CCI hires professionally trained and certified teachers with experience and expertise in their subject areas. All of our teachers, with the exception of our Italian language teacher, who is certified in Italy, hold Ontario Teaching Certificates and are members of the Ontario College of Teachers.
CCI teachers are devoted to meeting student needs beyond the classroom and contribute to the extra-curricular life of the school. Our teachers lead guided tours to the numerous museums on our school trips and these tours are directly related to the curriculum taught in the classroom.
Additionally, teachers also alternate supervising mandatory study hall in the evening and are available in the morning, after announcements, to assist students with their studies before classes begin. Our teachers are very passionate about their subject and this tremendously enhances student learning.
The overall teacher to student ratio of one to ten ensures extensive individual attention is available for each student.
- Tim Knapp
- Manuel Farrante
- Steven Centofanti
- Roberto Piscina
- Eileen Putnam
- Amanda Palumbo
- Jessie Smith
- Larry Henry
- Dennis Makowetsky
- Giuseppina Porfilio
- Luigia Di Bucchianico
Timothy Knapp became keenly interested in history as a young student because of an inspirational teacher who had a knack for telling stories.
After high school, however, he decided to enter the workforce — a path which led to interesting employment experiences and the development of many useful life skills.
After a number of years, Mr. Knapp returned to school with the intention of becoming a history teacher.
While at Arizona State University, Mr. Knapp was surprised to find tremendous enjoyment studying mathematics and physics. He liked them so much, he decided to change paths and pursue teaching degrees in those subjects. Mr. Knapp still intends to return to university one day to pursue postgraduate studies in those disciplines.
During his years as a student, Mr. Knapp held a part-time job at an indoor climbing gym which ignited a passion for technical rock climbing, a hobby which allowed him to enjoy many years of traveling to some of the most remote and beautiful cliffs in North America and Southeast Asia.
Mr. Knapp started his high school teaching career in Phoenix, Arizona in 2005.
Eventually, his love for travel and adventure called him to accept work at an international school in San Jose and Costa Rica, where he also learned Spanish and practiced surfing.
In 2008, Mr. Knapp accepted a full time faculty position with Canadian College Italy and went on to acquire an Ontario Teaching Certificate to add to his international qualifications.
Mr. Knapp’s career and home life are centered around his main goal of leaving the earth better than he found it.
At home, this means developing his gardening and DIY skills at his rebuilt farmhouse on the outskirts of Lanciano where he lives with his beautiful wife and daughter. There they produce as much food and energy as they can.
At school, this means sharing his passion for physics and mathematics with students and enriching their studies while on school trips around Italy and Europe.
Mr. Knapp is particularly inspired by meeting a wonderful new group of students at the start of the year for whom he strives to build a comfortable environment “where they are free to develop into the adults of our future,” he says.
Boys' Residence Don
Manuel, or Manu as most of our students call him, has a firm conviction that residence life is at the core of a successful boarding school experience. That is why his main focus is to always help our boys feel as if they are part of a big family — supported and listened to.
After high school, Manuel followed his desire to help people by volunteering for the Yellow Cross of Lanciano, earning a first aid certificate and the access and operation of defibrillators. Manuel has also worked with the Blue Cross, assisting people with disabilities to access their medical appointments.
After spending 6 months in Toronto to improve his English and to experience a different culture, Manuel came back to Italy and joined CCI in late 2018.
Manuel is interested in sports and music, playing amateur volleyball and strumming the bass guitar. He highly values CCI’s multicultural environment, and finds it a unique and enriching experience.
School Resource Manager
Steven Centofanti, affectionately known as Mr. C, has has been the School Resource Manager at Canadian College Italy since 2005.
Mr. Centofanti was born in Canada but has lived most of his life in Italy and is bilingual in English and Italian. Originally from Sulmona, he now lives in Frisa, a small town outside Lanciano, with his young family.
Mr. Centofanti is a talented individual whose services are indispensable to the life of the school. Not only does Mr. C deal with administrative issues but he also oversees the maintenance of all the school buildings, and the safety and security of our staff and students.
As an award leader for our Duke of Edinburgh's Award program, he connects students to the community for any extra-curricular activities they wish to pursue, including scuba diving, of with he is a master.
