All ACALA instructors are highly qualified with experience and backgrounds in adult education, and they pursue lifelong learning through participation in professional development opportunities.
Shayla MacDonald- Organization Administrator, Tutor Coordination
Shayla is the Organization Administrator for ACALA. She completed her BA in Psychology from St Francis Xavier University in 2011 before going on to complete her Montessori teacher certification in Early Childhood Education in 2014. Shayla has spent time teaching with learners from 18 months to 80 years old, having spent most of her time working with family and parent education as well as early childhood education. She founded the Antigonish Montessori school in 2015 and is passionate about teaching and working with learners through holistic, individualized education. Shayla came to ACALA in 2019 after learning about the organization through community involvement.
“ACALA is a place for everyone to feel welcome and supported. We strive to meet our learners on their terms and provide the support they need to succeed in meeting their goals.”
Kathryn Collicott – Special Programs Coordinator, Career Employability Consultant, Learning for Life Instructor
Kathryn worked in the school system in different parts of Canada for almost 10 years before returning home to Nova Scotia. She has been tutoring since she was 15 years old and has an integrated B.A./B.Ed from Mount Saint Vincent University. Over the years,Kathryn has spent time in most of the positions at ACALA. This year she coordinates the Family Literacy’ the special programs such as Families Learning Across Generations and You 2.0, and teaches in the Learning for Life program. Kathryn loves to read, write, swim, sit in the grass, walk by the ocean, and laugh. She likes music, Netflix, animals, and chocolate – not necessarily in that order. Kathryn would like people to know that at ACALA, “We are very flexible and do our best to meet the needs of our learners. We partner with other organizations and strengthen each other. We are here because we want to be here, and we enjoy what we do.”
“People enjoy their time here. They learn many things beyond academics. They develop friendships. They make connections. They improve their self-confidence. They give to others.They learn just how capable they are. They have achievements that sometimes can’t be measured.”
Andrew Stalker – Career Employability Instructor
Andrew is an instructor and Program Coordinator for the employability skills development program, Antigonish EMBARK. He has completed a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Pre-Professional Architecture from the University of Waterloo, and an Honours Degree in Psychology from St Francis Xavier University. He has worked with individuals with developmental and mental health support needs in varying environments for the past 10 years, specializing in individualized educational approaches based on goal setting and alternative pathways to learning. Andrew first came to ACALA as a volunteer in the Level I ALP class, providing teaching support to learners who wanted to improve reading, writing, math and technology skills. Andrew is active in the Antigonish community as a member of the Celtics soccer club and as a musician, performing at events and fundraisers as a singer/songwriter/ guitar player and drummer with several bands.
“I am happy and privileged for the many great things that I continue to learn daily while working here at ACALA with my learners and colleagues, all truly amazing people to me.”
Robbin May – GED and Adult Learning and Training Instructor
Robbin teaches the GED and ALP programs at ACALA and hopes to teach other subjects that are of interest to the community. She is passionate about teaching and education at all levels. Robbin started University as an Indigenous Studies Major with additional concentrations in Biology. She later changed to Physics and Mathematics and completed her undergraduate Science degree in April 1999. In 1998 her son was born and diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3. This turned her interest to Education and more specifically Special Needs Education. In the fall of 2001 she began her Bachelor of Education studies and began work as a fully fledged teacher in January 2004. In July 2015 she returned to University Education to study Indigenous Science. As the GED instructor at ACALA, Robbin strides to provide an open and welcoming atmosphere. When not in the classroom, Robbin enjoys spending time developing her property as a farm. She also enjoys knitting, sewing, and many other crafts.
“ACALA is about lifelong learning. We are all learning everyday but here is a place where we can learn together, learn from each other, share our experiences, and most of all, feel accepted just as we are”
Jyotsna Jain – English as an Additional Language tutor, YREACH Instructor
Jyotsna Jian is is our English as a Second Language (EAL) tutor and learner coordinator as well as the coordinator for the “Bridging to Employment “ program of NSOI for ACALA. Jyotsna began work at ACALA as a volunteer writing stories with the people living at the RK. Since then, she has worked for YMCA Recognizing Enhancing Aligning Community Horizons (YREACH) in partnership with ACALA as a language instructor and as an EAL instructor. Jyotsna completed a Masters in Political Science through M.S.Universiy Baroda Gujarat, India and completed her TESL from Study Abroad Canada PEI with the intention of working as a ESL instructor. She is an avid cook, and loves to cook different vegetarian dishes from around the world.
“I would love people to know about the history of ACALA of how many people it has reached out to and the success stories”
To learn more about these success stories, check out our facebook page
Lindsay Chisholm – Computer Literacy Instructor, Office Administration
Lindsay is an Instructor and Administrative Assistant with ACALA. She came to our organization after a 5-week Work Experience placement as part of the Office Administration program through NSCC. During this placement, she discovered her love for the organization. Before coming to ACALA, Lindsay completed her diploma in Cosmetology from NSCC, beginning her work as a hairdresser before circumstance caused the need to change paths. She found a new love with ACALA, which has allowed her to “help people in (her) own community”. Lindsay does many things within the organization including registration, promotion campaigns, fundraising initiatives and helping with the coordination of events. She is also our instructor for computer classes and provides one on one tutoring in computer skills. Lindsay has a love for creating things with her hands and enjoys drawing, painting, digital drawing, crochet and other crafts.
“We have a lot to offer! We can help people in all stages of their education journey. We have GED Prep courses, English as an Additional Language lessons, Employment Skills programs as well as various other learning opportunities. Even if someone just need help with a specific skill or an external course, we can help get them set up with a tutor and support them though the process.”
Annette Daemon – Instructor, Tutor
Lise de Villiers – English as an Additional Language (EAL) Instructor, General Literacy Instructor