Formerly known as Happiness at School

Get To Know Us

Stand Up for Student Well-Being has been delivering effective programs for six years in four Ontario school boards.  More than 1600 students and their teachers have benefitted from our programs (originally delivered under the name Happiness at School).  Our program delivery model is unique and our Student “Playbooks” have been developed by educators to maximize the impact on learning. Due to the critical and extensive need for this kind of programming, we are in the process of registering as a charity in Ontario, Canada to expand our work.

We would like you to meet our highly committed Board of Directors and our talented and dedicated Staff Team of Comedian Coaches.

Directors

Ardeth Staz

Chair of the Board and Founding Board Member

Ardeth Staz is an independent Educational Leadership Consultant, retired from the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) as a Superintendent. During her 35 years in education, Ardeth worked in roles such as teacher, principal and consultant.  She has worked with many teams during her career and engaged teachers, parents, principals and consultants in professional learning in many areas of focus. Ardeth brings to our Board her experience as Chair of the Board of Learnography/Curriculum Services Canada and My Class Needs.

Sue Stephenson

Executive Director and Founding Board Member

Susan Stephenson, (aka Sue) loved going to school so much (no kidding around) that she became a teacher, then a consultant and then a principal —over a 35 year career in four school boards in Ontario in elementary and secondary schools. A highlight in her career was  being the founding principal of North Kipling JMS which became the lighthouse school for this program. Since “retiring” from Toronto District School Board she has become recharged as an author of four books on trust, laughter, humour and happiness.

Sue was the creator and President of Happiness at School, which grew from her latest book Kidding Around: connecting kids to happiness, laughter and humour. She is excited to see her work take a new direction as a Non Profit to bring Stand UP for Student Well-Beingto youth in more schools. She is not joking when she says we all need to lighten up, laugh more and live on the bright side of life. She is a Certified Laughter Leader – Expert with the World Laughter Tour and a Gold Member of the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

Douglas Cornell

Founding Board Member

Douglas Cornell, is an eighteen year elementary educator and now Vice Principal from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).  Having taught homerooms from grades four to eight, along with gifted programs, Douglas brings a wealth of knowledge on curriculum planning, equity, well-being and pedagogy to the team.  Douglas obtained his Bachelor of Education at the University of Windsor.  He is also a Registered Nurse, graduating for Western University.

Douglas has contributed to the growth and marketing of our program over the past six years as a program champion, lead teacher, consultant and developer.  Many of his students have been featured presenting stand-up comedy routines and being profiled in The Toronto Star, on CTV News, City TV and in the children’s program, We Are Savvy.

Sarb Cheema

Founding Board Member

Sarb Cheema, CPA, CGA, is one of the founding partners of SDVC LLP, Chartered Accountants. He graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University and began his career in public practice. He went on to work for various private companies focusing on tax and financial planning. He has extensive experience in setting up tax structures and wealth management strategies for large client portfolios including professionals (doctors, lawyers, IT consultants, etc.) and small businesses (restaurants, transportation, etc.). Working with a diverse range of clients, his approach is to get to know the business first-hand by listening and understanding the clients’ financial concerns. He continually builds on his strong tax knowledge base by attending conferences and keeping up to date with CRA releases.
How Sarb Cheema would describe himself: “I go above and beyond for each and every client. This starts with me answering the phone and responding to emails. I work with a diverse range of clients and understand the importance of customer service. I build a relationship with each client by listening and understanding their goals and financial concerns.”

Staff Team

David Green

Project Manager and Comedian Coach

Since moving from Nottingham to Niagara Falls, British comedian David Green has established himself as a rising star in the Canadian entertainment industry. With numerous TV and festival appearances under his belt, the award winning performer is a sought-after corporate entertainer and has worked for such companies as Bass Pro Shops, Home Depot, Hertz, Pathstone Mental Health, Niagara Ice Dogs and many more.

Headlining comedy clubs across Ontario, (Showtime, Club 54, The Corner) he has performed with Alonzo Bodden, Sean Cullen , K Trevor Wilson and Cash Cab’s Adam Growe. His comedy has been featured on Funny 820, College Humor, Rogers TV, YOUR TV and 610 CKTB. His festival credits include the Brantford Comedy Festival, Garden City Comedy Festival and Saugeen Shores Comedy Festival.

A multi-talented performer, David is the host of the award winning talk show “Live on Queen with David Green”. He has written, starred and directed two short films and multiple music videos. As a writer he is the recipient of the Culture Capital of Canada Literary Arts Award. He was also the recipient of the 2017 Emerging Artist Award at the 2017 St. Catharines Arts Awards.

Kyle Woolven

Lead Comedian Coach

Kyle Woolven is a graduate of the Humber College Comedy: Writing and Performance program where he was awarded the David Goodman Comedy Scholarship. His sketch troupe, Cash Grab, has participated in the Milwaukee, Montreal and Toronto Sketch Festivals and was a runner-up in the 2014 Toronto Sketch Comegeddon competition.

