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Our Teachers

Our teachers are dedicated to their work and to our students, and they take pride in fostering academic excellence, creativity, and social conscience. All of our teachers are selected for their expertise in their fields as well as their passion for education.

Click on a photo to see the descriptions of each of our teachers

Michelle Lefolii, Principal of Abelard

Michelle Lefolii

Brian Blair, The Abelard School

Brian Blair

Alina Rossinsky, The Abelard School

Alina Rossinsky

Mark Young

Inga Bratchuli, The Abelard School

Inga Bratchuli

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Dr. Michael Kilgour

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Carine Nemr

Cassandra Silver, The Abelard School

Cassandra Silver

Carol Swartz, The Ablard School

Dr. Carol Schwartz

Oliver Cheng, The Abelard School

Oliver Cheng

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CJ Woodford

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Laurelle Veloce

“Guiding us through a challenging curriculum was a set of the most intelligent, highly educated, and dedicated teachers I have ever known. Whether to help with a difficult concept, to provide extra information for curious students, or simply to chat about this or that, Abelard's teachers with their infinite patience were always there for us.”

Anne-Marie Zapf-Belanger, A.B. (Harvard), JD, (UBC), Abelard Class of '05

 
 
Lefolii Abelard Principal

Michelle Lefolii

Michelle Lefolii is one of the founding members of the Abelard School. She has studied at the University of Toronto (Honours Bachelor of Arts in English, major in French), at the Sorbonne (French Literature), the École du Louvre (Art History) and at OISE (in the Masters of Teaching English programme). She is a firm believer in the importance of literature to personal experience and as a discipline worthy of rigorous academic study.

 

Brian Blair

Brian Blair is one of the founding members of the Abelard School. He studied first Chemical Engineering and then Classical Greek and Roman language, literature, history, and philosophy at the University of Toronto. After obtaining his Honours B.A. and M.A., he completed the coursework for his Ph.D. Mr. Blair teaches Classics, Political Science, and Philosophy. If he can pass on his love of learning to his students, he will be a happy man.

Alina Rossinsky

Alina Rossinsky

Alina Rossinsky is one of the founding members of the Abelard School. She obtained her B.A. and M.Ed. in French Studies from the Department of Foreign Languages at the Pedagogical University in Moscow, Russia. She has years of experience in French language instruction, journalism, and translation. Ms. Rossinsky currently teaches French, French civilization, and modern languages, and enjoys nothing more than challenging her students to be the best they can be.

 

Mark Young

Mark Young has a Master’s degree in Classics from the University of Toronto and spent several additional years working towards his Doctorate in Classics, also at U of T. He was Principal of The Abelard School from 2004-2014 . His current research is in Renaissance intellectual history. Mark teaches English, Classics, and History with the hope of furthering his students' zeal to read widely and think deeply.

 

Inga Bratchuli

Inga Bratchuli holds a Master of Science in Biophysics from Georgia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. She has been associated with the school in many capacities since 2000: as a teacher; as a parent (her son graduated from Abelard in 2010); as instructor for our after-school yoga club; and as our current Office Manager. If you have any questions about the school, or require any assistance, Ms. Bratchuli is happy to draw upon her wealth of experience to assist you.

 

Dr. Michael Kilgour

Michael Kilgour holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Chemistry from Queen’s University and in 2019 completed his PhD in Chemical Physics Theory at the University of Toronto. He has been an Abelard School Teacher since 2016, and continues his Theoretical Chemistry research as a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University. Every year Michael looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for science with the chemistry students, and his love of music with the Jazz Club.

 

Carine Nemr

Carine Nemr is currently a PhD candidate in the Chemistry Department at the University of Toronto. Her research in bioanalytical chemistry focuses on the development of novel diagnostic devices. She has experience as a laboratory and tutorial  teaching assistant at the undergraduate level at McMaster University and the University of Toronto. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for science outreach initiatives such as the Canadian Association for Girls in Science. 

 

Cassandra Silver

Cassandra Silver holds a Masters degree in Drama, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. She has taught Drama at the university level since 2008. She has also directed and performed in numerous theatrical productions in Toronto, Ottawa, and Alberta.

 

Dr. Carol Schwartz

Dr. Schwartz holds a PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics from U of T. She carried out postdoctoral research at the University of California at San Francisco and began work as a research associate at the Best Institute in the Faculty of Medicine at U of T in 1997. She has also worked as a research associate in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology. She is the author of numerous scientific publications. Dr. Schwartz has taught courses in the Departments of Zoology, Cell and Systems Biology and Human Biology at U of T.

 

Oliver Cheng

Abelard alumnus Oliver Cheng (class of 2004) is our Mathematics teacher. Since graduating from Abelard, he has had a spectacular academic career, obtaining his M.Sc. in Mathematics in 2009, and pursuing post- graduate studies at Brown University until 2015, where he was also employed as lecturer in Multivariable Calculus and Analytic Geometry. He is also an experienced high school teacher, having taught both Math and Latin (yes, he's a true Abelardian!) in schools in Canada, the U.S. and China.

 

CJ Woodford

Charles (CJ) Woodford is a PhD candidate in the Department of Physics and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on simulations of binary black holes, and especially on turning these simulations into tools to help detect gravitational waves.  He has taught and modified introductory physics courses at the University of Toronto since 2015 and outside of structured teaching, gives planetarium shows with the Dunlap Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics as well as computer science, astronomy, and physics workshops throughout the University of Toronto."

 

Laurelle Veloce

Laurelle Veloce holds a Bachelors degree in Physics from McMaster and a Masters degree in Experimental Particle Physics from Queens. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, where she is a member of the ATLAS particle physics experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). In the past she has worked at SNOLAB, TRIUMF, and the Canadian Space Agency. She has served as a teaching assistant and physics tutor at both Queen’s and the University of Toronto. Some of her interests include piano and silversmithing.