Our Team

Staff

Theresa Mersky

Theresa Mersky

Founding Executive Director

Theresa is the driving force behind the school, from its inception to the thriving place it is today. Theresa worked in finance and consultancy for 20 years and joined the York School Board and became heavily involved in education. Theresa grew up in rural Arkansas with a mother who taught her from an early age that education was the ticket to a better life. Theresa remains steadfast in this belief, as she has personally experienced the rewards of education and continues to see it benefitting so many children at GPS and beyond.

Leah Mersky

Leah Mersky

Director of Operations

Leah has diverse life experience working on social change projects across the globe. In 2018, Leah led the tree-planting project at GPS and fell in love with the school, students, teachers, and the bright community. After working at Impakt Foundation to develop employment programs for newcomers in Toronto, she is now helping VCF to advance its mission through exciting planning and growth. Leah is extremely committed to the success of the community and the organization.

Robert McLean

Robert McLean

Director of Advancement

Robert brings a strong background of technical development and human rights to the team. His studies in International Development studies led him to consult on a variety of projects spanning from successful gender inclusivity campaigns spearheaded by sitting Canadian senators, to consulting with UNICEF's Children's Rights and Business unit to build partnerships with global corporate leaders to promote children's rights and combat the worst forms of exploitation. With his unique background, he hopes to help with growing VCF's outreach and ensuring the cutting edge best practices are leveraged to ensure continued success for years to come.

Alice Milne

Alice Milne

Director of Administration

Alice is responsible for overseeing the VCF budget and liaising between our donors and service providers, ensuring all donations reflect our school ethos. Alice works closely with both the Indian and Canadian Boards and their respective auditors. For Alice, the students at GPS are a true reflection of the high-quality work that has been done and will continue to be done at GPS.

Leah Bandler

Leah Bandler

Manager of Volunteers and Summer Camp

Leah is currently a full-time teacher at Greenwood College and was introduced to GPS in the fall of 2015 when she joined as a resource teacher straight out of teachers college. Formerly the director of the CIT program at Camp Tanamakoon, she founded the GPS Summer Camp Program in 2016 and continues to operate it today.

Board of Directors

Theresa Mersky

Theresa Mersky, Chairman

Theresa is the driving force behind the school, from its inception to the thriving place it is today. Theresa worked in finance and consultancy for 20 years and joined the York School Board and became heavily involved in education. Theresa grew up in rural Arkansas with a mother who taught her from an early age that education was the ticket to a better life. Theresa remains steadfast in this belief, as she has personally experienced the rewards of education and continues to see it benefitting so many children at GPS and beyond.

Seth Mersky

Seth Mersky

Seth is the former Senior Managing Director of Onex and Vice Chairman of Gluskin Sheff, where he built and managed relationships with the firm’s clients and business partners. Seth has been vital to the success of VCF and GPS since its founding, including ensuring the school has financial stability and the resources needed to achieve its mission. Seth has brought financial expertise and strategic guidance to the VCF board since its inception.

Justin Medved

Justin Medved

Justin is the current Associate Head of Academics at the York School. A board member of GPS since its founding, Justin also led the first York School Service Learning Trip to India. Justin is thrilled to lend his expertise to the strategic planning and development of VCF and GPS, and has enjoyed watching the GPS school grow from its humble beginnings to the amazing centre of learning it is today. He believes learning can only happen when health, heart and spirit align, and GPS is a living and thriving example of this today.

Dr. Samir Gupta

Dr. Samir Gupta

Dr. Samir Gupta is a respirologist and clinician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Gupta joined the VCF board in 2009, inspired by the vision and early successes of GPS. Dr. Gupta is very active in the GPS community, where he co-founded and now leads the GPS Health Program. His greatest reward has been seeing the once malnourished children become healthy and revel in the learning experience at GPS.

Christine Milne

Christine Milne

Christine, a lawyer who specializes in children’s law, joined the VCF board in 2014. Since that time, her admiration for the work of the school has continued to grow and far surpassed anything she ever imagined. In an area of great poverty, GPS is a beacon of learning and wellbeing for the students and staff alike. Christine is delighted to be able to serve on its board and support GPS’ continued growth and success.

