President – Carolyn Lewis – Halton District School Board
Carolyn Lewis has been an elementary music teacher and administrator with the Halton District School Board. She has had the privilege of learning and leading with educators in regions across the province in her work as a curriculum writer and workshop presenter. Carolyn was the lead writer for the “Think Literacy” document and a writer for The Ontario Ministry of Education’s Music Curriculum. She has served on the OMEA Board for 11 years as Administrative Advisory Council Director and Vice President. Carolyn recently retired and is currently an occasional Principal with the Halton DSB.
Vice President – Josh Geddis – Huron Perth Catholic District School Board
Josh Geddis is the music teacher and band director at St. Anne’s Catholic Secondary School in Clinton, Ontario. Along with his teaching credentials, Josh also holds a Certificate in Piano Technology from the University of Western Ontario, and is an independent recording artist. He has released two studio records and has shared the stage with the likes of Joel Plaskett, Serena Ryder, Elliott Brood and more. Josh also sits on the Vera-Causa Opera Board of Directors as vice-president. Josh lives in Bayfield Ontario with his wife Jessica and their three children: Nolan (7), Kyle (5), and Jordyn (3).
Past President & Policies and Procedures - Isaac Moore – Avon Maitland District School Board
Isaac is a high school music teacher based at Stratford District Secondary School in the Avon Maitland District School Board. Isaac completed his studies as a percussionist at the University of Western Ontario, including a Masters of Music focused in music education. He is also an Apple Distinguished Educator — a select group of educators recognized by Apple who use technology in the classroom in innovative ways. Isaac lives in a 125 year old home with his wife and two sons. In his spare time, Isaac loves to watch baseball (Go Tigers!).
Secretary – Helen Coker – Thames Valley District School Board
Helen is a long time board member who has held various portfolios over the years including President from 2010-2012 and is currently the Past-President of the CMEA. Helen teaches music at Woodstock Collegiate Institute in the Thames Valley DSB. She lives in a 170 year old house in Woodstock with her husband and teenage son. In her spare time, Helen scrapbooks, dreams of Disney and loves to travel.
Laura Lee Matthie
Treasurer – Laura Lee Matthie – Simcoe County District School Board
Laura Lee has been teaching instrumental, guitar and now vocal music in Simcoe County since 1995. In the last 5 years she has experienced a school closing, school amalgamation and the opening of a new school. She is Arts Chair at Orillia Secondary School, and was named “Musicounts Teacher of the Year” and received a Juno award for it in 2018. Laura Lee is currently treasurer for the board and was President from 2008-2010.
Administrative Advisory Council – Kevin Merkley – York Region District School Board
Kevin has served on the Board of Directors OMEA as President, Regional Workshops, and Membership Director. Kevin now serves the OMEA board as Secretary, is Past President of the Arts Education Consultants of Ontario (ARTSECO) and is a former Chair of the ETFO Arts Committee. He is currently the proud Principal of Stonebridge PS in York region.
Advocacy – Jim Palmer – Upper Canada District School Board
Jim is a long-time member of the OMEA board where he has been part of our Advocacy team since he left the role of president. He has frequently met with members of the Ministry of Education, federations and other stakeholders to press the cause of music education and the importance of the OMEA. Jim is retired from daily teaching, though still working as an occasional teacher in Upper Canada.
Advocacy - Dr. Katie Tremblay - Durham District School Board
Dr. Tremblay has been an elementary music teacher with the Durham District School Board for 10 years. She currently teaches in the School of Education for Trent University in the BEd and Indigenous BEd programs. Katie completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her research areas include curriculum and pedagogy in middle school instrumental music and Indigenous music education.
Awards, Scholarships & Merchandise – Dr. Tony Leong – Toronto District School Board
Dr. Tony Leong is a former president of the OMEA and currently manages the Awards, Scholarships & Merchandise portfolio. He is a secondary music teacher in the Toronto District School Board. Tony is a violist and teaches every summer at National Music Camp.
Mark Della Torre
CMIEC – Mark Della Torre
Mark is the Education Manager for the Ontario region for Long and McQuade and serves as the Canadian Music Industry Education Association president and representative on the OMEA board. He is also the CMEA Treasurer and is the OMEA/CMIEC treasurer. Mark is a father of two daughters involved in skating so his weekends are very full with competitions and meetings.
Communications – Carolyn Otto – Rainbow District School Board (retired)
Carolyn has served on the OMEA board of directors in a variety of roles since 1999. She retired in 2016 following a 31-year career teaching secondary school instrumental, vocal music and guitar. She is a saxophonist and drummer who regularly performs in the Sudbury area. Depending on the season, Carolyn is often outdoors, enjoying some travel, hiking, camping, paddling or shooting photos.
Membership Services - Lesley Pontarini – Peel District School Board
Lesley is a music specialist and teaches K-8 music in the Peel District School Board. She also has a private music studio where she teaches RCM piano and theory. Lesley maintains the OMEA Pinterest account and enjoys presenting workshops for Peel and the OMEA. She is an avid cook, enjoys reading and recently entered the wonderful world of motherhood.
Membership Development – Lynn Gracey - Thames Valley District School Board
Lynn Gracey is an elementary music teacher with the Thames Valley District School Board. After graduating from The University of Western Ontario, Mrs. Gracey spent five years teaching music in secondary schools in Huron County and for the last 18 years has taught instrumental, vocal, and recorder music to grades 4-8 students in TVDSB schools. She is currently co-conductor of the TVDSB Junior Honour Band for students in grades 7-9. When there is a pause in her busy life, Lynn loves to garden and travel.
Recorder – Dr. Jane Saunders – Lakehead Public School Board
Dr. Jane Saunders is retired from teaching in the Lakehead Public Schools of Thunder Bay. She enjoyed a (nearly) 30-year career of teaching band and strings, as well as jazz, vocal, guitar and everything else that goes with “being the music teacher”. She completed her music education studies at The University of Western Ontario (H.B. Mus.Ed.1988), The University of Windsor (B.Ed.1989), The University of Minnesota (M.A.1994) and Lakehead University (Ph.D. 2004). Jane is a sessional instructor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, where she works with future teachers (music and otherwise) and is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association. Away from the world of music teaching, Jane plays outside with her rescue dog and watches hockey on t.v.
Resources & Workshops P/J – Jane Wamsley – Halton District School Board
Jane Wamsley teaches in the pre-service teacher education program at Brock University after retiring from a long music teaching careeer that included positions as Music Consultant and Arts Coordinator with the Halton District School Board. She continues to be a clinician for music and arts workshop series around the province, and was the music writer for the Junior and Primary Arts resources for ETFO. Jane is an adjudicator, writer and editor of curriculum resources and teacher guides. She was the lead writer for the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Music Curriculum. Jane’s role on the Board of OMEA is Membership Development and Promotion.
Resources & Workshops I/S – Marla Sunstrum - Near North District School Board
Marla Sunstrum is the secondary music teacher at Chippewa Intermediate Secondary School in North Bay, Ontario. She is passionate about advocating for music programs in Northern Ontario and sharing music resources and best practices with music educators.