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 are also available in the morning, after announcements, to assist students with their studies before classes begin, as well as after school. 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.
- Pamela AuCoin
- Steven Centofanti
- Cheryl D'Alessandro
- Luigia Di Bucchianico
- Richard Dinnen
- Manuel Farrante
- Larry Henry
- Tim Knapp
- Colin Oliver
- Giuseppina Porfilio
- Donna Sistilli
- Jessie Smith
- Scott Taylor
- Sarah Taylor
- Tamara Tremblay-Bartolomucci
Pamela AuCoin boasts an impressive and diverse eighteen-year teaching career, inspiring and engaging all ages of students with her passion for the social sciences and languages.
Ms. AuCoin's teaching career started at the prestigious City University of New York (CUNY) in the vibrant heart of New York City. There, she not only taught writing and English as a Second Language but she also embraced the dynamic world of freelance journalism, reporting on the city’s always fascinating real estate market.
Before moving to Canada, and teaching French Immersion in Toronto, Ms. AuCoin taught world history and German in specialized high school programs in New York City. She eagerly anticipates incorporating the beauty of Italian and Lanciano's rich history into her ever-evolving classwork.
Ms. AuCoin is not only a passionate educator, but a perpetual lifelong learner and a Great Courses enthusiast. She is currently studying both ancient Greek and modern European philosophy. She also spearheads an online poetry discussion group, where participants dissect and discuss canonical works from such luminaries as Charles Baudelaire, WB Yeats and Emily Dickinson.
Her pedagogical approach adopts a Socratic method, employing historical events and literary masterpieces as catalysts for critical thinking. Her classes encourage students to marvel at both the tragic setbacks and great accomplishments of past civilizations, and how we can learn from this rich history to live as responsible global citizens.
Director of Student Affairs
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.
Director of Communications
Cheryl is an enthusiastic believer that poor communication is at the root of many human foibles.
Cheryl joined CCI in 2021. As CCI’s director of communications, it is her mission to keep CCI’s families, students and staff well-informed and connected to each other — and the world.
A journalist for more than two-decades, Cheryl has a keen curiosity, tenacious organizational skills and an enthusiasm for research and travel.
After earning her Bachelor of Communications at Ryerson University in 2002, Cheryl became an accomplished writer, reporter, social media editor and news producer.
During her 13 years at the CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster, Cheryl covered major national and international events, including traveling to South Korea for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. During the pandemic, her work keeping Canadians informed won awards and accolades for her and her team.
A mother of two and a proud D’Alessandro by marriage, Cheryl is fiercely devoted to her family. You will often find her pumping iron at the nearest gym in her pursuit as an amateur bodybuilder.
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.
Dr. Richard Dinnen
Teacher, Chemistry, Math & Computer Studies
With an academic journey that spans from his formative years in northern Ontario to his diverse research and educational journeys, Dr. Dinnen’s experience is a testament to his unwavering commitment to growth and exploration.
After completing his undergraduate studies at York University and his graduate studies at Western University—where he studied the mechanisms of cellular differentiation—Dr. Dinnen moved to New York City where he contributed to cancer research at Columbia University.
At Columbia, he worked on the mechanisms of action of anticancer drugs and searched for new combinations of drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.
After publishing a number of papers, Dr. Dinnen decided to transition from research, and went back to Nipissing University at age 50.
After receiving his Bachelor of Education, Dr. Dinnen moved to China where he taught math, chemistry and physics to students aiming to attend university in Canada. In 2019, Dr. Dinnen was called to teach in Grise Fiord Nunavut—the most northerly and isolated civilian settlement in Canada.
During his time teaching in the high arctic, Dr. Dinnen completed his Masters of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo.
When Dr. Dinnen isn’t teaching, he's relaxing with friends and family at his cottage on Sesekinika Lake in Northern Ontario, near where he grew up in Kirkland Lake. He’s also trying to learn the guitar.
The most important idea he wants to share with his students: always be open to new opportunities.
“Failure is just part of the learning process,” he says. “So keep going, and don’t give up!”
And he wants you to know that your input and perspectives will be valued.
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.
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.
Academic Program Coordinator & Teacher
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 two children. 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.
Mr. Oliver is an English, Drama, and Vocal Music teacher from Toronto. He has an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Education from York University.
After spending 11 years teaching in Toronto, Mr. Oliver spent two years teaching and serving as Head of English at the Rabat American School in Morocco.
He is particularly interested in how the study of literature and the performing arts can cultivate positive self-perception and help us to discover our place in a global community through fostering awareness of social issues, both locally and abroad.
Outside of the classroom, he’s a yoga practitioner, a singer-songwriter, a vegan cook, and is currently preparing his first Young Adult novel for publication.
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.
Visual Arts and Photography
Ms. Sistilli is an esteemed art educator who has returned to Lanciano from Canada to continue her vibrant career in education.
Born in Lanciano, Ms. Sistilli moved with her family to Toronto at the age of six.
