Leisha Zamecnik is a masters-level, professional who has been engaging young people in the areas of leadership development, social emotional learning, violence prevention, mental health and social justice for the past 10 years. She possesses knowledge and experience working from various counseling approaches including, for example, narrative, cognitive behavioural and solution-focused. Leisha has an extensive background in program and training development and facilitation for young people as well as youth-serving professionals and educators. She excels at building relationships with people from diverse backgrounds using anti-oppressive and empowerment approaches to achieve results. She is motivated by a genuine belief in the power of young people to make a positive contribution to the world.
Leisha’s experience is underscored by a Masters degree in Social Work: Dean’s List, Specialization in Children & Families (University of Toronto), a Certificate in Leadership (College of Management & Economics, University of Guelph) and a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Science: Social Psychology & Biology (University of Guelph). Leisha has authored two peer-reviewed academic articles, has developed and implemented numerous impactful youth-led programs, and has been the recipient of numerous community leadership awards, including the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction.
Board of Directors
President & Chair
Josh Hass is currently the Lead Coordinator for Orientation, Transition & Engagement at the University of Toronto, where he has worked with student leaders in various capacities since 2007. While pursuing his honours degree in Philosophy at the University of Guelph, Josh discovered his passion for leadership development, community building and life-long learning. To this end, in addition to his role as Chair of the Board of Directors for Common Compass, Josh is pursuing his Master of Education degree in the field of higher education at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education on a part-time basis. In his spare time, Josh enjoys camping, hiking, travelling, catching up with good friends, and sometimes just doing nothing at all.
Ted Steenburgh has worked in finance and marketing roles for OpenText for over thirteen years and currently serves as Pricing Manager. Ted holds CMA and CPA accounting designations, an honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree, and a Bachelor of Education degree. He a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers and is working towards the Certified Professional Pricing (CPP) certification. Ted’s past years of working with teenagers as both a high school teacher and a church youth leader inspire him to invest time in this age group. In his free time, Ted is participates in recreational dodgeball, softball, and assorted other sports, and also enjoys traveling.
Vinidhra Vaitheeswaran is currently completing her JD at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University and will soon be returning home to Toronto to pursue her legal career. She will be completing her articles in the areas of constitutional and administrative law. Vinidhra holds a Bachelors of Science degree from McMaster University and has experience in marketing and communications in the healthcare field. Vinidhra’s contributions to Common Compass draws from a diverse background of volunteer experience in youth leadership, food security, human rights advocacy, and legal aid. In her spare time, Vinidhra enjoys travelling, ultimate Frisbee, hiking, and live music.
Hava Goldberg is a fundraiser and community builder. She holds a BAH in Political Science from the University of Guelph and a Masters in Non-Profit Management from Spertus College. Hava has worked in the non-profit sector for over ten years and is currently Senior Development Officer, Major & Corporate Giving at Habitat for Humanity Canada. In addition to being one of the founding board members of Common Compass, Hava is the National Growth Manager for Lean In Canada. In her spare time, Hava enjoys yoga, dragon boating, live music and scouting out Toronto’s best brunch.
Breanna McDonald is a French & Modern Languages teacher with the Lambton Kent District School Board and a German teacher for the Sarnia Islamic Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Education from York University and a Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Studies and Modern Languages in French Immersion from the University of Ottawa. Following a strong belief in social inclusion, she is passionate about language acquisition, cross-curricular inquiry and youth advocacy. To Breanna, Common Compass is an exceptional program that empowers youth to become positive forces of social and behavioural change, including the reduction of youth mental health crises and incidents of bullying. When not marking or preparing field trips, Breanna enjoys scuba diving, Kenpo Karate, intercultural discussions, language learning and travelling the world (at least through her cooking).
Katelyn Schaeffer is a teacher with the Toronto District School Board. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History, and from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education with a Bachelor of Education. As an educator, Katelyn believes she has an important role in supporting students by creating a caring school culture and a healthy physical environment. This can be achieved by providing high-quality services and programs which focus on mental health and social-emotional learning. In her spare time, Katelyn likes to take on creative DIY projects, bake, and spend time with her husband, family, and friends.
Colleen Wheatley has a background in camp and recreational programming for children and youth. In 2010, she completed her Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto specializing in health and mental health. She has worked as a child protection worker, youth therapist. She is currently the Manager of Client and Program Services for AboutFace a charity which promotes awareness and education as well as support for individuals affected by facial differences. Her favourite part of her job is Camp Trailblazers a program for children and youth with a facial difference. Colleen also plays with Toronto Roller Derby’s Death Track Dolls.