Staff Profile

Get To Know Our Staff


Amia Botelho, Homestay

  • Place of Birth: Ottawa, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English, French and Portuguese
  • Languages Studied: English, French and Portuguese
  • Countries Visited: The United States of America, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Turks and Caicos.
  • Interests:My interests include traveling, meeting new people and learning about different cultures. I enjoy talking, laughing and spending time with my friends and family. I also love fashion, shopping, food and photography. I hope to complete a Masters Degree and PhD in Social Work in the near future.

Barry Holmes, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: English and French
  • Places Visited: The United States, Britain, France, Spain, Cuba, Jamaica
  • Interests: My favourite pastime is going out for lunch and a movie with my wife and friends and discussing the movie afterward over coffee. My favourtie movies include Dr. Strangelove, Fargo and E.T. I also love cars and read lots of auto magazines. I enjoy walks by the lake and driving my car anywhere.

Byron Fast, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Vancouver, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: Spanish
  • Places Visited: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, England, Fiji, France, Greece, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, The United States
  • Interests: In addition to my love of travel, I also enjoy many outdoor activities including rollerblading, kayaking and camping. Indoor interests include reading, writing and cooking meals with friends and family. In the city I frequent art galleries and museums and am always in search of the perfect cafe for the perfect cup of coffee.

Chris Pink, Director of Programs

  • Place of Birth: Toronto, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: French, Korean, Sign Language
  • Places Visited: Antigua, Australia, Cuba, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland Japan, Jamaica, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, UK, USA.
  • Interests: Of my many interests, the most enjoyable is cooking international food. It is great to have a hobby you can eat! I also love all types of music and have played guitar, bassoon, violin, saxophone and drums. My passion is inspiring people to have fun while reaching their personal and professional goals.

Craig Purcell, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Kingston, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English, French, Spanish, Japanese
  • Languages Studied: Spanish, French, Japanese
  • Places Visited: Mexico, Holland, South Korea, Belgium, Japan, England, Thailand, Ireland, Vietnam, France, The Philippians, Spain, India, Portugal, Colombia, Italy, Cuba, Greece, Yugoslavia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The United States
  • Places Lived: Seoul, South Korea; Yokkaichi, Japan; Mermosillo, Mexico; Colima, Mexico; Quebec City, Canada; Vancouver, Canada; Toronto, Canada
  • Interests: I enjoy swimming, biking and jogging for exercise. Also, I have always had a passion for acting and have recently starred in five short films, one of which I wrote and produced. Apart from this, I have a love of languages, travel and music. I play the piano, harmonica, kalimba and tenor saxophone. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - I really like chickens!

Donna Daly, Vice President, Pathways Coordinator


Ella Germann

Ella Germann, Activities Coordinator

  • Place of Birth: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Language Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: French and Swedish
  • Places Visited: Australia, Sweden, England, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, USA
  • Interests: I love backpacking the world, meeting new people and learning about their different cultures. And when I can't travel, I love to meet the new students at GVT! I
  • also love listening and playing music of all kinds. In my pare time I enjoy singing and playing harmonica with friends.

Eric Miltenburg

Eric Miltenburg, Information Services Manager

  • Place of Birth: Hamilton, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English, Dutch, French
  • Languages Studied: German, Old Norse, Latin
  • Places Visited: Iceland, Germany, Denmark, France, Iberia, Switzerland
  • Interests: I like photography and my latest passion is Crokinole, a sublime Canadian game that you can learn in five minutes and enjoy for the rest of your life.

Erika Schnyder, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Davenport, USA
  • Languages Spoken: English, French
  • Languages Studied: French, Spanish
  • Places Visited: United States, Barbados, Dominican Republic, The Caribbean, England, Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium
  • Interests: Erika enjoys travelling, sailing on Lake Ontario, swing dancing and downhill skiing. When she's not joking around with her students she also enjoys going to the theatre, improv comedy and checking out Toronto's many festivals!

Frances Sallenave, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Toronto Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English, Spanish
  • Languages Studied: Japanese, French
  • Places Lived In\Visited: France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, United States, Japan.
  • Interests: My interests include reading, painting and travelling. My goal is to keep learning.

Geneviève Bouchard, President & CEO

  • Place of Birth: Saratoga Springs, USA
  • Languages Spoken: English and French
  • Languages Studied: Spanish
  • Places Visited: Canada, France, UK, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Korea, Japan
  • Interests: I enjoy cooking for friends and family, wine tasting, traveling, working out, running and spending time with my husband, sons, and three furry canine companions!

Glenn Anthony, Director of Accounting

  • Place of Birth: Saint John, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: French
  • Places Visited: Europe (several counties), Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, China, Macau, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, Mexico, USA
  • Interests: I love to travel and over the years, I have experienced many other cultures as I have had the pleasure of visiting every continent except for Antarctica. Aside from traveling, I am an avid sports enthusiast. My favourite team is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Gus Papadopoulos, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Etobicoke, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English and Greek
  • Languages Studied: French and Spanish
  • Places Visited: San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Greece, Italy, Pennsylvania, Vancouver, Montreal
  • Interests: While I love travelling and celebrating cultural diversity, I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends and learning about what makes people tick. Perhaps this would explain my fascination with poker and books about history and the humanities. My goal is to help others achieve theirs.

