Flora educates holistically through specific encouragement of aesthetic awareness and artistic appreciation. She is the current curriculum leader at Northern, where she has taught drama for the past five years. She has taught both drama and English at various high schools. Prior to her tenure at Northern, Flora was the Head of Drama at Wilfred Laurier CI, Instructional Leader for the TDSB, Head of Drama at Woburn CI, Head of Drama at L’Amoreaux CI, and Head of Drama at Midland CI.
Flora is committed to student success and achievement by involving them in many projects such as the Improv Club, One Act Festival, Sears One Act Festival, First Draft at Tarragon Theatre, Mainstage, Drama Council, Drama Art Crew, Drama Stage Crew. A strong partnership has been developed between Northern SS and the following professional theatre companies: Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Direct, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, and Theatre Ontario. She has produced many school shows including Guys and Dolls, Whose Responsibility is it?, Dream Wolf, The Burning Times, Hair, Voices, and Glimpses.
Outside of the classroom, Flora is involved with several athletic associations as wells as community organizations. In addition she is a professional actor and belongs to both the stage union (Equity Actor’s Guild) and the film union (A.C.T.R.A.). She continues to be active in theatre and has worked with the Drama Co-op Company, the Kawartha Theatre Company, The Grand Theatre, Center in the Square, Inner Stage, Toronto Workshop Productions, Bathurst Street Theatre and the Theatre Resource Centre. She plays the flute, loves to read and writes as time permits.
Flora has a Masters degree in Theatre from the University of Guelph, an Honours Specialist in Drama from OISE, an Honours BA from Guelph, an Early Childhood Education Degree from Guelph, a Bachelor of Education from Queens and has studied theatre at Oxford University in England. She has written a book on Clowning that examines the techniques of Richard Pochinko. Flora is a published playwright. Her one act play entitled The Lamp and the Mirror was published in a collection entitled Shaktee Kee Awaaz – Voices of Strength.
Melanie Stassis has been teaching at Northern Secondary School for the last 5 years. She currently teaches, Drama, Media and Communication Technology and English. She is actively involved in Northern’s Drama productions. She has coached the Northern Improv Team for past 3 years, directed the 2007/08 mainstage production Macbeth and produced the 2008/09 mainstage production of Dracula. In addition she is a Staff Advisor for the One Act Festival and the Film Club. As a member of the Literacy Committee she has helped implement he D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) program and the Write It! Contest.
Outside of teaching she is an actor, director and producer. She has acted in “Intertextuality: A Creative Collection”, “House” and “Night Cows”, directed “The House of Yes” and “Seven Stories” and produced “Place of First Light”. She has stage managed “Hong Kong Canada”, “The Return of the Curse of the Mummy’s Revenge”, “Tears of a Dinosaur”.
Her areas of expertise are in acting theory and practice and film criticism. She received her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University and her Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. In addition she has an Honours Specialist in Drama and English and is the recipient of the OSSTF Status of Women new Teacher Award. Prior to teaching an Northern she was the Assistant Curriculum Leader of Literacy at Sir Stanford Fleming Academy.
Lesley began dancing at the age of four. Her studio training includes: ballet, jazz, tap, baton, lyrical, musical theatre and character dance. At Queen’s University she danced recreationally and was a dancer and choreographer for Queen’s Vogue Charity Fashion Show. Upon graduating from Queen’s University with a BAH and a BEd, Lesley attended York University and earned a Masters degree in Dance Theory, as well as a Dance AQ. She worked as a dance instructor for the City of Toronto and teaches dance workshops for preschool children during the summer. Her choreographic credits include: The Absence of Roots, Kermit, Love Hate, Newman Movement, Lab M, Brain Body Distracts, Jai Ho, Waka Waka, Northern’s 2011 Mainstage production, Stories with a Spin in ‘A’ Minor and, most recently, ch(aos)oreography. She has been a teacher at NSS since 2008 and piloted Northern’s dance program, which is now entering its third year.