Milton Christian School

Staff & Faculty Bios 2017-2018

Get To Know Us Better


Mr. Howie Martin



  • Bachelor of Arts (Major: History, Minor: Religion)-University of Prince Edward Island
  • Bachelor of Education - York University

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I live in Cambridge with my wife Cheryl, two sons, Howie and James, and cat Henry. I love playing hockey and golf. I am a huge Pittsburgh Penguins Fan. My favourite food is pizza. I grew up in Hillsburgh ON with my mom, dad, three brothers and one sister. I enjoy playing Euchre. My family and I attend Parkwood Gardens Church in Guelph.

What do you love about MCS?

  • I love teaching in a Christian environment
  • I love helping these kids learn about God
  • The sense of family at MCS
  • Forward thinking school

I remember the day I was hired as a grade five teacher at MCS, it felt like God had specifically led and prepared me to be here. Throughout my teaching tenure, I have grown to love this school, its students and community. I am honoured and thrilled to now serve as Principal.

My passion for teaching stemmed from early experience as a hockey coach and camp instructor interspersed throughout my career in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS). Even more so, it was the experience of growing up and bonding with my special needs brother that truly equipped me with an educator’s heart. I earned my Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history and religion from the University of Prince Edward Island and my Bachelor of Education at York University’s Urban Diversity program.

I was raised in a loving, yet non-Christian home, the second oldest of five children. Unbeknownst to me, my spiritual journey started when I was just twelve years old through a grade seven teacher, Mrs. McDougall. For some reason, she felt a distinct calling to pray for a shy boy who was known for just one thing - playing hockey. In high school, I came to know and invite Jesus in my heart through the kindness and influence of a Christian friend. That friend is now my wife Cheryl, with whom I have two young sons (Howie and James) and another one on the way.

I know from personal experience that earnest prayers of a teacher, radical kindness of a “Christian girl” and the example of a committed Christian family can have a profound and life-changing impact on the life of a young person. Leading by faith is about modelling the very behaviour Christ demonstrated in His years of ministry, serving those around Him and living out the fruits of the Spirit. I will strive to create and lead an environment of care and engagement that brings students, staff, and families together - a place of Christ-centred education and academic excellence.  It is an honour to be the principal of Milton Christian School.  I look forward to working with our dedicated and talented staff as we equip students to excel in their academics and bless others in our community. 

Mr. Martin

Howie Martin




Mrs. Christine Klein-Geltink

Vice Principal/Grade 3 Teacher


  • Bachelor of Arts—Redeemer University College
  • Bachelor of Education—University of Ottawa

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I live in Milton with my husband and three children.  Before moving to Milton in 2006, my husband and I taught English in Japan for two years. We still love traveling and exploring new places when we get the chance.  I also enjoy reading, hiking, camping, and spending time with my family and friends. At MCS, I love being a coach for the cross-country running team, and the Battle of the Books team.  

What do you love about MCS?
I have been a teacher at Milton Christian School since it first opened its doors in 2006.  I have watched it grow from a very small school of 11 students to the flourishing community it is today.  It has been a blessing to see God at work every step of the way!  I love having the opportunity to teach through the lens of the Gospel, to connect with our amazing students, and to be part of a dedicated staff that cares deeply about Christian education.




Mrs. Onyi Oyedele

General Secretary


  • Master of Communications Management (MCM), McMaster University
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Media and Communications Technologies, University of East London (UEL), United Kingdom

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I enjoy reading, writing (Poetry, short stories, articles), cooking, crafts, and traveling especially road trips when I am not the one driving. I grew up in Nigeria and I miss the warmer climate and authentic street foods. I live with my family in Milton.

What do you love about MCS?
Students look very smart in uniforms and I love the energy that they bring to school each day which is quite contagious. Everyday at MCS is busy so “Mrs. O” never has a dull moment! MCS is indeed a pleasant place to work with an amiable staff team who are passionate about teaching and instructing students academically and in Godly character.  MCS also has very generous and supportive families. The school has a fantastic opportunity in Milton and I look forward to its continuous growth and expansion.

Extracurricular activities
Press Club




Mrs. Joline Hanna

Business Manager

Joline is a seasoned facilitator, trainer, coach and management professional. She is currently working with MCS as a Business Manager to support their business and financial needs, in order to maximize future opportunity and growth.  Joline has diverse business experience in the Engineering, Construction, Finance and Consulting industries that provides her with a unique perspective in approaching and overcoming challenges. 


