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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ’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 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.
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.