Hannah Few, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Cambridge, England
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: English and French
  • Places Visited: England, Spain, Belgium, France, Russia, Canada, The United States, The Czech Republic
  • Interests: I enjoy living in Toronto and visiting the diverse neighbourhoods to try foods from different countries. I also love cooking at home and trying new ingredients and recipes. I spend a lot of time with my dog Spencer, taking advantage of Toronto's parks, beaches and trails. Aside from these tings, I enjoy keeping in touch with my British roots with movies, music and trips "home" whenever possible.

Hyeree Choi, Registration Assistant/Customer Service Assistant

  • Place of Birth: Seoul, Korea
  • Languages Spoken: Korean, English
  • Languages Studied: English and Japanese
  • Places Visited: United States, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Guam, Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria
  • Interests: One of my favorite hobbies other than watching TV is to do scrap booking. I don't get very much time to do this anymore, but I do love to look at other people's creations and enjoy looking at my own (I am not really a creative person - I call myself the organizer!). Now that I have a new baby, I can take a lot of pictures of her, so I hope in the future I can use these to spend hours doing scrap booking for her. My goal and passion is to provide excellent customer service to all so that people who visit GVT will have many great memories

Ian Armstrong, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Toronto, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: French
  • Places Visited: United States, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Holland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Switzerland
  • Interests: I really love reading, so when I get some free time, I pick up a book. I also enjoy jogging, although I haven't had as much time to run since having kids. These days I spend a lot of time having fun with my two daughters.

Iryna Buchkivska, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Sambir, Ukraine
  • Languages Spoken: English, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish
  • Languages Studied: English, Russian, Polish, German
  • Places Visited: United States, France, Austria, Germany, Poland
  • Interests: I am a homemaker, that's why I enjoy gardening, sewing and love cooking for my family and relatives. I'm also interested in reading all kinds of books and magazines.

John Sallenave, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Chatham, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English, Spanish and French
  • Languages Studied: Italian, German, Japanese
  • Places Visited: France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Luxemburg, Belgium, Italy, USA, Cuba, Thailand, Malaysia
  • Interests: My interests include traveling, discovering foreign authors and film, photography, aikido and cooking and guitar. My goal is to help students become teachers.

John Wilson, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Barrie, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Anglo-Saxon, Egyptian
  • Places Visited: Europe (several countries), Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Canada, The United States
  • Interests:A book collector,  I love to read! I play in a pub trivia league which I helped to create. My passion is stamp-collecting and I am a nationally qualified judge and exhibitor. I have held an academic appointment at Trinity College, University of Toronto as a Research Associate in the field of Far Eastern Postal history. My ambition is to learn about my students cultures.

Lori-Ann Strange

Lori-Ann Strange, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Montreal, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English, French
  • Languages Studied: French
  • Places Visited: France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, United States
  • Interests: Toronto is the perfect city to indulge my love of food, movies and music from all over the world. I love travelling, especially to places where I can practice my French. Spending time with my friends and family enjoying good food and good fun is my favourite way to relax.

Margaret R., Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Toronto, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English and Portuguese
  • Languages Studied: French
  • Places Visited: Canada, Dominican Republic, United States, Barbados, Portugal, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, St. Lucia, Martinique
  • Interests: My passions are varied but usually revolve around food, family and friends. I love talking, travelling and meeting people. My favourite places in the world are always near water. I love gardening, reading and shopping too.

Nikki Papatheodorou

Nikki Papatheodorou, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Toronto, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English and Greek
  • Languages Studied: French, Greek, Korean
  • Places Visited: United States, Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Greece, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma)
  • Interests: My passion is helping learners get closer to their language goals and celebrating their success.

Rosa Eliana Castro, Customer Service Representative

  • Place of Birth: Lima, Peru
  • Languages Spoken: Spanish
  • Languages Studied: English, French, Italian
  • Places Visited: United States, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, France, Spain, England
  • Interests: I love traveling and meeting people, immersing myself in the culture. Listening to music, dancing and reading are also my favorite hobbies. My passion is to create a heart-to-heart connection with people.

Sabrina Russo, Teacher

  • Place of Birth: Toronto, Canada
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Languages Studied: French, Italian and Spanish
  • Places Visited: Canada, The United States, Jamaica, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain
  • Interests: When I'm not at work and meeting new people, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking, reading, listening to music and watching my favourite Toronto sports teams play. I also have a passion for looking for beautiful things in life which allows me to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world. I love to travel and plan on visiting some of the amazing people that I have met from all over the world.

Sara Potkonjak, Assistant Director of Studies

  • Place of Birth: Belgrade, Serbia
  • Languages Spoken: English, Serbian
  • Languages Studied: French
  • Places visited: Antigua, Austria, Cuba, Dominican Republic, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, and USA
  • Interests: I’m passionate about meeting and connecting with new people. I feel so lucky to have met so many students from around the world. In my spare time, I love exploring Toronto, watching movies with my friends, and visiting my sister and her dog in Montreal.

Vesna Kuran-Barac, Registrar

  • Place of Birth: Metkovic, Croatia
  • Languages Spoken: Croatian and English
  • Languages Studied: English
  • Places Visited: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Hungry, Italy, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland
  • Interests: My passion is meeting people, and that is exactly my job! Each workday allows me to meet people from all over the world, in person and through email, and provides me with continuous opportunities to learn about the world we live in.