Meet the Staff at St. James!

Michelle Franks: Supervisor/Teacher
The executive and the co-op members are very happy with the high quality of programming at St. James where Michelle’s strengths in creating creative, stimulating and friendly programs are clearly evident. Her interaction with the students and co-op parents is consistently friendly and enthusiastic. Michelle’s strong sense of purpose and professionalism is exhibited day after day through the diligence in which she ensures the school and programs meet and exceed all regulatory requirements. When issues or questions do arise regarding guidelines for programs and other regulated aspects of running a nursery school Michelle is always eager to engage government representatives for guidance and support. She is well known around the preschool for her energy, enthusiasm, creative ideas, care and concern for the children.

While at St. James, Michelle has embraced the opportunity to stimulate young minds to develop lifelong literacy skills. Michelle was instrumental in developing three innovative programs: Alphabet Soup, Kindergarten Capers and most recently, 1-2-3 KaBOOM-a Math & Science class that excites the minds of young explorers! All 3 programs are literacy-based, provide JK/SK enrichment, and encourage creativity in a fun atmosphere. More than 150 children have attended these programs! The parents of the children attending the programs often comment on their child’s new eagerness to contribute ideas, the increased details in their work, and their pride; “I can print my name”, “I can read it all by myself”, and “I can rhyme words”.

Get to know Michelle better (in her own words!):

“My middle child of five daughters summed up my job at St James Preschool precisely one morning as I rallied the troops for school: “You’re so lucky…I go to school to work and you go to school to play!”
Over my many years at St James, I have been very fortunate to work with fellow teachers who share my passion to enrich the learning experiences of our young explorers with dedicated work and enthusiasm, an amazing set of parents each year who step forward with spirit and commitment to help ensure a bright beginning for their children, and children who are just children; eager to explore, share their discoveries and seize the moments. There is never a dull moment at St James. For those times, I love to read, embroider little girls’ smocked dresses, spice up my life with travel and enjoy time with my girls.”

Sandra WalkerTeacher
Sandra Walker is usually the first teacher many Dundas toddlers have!! Former students can be heard from the sidewalk yelling her name as she boogies along the St. James float at the annual Cactus Festival Parade. She began her career in London, Ontario teaching at a daycare there for 6 years before moving to Dundas with her husband and young family. Sandra has been a part of the St. James family for 13 years. She, herself, brought her youngest daughter to the preschool when she joined as a parent member. She decided to get more involved and worked as an executive member and finally, was hired as a teacher. Sandra is married with two teenage daughters and has lived in Dundas for 16 years.

Sandra upholds the philosophy of our school through her leadership in programming, adaptability and friendly and professional interaction with co-op members. She has always shown excellent interaction skills with our membership. She is sensitive to parents and the concerns they may have surrounding their children and makes all children and parents in her program feel equal and valued. She is informative, friendly and very knowledgeable.
Sandra teaches the Superstar program for toddlers (age 2 by Dec 31st). She knows what it feels like to transition your child to a new and exciting (but different!) social environment for the first time. She always has an extra arm (or two, or three) for any child needing a calm place. Parents are comforted by her warm smile, great sense of humour and conversations, and consistent routines.

As an active teacher that really enjoys exercise and being part of a team, Sandra also teaches Sport Fit. This program introduces new sports/activities to 4 and 5 year olds where no prior skills are necessary and with Sandra, the emphasis is always on co-operation and having fun!

Get to know Sandra better (in her own words!):

“I love Rock and Roll, chocolate milk, a good party and children. I hate paperwork, dishes and housework. On my down time I like to curl, golf, kayak/canoe, hike, bike ride, rollerblade, camp, playing hockey and reading.
I have learned to text (barely), am getting the hang of the digital camera (sort of), and I can check and receive e-mail. I am not on Facebook and I do not Twitter. I have a teenage daughter who loads my MP3 player, programs my cell phone (which is usually not charged and out of minutes) and any other computer/techy thing the modern world thinks I need done to make my life simpler (Ha).”