He also has a passion for food and has extensive experience in culinary arts, having worked both as a professional baker and a cook. This makes him a particularly valuable member of the Cucina program along with the kitchen staff.
Teacher - Science, Chemistry, Biology
For many years, Roberto Piscina has been bringing his strong combination of passion, skills, knowledge, and nearly 30 years of teaching experience to CCI.
Prior to teaching, Mr. Piscina worked in scientific research laboratories in Montreal. His teaching style involves a lot of experimental work, whereby the student performs laboratory activities to validate the concepts and theories they are learning.
He is particularly inspired by their curiosity and questions.
When he is not in the classroom, Mr. Piscina is an avid reader and drummer, but not at the same time of course!
After a first career in advertising, Eileen Putnam moved into the education field 22 years ago.
Before joining CCI, Ms. Putnam was most recently Head of Library and The Arts at Anderson Collegiate in Ontario’s Durham Region. She is particularly proud of her work heading the renovation of Anderson’s Library and Learning Commons.
Ms. Putnam began her teaching career in the English department and has subsequently worked in guidance and student success.
While at Anderson, Ms. Putnam also created the first Interdisciplinary Yoga Studies course in Ontario. She strongly believes a healthy mind and body makes space for everyday peace and happiness. Her first academic love, however, will always be the power story has to promote engaging discussions and facilitate understanding about the world at large.
She is thrilled to be sharing this passion with her CCI students.
One of eight children, Ms. Putnam chalks up much of her teaching success to being raised by parents who were patient, kind and curious. Another important arrow in her quiver is listening.
Ms. Putnam is also the proud mother of two University of Toronto graduates, who are now happily engaged in law and engineering.
When not teaching or shepherding students around the globe, (Kenya, the Amazon, and of course, Italy, are some of her favourite adventures with students) Ms. Putnam travels any chance she can. Outside of travelling and reading, Ms. Putnam is putting the finishing touches on a novel or two, loves cooking, learning anything new, yoga, and any activity that involves movement.
Her pedagogical ethos is “Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good,” (nod to Colette). She truly believes that each and every student has something of great value to add to the classroom setting — their story, their perspective.
You will likely see Ms. Putnam walking around Lanciano with her partner, James, and her beloved Norfolk Terrier, Dunstable Ramsay (extra points if you can spot the literary allusion!).
Amanda’s reverence for nature and awe of the workings of the human brain establish the root of her holistic educational philosophy. As an educator having worked in a range of settings including environmental charities, schools, and on the yoga mat, her overarching goal is to invite students to evolve through the exploration of the world around them and their relationship with it.
To help facilitate this inquiry-based learning journey, Amanda draws from her education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Spanish and French with a minor in Geography, and a Bachelor of Education (Concurrent Education program). She also holds a Master of Sustainability Science degree from Brock University in St.Catharines, Ontario.
A believer in servant leadership, Amanda is always enthusiastic to learn more. Outside of work, she spends her time traveling, Latin dancing, reading, and practicing yoga and meditation.
As CCI's Guidance Officer, Jessie Smith is enthusiastic about leading students through their university applications and helping them achieve their current and future academic goals.
Ms. Smith believes that the best part of her job is getting to know our students and accompanying them to achieve their full potential.
Ms. Smith is a native of Ontario, but has been living and working in Italy in the education and training field since 2013. She has experience teaching students of all ages and nationalities in private schools, multinational companies like Fater S.p.A (Procter & Gamble joint venture), De Cecco pasta company, and Italian public schools.
She first obtained her Honours BA in Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, and then went on to complete a postgraduate degree in Human Resources Management from Humber College.
Ms. Smith first joined CCI as a support teacher in 2017, working closely with students who needed extra assistance with the course load and organization. This role was particularly well-suited for her because she is also an alumnus of CCI, having attended the school during the 2004-2005 academic year.
Outside of CCI, Ms. Smith spends most of her time running after her young daughter and is a passionate hiker/amateur mountain explorer with her husband Vincenzo. She wakes up early every morning to go walking or work out in her home gym and hopes to share that passion with our students.
