Stand Up for Student Well-Being has been delivering effective programs for six years in Ontario. More than 2000 young people have benefitted from our programs. 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 proud to be a registered charitable organization in Ontario, Canada to expand our work.
We would like you to meet our highly committed Board of Directors.
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.
Founder and President
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.
She is excited to see her work take a new direction as a Non-Profit charity to bring Stand UP for Student Well-Being to 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. Sue is the author of the book Kidding Around: connecting kids to happiness, laughter and humour. 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.
Founding Board Member
George is a Partner with SIMPSONWIGLE LAW, whose practice focuses on commercial litigation and complex commercial disputes. He has acted on behalf of individuals, privately held corporations and publicly traded corporations. He has been active in the community and says, “I believe in being an active participant in my community. You cannot take without giving back. Otherwise, as a society we will never push ahead.” George grew up in Montreal and now lives in Hamilton, ON.
The Associations he belongs to include: The Law Society of Ontario and Canadian Bar Association. He is on the Board of Directors of the Ronald McDonald House of South Central Ontario and was Former President, Ronald McDonald House of South Central Ontario. George was honoured to receive the Ontario Volunteer Service Award, 2017.
Sree is managing partner within KPMG’s Technology Risk Consulting (TRC) practice. Sree Kunnath is an industry leader in Intelligent Risk Automation space and pioneer in convergence of IRM/GRC technology, machine intelligence and corporate vision. He brings in more than 16 years of global Big 4 advisory experience and currently heads the GRC practice nationally within KPMG. Sree’s global risk advisory experience includes most of the top tier global fortune 500 organizations.
Thanks to Greg Rodrigo for being our amazing webmaster!
Thanks to Madhu Thyagaraja, Chili Davidson, Sebastian Chow and Joey Crewe for their expert social media posts!
Thanks to Nic Rodrigo for his graphic arts skills!
We will be forever grateful to Kyle Woolven for his magic and skill as one of our original Comedian Coaches. We were thrilled to have the Fabulous Kenny Robinson on our team and learned so much from his many years in the comedy world. We wish Kyle and Kenny joy in their future adventures.
Thanks to Kita Szpak for her research expertise in our early years.
Thanks to Gayle Rotenberg for the many roles she has played in our growth. She has been the best cheerleader ever.
Appreciation to Anita Townsend and Marlena Kaesler for their energy and kindness with our charity.