’s main goals. She strives to help students develop their unique voice and feel a true sense of belonging through engagement with language, words, and art.
Wendy can be reached at [email protected].

Physical and Health Education

Natalie Stephenson

Natalie
BCI (Drama) QUT Brisbane, Grad Dip (Secondary) Griffith Uni, ATCL (Performers) Trinity College London
Natalie is delighted to be joining the Linden community as Athletics Director. She was drawn to Linden because of its unique mission statement which supports the development of the female voice. After graduating, she taught for two years in Australia’s rural Northern Territory supporting seniors students to complete their studies and be accepted into exclusive drama schools in Australia. She spent two years in London, where she taught in both elementary and secondary schools across multiple teaching areas. Natalie then returned to Australia for several years teaching a wide range of subjects in secondary schools. Since arriving in Canada, Natalie has been working at Rosedale Day School. In 2018 Natalie was a part of a team who developed a Talented Athletes program for secondary school students in Beenleigh, Queensland. Her program, Excellence in Netball, allowed students to train and compete weekly (as a selected subject) as well as learn specific nutrition for training and muscle development. Her Phys Ed classes will focus on ownership over your body, strength and confidence, potential and spiritual growth. Outside of the classroom Natalie enjoys spending time at the theatre, hiking in new locations and salsa dancing.
Natalie can be reached at [email protected].

Sarah Barbour

Sarah
Hons. B.A, (Social Sciences), BScPT (Physical Therapy)
Sarah is excited to join Linden to teach elementary Phys Ed. In addition to being an educator, she has enjoyed a career as a Physical Therapist, and brings a wealth of knowledge in exercise prescription, disease prevention and health promotion. As an educator with The Scientists in the School organization, Sarah has presented workshops focusing on science and STEM enrichment to kindergarten students across Canada. Sarah’s goal for the elementary Phys Ed program is to create a fun, inclusive community of kindness within the classroom. She strives to earn the respect of her students while helping them to develop confidence through sport. Her goal is to create a space in which students feel safe, their ideas are heard, their concerns addressed, and their mistakes viewed as crucial to learning. She looks forward to fostering an environment in which students will embrace athletics, push themselves to achieve their best, and ultimately become citizens who are active for life. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cycling, skiing, baking and spending time with her husband and children. Sarah can be reached at [email protected].

Primary and Junior School

Rachel Atkins

Rachel Atkins

Hons. B.A. (Psychology and Sociology); B.Ed. (Primary-Junior); M.Ed. (Developmental Psychology and Education); M.A. Candidate (Counselling Psychology)
Rachel is very excited to be joining Linden to teach Grade 4 and 5. Rachel’s undergraduate academic background, combined with her concurrent Bachelor of Education with a focus on teaching exceptional learners and master’s degree in Developmental Psychology and Education, allows her to bring a multi-faceted perspective to teaching. Rachel strongly believes that a great teacher is one who is patient, kind, passionate, and dedicated – one who teaches students how to think, not what to think. When she is in a classroom, she makes a concerted effort to teach her students to have a growth mindset; she has found that her students who have a growth mindset take on challenges and see them as opportunities to learn and grow. Rachel aims to be flexible enough to meet the unique needs of her students, while simultaneously creating an equitable, inclusive, and inspiring school environment. She strives to implement creative and innovative instructional strategies to engage all students. When she is not teaching, Rachel enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, trying new recipes, attending concerts, and exploring the culturally rich city of Toronto.
Rachel can be reached at [email protected].

Meaghan Bedal Grunberg

Sarah
B.A. (Film & Media Studies), B. Ed.
Meaghan is joining The Linden School to teach Grade 6. She holds a Bachelor of Education with a concentration on Social Justice in the Classroom, as well as a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Film and Media Studies, both from Queen’s University. She has previous experience working in elementary and middle school classrooms of all grades, as well as in support roles for students with special needs. Most recently, she taught Grade 4/5 Homeroom, French and Theatre at Voice Integrative School in Toronto. She is passionate about bringing the arts into her classroom and uses a project-based approach to teaching and learning. Meaghan is excited to work with a group of educators who also prioritize addressing equity and social justice issues in the classroom. When she’s not teaching, Meaghan enjoys frequenting live music and theatre, reading, and exploring new coffee shops around the city.
Meaghan can be reached at [email protected].

Sanchia Amor

Sanchia
Hons. B.A. (Anthropology, University of Toronto), M.A. (Child Study and Education, OISE/UT), RECE, OCT
Sanchia teaches Grades 1-2. Before coming to Linden, Sanchia worked at international schools in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. She is glad to be back in Canada and to have found a school that aligns with her pedagogy. Sanchia has experience working with a variety of curriculum, including the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. She is passionate about empowering girls by fostering a classroom culture where students see themselves, their ideas, and their thoughts reflected in the curriculum. Through play- and inquiry-based learning, Sanchia aims to cultivate a positive learning environment whereby content is delivered through a student-centered lens. When she’s not at Linden, Sanchia spends her time with family, exploring nature, and reading about recent research in child development and educational practice.
Sanchia can be reached at [email protected].

Jenny Davis

Sanchia

Jenny Davis, who joined Linden this September, is a passionate outdoor educator with over a decade of experience connecting adults and children with nature, themselves and community through thoughtful and inclusive program design. Jenny is co-founder of Turtle Protectors, an Indigenous-led stewardship program that advocates, supports, and protects turtles living in High Park, Etienne Brule, King's Mill, and Rennie Park. Currently, Jenny is looking for turtles and their hatchlings and is the 2023 Toronto Public Library Environmentalist in Residence.

In her role at High Park Nature Centre, Jenny developed unique community programs like Branching Out, a mentorship program for people interested in creating a meaningful nature experience for their community in the language linked to their culture.

She has selected, cleaned, and saved thousands of seeds and grown thousands of seedlings with students and adults; skills she learned while working for Urban Harvest organic seed company in Toronto.
Jenny has spent over 365 days in remote wilderness, traveling by sail, ski, snowshoe, kayak, canoe, foot, and horse. She dries all of her own food as part of her trip preparation. Her approach is to ask questions to help students uncover how much they already know about plants, animals, and basic ecology while cultivating joy and a shared wonder of the natural world.

Photo: James Beaton

Visual and Performance Art

Joanna Marshall

Joanna
Hons. B.A. (Visual Art/New Media, English), BEd. (Visual Art, English, ESL—Intermediate Senior), MA (Applied Linguistics), OCELT (TESL Ontario)
This is Joanna's second year at Linden. Joanna will be teaching Kindergarten- Grade 12 Visual Art and Grade 11 Media Arts. She completed post-secondary studies in Visual Arts and New Media Arts at OCAD University and has many years of experience teaching Art, as well as English and ESL. She is eager to inspire children and youth on their own creative journeys, using traditional and non-traditional media. She encourages curiosity and challenges students to find multiple routes to self-expression and to explore multiple perspectives on artists, artefacts and histories.
Joanna can be reached at [email protected].

Molly Tucci

Molly
BMus (Hons – Violin Performance)
Molly has been teaching music since 2015. She studied classical violin with Dr. Jeremy Bell at Wilfrid Laurier University and Baroque violin with Jeanne Lamon in Toronto. Molly was a core member of the Cor Unum Ensemble from 2016-2019, and has enjoyed teaching with the non-profit after-school program Sistema Toronto. She is actively working to break down the Eurocentric and exclusionary nature of classical music education in her classroom. Molly holds a strong belief in music’s ability to heal and build connection, and works to keep her classes collaborative and fun!
Molly can be reached at [email protected].