*** Founding and incorporating Board Member Greg Stidham stepped away from being a director on Mosaic’s board to pursue his work with Bereaved Families of Ontario (see below), he remains a supporter and consultant of Kingston Mosaic’s work. ***
Greg Stidham (founder of Kingston Mosaic and former board member) is a retired pediatric intensifiât (ICU physician). After training in pediatrics and pediatric critical care at the Medical College of Ohio and Johns Hopkins, he was director of the ICU at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee for twenty-eight years before moving to Kingston, where he worked another four years as an intensivist at KGH and Queens. It was here that he met Kyra and Tully, and later learned of Mosaic, and was privileged to help start that effort. His work was always part of a passionate dedication to the health and well-being of children, which is what drew him to the work of Mosaic. He currently spends his time with his wife Pam, and their two furry, 4-legged kids, while enjoying creative writing and reading. He is also a volunteer counselor for Bereaved Families of Ontario, where he works especially with parents who have lost children. If you are interested in learning more about this work, you may call BFO at 613-634-1230 or emailing Greg directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Anja Troje is a German-trained physician, psychotherapist and homeopath. During her PhD program in psychiatry she studied the social development of children with autism. This work brought her in contact with Camphill Schools and Institutions, where the young adults she followed in her study often lived, learned and worked. After witnessing how curative education and social therapy transformed the life of children, youth and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, Anja started studying the foundations and ideas behind Waldorf Education and Anthroposophical medicine, a holistic approach based on the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner.
In 2003 Anja moved with her family to Kingston and enrolled her daughters in Mulberry Waldorf School there. Since then she has been actively involved in the life of the school, serving many years on the Board of Directors, two years of which as Vice Chair. She also worked in the Human Resource committee and chaired the Policy committee. After her children graduated, Anja eventually resigned from the Board, but stays connected with the school in her position as Ombudsperson. Through this close connection with a Waldorf school Anja experienced first hand how much work, dedication and love it takes to nurture and maintain a healthy school organism.
Being part of the school team during important stages of its development like the accreditation process as a Waldorf School and the acquisition and maintenance of a school building gave her a lot of insight and experience that will be hopefully be helpful in the development and governance of Kingston Mosaic.
Since 2004, Anja has been running a private practice for homeopathic medicine and psychotherapy in Kingston. She also works part-time as a counsellor at Health, Counselling and Disability Services at Queen’s University. Her background in (child and youth) psychiatry, psychotherapy and holistic medicine helps her to understand the needs of children with disabilities and she hopes to contribute her professional knowledge and experience to Kingston Mosaic for years to come.
Kyra Walker Pearson was born in Toronto and moved to Kingston with her family when she was five. She attended a few public schools, KCVI Highschool and Queen’s University. For a time she lived on the west coast of Canada and in the US Virgin Islands, where she learned to play guitar. She has spent time in Central America and Europe. Kyra has loved to write and sing from an early age. From 2000-2009 she developed and wrote a weekly live music column for Kingston This Week Newspaper and was the Front of House Manager with the Queen’s University Performing Arts Office from 2000-2014. Kyra wrote her first batch of songs when she was nine years old and since has gone on to become an accomplished singer-songwriter and recording artist, along with her visual artist husband Michael. They perform together in their critically acclaimed folk duo, Kyra and Tully. Kyra is a Early Childhood Waldorf Teacher. Kyra and Michael have a special needs child (Kezyan) whom they cherish. Kezyan attended Mulberry Waldorf School between birth and seven years of age in the parent and child, nursery and kindergarten programs. Kyra and Michael felt strongly motivated to initiate Kingston Mosaic and remain passionate about bringing inclusive curative education to all children in our wonderful Kingston community. It was either that or move to Pennsylvania!
Brooke Splinter graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science and a minor in business administration and completed her masters of education at Griffith University in Australia. Brooke has a six year old daughter with special needs on the autism spectrum and she has been searching for a way to provide her child a more meaningful educational experience.Brooke’s first experience with motherhood was exciting, beautiful, filled with joy, love and eventually grief and a sense of loss. Being thrust into the world of special needs was challenging and continues to challenge her and her family daily. There is a need, a gap in the system that her and her husband Joe, are motivated to fill. Harper is currently in the catholic school system and faces similar challenges as Kezyan – fluorescent lighting, large class size and over- stimulation. Harper is Brooke’s motivation and inspiration to bring curative/therapeutic education and beyond to Kingston.
Dr. Nadiya Izbitskaya has extensive experience in both vocal performance and teaching. She studied with the eminent opera conductor and choirmaster, Leo Venedictov. For five years she was a singer, conductor and vocal coach for the Kiev Chamber Choir, one of the foremost choirs in the Ukraine. She traveled widely with the choir to perform throughout Europe and the former USSR and made many recordings. After completing her PhD, she was appointed professor in the Kiev Institute of Culture. Dr. Izbitskaya moved to Canada in 1992 and established a successful voice and piano studio in Kingston. In 1998 she founded and directed the women’s choir Aurora, which over a few years developed a very sophisticated repertoire, including solo performances of art songs and operatic ensembles. In 2001 Aurora was chosen to represent Canada in the international Festival 500 in Newfoundland.
Having worked intensively in the Ukraine with professional singers, she now found a real interest in teaching those who wished to develop their voices. Every year her students have been selected to participate in provincial-level competitions in both classical singing and musical theatre, and some have placed among the highest ranked performers. Dr. Izbitskaya finds her strongest asset as a vocal teacher is diagnostic and voice production technique. Perhaps her greatest satisfaction as a teacher is to be found in helping less experienced singers to “unlock” their voices and discover the potential of their individual sound.
Nadiya lost her only daughter recently and her husband suffers with alzheimers disease. Kingston Mosaic has been a way to transform her grief into love, compassion and dedication to helping others.
Chantal Thompson is a local jazz vocalist and multidisciplinary artist with an international reputation. She performs with world class musicians from Canada, The United States and Europe, her music is played on radio and satellite stations around the world and she has performed in many notable festivals such as the Montreal jazz festival. Chantal has her BA of Philosophy from Queen’s University, a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design, and has recently graduated from the ACE BEd program of Queen’s where she obtained her Ontario Teacher Certification.
Chantal had previously spent two years working at the renown, Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at NYU in 2008-2009, when she lived in New York City. There she observed Clive Robbins, a preeminent music therapist who developed Creative Music Therapy. Clive worked with developmentally and multiply- disabled children for over fifty years.
During the time she worked at Nordoff-Robbins, Chantal was pregnant with her daughter Delphine, she was also enrolled in child development courses at the New York Institute of Technology; Delphine was born with severe developmental disabilities and is on the autism spectrum. She has been receiving multiple therapies since the age of 8 months. Chantal found it difficult to have a community in which she could relate to other mother’s and their children, it was very isolating. When Delphine was enrolled at the Waldorf Mulberry school she was able to almost completely eliminate anxiety. Chantal wants to further develop community, language and practices around children with disabilities and their families through the Kingston Mosaic and Camphill associations.