Dr. J. Douglas Willms is the founder of The Learning Bar. He is the President of the International Academy of Education, a Member of the US National Academy of Education, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He recently held the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Literacy and Human Development for 14 years.
Dr. Willms has published over 200 research articles and monographs pertaining to youth literacy, children’s health, the accountability of schooling systems, and the assessment of national reforms. He developed the Educational Prosperity framework over the course of his career, which is used by jurisdictions in their capacity-building efforts and the development of educational policy. The model has been adopted by the OECD for PISA for Development, an initiative aimed at building capacity for low- and middle-income countries to monitor progress towards nationally-set targets for improvement. Dr. Willms and his colleagues have developed the questionnaires and the analysis plan for this international study.
Colette Wasson is the Chief Executive Officer of The Learning Bar, a senior executive accountable for the strategic success of the company, the success of our partners and clients, and the achievement of our vision “Giving all children the opportunity to thrive”.
Colette attained an MBA to complement her Computer Science degree. She brings over 25 years of business and management experience working with large public and private sector organizations in a variety of industries. Over the years, Colette has developed a solid reputation for delivering results by empowering teams and bringing heart and mind to every challenge.
Colette is a volunteer with the ELF (Elementary Literacy Friends) program and loves to read with Grade 2 students.
Colette is the proud mother of two children and has a passion for the well-being and success of all children; she values and recognizes the importance of a quality education to ensure that all children reach their full potential.
Allison is the Managing Director with responsibility for the growth and profitability of the Australian operation. With a Master of Business Law from Southern Cross University, Lismore, in Business Administration from The University of Technology, Sydney and Risk and Governance qualifications from the Governance Institute of Australia, Allison has extensive experience in all aspects of project and operations management.
Prior to joining The Learning Bar, Allison gained extensive experience during her 10 years at Mars, Incorporated as Chief of Staff and College Director for the Global Legal Function reporting to the General Counsel. With excellence in operations, including business transformation and finance, Allison led the delivery of a number of global programs for the legal function in the area of finance and compliance. Prior to that Allison was a senior intellectual property paralegal at the international law firm Baker McKenzie, managing a multimillion-dollar key account. Allison believes that expectations for success play a key role in children achieving their full potential and having the opportunity to thrive.
Fred is the Chief Technology Officer of The Learning Bar. Bringing over thirty years of technology experience, ranging from satellite operations, military and aerospace, as well as both enterprise and internet software, on projects ranging from small to multi-billion-dollar, Fred applies a broad knowledge of software architecture, technology, and development processes to lead TLB’s technology team, and to drive a technology vision which solves real problems, and brings real value.
Ethan leads the Product Management and Client Success teams here at The Learning Bar. Their objective is to ensure that our products and services are continually evolving to better meet the needs of educators and that our customers receive the world-class service, training, and support required to achieve their goals. Ethan has over 15 years experience in building teams and processes that can help grow a business from start-up to industry leader. A proud father and project manager, Ethan’s commitment to TLB’s mission, vision, and values is why, after over a decade at TLB, he is still excited to come to work every single day.
Danielle leads a responsive research group, and is well experienced in providing a strong supporting role in provincial and state-level initiatives. Danielle and her research group are equipped to assist the ASM team, often behind the scenes. Danielle frequently prepares responses to questions about the survey measures, underlying statistical methods, or other research techniques that periodically arise from various stakeholders. She provides information about any aspect of the data or findings, conducting statistical analyses, preparing reports based on the findings for meetings, or generally assisting where needed when questions arise.
Nicki manages the marketing team at The Learning Bar. She brings over 20 years international experience in the management and implementation of marketing and communication plans and strategic analysis. She is responsible for ensuring the vision and messaging of the company is represented clearly in our internal and external communications at the highest standards.
Susan is a highly skilled administrator with a background in not-for-profit and hospitality; she holds a Masters of Business Administration in International Business, and is service-oriented. Her work experiences include outreach services at the Salvation Army, assistant to the CEO of a rescue mission, and leadership roles in the hospitality industry.
Stephanie is the Director of Professional Learning and Engagement and has been on the Research team for over 6 years. She holds a Masters of Applied Health Services Research from the University of New Brunswick, and is a Project Management Professional (PMP). She finds it especially rewarding to support others to understand and interpret their data, and enjoys having conversations about how school context can help explain results. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys trying new recipes and playing soccer.
Shaun McBride is the Human Resources Manager at The Learning Bar, a senior Canadian Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) accountable for the full cycle Human Resources (HR) administration, HR project management, coaching & talent development, and employee communications. Her key objective is to give all The Learning Bar employees the opportunity to thrive.
Shaun has certificates in Business Administration, Negotiations, and Strategic Workforce Planning and has over 20 years experience in the field of Human Resources Management, working with large private sector organizations in a variety of industries. Over the years, Shaun has earned the respect of other Human Resources professionals through one-on-one mentorship. She is passionate about helping managers and employees perform at their best. Shaun is guided by her intuition and authentic desire to help others in her work.