He now teaches as a part-time professor at Loyalist College in Belleville ON creating a course called Funny Bone: Understanding the Cultural Impact of Comedy. Kyle has been a lead comedian coach for the past five years with our Team.

Marc Hallworth

Lead Comedian Coach

Marc Hallworth is an actor, comedian and writer, who regularly does stand-up, sketch and improv comedy. He was part of NXNE and was a semi-finalist in the Toronto Comedy Brawl, and his sketch troupe Vest of Friends has won the Toronto SketchFest Best of the Fest Award, the Montreal SketchFest Best of the Fest Award, the Columbus Brew-ha-ha Producer’s Pick Award, as well as being named one of bite.ca’s “10 Troupes You Need To See Right Now.” Marc has been a lead comedian coach for the past five years with our Team.

Trevor Burnett

Comedian Coach

Trevor Burnett is a graduate of the Second City Workshop Training Centre and brings a unique comedic stage performance experience  with groups such as The Second City and Theatre Passe Muraille. He was People to People Citizen Ambassador and Delegate to Rwanda, Production Assistant for Late Night with Conan O’Brien and winner of the Toronto Theatre Alliance – Second City Annual Cross Cultural Scholarship. Trevor is a comedian coach with our Team.

Chili Davidson

Comedian Coach

Growing up in Toronto, Chili did a lot of community theatre and high school plays. He then attend Humber College for Comedy Writing and Performance where he was nominated for the Mark Breslin Award for Stand-up excellence. After graduating, Chili continued performed stand-up, sketch and improv comedy across Toronto in such locations as Yuk Yuks, Comedy Bar, Bad Dog Theatre, Second City, the Corner Comedy Club. He will be performing alongside his sketch troupe in Toronto Sketchfest this year and has opened for Letterkenny’s K Trevor Wilson at the Wave in London, Ontario. He recently appeared in an award winning short film called “Give and Take” which is traveling to film festivals throughout the United States.When he is not making people laugh and smile onstage he’s worked numerous jobs with youth including being camp counsellor, party entertainer, and youth facilitator with the Learning Disabilities Association of Toronto District where he facilitates after school programs and learning opportunities for students with learning disabilities.

Jeremy Dobski

Comedian Coach

Jeremy Dobski is an award winning stand up comedian and podcaster, with a background in writing, music and acting. He is currently a touring comedian with a home at The Corner Comedy Club in Toronto. His sense of humour is varied between dark and honest to absurd and surreal.

James Island

Comedian Coach

James Island has performed comedy with legends like Joe Rogan, Russell Peters and “Big Jay” Oakerson in places from Toronto to Seoul to Mexico City. He also hosts an award-winning joke writing workshop in Toronto called “Joke Marmalade.”

Tamara Junkin

Comedian Coach

Tamara Junkin is a writer, comedian, and hot sauce enthusiast. She is creator of the web series ‘Midlife’, has written for ‘22 Minutes’ and ‘Vice Media’.

Kenny Robinson

Comedian Coach

“The Fabulous Kenny Robinson” is a living legend on the Canadian Comedy scene.

Winner of the Phil Hartman Award, Kenny’s irreverent, socially conscience, intelligent, opinionated and profane style of comedy has made him a fixture and favourite with comedy clubs, festivals, swingers conventions, radio, and television audiences for over 3 decades.

Energetic, sharp witted, and sharp dressed; Kenny Robinson is a one of a kind act. Kenny assaults your sensibilities and funny bone with unspoken truths. He was nominated for Canadian Comedy Award-Best Male Comic 2008, he’s a Two Time Gemini Award Nominee for CBC’s Thick and Thin (1998) and was twice named Comic of the Year by NOW Magazine.

Harpreet Sehmbi

Comedian Coach

Harpreet Sehmbi is a Toronto based stand-up comedian, improviser, writer and actor. She is an alumni of Second City’s Toronto’s Longform Conservatory and Sketch Conservatory programs, and regularly performs stand-up all over Canada and the US. She’s headlined the Lady Laughs Comedy Festival in Wisconsin and the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, and was featured in the North Carolina Comedy Festival and the 6th Borough Comedy Festival in New Jersey. She coproduces and hosts The Darjeelings of Comedy, showcasing South Asian identifying females, and The Anti-Token Comedy Show featuring comedians of colour in Toronto. Harpreet is the creator and star of a web series called INDIE-pendent.

Gayle Rotenberg

Team Cheerleader

Gayle Rotenberg is an experienced educator and leader in the roles of teachers, consultant and principal with the Halton DSB and Peel DSB. In over 30 years in education, she has worked in junior, middle and secondary and provincial schools in Ontario including 10 years as a teacher of the Deaf and teaching a Behaviour class and then moving to the Board office as the consultant for Developmentally Delayed students. Administration followed where she experienced one of the highlights of her career in opening in a new school. A firm believer that a happy school is a successful school, she has made laughter part of her daily routine. Gayle is Past-President of the Toronto Dragons Abreast dragon boating Team made up of over 100 Breast Cancer Survivors.