Ashley Audrain

Ashley Audrain

Ashley joined the VCF board in 2009, after volunteering at the school when it was just two classrooms in a former matchbox factory. With a background in PR, including Publicity Director of Penguin Books Canada, Ashley joined the board to lead communications and support fundraising efforts. Ashley is currently a writer and mother of two.

Kate Thornley-Hall

Kate Thornley Hall

Kate is an interior designer in Toronto and mother of three. Her children, all GPS volunteers, fell in love with the school and inspired Kate to visit in 2017. She joined the board later that same year. The school and the community are a constant source of inspiration to Kate, who feels honoured to be involved in the work that the school is accomplishing.

Lyane Munk

Lyane van Schaik-Munk

Lyane is the founder of Scarlet Boutique and works with foundations to help them reach their development goals. Lyane joined the VCF board in 2012 after volunteering for the organization, and is thrilled to support fundraising for the school. In all her years involved with VCF, a major highlight continues to be visiting the school and meeting diverse volunteers from across the globe.

Kyle Mersky

Kyle Mersky

Kyle Mersky is a lawyer and works in business development at Hydro One. Kyle has grown up engaged in the efforts of VCF and GPS, watching and supporting it as it grew from a “simple” undertaking of opening a school in an impoverished community, to an example of how to transform an entire village through high quality education and community engagement. He is inspired on a daily basis by the impact of both VCF and GPS and the continued success of the children and families they serve.

