To keep overhead more manageable, we have chosen staff with specific skillsets, both professional and paraprofessional. This multidisciplinary approach is not only extremely efficient, but necessary when working with such a broad and diverse population of exceptional learners.
In order run our programs effectively, we consult with experienced professionals every step of the way (Board Certified Behaviour Analysts, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, etc). The professional development of our staff is always an ongoing priority to ensure we deliver the best programs possible!
We work in conjunction with members of our local Regional Education Centre, Department of Mental Health (AVITA and other), Nova Scotia Early Childhood Development Intervention Services (NSECDIS), Department of Community Services, and many others.
We pride ourselves on being a place of learning for everyone and that includes providing practicum/coop/intern/service learning opportunities for post secondary students enrolled in varies related programs. We have had the pleasure of having students from NSCC’s Social Services, Child & Youth, Behavioural Supports, Practical Nursing, and Behavioural Intervention programs. We have also had students from Acadia University’s Bachelor of Education program for their inclusive reflections. All students and volunteers are required to meet the same minimum standards as our core staff in terms of clean records checks and first aid, and all must sign strict confidentially and code of conduct agreements.
We strongly believe in the ‘it takes a village’ mentality to be successful!
Executive Director/Lead Behavioural Tutor Founder
Elizabeth has always had a passion for helping others and an aptitude for leadership. Current examples include her efforts on the Board of her daughter’s daycare, manning the local autism centre’s parent support group, volunteering on the programming committee for the local autism centre, and in bringing the Nova Scotia Special Olympics Active Start and FUNdamentals programs to the Annapolis Valley.
Key elements of her experience and impressive knowledge started to drop into place following her graduation from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Her main area of study was developmental psychology with a focus on children and disabilities. She did not realize that this early grounding would be so fortuitous.
Since graduating, Elizabeth has embraced various aspects of business management, from her work as a Banking Officer, to her rise from receptionist to eventually taking on the responsibilities of Operations Manager of a small corporation, to starting a small accounting business so that she could stay home to provide therapy for her daughter. These experiences have provided Elizabeth with a comprehensive foundation for managing this new endeavour.
An avid learner and researcher, Elizabeth is excited to return to her psychology roots and is currently looking to pursue a Master’s of Education with a focus on Autism as well as meeting the requirements to obtain BCBA certification.
Thirteen years ago, her husband’s profession caused them to move to the Annapolis Valley where she has since developed her various business experiences, acquired numerous child development skills and pursued her love for singing and performing.
My name is Rachel Keast and I am extremely excited to be working at Rowan’s Room Respite and Development Centre. I spent most of my childhood in England and Wales before moving to Canada at the age of thirteen. It was during high school when my interest in working with children that needed a little extra really peaked, resulting in the decision to attend university to study psychology, focusing on child development. I began this journey at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and ended it at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. While in Fredericton I was given the opportunity to work at Autism Connections Fredericton and loved every minute of it. Since then I have worked in Ontario and Manitoba. In both provinces I worked at the local daycares where I worked in multiple positions over the years before ending up in the preschool program coordinator position. Over these years I have worked with children from all walks of life and various developmental stages and loved every minute of it. I even cut my first maternity leave short to return to work after 9.5 months, it helped that he was attending the daycare that I worked in. I also attended as many professional development days as I could as I am a firm believer, especially in this field, that learning is a continuous journey that will never end. I am in the final stages of becoming a Registered Behavioural Technician. I was extremely excited to be back in Nova Scotia and could not believe my luck when Elizabeth approached me about this amazing opportunity. With the support of my husband, the love of my two boys, and the drive of Elizabeth, I know this is the place for me to be and cannot wait to share in the success of your child(ren) with you!
My name is Cheryl Plaschka and I began working with Rowan’s Room in April of 2017.
I was born and raised in Ontario but moved to Nova Scotia in 2003 to attend Acadia University. I met my now husband, Rick, when we were in high school; we both moved and attended Acadia together. After graduating, we got married and decided to make the Annapolis Valley our home. We have now been married 10 years and have 2 amazing children.
While at Acadia, I majored in Sociology, and minored in Psychology and English. I began working in a small community option home shortly after graduating. Throughout my 10 years in this role, I had numerous educational opportunities, both formal and practical, including Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, Positive Behaviour Supports, and American Sign Language levels 1&2. I have enjoyed working with and providing support for people of varying ages and abilities and am continuously seeking ways to expand my skill set in order to be able to better help others.
I feel extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people and am so excited to continue to learn and grow alongside everyone at Rowan’s Room.