Trish HoodTeacher
Trish is one of our fabulous teachers in Kids Club.  She has been a part of St. James for 16 years and loves everything about our program. She started as a parent when both of her children started in the Super Star program with Mrs. Walker, then moved up to the many classes with Mrs. Franks, starting with Kids Club (Alphabet Soup, Kaboom, Word Detectives) and then finally Print Works. Once her daughter started SK, she was asked if she would like to do some supply work at St. James and of course she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the program. After a year of supply she was offered a part time position which she of course took and we are so grateful to have her as a part of our team!

Get to know Trish better (in her own words!):

“Since accepting the part time job at St. James I have not looked back. This has been the best decision for myself and my family and now I am heading into my 11th year of teaching at St. James. Over the course of my time at St. James we have had some absolutely wonderful teachers join our team and it is always such a positive team of humans to work with.”


Martha FiorentinoTeacher

*Information Coming Soon*







Megan BeckettTeacher
Megan is another wonderful staff member who is going into her 4th year at St. James. She is a OCT certified primary school teacher and taught for 5 years in London, England before having kids. Like everyone else, she was the parent of a child attending St. James, before joining the team. Her experience as a parent was probably very different than the other educators, as her son attended during COVID in 2020-2021 which means she didn’t get to participate at all really, but her son had an amazing experience that year and she knew he was in excellent hands so she joined the St. James team the following year.

Meg has worked with in both the Super Stars and Kids Club programs and we were thrilled to ask her to teach KinderGrow program that piloted this past 2023-2-2024 year. For this program, she plans on following the Ontario Kindergarten Curriculum, and intends to make each year an amazing introduction to big school for those who attend her JK program prior to heading off to new adventures in SK the following year.

Get to know Meg better (in her own words!):

“Hi all, I’m Megan! I have two wonderful children, 2 crazy dogs and a funny British expat for a husband. I love sports, music (anything but country, sorry!), camping and dogs. Family is the most important thing to me. I am very fortunate to get to work at St. James with the awesome staff and all the amazing children who attend. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of our wonderful Dundas community!”


Julie Kivell: Director/Teacher
Julie is a new but wonderful asset to the St. James team. She is working alongside Sandra Walker (with the Super Stars in the AM and in Kids Club in the PM) and the rest of the St. James team. Even though Julie is new to the St. James staff as of this year (2023), she has been a part of the St. James community for many years. It started with a few drop offs/pick-ups of her eldest niece. Some current and former families may also know her mom (Grandma Marj) who worked at St. James in 2019-2022 and/or her husband Shane who was the greeter and door screener in 2020 during Covid. Prior to joining St. James, Julie graduated as an Early Childhood Educator from Mohawk College in April of 2015 and was hired as a supply DECE by the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board in October 2015. After two years of long-term occasional (LTO) work, she became a permanent DECE for the HWDSB in 2017. She’s worked at Pauline Johnson, Bellmoore, and George L. Armstrong Elementary School (formerly Ms. Howden) as well as did a full year for the HWDSB Remote School until 2022 when she went on maternity leave to have her son Emmett. While on maternity leave, she did a lot of drop offs and pick-ups of her younger niece, where she had opportunities to engage with the families and teachers and fell in love with the St. James atmosphere all over again. She was already in the mindset that I wanted a change but wasn’t sure what, so when she heard about the opportunity for the position she took a deep breath, a big leap, and applied.

Get to know Julie better (in her own words!):

“I have been married for four years and have a 2 year old son. I live in a multi-generational home, and I love spending time with my family while playing board games, going swimming, or doing escape rooms. Like Mrs. Walker, I love music and enjoy many genres but mainly 70’s, 80’s and 90’s music. I was born, raised, and still currently live in Dundas so I might also be a familiar face to some; especially if you shopped at Fortino’s on Main Street West as I worked there just shy of 8 years. Even prior to accepting the position, the St. James team welcomed  with open arms. I am looking forward to seeing what is to come in this next chapter, as well as meeting all the new families that I will have the pleasure of working with.”


Keith “Papa Keith” SharpTeacher

*Information Coming Soon*