Shaun is a volunteer Board Member for the Provincial Canadian Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) Fredericton Chapter.
Shaun is a proud mother and grandmother and has a very large extended family who rely on her to hold it together even when the going gets rough. Her free time is spent in the kitchen making her family’s favorite meals, or baking cookies to be included in the next parcel that will go to the grandchildren who live out west.
Ola is an experienced product manager with a proven track record of delivering successful products that meet customer needs and drive business growth. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, Ola has developed a deep understanding of product development and management, as well as market trends and consumer behavior.
Ola works with cross-functional teams, including engineering, design, marketing, research, and sales, to ensure OurSchool and Tell Them From me continues to fulfill the product’s commitment to educators by continually evolving. He is skilled in product strategy, road mapping, and agile development methodologies.
Ola holds a Master of Business Administration, B.Tech (Agricultural economics), A certified Scrum Product owner, Scale Scrum master and Scale product owner/ Product Manager.
Thomas Verghese is the Director of Customer Success and Client experience, and has been with the learning bar since 2022. He has a bachelors of engineering in computer science, and has been working in the Edtech sector for over 12 years. Thomas is responsible for driving the Learning Bar’s mission for achieving Educational prosperity for clients through strategic and thought leadership initiatives. He is passionate about grooming and building up the customer success team into becoming trusted advisors who are able to constantly drive value for their clients, and create unique client experiences as they journey with us. One of his strategic objectives is to position the Learning bar as a Strategic trusted Partner to clients as opposed to being just another software vendor.
Stephanie holds a BA in History from Bishop’s University and a B. Ed from St. Thomas University. She has completed several professional development courses over the years including project management and adult learning.
Stephanie Guignion brings her 10+ years of classroom teacher experience to The Learning Bar and uses this experience to support educators implementing the various solutions across the company. Her interests include resource development, process improvement & documentation, and early literacy.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and gardening, and volunteers with several local community organizations.
Janette has worked with the Client Success team at The Learning Bar since 2017. She has also worked in the field of literacy for over a decade: training teachers and tutors, delivering workshops, and creating resources. She has spent many summers delivering math and literacy camps in Indigenous communities in New Brunswick. Through her forestry and science background, she has also worked in the fields of outdoor education, outreach, and research. Janette grew up in a small francophone community in Manitoba, and later lived in various communities in northern Ontario and Quebec; she now lives near Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her passion for helping others has been a great asset in her work building strong and collaborative partnerships throughout her career. During her spare time, Janette likes baking goodies for friends and family, as well as camping and hiking with her husband and dog.
Jennifer Caporas is a Product Delivery Specialist at The Learning Bar. She has a Postgraduate Certificate in IT Business Analysis from NBCC.
Angela works within the Australian Implementation Team to deliver the Tell Them From Me and Early Years Evaluation products.
Ashleigh works within the Australian Implementation Team to deliver Early Years Evaluation products and support single school clients with Tell Them From Me.
Jennifer Morgen is a Research Assistant at The Learning Bar and works primarily on data and report deliverables. Jennifer has a BA with first-class honours in psychology and has over 10 years of teaching experience as a lab instructor at the university level. Her studies and teaching were focused on neuropsychology, research methods, and statistics. She also has 10 years of research experience working in an addiction research lab. She is proud to be part of a company that focuses on data-driven change and research-based tool development. She believes in The Learning Bar’s commitment to helping users at all levels of data literacy leverage their data to make meaningful change in the lives of students.
Christine completed her dual honours degree in Psychology and Criminology at Saint Mary’s University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Personality Psychology from the University of Manitoba. Prior to attending graduate school, Christine taught elementary school children in South Korea, ages 4 – 13, for two years, focusing on English as an additional language. This amazing experience served to strengthen her respect and admiration for teachers and solidified her passion for improving the life chances for all children. Christine has also been fortunate enough to work with children with special needs, in addition to a number of SLP’s, OT’s, PT’s and SP’s, while working with the Halifax Regional School Board and the Calgary Board of Education.
Yessica Enriquez es la espacialista en Sistemas de Información Geográfica (SIG) y de multimedia en la compañía The Learning Bar (TLB) de Fredericton. Tiene conocimiento experto del proceso de mapeo de la misma y sus tecnologías; ella dirige la producción de los mapas que se entregan a los clientes de TLB, asegurando que todos los materiales cumplan con los altos estándares de prescisión, calidad y entrega oportuna que caracterizan a TLB. Yessica colabora con el diseño y actualización de la página web así como también en la producción de productos multimedia en el departamento de mercadotécnia. Ella estudió hasta el grado de maestría en prestigiosas universidades de México y aporta más de 20 años de experiencia en el diseño y desarrollo de páginas web, así como en la producción multimedia y de artes visuales.