After graduating from York University with an Honours degree in Fine Arts, Ms. Sistilli went on to acquire a Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto. She began her professional teaching career in 1985.
During her 34 years in education, Ms. Sistilli received several prestigious awards from the Toronto Catholic District School Board for Innovative Exemplary Practice. She is also a practising artist, who is actively engaged in many aspects of Toronto's exciting arts community.
Ms. Sistilli’s energetic creativity, talent and passion for the arts have led her to numerous artistic endeavours, including Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s Moose in the City installation project, Bell Box Mural project, and Portraits of Resilience at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Ms. Sistilli is also a creative photographer and has made several contributions to PhotoED magazine.
She has received numerous awards of excellence in the many juried shows in which she regularly participates.
During her leisure time, Ms. Sistilli cherishes quality time with her adult children, family and friends. Additionally, she finds immense pleasure in savouring the delightful meals crafted by her husband.
A lifelong learner, Ms. Sistilli actively seeks out new experiences, discovering unfamiliar places and engaging in various activities that not only enrich her life, but also provide her with a profound sense of fulfilment, relaxation and joy.
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.
Mr. Taylor is a distinguished mathematics educator hailing from Ottawa, Ontario. His extensive 32-year tenure at Bell High School in Ottawa was crowned by a 21-year leadership as the Department Head of Math, Business, and Computer Science.
Mr. Taylor’s skilled teaching abilities and engaging communication style made him beloved by students and colleagues alike.
In 2021, Mr. Taylor and his wife, Mrs. Taylor, decided to broaden their pedagogical horizons by moving to Ecuador, where he embraced a transformative role as an Instructional Facilitator at Colegio Menor in Samborondón.
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor also had the opportunity to explore South America extensively, immersing themselves in many new experiences, including learning to scuba dive.
Throughout his career, Mr. Taylor has nurtured a passion for working with young people in their mathematics education, teaching all levels of mathematics, and helping them reach their academic goals.
He feels fortunate to be able to continue these efforts with his students at Canadian College Italy.
Administrative & Educational Assistant
Mrs. Taylor is an experienced teacher and globe-trotting adventurer, whose passion for learning and embracing new experiences has taken her from Ottawa's classrooms to the skies, across continents, and now to CCI.
With degrees from University of Western Ontario and Ottawa University, Mrs. Taylor worked as a French teacher for over two decades in Ottawa, offering her time to student council and various clubs throughout her career.
After retiring from full time teaching, Mrs. Taylor went on to a second career in aviation, serving as a flight attendant for seven years; a post that allowed her to to visit every Canadian province and almost every territory.
Most recently, Mrs. Taylor and her husband, Mr. Taylor, concluded a successful two year term at a private international school in Ecuador. This experience was not only gratifying, but Mrs. Taylor especially enjoyed learning new customs, sampling new foods and learning a new language: Spanish. She is setting her sights on Italian next.
When not at school, Mrs. Taylor loves to travel and learn new things.
Having acquired a newfound passion for scuba diving in Ecuador, Mrs. Taylor plans to take her new skills to the sparkling waters of the Adriatic. She also looks forward to sharing her Italian adventures with her four sons when they come to visit from Canada.
Teacher, Biology and Physics
Ms. Bartolomucci is a native of Northern Ontario where she grew up in the large mining town of Timmins. She is fluently bilingual (French and English) and having married someone of Italian descent, she also has a good command of the Italian language. Ms. Bartolomucci is very passionate about Italian culture and lifestyle and has spent most summers exploring Italy.
With a love for the outdoors, Ms. Bartolomucci ventured into her post-secondary studies, delving into Forestry before acquiring an undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Physics. Throughout her impressive 25+ year teaching career, she has dedicated herself to both college and high school education.
Ms. Bartolomucci has an unwavering commitment to lifelong learning. Her teaching philosophy centers around hands-on, real-world experiences that resonate with her students. Her most recent school board role as Leader of Experiential Learning illuminated the transformative power of bringing experts into the classroom. She also serves as her District’s SAT Coordinator and School Board DELF coordinator, the internationally recognized diplôme d'études en langue française.
A stalwart advocate for physical fitness, Ms. Bartolomucci has coached or volunteered extensively in her school and her community. Having coached multiple sports, including cross country running, track and field, swimming, volleyball, soccer and ringette, she recognizes the vital role that coaching plays in building self-confidence and social skills among students.
As a result of her passion for school sport, Ms. Bartolomucci is the proud recipient of the OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) Leadership in School Sport Award for her significant contribution to the educational athletic program.
Ms. Bartolomucci has a great love for travel, having coordinated and led multiple European tours for her school as well as her community. She has also imparted this passion in her children. A proud mother of two daughters, one excelling in NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country and Track and Field at Southern Utah University; the other completing her teaching degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales.
In her down time, you can find Ms. Bartolomucci out on her road bike, spending time with family and friends or out exploring nature.