Administrative Staff

Jim Brickell

Jim Brickell, Principal

Sornthala S

Sornthala S, Vice Principal

Sunbeam

Sunbeam Viswanathan, Coordinator of Community Services

Parimala Ravindran

Parimala Ravindran, Accounts Manager

Ananthi S

Ananthi S, Office Manager

Aravind Kumar A

Aravind Kumar A, Admin Assistant

Owen Dcruze

Owen Dcruze, Placement Officer

Soloman A

Soloman A, Finance Manager

Murali L

Murali L, Finance Coordinator

Jasmine Kalaivani G

Jasmine Kalaivani G, Counselor

Teachers

Agalya S

Agalya S, Math

Aldin Montaut

Aldin Montaut, Maker Space

Andrea Thomas

Andrea Thomas, Grade 6

ArasaKumari R

Arasakumari R, Tamil

Arlin Sugitha R

Arlin Sugitha R, Resource

Arokya Mary I

Arokya Mary I, Social Studies

Arumugam S

Arumugam S, Tamil

Caroline Lazarus

Caroline Lazarus, Grade 1

Christina Thomas

Christina Thomas, Grade 5

Clive Lazarus

Clive Lazarus, Science

Hari Priya P

Hari Priya P, Computers

Jayalakshmi M

Jayalakshmi M, LKG

Jeeva M

Jeeva M, Computers

Jeeva M

Joy Brickell, Librarian

Jeeva M

Joyce Simirnal J, Science

Kalyani CR

Kalyani CR, Librarian

Kanmani U

Kanmani Udhayakumar, Science

Kiruthika Devi G

Kiruthika Devi G, Tamil

Krishna Veni V

Krishna Veni V, Grade 2

Lakshmi S

Lakshmi S, Grade 6

Leeba Edmonds

Leeba Edmonds, Resource

Leela M

Leela M, Tamil

Leema L

Leema L, Grade 4

Lidwin P

Lidwin P, Resource

Malarvizhi T

Malarvizhi T, Physical Training

Marceline Sophia J

Marceline Sophia J, Grade 5

Maruthamuthu K

Maruthamuthu K, Physical Training

Narmatha KD

Narmatha Devi K, Grade 2

Naveen J

Naveen J, Music

Nishanthini R

Nishanthini Ravindran, Resource

Patricia Lazarus

Patricia Lazarus, Grade 3

Phylicia Beetham

Phylicia Beetham, Grade 1

Poongodi Udhayakumar

Poongodi Udhayakumar, Science

Prema B

Prema B, LKG

Prema B

Priya Dharsini A, Tamil

Punitha J

Punitha J, English

Rajeshwari A

Rajeshwari A, Math

Raymond John

Raymond John, Computers

Richard Leo

Richard Leo, Math

Sandya S

Sandya S, Grade 3

Sarah Prince

Sarah Prince, UKG

Sarojini K

Sarojini K, Physical Training

Shreemathi T

Shreemathi T, English

Sornalatha S

Sornalatha S, Grade 4

Sreedevi S

Sreedevi S, LKG

Sruthi M

Sruthi M, Grade 1

Subashini R

Subashini R, UKG

Sudha G

Sudha Elizabath G, Science

Sudha G

Suresh K, Physical Training

Tony Williams

Tony Williams, Music

Victoria PC

Victoria PC, Social Studies

Victoria PC

Warren Dominic, Economics

Co-Curricular Teachers

Muralidaran B

Muralidaran B, Dance

Rajesh Kumar C

Rajesh Kumar C, Art

Suresh Kumar C

Suresh Kumar C, Karate

Caretakers

Muralidaran B

Dhanam Gopal, Caretaker

Jayanthy Shivraj

Jayanthy Shivraj, Caretaker

Suresh Kumar C

Lakshmiammal Nagaraj, Caretaker

Meenatchi A

Meenatchi A, Caretaker

Padmavathy M

Padmavathy M, Caretaker

Pappa

Pappa, Caretaker

Rathana Sakthivel

Rathana Sakthivel, Caretaker

Ravethi V

Ravethi V, Library Assistant

Sandhya S

Sandhya S, Caretaker

Shanthi Prabhu

Shanthi Prabhu, Caretaker

Shusheela K

Shusheela K, Caretaker

Sumathy Shanmugaraja

Sumathy Shanmugaraja, Caretaker

Sandhya S

Sunaja Vijayakumar, Caretaker

Tresa Nagamanickam

Tresa Nagamanickam, Caretaker

Canteen

Arulmary S

Arulmary S, Canteen

Emmi Beaulah S

Emmi Beaulah S, Canteen

Esther Beaulah S

Esther Beaulah S, Canteen

Jaina Beevi Shajahan

Jaina Beevi Shajahan, Canteen

Jessi Flora M

Jessi Flora M, Canteen

Joice Baskaran

Joice Baskaran, Canteen

Rajeswari R

Rajeswari R, Canteen

Maintenance

Anthony Rajangam

Anthony Rajangam, Maintenance

Babu A

Babu A, Maintenance

Jayaram RG

Jayaram RG, Maintenance

Gardeners

Krishnaswamy K

Krishnaswamy K, Gardener

Radha A

Radha A, Gardener

Shanmugam Palani

Shanmugam Palani, Gardener

Velusamy A

Velusamy A, Gardener

Office Assistants

Krishnaswamy K

Jagadesan P, Messenger

Megaladevi S

Megaladevi S, Office Assistant

Drivers

Boopathy P

Boopathy P, Transportation Cooordinator

Sadiq Basha

Sadiq Basha, Driver

Security

Mahalingam Padmanaban

Mahalingam Padmanaban, Watchman

Board of Directors

T. Rajkumar

T.M Rajkumar, Director/Member Trustee

Rajkumar joined the India board in 2009, after working as the CEO of Families for Children (FFC) orphanage. At FFC, Rajkumar became connected with the founding partners of GPS and wholeheartedly supported their mission to start a new school for children living in poverty. Rajkumar believes GPS is fine tuned to today’s complex problems while being a temple of learning for children living in poverty.

Kamla Saha

Kamla Saha

Kamla Saha owns and operates a small agriculture company and works locally in social services. She joined the India board in 2009 while working with Families for Children and felt compelled to get involved in providing a holistic education to the community. She feels very privileged to have seen the school grow from an idea to what it is today.

Shankar Vanavarayar

Shankar Vanavarayar

Shankar is the President of Kumaraguru Institutions and Suddha Sanmarga Nilayam Institutions, two educational conglomerates dedicated to enhancing the lives of thousands from underprivileged backgrounds. He joined the board in 2014 because he saw VCF and GPS share his belief in the power of education to help marginalized children reach their potential. He is thrilled to be a part of GPS’ growth and to work with people who truly understand the value of empowering others.

Sadhana V.Shankar

Sadhana V.Shankar

Sadhana is a civil lawyer and senior partner at M/s Ramani & Shankar. Sadhana strives for an ethical practice, ensuring the law always supports the common person. Sadhana also organizes Medical and Art of Living camps at the Central Prison for prisoners and their families, and has been a voluntary teacher at a local high school. She is honored to serve as a trustee at GPS and to witness the transformational growth in the community and the children.