Teacher – Business and Law
Mr. Henry is a veteran teacher who embraces experiential learning and practical applications to subject theory and concepts. He finds his students often bring just as much to the classroom as he does — if not more.
Mr. Henry uses his vast experience and connections in the business and legal communities to enlighten his students on the skills, and ethical & moral considerations important to those fields.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Henry has been an avid basketball coach for 40 years, working at all levels. He has been blessed with having coached a number of skilled players who have gone on to enjoy successful college and university careers both in Canada and the U.S. — one having played in the WNBA.
Mr. Henry is also your person if you’re looking to be regaled with Boston Celtics and Larry Bird stories. He is also a very proud father of two amazing children who are studying and soon embarking in careers as a Dental Hygienist and an Electrician.
Teacher - Social Science, History
Dennis Makowetsky, or “Mak” as he is affectionately called, has been an educator his entire adult life.
He spent 31 years in the classrooms of Kent County in Southwestern Ontario, 25 of which were as Head of social sciences in two different high schools. In addition, he spent a year teaching history at Eastwood Comprehensive School in Nottinghamshire, England, and three and a half years at CCI.
During his teaching career, Mak was heavily involved in many extracurricular activities, including coaching high school boys basketball for 25 years, organizing and conducting intramural programs, serving as staff liaison to student government for 15 years, and carrying out duties as staff advisor to the schools’ history clubs, as well as developing his schools’ Remembrance Day programs and organizing school travel.
After concluding his years at CCI, Mak entered the travel business as a European guide and tour manager, conducting more than 50 international tours, specializing in battlefield itineraries in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Many of his tours included visits to battle sites in and around Ortona.
He and his wife, BJ, look forward to their second stint at CCI and continue to believe strongly in the merit of the quote attributed to St. Augustine, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Teacher – Italian language
Giuseppina Porfilio is a highly qualified language teacher who is skilled at instructing all levels and across a variety of programs.
Guided by the principle expressed in the quote attributed to Aristotle: “Teaching is the highest form of understanding,” Ms. Porfilio believes a strong connection between teacher and student gives great results and achievements.
Ms. Porfilio prides herself on her communicative approach, and plans her lessons according to her students’ needs and interests.
Ms. Porfilio’s passion for languages and Italian literature and culture led her to earn a number of different qualifications. In 2015, she obtained the Italian DITALS from Università per Stranieri di Siena – a qualification recognized worldwide for teaching Italian as foreign language.
Ms. Porfilio also holds the Italian Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults (CLTA) from International House London where she had the opportunity to teach Italian at different levels and developed the ability to work in a multicultural context. In 2020, she gained a Master in Teaching Italian Language and Literature, provided by the Università Stranieri di Siena and Università e Perugia, where the program focused on learning the main theories of SLA and teaching methods for both face-to-face and online lessons.
An enthusiastic, creative and positive person, Ms. Porfilio is known for her flexible yet organized and proactive approach to projects. She loves reading, dancing and travelling – especially when discovering new hidden gems in Italy. She also enjoys the company of her family and friends.
Luigia Di Bucchianico
Girls’ Residence Don
Luigia is a tireless dreamer, a food lover and a true people person.
As a Residence Don, Luigia is committed to supporting students in their academic success, while also encouraging the personal responsibility, safety and healthy living habits that are required for residence life and beyond.
Being a Don also means she can apply her passion for meeting new people and learning about their lives and backgrounds.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in economics, and becoming an accountant in Lanciano, Luigia was bitten by the travel bug and moved to Canada with a few bags and big dreams. Her foray into education began as a supply teacher for the Toronto Catholic District School Board while working as a floor manager at a busy Toronto restaurant. Always in touch with her passion for food, Luigia also earned her diploma in food technology, safety and quality.
Like many people, the pandemic forced Luiga to rethink her priorities, and she returned to Lanciano in 2020 to be close to her family.
In addition to her commitment to CCI, Luigia is also an entrepreneur in her family's B&B. She is always seeking new travel adventures in search of exciting cultural immersions, new food flavors and practicing her English skills.
In her spare time, Luigia is an avid reader and book collector who dreams of one day having a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast. She also enjoys binge watching TV series on Netflix and films.