  • Her academic credentials include an MBA with a Project Management emphasis, MACP – Masters of Art in Counselling Psychology and a B.A. in Psychology. 

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
Born and raised in Western Canada, she moved to Ontario almost than 10 years ago. Outdoors is like second nature, she enjoys swimming, gardening and spending time with her three kids.

What do you love about MCS?
When  looking for a school for our kids to attend, MCS became the logical choice with its family feel and strong Christian Values. 




Mrs. Heather Bartlett



  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Bachelor of Administrative and Commercial Studies (BACS), Major in Finance — University of Western Ontario

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I live in Oakville with my husband, Rick, and 3 wonderful daughters.  We enjoy backyard BBQ’s and pool parties with friends and family in the summer.  In the winter we like to hit the slopes with the kids who have recently learned to ski and snowboard.  I enjoy ice hockey and book clubs with friends, weekend getaways with my husband, and hiking and biking with my kids. 

What do you love about MCS?
The staff and faculty of MCS have been wonderful to work with and I am always impressed with all the hard work and dedication that each of them applies to their unique roles. It has been great to see all the continual growth in the school, and to work with such friendly staff.



Mr. Oreleo DeCanha


Originally from South Africa. Like and live in Milton with my wife, daughter and a bird. Enjoy being outdoors. Love the small, Christian, family like community at MCS.



Ms. Sarah Sasaki

Educational Assistant


  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences-McMaster University
  • Bachelor of Education (Primary /Junior)—Redeemer University College 

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I enjoy trying new things, going on adventures, and being around people. My son and I love going on outings and day trips. We also like having worship dance parties with bubbles, watching Paw Patrol on TV, and painting freely with lots of colour.

What do you ove about MCS?
I love that MCS is interdenominational and multicultural, which is a beautiful depiction of the body of Christ. I really appreciate that safety is a top priority for the students. The passion behind MCS is visionary and forward thinking in nature which appeals greatly to me. I love that we can share our faith in Christ openly throughout the curriculum.




Mrs. Charmaine Coke

Educational Assistant


  • Bachelor of Arts (Major: Geography and Minor: Sociology)—University of Toronto.
  • Bachelor of Education  (Primary/Junior)—York University

Hobbies/Interest/Family Life
I am a wife and mother to two children, who also attend MCS.
I help referee intramurals. I also participate in leading Press Club.

What do you love about MCS? 

  • Godly instruction
  • High standard of academics
  • The family atmosphere
  • Smaller school



Mrs. Anabela Cristiano

Educational Assistant

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Ms. Catherine Magat

Educational Assistant


  • Bachelor of Arts (Major: English Language & Literature, Minor: History) Honours—Western University, London, Ontario.

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
Both my parents immigrated from the Philippines, but my brother and I were born in Canada. My brother is taller than me, but I am four years older. I am prone to mosquito bites and allergies, but I still enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors. I also like playing volleyball and reading.  

What do you love about MCS?
The staff and students are the reason I love MCS. Our school is full of talented and hardworking teachers and staff, who strive to create a positive learning environment that challenges as well as encourages its students. Their work, both in and outside of the classroom, is to ensure the success of students and their education. It is great to see students coming to school full of energy and imagination. I am constantly learning from my colleagues and students as to how I can become a better educator.




Ms. Deanna Killam

Pre K/JK Teacher


  • Bachelor of Education (Primary/Junior), Redeemer University College
  • Bachelor of Arts (Major: English, Minor: Psychology), Redeemer University College
  • Bachelor of Theology (Major: Christian Education), Master's College & Seminary

Hobbies/Interests/Family life
I love just about anything creative. I love to crochet, colour, cross stitch, and make jewelry. I love to play board games, do all kinds of puzzles and escape rooms. I love art history (the Impressionist era is my one of my favourites) and will visit museums and learn new things any chance I get. I have a collection of teddy bears as well as a growing collection of rocks and mineral samples). A special treat for me is visiting one of my favourite tea rooms for a high/afternoon tea. 

What do you love about MCS? 
I've lived in Milton almost my entire life. When I was a kid there was no Christian school option in town and I love that parents now have the opportunity to provide their children with Godly instruction and academic excellence. MCS has great students, wonderful families, amazing teachers and staff which adds up to an awesome school. I am excited to see where God's takes us in the future.




