B.A., B.Ed., Dip. F.A.
Certified Orton-Gillingham Therapeutic Practitioner
B.C. Certified Special Education Teacher
Karin Holm graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts, and in 1994 she received her Bachelor of Elementary Education. She also has a Diploma in Fine Arts (Music Education) from the University of Calgary and completed her Graduate Certificate in Special Education at Queen’s University. With 30 years experience as a teacher, Karin has acquired a high level of proficiency teaching children of all ages and abilities.
Karin is currently a certified member with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and has been designated a Dyslexia Specialist by the International Dyslexia Association. She has continued her studies by participating in courses on the subject of English Morphology and Syntax, as well as completing intensive workshops in the study of sentence structure and paragraph writing. Karin has also completed course work at the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Centre in Multisensory Math and a program of instruction in Orton-Gillingham Multi-sensory Basic Academic math.
Karin is passionate about teaching children with learning differences and works hard to ensure her students are feeling success while they build their self-esteem and confidence.
Certified with Orton-Gillingham Canada
Karen has been educating children for 25 years. She began as a preschool teacher in 1995. She then completed her Special Education Assistant training at Capilano University in 2002 and worked as an Educational Assistant for 22 years with the North Vancouver School District. After completing her basic Orton-Gillingham training in 2000, she tutored privately and became certified as a Tutor Associate with the Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Tutors in 2003. In July 2001, she completed Math with Manipulatives, an Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching math. As a Learning Support Worker with the North Vancouver School District she continued to use her knowledge as an OG practitioner working specifically with struggling readers for 5 years before becoming the Orton Gillingham tutor at North Vancouver School District’s Literacy Center. Since moving to the Comox Valley in 2020, Karen has continued to provide literacy support for elementary students while working for Comox Valley School District.
B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed.
Neil has worked as a teacher since 1998 in a variety of public-school settings. He has experience with all age groups but mainly worked at the Secondary and Post Secondary levels. For the last 10 years Neil has been working at North Island College in the Department of Accessible Learning teaching students with developmental and mental health challenges. In addition, he has also taught in the Department of Human Services at NIC teaching Students who are pursuing careers as Support Workers and Educational Assistants. He has a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Geography (SFU), a Bachelor of Education (UBC). He received his Masters of Education Degree in Administration, Counselling and Curriculum Studies (City University, USA) with a focus on Special Education in 2006.
Recently Neil has participated in the Orton-Gillingham 64 hour coursework to become an Associate with the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators while he completes his practicum.
Neil believes that the multi-sensory approach for teaching children is the most effective way to connect and allow a child to reach their full learning potential. He will accommodate for all learning differences to provide a constructive and positive learning experience.
Language Arts Specialist
Katherine completed her first year as an Orton-Gillingham Associate Level tutor in training and homeschool Language Arts/English support teacher at the same time she finished her first year in Canada. After 18 years spent teaching at private schools in Singapore, it was necessary to return. When abroad, professional opportunities included participating in a summer writing program at Columbia in New York; attending IB conferences in Adelaide and Hong Kong; and co-presenting a workshop with Dianna Pratt on responsible digital citizenship at EARCOS Philippines, a conference for international teachers in Asia-Pacific.
Establishing relationships through play and discussion are Katherine’s strengths. Her goal is to foster confidence, independence and joy in young people as they navigate learning the complexity of reading and writing.
Philosophically, she believes all learning comes down to two principles: having good communication skills and knowing when to take risks. Putting that into practice, she anticipates becoming a certified Dyslexia Interventionist in the next year.
Math and Science Tutor, Bachelor of Environmental Science
Kieran comes to us with an extensive background in math and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences. He has designed and conducted agricultural research work in laboratory and field settings and has a passion for applied science. He has years of experience as a metal fabricator and experience with the application of mathematics. Kieran is familiar with the math curriculum up to grade 10 and has experience working with the neurodiverse student with learning differences and neurological/developmental delays. He has worked as a support worker prior to beginning his tutoring with SOS. Kieran has successfully implemented a Multi-Sensory Grammar and Writing program with students who have learning differences, including dyslexia and dysgraphia, and he has a gift for connecting and creating relationships with kids. He is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys Mountaineering, Skiing, Hiking and Cycling.
B.Ed., M.Ed (Educational Psychology and Special Education)
Applied Behaviour Analysis/Functional Behaviour Assessments (IABA), Trained and certified by UCLA
Orton-Gillingham Basic Language Level 1, Orton-Gillingham online Academy
After completing her BEd, Irene worked as a French Immersion Teacher in Saskatchewan and later as a Generalist Teacher in the Netherland Antilles, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Gaza. She returned to Canada in 2000 to work in Alberta in Learning Support and went on to receive a Master Degree in Educational Psychology and Special Education. Identifying a need for special programming for children with behaviour issues, Irene participated in a 76-contact hour, graduate level course offered by Saskatchewan Health through the University of California and Los Angeles. She is certified by the Institute for Applied Behaviour Analysis to do assessment and analysis of severe and challenging behaviour. In 2010, Irene worked as an ABA Trainee Therapist at the Doha School for Students with Special Needs in Qatar. She was then recruited by Dr. Ghalain at the Alberta International School of Muscat, Oman to work as Assistant to the Superintendent and later as principal. She returned to Canada for a year due to a medical crisis in the family during which she also worked as Special Education Coordinator for the Fort Vermilion School Division. Her next international position was at the Lahore American School in Pakistan where she worked as the Special Education Coordinator for a K-12 school until COVID forced the evacuation of all staff. During her time in Pakistan, Irene and her colleagues in learning support trained online with the Orton-Gillingham Academy and the University of Nebraska to implement the OG approach in the elementary grades of the school. Irene became a strong advocate for the OG approach to teaching structured literacy when she saw the significant progress students made using this multi sensory model.
In 2020, Irene returned to Vancouver Island where she and 7 siblings were born and raised. She worked as an OG instructor in a private school for three years and is excited to use her knowledge and skills to tutor students who struggle to reach their full potential.
Koji was raised in Japan and Vancouver and now enjoys living in the Comox Valley. He has been working as a Youth Support Worker for 5 years. Koji is experienced with supporting neurodiverse children and youth with behavioural challenges. Since he has a passion and heart for the indigenous culture and peoples, he and his wife Jaimee started the Young Eagles Camp for at-risk Indigenous youth across North Vancouver Island communities. Koji has too many hobbies to count and enjoys participating in a variety of sports with the students at SOS and strives to be a role model for the next generation.
Jaimee comes from the Klahoose/Homalco and We Wai Kai First Nation on Vancouver Island. Jaimee started working with SOS in 2022 and brings a gentle, patient, and kind demeanour with the ability to make students feel welcomed. Jaimee is an ambassador of her culture and founded the non-profit Young Eagles camp for at-risk Indigenous youth across North Island communities which has been running since 2017. Jaime enjoys baking goodies for the students and doing creative activities at SOS. She works as an Indigenous liaison for SOS helping us create a more authentic Indigenous experience for our students in “Out of the Box”. Jaimee always looks forward to working with a diverse bunch of students and is proud to be working on her traditional Salish territory.
Yogi and Pansy
Available for hugs and cuddles!!!
Yogi joined SOS Tutoring in December of 2019. He enjoys spending time sleeping while the children are having their tutoring sessions. He helps the kids adjust quickly to our tutoring environment by allowing cuddling sessions before and after lessons. He also helps our clients stay calm and regulated when needed. Pansy joined us in December and makes kids smile, helps them with their anxiety by cuddling them and making them laugh.