Education Students’ Association

Education Students' Association

The St. Mary’s University Education Students’ Association (ESA) works in partnership with the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to bring students of the St. Mary’s University Bachelor of Education Program opportunities for professional development, social events, and support. We believe that having the opportunity for growth contributes to excellent teaching and our goal is to help promote the development of excellent teacher candidates at St. Mary’s University.

To have access to the opportunities provided by the St. Mary’s University Education Students’ Association, student members must pay an annual fee of $10 to the ESA and be registered with the ESA. Some professional development workshops and social events may have extra costs associated with them.

Professional Development

We believe that professional development opportunities help make students excellent teachers. For information about PD workshops that we are looking into, look out below.

Mental Health Workshop
Interested in learning how to help students who may be struggling with mental health issues?
We are too. We are hoping to run a workshop that promotes a realistic view of mental health and enables us, as teachers, to help struggling students as best we can.

Employment Workshop
Would you like tips and tricks to use on the job hunt?
Chat with students from previous years who have been working as teachers and learn what might benefit you when searching, and applying, for jobs.

Executive Team

We are made up of students elected at the end of the previous school year. Our goal is to make sure you feel confident as a teacher and supported as an education student at St. Mary’s University.

Karn Singh

President of the ESA and proud member of cohort three in second year. 

Manhattan Turn

My name is Manhattan, I am a second-year elementary student, and I am the Vice-President of the ESA! I got my undergrad at the University of Lethbridge with a major in History, with some streams in Geography and Psychology. Outside of school I coach toddlers and really little kids in various sports, and when I’m not coaching, you can find me at the curling club where I try to reminisce my glory days! Another fun fact, that is incredibly well known if you ever talk to me for 30 seconds, is that I am an avid Taylor Swift fan. So that last sentence is all that you need to know about me!

Brooklynne Pearson

Hi! I’m Brooklynne, the elected ESA treasurer for this year, as well as the second-year cohort 4 representative! I’m in my final year of the Bachelor of Education program in the secondary stream. I did my undergrad in chemistry and ecology at MRU and am eager to become a junior/high school science teacher. I often spend my days doing course work or prepping for my career of teaching, but when I have free time, I spend it reading a good book, catching up with friends or sleeping in. All in all, I’m a very average person looking to help educate our future!  

Sarah Foscarini

Hello, my name is Fozzy, (To many Sarah’s in my cohort) I am in my second year elementary, and part of cohort 3 – Elementary and so excited to be getting ready to actually be in the classroom in front of the kids.  I love being outdoors in nature and hope to bring the outside into my classroom.  I completed my undergraduate degree at Glendon College- York University, with a diploma in Sports Administration. I am excited to be secretary for the ESA for the 2022-2023 year. I am excited to represent STMU Lightnings in the classroom but also as a member of the cross country and indoor track teams. 

Liva Niquidet

Liva Niquidet is an Elementary Stream 2nd-Year B.Ed. student in Cohort 2. Her previous degree was a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature. She’d like to be a full-time Grade 5+ teacher when she is finished her degree. Liva’s vision is to arrange a Professional Development Day every two weeks, alternating sessions offered by the ATA with sessions presented by local Calgary organizations or professionals who are offering workshops. Furthermore, she hopes to arrange at least one ATA-presented PD Day related to each of the six Teaching Quality Standards before the end of the year! Tell her what sessions you would like to focus on using this form here! Cheers!

Artemis Baker

My name is Artemis Baker and I am in year 2 cohort 3. I am the Research and Resource officer of the ESA along with the Cohort 3 representative. I aspire to be a 6th grade teacher. I love crochet and writing!

Carrie-Lee Ash

I am in year two, Cohort one of elementary education. I am a born and raised Calgarian. I am on Education leave from the CBE, where I have worked for 18 years as an Educational Assistant in specialized settings.

Kindra Dyck

I’m happy to be on the ESA for this year.  I am excited to connect the ESA and students through various events throughout the year.  Excited to be part of Cohort

Kaylee Baychu

Hello! My name is Kaylee. I am a first-year education student and your marketing officer for this year. My background is in biology, and I can’t wait to be a science teacher. I am very passionate about helping students succeed in all areas of their life. My hobbies are baking, running, watching HBO dramas, finding new music, shopping for vintage items of clothing and creating digital content. One of the ways I truly express who I am is through my fashion. I also love tropical vibes and could be by the beach all day every day.

Cohort Reps

Julianna Driscoll

My name is Julianna Driscoll, and I am the student representative for Cohort 1 this year. I am in my second year of the Education program at St. Mary’s University, and plan to teach elementary school. I completed my 4-year undergraduate degree at St. Mary’s as well, in Liberal Studies. Fitness, music, and learning are a huge part of my life, and I am always looking for ways to challenge myself to develop new skills and perspectives. I currently work part-time at lululemon and am so grateful to be surrounded by such inspiring people! I also love exploring local fitness studios, coffee shops, and restaurants – so if you ever need any recommendations, I would love to share! 