Tess Thurston is the Sales Consultant for The Learning Bar’s Australian Team. Working under Aaron Burns and Allison Blanco, Tess’s role is to prospect potential schools and introduce them to The Learning Bar’s product lines and solutions.
Tess comes from recruitment, marketing, and sales background having worked as a Talent Manager and Sales & Marketing Coordinator.
Tess holds her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota where she focused heavily on sales and marketing. Tess joined The Learning Bar’s Team with the hopes of improving children’s school experiences.
Deepa is a Product Delivery Specialist at the Learning Bar. She is part of the delivery team providing technical support and guidance to The Learning Bar’s employees and clients. Deepa is an all-round product expert, responsible for delivering reports and services that meet client expectations. She has a strong working knowledge of the OurSCHOOL product and is well experienced with responding to problems instantly, managing and delivering products and services.
She also has considerable experience working with various departments within the company to help identify and develop process improvements to better serve TLB clients. Deepa is passionate about The Learning bar’s vision and mission of equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Erin is a Junior Developer with The Learning Bar and is responsible for contributing to the achievement of our company’s vision by participating in the research and development of The Learning Bar’s products. Erin has always been interested in technology, teaching herself to code and enrolling in Computer Science electives while studying Psychology. Eventually she made the decision to change educational paths and completed her diploma in Information Technology Programmer Analyst from New Brunswick Community College in June 2021. As a mother, Erin was drawn to The Learning Bar and the meaningful opportunity to help children thrive through her work as a developer. In her spare time Erin enjoys reading, video games and spending time with her partner, son and two rescue cats.
Nishanth Chillarige is the staff software engineer of the learning bar, responsible for leading and mentoring a team of developers as they execute the technological product development activities, make design decisions to build scalable and maintainable software solutions, drive technical initiatives, and ensure our products adhere to industry best standards.
Nishanth attained a Master’s in organizational management, which adds to his profound technical experience. Nishanth worked with large Multinational companies as a Technical lead and a Senior Research Engineer in Research and Development Centre’s in various industries, such as Automotive and Industrial automation. A deep understanding of software development principles and broad technical knowledge enabled him to provide robust software solutions for products that manage industrial time-series data and derive data analytics.
Nishanth takes pride in his contribution to constantly strengthening industries and aspires to design their work environments updated with present-day technologies that serve humanity.
Hayley is the Finance and Adminstration Officer for the Australian business. Working closely with the Managing Director, Hayley is responsible for the management of all aspects of Finance and Operations in the Australia business. She has worked at The Learning Bar since Feburary 2021. Hayley holds a certificate in Accounting and Bookkeeping.
Connie Freeman is the Senior Instructional Literacy Consultant at The Learning Bar. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education and over a decade of experience in the classroom. Connie’s philosophy of education is grounded in a fundamental belief in the importance of equitable education for all and the critical role literacy plays in ensuring success for all students. As a literacy support specialist, Connie has experience supporting students and teachers in the classroom, as well as building professional learning communities in schools.
A proud mother of two, Connie is an environmental advocate and a nature enthusiast. In her free time, she can be found raising and releasing Monarch butterflies and volunteering with her therapy dog, Bear. Connie makes her home on beautiful Mnidoo Mnising/Manitoulin Island, in the heart of Northern Ontario.
Ericka Sutherland is a learning consultant in the Confident Learners program at The Learning Bar. Ericka completed master’s degrees in Literacy and Curriculum Studies from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, NS, and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS, with a focus on professional learning communities and teacher professional development.
Ericka taught with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education for 31 years as an early elementary classroom teacher, Literacy Coach, Literacy Consultant and a Reading and Writing interventionist. Regardless of whatever roles she took on, her heart was always in the early elementary classroom with students at the beginning of their literacy journeys. She believes that a strong, early start to literacy learning creates a solid foundation for all future learning and social-emotional well-being.
Most recently, Ericka has taught in the master’s of Education program at Mount St. Vincent University developing and delivering courses on Literacy Learning and Teaching and Reading Popular Culture. Throughout her studies and career, Ericka has pursued her passion for student literacy success through quality teacher training in the areas of literacy curriculum and instruction and collaborative professional learning.
Ericka lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and two grown children. Ericka firmly believes that through building collaborative educational relationships between all educational partners, students, families, teachers, school and district staff, every child can thrive and succeed.
Dr. Lori Bryden is an instructional literacy consultant with The Learning Bar. As a former teacher, coordinator of special education, and principal of 37 years, Lori believes in the power of education!
Lori holds a Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Special Education. Her areas of research include the science of reading, teacher questioning, inclusion, equity and trauma-informed leadership. Lori enjoys writing and reviewing curriculum for school districts, universities, and other professional educational organizations.
Lori strongly believes that all children can achieve at a high level when provided with correct supports. She is passionate about assisting school teams to create the best learning environments for their students.
Lori enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and their many rescue animals.