Meet the Castle Arts Crew!
At Castle Arts we hold very strongly to the belief that all our teachers should have a passion in both teaching and in the arts. To that end, we are proud to say that all our teachers are Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) certified. Each one of our teachers has extensive experience with teaching children of all ages and have all taught in an Ontario Public or Catholic school prior to joining our team. This ensures that each teacher is fully qualified and prepared to provide our students with the best the arts can offer. All our teachers hold a degree in Education and in Studio Art with other numerous experiences that can be read by each of our teacher’s biography below.
Ms. Connie has taught in many primary/junior/intermediate level classrooms within the public and catholic school board in the York region prior to teaching at Castle Arts. In Ms. Connie’s classroom the students are always excited and ready to learn because she builds a sense of community and encourages student communication. She helps students develop confidence to share their own artistic ideas and to help one another through their artistic challenges. Ms. Connie always has many resourceful arts and craft projects for the students and strategies to guide students to create art out of their own comfort zone. We are very glad to have Ms. Connie as an artistic role model to students of all ages at Castle Arts!
YCDSB International Language Program: Taught primary students in speaking, reading, writing Chinese
Acumen Language School: Grade SK – 8 in Cantonese, English, Visual Arts and Math
Assessed all Grade 10 and Grade 3 Literacy Test for EQAO
Royal Crest Academy Private School – Taught Grade 1-8 Visual arts and curated a venue for a number of student art pieces displayed for the Arts and Music Festival
Trillium Woods Public School – Taught Grade 3 and 4 elementary students
Ms. Valerie has numerous experiences teaching from primary to senior level students at several public schools in Ontario teaching various subjects in addition to teaching visual arts at Royal Crest Academy private school in Maple, Ontario. Within her art class you can find Ms. Valerie very encouraging and welcoming with all the students. She easily changes her method of teaching to fit the learning preferences of the students and she encourages student creativity and exploration by integrating subjects like science, math, and music into art to boost other learning strands and interests. Ms. Valerie’s extensive experience in teaching and her passion for the arts makes her an excellent teacher here at Castle Arts!
Teacher (Intermediate/Senior Level)
Ms. Denise has extensive experience teaching the Ontario curriculum’s Visual Arts program and is qualified to teach Visual Arts and History in the Intermediate and Senior divisions (grades 7 to 12) within Ontario. In her undergraduate studies and as a current Masters student in Art History and Curatorial Studies she participated in many curatorial projects and group exhibitions with other artists. From her knowledge in curation she enables our intermediate and senior level students to effectively critique their artwork and develop better concepts and meaning as well. Ms. Denise often communicates with the students in class and the students are often drawn into her vast knowledge with art history accompanied by her enthusiastic approach to creating art. Ms. Denise’s assets are only strengthened by her strong skills and abilities in teaching and we are delighted she can bring her talents and experiences here to Castle Arts.
Bendale Business and Technical Institute – Taught Visual Arts and Careers/Civics for Grade 9 -12
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario - Guest Speaker for Small Wonders Exhibit
“I hope to make an impact with all my students and hope my teaching will shape them to be the best of themselves. I always loved learning and took on many extra-curriculars when I was a child to my university years. It has shaped me for who I am today and I believe that Castle Arts will be a place for students to learn, discover, and build their own self through the arts and many other ways”
- Queenie Chu
Director and Teacher
Queene Chu is an artist and an OCT teacher (Ontario Certified Teacher) with two bachelor degrees in Education and the Fine Arts from York University.
Queenie first started teaching from her volunteer opportunities at church and in academic summer camps. She realized her passion in teaching when she taught and conducted the Young Voices Choir at the Chinese Martyrs Catholic Church in Markham. She continued to explore different teaching strategies in the school curriculum (math, language arts, etc.) from her school placements and started teaching private art lessons, piano lessons, and day school subjects in her home studio.
During her undergraduate studies at York University, Queenie was also the
Co-President of the Visual Art Student Association and the curator for the Eleanor Winters Art Gallery. She organized many student events and art workshops to initiate student involvement and inclusivity in the visual art community. She met with many art professors, teaching assistants, and artists to discover her own artistic skills and teaching methods towards visual arts. Queenie took part in various art exhibitions such as York University Open House and at Gallery 1313. She received the "Susan Roberts" Award for Excellence in Drawing for the Open/House/Studio Competition at York University.
From her experiences Queenie believes Castle Arts will be a place for students to learn, not only from their teachers but from their peers around them.