Mrs. Anita Petrucci

SK Teacher

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Mrs. Gina Cree

interim SK Teacher


  • Bachelor of Education degree, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec 
  • OCT—Ontario Certified Teacher Certificate
  • Life Coach Certification, WOD
  • I have had the opportunity to open two new schools, serving as Director and Teacher in both schools: the first was in Montreal (grades K-10), and the second was in Oakville (preschool-K, ages 3-5).
  • Recently, I have supplied in private schools in Oakville for both English and French classes. Also, I have tutored elementary level students in French Immersion and English.

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life

  • I love baking (and eating whatever I bake!), I enjoy shopping for antiques, reading and hiking.
  • I enjoy spending time together with my family and friends

What do you love about MCS?

  • The small class sizes
  • The freedom we have to share and teach the children of God’s love, and His Word through memory work and Bible stories, etc.




Mrs. Amanda Bouwers

Grade 1 Teacher


  • Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education (Major: Social Studies Group, Minor: Religion & Theology)— Redeemer University College

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I live with my husband Chris, in Milton and we have a mini-doodle named Dutchie. Our favourite weekend destination is the family cottage north of Huntsville where we enjoy being outside, spending time on the lake and going for hikes. In the winter we also enjoy downhill skiing and snowshoeing.   

What do you love about MCS?
I began teaching the grade 1/2 split class at Milton Christian School in September 2009. I enjoy teaching students at this age because I love the enthusiasm and joy that they bring into the classroom each day. I have experienced MCS grow and change in many ways over the years and I am excited to see what God has planned for the school in the years to come. I love being a part of the MCS community and I am passionate about Christian education in the town of Milton.




Mrs. Cathy Alava

Grade 2/3 Teacher


  • University of Toronto—Honours B.A.—double major in Spanish and Sociology
  • University of Western Ontario—Bachelor of Education—Primary/Junior

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
When I have time, I love to spend it with my family and friends. To relax, I enjoy reading well written stories – especially historical fiction. My favourite place to be is anywhere near the water — give me country over city any day. 

My husband and I, have lived in Milton with our three children for over 16 years, which is the longest I have ever lived in one place. I was born outside of Canada, spent my much of my childhood in Argentina, and my teenaged years in Spain. 

What do you love about MCS?  
One of the things I love most about MCS are the dedicated, caring staff members who put so much time and effort into doing what they do. It truly is an honour to work with each and every one of them!  I love the students I have the privilege of interacting with each day — they are all so unique! It’s rewarding and humbling to know that I get to play a small part in the incredible plan God has for each of them. 





Mrs. Heather Gillham

Grade 5 Teacher


  • Master of Science in Elementary Education — Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS                                             
  • Bachelor of Science (Double major in Elementary Education & Spanish) — Houghton College, Houghton, NY  

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
Many of my interests and hobbies are reflected in the extra curriculars I help out with at MCS. I enjoy reading and participating in book clubs, which made coaching the junior and senior Battle of the Books teams during different years at MCS a perfect fit for me. I also enjoy playing board games with my family. My husband I and both play on our church softball team and our family enjoys traveling when we are able. I am a member of the Women's Ministry Team at our church and I participate in a small group women's Bible study as well. I enjoy watching NCIS, Survivor, and The Amazing Race. My favourite sports teams to follow are the Mississippi State University football team and the Dallas Cowboys.  

What do you love about MCS? 
My family was first attracted to MCS when we moved to Milton five years ago. As parents, it was one of the main reasons we chose Milton over other towns. We value Christian education for our children and knew that a Christian school would provide a needed sense of community after our move as well as a Christ centered world view that would reinforce what we believe and live at home. Now as a teacher, I can say that I love being a part of a team that works to share the gospel and make disciples while connecting our teaching to the real world. Making a difference in the lives of students is a big reason I love teaching at MCS. 

Extra Curricular Involvement

  • Battle of the Books coach
  • Board Game Club
  • Assistant Volleyball coach




Ms. Naomi Zagala

Grade 6/French Teacher


  • Bachelor of Arts (Major: French   Minor: History)—Redeemer University College
  • Bachelor of Education-Redeemer University College

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I live in Hamilton and enjoy frequenting local shops and events supporting the arts. I like to play around on the bass guitar and read historical fiction. I am also a very hopeful supporter of the Montreal Canadians.

