We have purposefully chosen staff with specific skillsets, both professional and paraprofessional. This multi-disciplinary approach is not only extremely efficient, but necessary when working with such a broad and diverse population of exceptional learners.
In order to run our programs effectively, the maintenance of professional development of our staff is always an ongoing priority to ensure we deliver the best programs possible!
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 as well as Mount Saint Vincent University’s Child & Youth program for their practicum. All students and volunteers are required to meet the same minimum standards as our core staff in terms of clean records checks, vulnerable sector 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 Behavioural Interventionist Founder
Hello! My Name is Elizabeth Mason-Squires and I am the Executive Director and Founder of Rowan’s Room Developmental Society. I have always been passionate about helping others and naturally gravitate toward leadership roles when the need arises. I am the Past-Chair at our local Chapter of Autism Nova Scotia and currently serve on several not-for-profit Boards in our community. At the same time that I opened the doors to Rowan’s Room, I also helped bring the Nova Scotia Special Olympics Active Start and FUNdamentals programs to the Annapolis Valley.
I graduated from Saint Mary’s University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in development, children, behaviour, linguistics, and disabilities. This turned out to be fortuitous upon the birth of my amazing daughter who is on the Autism Spectrum.
Upon graduating, at that time, I was unable to pursue a masters level program, so I shifted my attention to learning all aspects of business management. I continued my education in business by taking the first year of NSCC’s Business Administration diploma program. This allowed me the opportunity to open my own accounting business so that I could stay home and work around my daughter’s therapeutic needs. From banker to operations manager, these experiences have provided me with a comprehensive foundation for managing this endeavour.
An avid learner and researcher, I am currently working toward my Master of Education (M.Ed.) in educational leadership.
Fifteen years ago, my husband’s profession moved us to the Annapolis Valley where I have since developed my various business experiences, acquired numerous child development skills and pursued my love for singing and performing. My husband, daughter, and myself, plan on remaining in the beautiful Annapolis Valley for a long time!
Rachel Platt, BCBA, M.ADS
Behaviour Analyst Clinical Director
Rachel Platt is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst with a Masters in Applied Disability Studies specializing in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). She discovered her passion for working with individuals with disabilities at Camp Rotary in New Brunswick which catapulted her into a career devoted to maintaining and/or discovering the true potential of all her clients. Working in Montreal as an ABA therapist Rachel had the privilege of working directly with clients and their families in both the home and centre environment. Upon returning to Nova Scotia she started her own business providing private ABA services to those needing additional supports in the home, preschool and school environment. Rachel is very excited to join the team at Rowan’s Room and to work with like minded professionals who understand the importance of an individualized approach that focuses on strengths and teaching new skills to help students overcome any challenge they may face. Rachel believes strongly in advocating for change when necessary and embracing the differences that makes us all unique individuals. She believes in a multidisciplinary approach and looks forward to meeting each of you and discovering how she can help.
Hi, my name’s Nicole Philpitt and, with great pleasure, I’ve been with Rowan’s Room since September 2016 as a Behaviour Tutor/Early Childhood Educator. I have been working in the early childhood education field for 16 years; over this time I have achieved my Early Childhood Education diploma and numerous certifications within the understanding and education of exceptionalities. As the understanding of an exceptionality grows, I strive to grow with it by attending workshops and enrolling in online courses. I am currently enrolled in CBT online and I’m furthering my education by taking Kinesiology at Acadia University as well. Over the years, and within many provinces, I have worked in both small and large mainstream licensed daycares, ran my own day home with the main focus being directed towards exceptionalities and within the school system as an Educational Assistant. I have the knowledge and experience in creating programs and daily curriculum while keeping in mind the individual needs of students who attend; as well as, the flexibility to accommodate and adapt when need be. I believe with maximum understanding, growth and heart will follow.
Hello! My name is Becky Johnson and I have had the pleasure of joining the Rowan’s Room Team in October of 2019. From a young age I have always enjoyed working with children who have exceptionalities. At the young age of 13 I started participating in a program called “Swim Buddies,” where teenagers who were working on their lifeguard qualifications helped qualified lifeguards in the pool by assisting a child with an exceptionality. It was then that I decided that this was the career path I wanted and set my goals on becoming a Special Education teacher- with a particular focus on Autism. In May 2014, I completed my teaching requirements at Nipissing University and I am working towards my specialization in Special Education with the same university. Since then I have taken my teaching career as far as it will let me! I have experience working in the UK as a Year 5 teacher, a substitute at Yellowknife District No. 1, and a classroom teacher at NJ MacPherson School in various grades ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 8. My teaching experiences have allowed me to teach students from a variety of backgrounds. I am also a qualified Montessori Teacher through the North American Montessori Center. As a Montessori Kindergarten teacher I have learned to mix two different curricula to create an enriched experience for children 5-11 years old. I have learned to use Montessori ideologies to help enrich concrete learning for learners of all ages and continue to use what I have learned from being a Montessori teacher in my daily teaching practises. I truly believe that learning takes place through relationships and use this as my guiding force when it comes to student engagement and learning.
Behavioural Interventionist and Site Manager
BIO COMING SOON!