Lacey Hilgen

Lacey is the cohort rep for first years in Cohort 1. She loves working with kids and has 10 years’ experience in different environments, from nannying to working as a preschool EA. Lacey just got married this past summer to Noah who hopes to start his education degree next fall and has a furry little cat named Millie. In her spare time, Lacey loves bouldering, reading, and caring for her many plants.

Gina Christopher-Shah

I’m Gina Christopher-Shah, a born and raised Calgarian. I love most sports, especially coaching soccer and flag football. I’m a Reiki master, a mother of 2 and proud member of cohort 3! Working with kids brings me joy!

Dena (Despina) Hays

Communication is my passion. Collaboration is my goal. I find great satisfaction in helping people communicate, understand and interpret the world. Collaborating with others to harness the power of shared knowledge and teamwork is an invaluable practice. I have a degree in Communications and bring over 15 years of communications-focused experience in the field. I currently provide communication and collaboration leadership for both corporate and non-profit groups and volunteer-teach yoga for children. My strengths are effectively communicating ideas, collaborating with others, engaging audiences, and efficiently managing projects through to completion.  

Hanna Garcia

Hi, my name is Hanna Garcia, and I am the Year 1, Cohort 2 rep! When I’m not at school, I am usually coaching gymnastics or out grabbing coffee!

Taylor Poscente

Hi everyone! My name is Taylor Poscente and I am excited to be the representative for Cohort 4, the first year – secondary cohort and thrilled to be a member of the Lightning community. Prior to St. Mary’s, I attended Carleton University where I received an Honours degree in Global and International Studies(BGInS). During my time at Carleton, I had the opportunity to be involved with the BGInS Academic and Events Society, the Carleton University Student Association, and was the Sponsorship and Partnership coordinator for the Fall Orientation. I look forward to working alongside the other members of the ESA and making sure everyone’s voices are heard. Here’s to a great year!

ESA 2021

Front Row (left to right): Emiley Lougheed, Ryan Schori, Cullen Cousins, Samantha Weninger, Louise Robinson, Carrie-Lee Ash
Back Row (left to right): Caij Meloche, Caitlyn Seyts-Kennedy, Cindy Menjivar, Carly Barton, Artemis Baker, Amy Morton, Kayla Koshynysky


Caij Meloche – President

Kayla Koshynsky – Vice President, Treasurer

Caitlyn Seyts-Kennedy – Secretary

Louise Robinson – Professional Development Officer

Emiley Lougheed – Social Events Officer

Sammie Weninger – Spirituality & Wellness Officer

Cullen Cousins – Research Resource Officer, Year 2 Cohort 4 Rep

Cohort Representatives

Year 2s:
Ryan Schori – Year 2 Cohort 1 Rep

Carly Barton – Year 2 Cohort 3 Rep

Year 1s:
Carrie-lee Ash – Year 1 Cohort 1 Rep

Cindy Menjivar – Year 1 Cohort 2 Rep

Artemis Baker – Year 1 Cohort 3 Rep

Amy Morton – Year 1 Cohort 4 Rep

ESA 2020 Group Photo

Front Row (left to right): Emily Knudsgaard, Nicholas Hauk, Tess Brilling, Ashley Pudo; Back Row (left to right): Jaime Bellows, Dan Huard, Ashley Megliola, Joy Cristobal JR, RenataBayardo

  • Dan Huard- President
  • Joy (JJ) Cristobal JR – Vice-president
  • Ashley Megliola – Secretary/Treasurer
  • Jaime Bellows – Professional Development Officer
  • Emily Knudsgaard – Spirituality Officer
  • Renata Bayardo – Social Events Officer
  • Nicholas Hauk – Cohort 1 Representative
  • Tess Brilling – Cohort 2 Representative/Research & Resource Officer
  • Ashley Pudo – Cohort 3 Representative

Front Row (left to right): Rachel Gregory, Bonnie Blasetti, Ashley Grieve, Jillian Senek; Back Row (left to right): Michael Beattie, Aaron Sumague, Andrea MacLeod, Heather Hesson

  • Jillian Senek – President
  • Andrea MacLeod – Vice-President
  • Aaron Sumague – Treasurer
  • Heather Hesson – Social Committee Officer
  • Ashley Grieve – Professional Development
  • Michael Beattie – Cohort 1 Representative
  • Bonnie Blasetti – Cohort 2 Representative
  • Rachel Gregory – Cohort 3 Representative

Front Row (left to right): Tanis Lefebvre. Christine Merlihan, James Park Back Row (left to right): Mike Porter, Molly Schreiber, Michael Metcalf, Josh Eberly

  • Christine Merlihan – President
  • Mike Porter – Vice President
  • Molly Schreiber – Secretary-Treasurer
  • Michael Metcalf – Professional Development Officer
  • Tanis Lefebvre – Social Committee Officer
  • James Park – Cohort Representative
  • Josh Eberly – Cohort Representative


If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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