What do you love about MCS?
I really appreciate the tight-knit community here at MCS. The staff and teachers are authentic in their encouragement of students and in their support of one another. We work very well together to make the school more innovative and forward thinking.




Mr. Eric Miedema

Grade 7 Teacher


  • Bachelor of Health and Physical Education, Honours—Brock University 
  • Bachelor of Education, Honours-Redeemer University

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life

  • Favourite Sport Teams: Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Bluejays, Manchester United, Toronto Raptors
  • I'm trying to visit all 30 MLB stadiums
  • I collect coins
  • I love travelling
  • I enjoy playing soccer, baseball, and curling  
  • I grew up in Burlington 
  • Family is very important to me. I have two brothers and a sister, two nephews and two nieces

What do you love about MCS? 

  • Friendly staff, the number of sport teams and supportive community
  • Extra curricular activities-MCS Sports teams



Mr. Howard Martin

Grade 8 Teacher/Vice-Principal


  • Bachelor of Arts (Major: History, Minor: Religion)-University of Prince Edward Island
  • Bachelor of Education - York University

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I live in Cambridge with my wife Cheryl, two sons, Howie and James, and cat Henry. I love playing hockey and golf. I am a huge Pittsburgh Penguins Fan. My favourite food is pizza. I grew up in Hillsburgh ON with my mom, dad, three brothers and one sister. I enjoy playing Euchre. My family and I attend Parkwood Gardens Church in Guelph.

What do you love about MCS? 

  • I love teaching in a Christian environment
  • I love helping these kids learn about God
  • The sense of family at MCS
  • Forward thinking school




Mr. Jim Danielson

Bible Teacher


  • Bachelor of Arts -Political Science -California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)
  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)-Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life

  • Married to Joy (Jongsma) for 35 years
  • Three children: Brendan, Johnny, and Sarah.

I enjoy family time and walks with my wife, especially on the trails in and around Milton. I love reading the Bible every day and other books as well. A good biography, mystery or western. I enjoy helping others , sometimes planned but also spontaneously. I love Baseball- both watching and playing this sport. Gardening…especially growing tomatoes is a favorite summer past time.

What do you love about MCS? 
I love the children and I thoroughly enjoy interacting with them, opening the Word of God to them and challenging them in their young faith. I love the teachers and staff as well. They are an amazing collection of dedicated, hard-working, and a caring group of servant-hearted people. It is a pleasure to come in every day and work along side of them.




Mrs. Stephanie Kroezen

Music Teacher


  • Diploma (Musical Theatre) — Randolph Academy for the Preforming Arts

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I am the oldest of 4 girls. I live in Guelph and enjoy exploring the hiking trails in the area. In my spare time I love to work on local Musical Theatre shows. I really enjoy playing the flute and reading a good novel. I spend a lot of my time Volunteering with the “GEMS” girls club in Acton, leading girls to know Gods love for them.

What do you love about MCS? 
I really love the students! The energy that each and everyone of them brings to class, is phenomenal. MCS is such a tight knit community and really encourages everyone to strive to do their part in making this school great. You can really see God working within the teachers, students and Families here, and I am so proud to get to be a part of it every week.



Dr. Edith van der Boom

Director of Learning


  • BA in Special Education—Calvin College
  • MA in Curriculum Studies—Brock University
  • PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education—University of Toronto


  • Michigan State Teaching Certificate
  • Ontario Teaching Certificate
  • Special Education Specialist

Hobbies/Interests/Family Life
I have had the privilege of teaching for over 30 years. In my roles within the regular classroom, special education programs, and as Director of Learning, I highly value the use of differentiated instruction that provides an effective inclusive classroom environment for all students. I am passionate about connecting my teaching experience with research that centers around effective teaching and learning for all students. 

I currently serve as the Director of Learning in two Christian schools as I focus on what is taught and how it is taught. Over the past several years, I have also taught courses at Redeemer University, including Differentiated Instruction and Special Education.

I love to read and never tire of learning new things. I also enjoy hiking, backpacking, biking, and spending time with my family and friends.

What do you love about MCS?
I love working with the staff and students at MCS. I see the students' energy and love for learning as they are encouraged by their teachers to develop all the gifts God has given them. The teachers at MCS exemplify life-long learning as they continue to develop their expertise in meeting the needs of all students in their classrooms. It is a joy to work and learn together at MCS.