Hi! My name is Dione Rousseau and I gratefully joined the Rowan’s Room team in August, 2020. I am a Registered Professional Counsellor Candidate, providing counselling services to students and families of students at Rowan’s Room and behaviour intervention. When I’m not at Rowan’s Room, I also run a private counselling practice from home, continue my learning through workshops and courses, spend time with my partner and family, and video chat with my 6 wonderful nieces and nephews and family in Ontario.
The main therapeutic modality I use is Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) and IFS with Play Therapy for children and youth. With this, I draw from other modalities such as, DBT, CBT, Somatic Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy and more.
My path to counselling and behaviour intervention began with my own difficulties in conventional school systems. The traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach (i.e. lecture style classes, emphasis on theory and a lack of hands on practical learning) didn’t work for me. It wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered what my unique needs are in order to learn optimally. This was absolutely pivotal in my life. I then was introduced to the experiential school, Rhodes Wellness College in Vancouver, BC where I received a Professional Counsellor Diploma and then continued on to attain my RPC-C. Because of the experiential and multidisciplinary approach (and my passion for people and counselling) I loved every single day of school (and I never thought I’d say that).
This is just one of the reasons why my heart is close to the Rowan’s Room philosophy and approach. I believe that every person on this planet has their own unique innate wisdom to share with the world and I’m thrilled to be part of a school that creates an environment that encourages and supports individuals in accepting and expressing themselves authentically, in realizing their innate awesomeness and in thriving in a learning environment that suits THEM – this is what every child/person deserves.
In my practicum experience I had the pleasure of being assistant facilitator for a prenatal mental health CBT support group at South Community Birth Program in Vancouver, BC, as well as, Wellness Counsellor at Vancouver Women’s Health Collective located in Vancouver’s
Downtown Eastside. I was a student counsellor at my school’s Rhodes Counselling Centre and working as Community Mental Health Worker for Coast Mental Health in Vancouver, BC with individuals who had been unhoused and individuals with mental health difficulties and concurrent disorders. My love for kids began with becoming an aunt and working with young children at the Saplings Outdoor Program as Outdoor Educator in Vancouver, BC.
I am passionate about being a role model in youth’s lives to create a safe, fun, supportive, accepting and collaborative environment for children and youth with exceptionalities. I believe that in environments such as this, children and youth are better able to embrace their differences, access their creativity and be more willing and eager to learn as their unique needs are being catered to, respected and included.
Hi! My name is Jessica Atkinson and I joined Rowan’s Room as a Teacher in March of 2019. I am currently living in South Alton with my husband and two beautiful children. I grew up on the South Shore in the small town of Barrington. I moved to the Valley and attended Acadia University from 2006-2012 where I completed a Bachelor of Science (in Psychology & Biology) as well as a Bachelor of Education with a focus on the Elementary level.
During my time at Acadia I volunteered with the SMILE program where I met some of the most wonderful, interesting, and kind children. It was then that I knew I would love working with children of all different abilities in an educational setting. I hope to one day further my experience and education and pursue a Masters degree in Inclusive Education.
It is my belief that every child is unique as a person and a learner. It is my job to provide a safe and fun environment where I can help them reach their full potential. Rowan’s Room is allowing me to work one on one with children to determine the best way for them to learn and grow, both as a student and as a person.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at the Coldbrook location and am so excited to be part of such an amazing team!
BIO COMING SOON!
Allison Field is a Behaviour Interventionist who has recently joined the Rowan’s Room team. Allison was born and raised in Halifax, and completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Dalhousie University. She completed the Behavioural Interventions program at NSCC and has since worked with children, adolescents, and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in a variety of settings including home, daycare, work programs, and group homes. She has recently begun a Master’s of Special Education program to further her education and pursue the Board Certified Behaviour Analyst designation. Allison is excited to be a part of the Rowan’s Room team and looking forward to helping students achieve their individual success.
Hi, I’m Charlotte McRae, I started working at Rowan’s Room in April 2019 after completing a practicum placement. During my practicum I fell in love with Rowan’s Room. I found myself continually learning from the amazing, unique children and staff throughout our interactions and I continue to learn more each day. I’m a mom of two wonderful, inspiring children, Jessie (9) and Doug (8), I say that parenting is the most difficult and most rewarding job I have ever had.
In 2009 I graduated with my Early Childhood diploma from NSCC, since that time I have worked in various daycares, ran my own In-Home daycare and continue to work at the Greenwood Military Family Resource Centre doing respite care for deployed families. I went back to university in the fall of 2018 to complete a BA in Child and Youth at MSVU, I’m entering my last year and plan on perusing a Masters in Social Work afterwards. Working with young children has been part of my life since I was a teen and through the years it has become my passion to work with children and families to enrich their lives
Mindy was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario with her parents and two sisters. As a child, Mindy fell in love with music while taking violin lessons. One of her fondest memories is playing alongside her great grandfather.
After 20 years in the Navy and 5 children, Mindy decided to focus her time on her family and reinvest in her musical ambitions. All her children have been through various Kindermusik classes and love how it has brought a love of music out of them.
BIO COMING SOON!
BIO COMING SOON!
Behavioural Interventionist Speech-Language Pathologist
BIO COMING SOON!