President – Isaac Moore – Avon Maitland District School Board
Isaac is a high school music teacher based at Stratford Central 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, learn about local history, research old buildings and homes, and travel to Detroit as much as possible.
Vice President – Carolyn Lewis – Halton District School Board
Carolyn Lewis is currently Principal at Hawthorne Village P.S. in the Halton District School Board and had been an elementary school music teacher for 18 years with the Halton DSB. Carolyn has had the privilege of working with educators by giving workshops and presentations at various conferences across the province of Ontario.
Past President & Policies and Procedures – Tony Leong – Toronto District School Board
Dr. Tony Leong is currently the OMEA Past-President and a secondary music teacher in the Toronto District School Board. Tony is a violist and teaches every summer at National Music Camp.
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 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 3 years she has experienced a school closing, school amalgamation and the opening of a new school. She is Arts Chair at Orillia Secondary School. 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 served as our Advocacy director since he left the role of president. He has frequently met with members of the Ministry of Education and the federations to be the voice of music education and the OMEA. Jim is retired from teaching.
Awards, Scholarships & Merchandise – Rachel Read – Havergal College
Rachel Read is a Music Specialist and the Integrated Arts Coordinator at Havergal College. She is passionate about exploring the power of integration and regularly presents her work at conferences. Rachel holds a Bachelors of Music and Education (Concurrent) from Queen’s University and a Master’s of Arts in Music Education from the University of Toronto as well as an A.R.C.T. in Voice Performance. In her role as member for Awards, Scholarships and Merchandise Rachel looks forward to the opportunity to support and collaborate broadly with educators across the province.
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.
Corporate Membership – 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.
E-Notes – Julie Worrall – Thames Valley District School Board
Julie is a K-8 music teacher in the Thames Valley District School Board and a native Haligonian. She graduated from Acadia University and moved to Ontario to attend the Faculty of Education at Western. Julie is a practicing musician, singing alto in Chor Amica.
Library Subscriptions – Patrick Schmidt – Western University
Patrick Schmidt is chair of music education at Western University. Schmidt’s innovative work in critical pedagogy and policy is recognized internationally. Recent publications can be found in the International Journal of Music Education, Theory into Practice, Arts Education Policy Review, and Research in Music Education. Schmidt has led several consulting and evaluative projects including for the National YoungArts Foundation and the New World Symphony, US and the Ministry of Culture and Education, Chile. Schmidt co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Music Education and Social Justice released in 2015. His Policy and the Political Life of Music Education was released by Oxford University Press in 2017.
Media Relations / Social Media – Carolyn Otto – Rainbow District School Board (retired)
Carolyn has served on the OMEA board of directors in a variety of roles since 1999. She recently retired from a 31-year teaching career. The past 28 years were spent teaching instrumental, vocal music and guitar at Sudbury Secondary School, which is an arts magnet school for the Rainbow District School Board. She is a saxophone player who regularly performs in the Sudbury area. As soon as the snow melts, Carolyn can be found cruising around on her motorcycle.
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 & Promotion – 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.
Recorder – Dr. Jane Saunders – Lakehead Public School Board
Jane has recently retired from teaching band and strings at Hammarskjold High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 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 (MA. 1994) and Lakehead University (Ph.D. 2004).
Over her career, Jane has enjoyed a wide variety of musical activities with her students. Though the focus on her classroom teaching has been band and orchestra, Jane has directed Broadway musicals, choirs, jazz bands, and guitar classes, has also instructed “music teacher students” at the University of Minnesota and Lakehead University, and is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association.
Away from the world of music teaching, Jane enjoys hockey (playing and watching), dogs, and Lake Superior.
Resources & Workshops (Elementary) - Gena Norbury – Retired 2018 (Peel District School Board)
Gena is proud to be a director of the OMEA as well as membership coordinator for CMEA. Born in Newfoundland, Gena graduated from Memorial University in 1986 with a B. Mus. and B. Mus. Ed. She also has an Associate degree (A.T.C.L.) from Trinity College, London, England. Her first three years teaching were ‘on the Rock’, K-12, and In 1989, Gena began teaching music for the Peel District School Board where she opened Eldorado Public Schools’ music department. In 2013, she received the Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year Award and has also received the Award of Excellence from the PDSB. In February of 2018 Gena officially retired as a classroom music teacher. She serves on the Kodaly Society of Ontario’s Board of Directors and is married to Kevin, who is also a music educator.
Resources & Workshops (Secondary) - Matthew Rodnick - Simcoe County District School Board
Matthew is a graduate of Western University’s Don Wright Faculty of Music where he served as the president of the Music Education Students’ Association. He attended teacher’s college at Queen’s University where he coordinated a music education workshop series for preservice educators. In the past he has served as an instructor for the New Horizons music program and currently teaches within the Thames Valley District School Board.
University Liaison - Katie Tremblay-Beaton - Durham District School Board
Katie has been an elementary music teacher with the Durham District School Board for 10 years. She currently teaches in the Faculty of Education for Trent University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. She also instructs additional qualification courses for Queen’s University and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. Katie is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her research investigates middle school instrumental music teachers and their pedagogical approaches in the classroom.
Website – 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, one block from the beach with his wife Jessica and their three children: Nolan (5), Kyle (3), and their new baby girl Jordyn.
Website Resources – 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.