Gianna Dritsacos

Founding Head of School

Gianna received her B.Ed. at McGill University in Montreal and has lived in Niagara-on-the-Lake since 2007. Specializing in Kindergarten and Elementary Education, she has taught in both the public and private sectors, from Kindergarten to Grade 11, and is fluent in three languages. She has a keen interest in all aspects of education and is dedicated to creating a challenging and enriching learning environment for the students. She believes in shaping young minds into future leaders and is devoted to creating wonderful opportunities for students.

Julia Cain Murray

Head of School

Julia has been in education for over ten years, and holds a degree from Queen's University in Biology and Psychology as well as a Master's degree in Child Study and Education from OISE at the University of Toronto. Before joining Royal Oak as their Head of School and previous to this, as their Academic Director, Julia was a teacher researcher for 8 years at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, located at the Lab school in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Julia is a specialist in Mathematics, consulting privately for Independent schools in Mathematics programming as well as for the Ministry of Education. She also consults as a Lead Teacher for the Landscape of Nations Educational Initiative in Niagara, helping to plan and disseminate knowledge and teaching practices to teachers in the area of Indigenous history and perspectives.  She has a special interest in Inquiry and Constructivist Teaching, and has shared her knowledge of these practices in conferences in India and Japan, as well as at the Graduate level with teacher candidates. 

Mackenzie Duffin

Administrative Assistant

Mackenzie holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Classics from the University of New Brunswick, and a Diploma in Business Management from Trillium College. With a background working in Hospitality and Tourism, Administration, and Human Resources, she brings a broad range of experience and knowledge to Royal Oak. Her passion for education, children, and business organization ensure that Mackenzie will be devoted to the progress and development of our school and community.

Meet Our Teachers

At Royal Oak we focus on creating a student-driven, inquiry based learning program. In order to do this we need a strong team of teachers and staff to help make this possible. Our highly dedicated, professional team works hard to provide the students with a rich and varied education program. 

Joseph Mangiacasale

Early Years Teacher

Joseph Mangiacasale is a native of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Joe obtained a Bachelor of Education in History from the University of Brock in 2006. He also completed the Masters of Science in Education program at the University of Niagara in Lewiston, New York.  Joe began his teaching career in the United Kingdom, spending two years in London before moving back to Canada.  He has been teaching at Royal Oak since the school opened it's doors in 2015.  In his spare time, Joe is a dedicated soccer coach with the Niagara Falls Titans Soccer Club.  He also volunteers his time at ROS with various after-school clubs including Soccer Club and Lego Club. 

Kirsten Koyle

Grade 2/3 Teacher

Kirsten has a BA degree from Brock University in Community Recreation with a minor in Political Science. She completed her B.Ed at Lakehead University, and is currently putting the finishing touches on her Masters of Education degree. Kirsten specialized in Indigenous Education and focused her Masters portfolio on creating a text of compiled resources for using outdoors to explore number sense and numeration for primary levelled grades. Kirsten has experience being a Forest School Educator as well as an Outdoor Education programs coordinator. She brings energy and creativity into the classroom.

Brittany Nyenhuis 

Grade 4/5 Teacher

Brittany is a recent Brock University graduate for Concurrent Education with a Minor in Geography. With a 10-year background in Music Theatre, she is an enthusiastic and passionate educator with a love for the arts! Her teaching background extends to several years in tutoring for grades 4-12 and teaching in Peru.  Her most recent experience is teaching in a Grade 4 level classroom at the DSBN, and Brittany will bring these skills and many more to our community at Royal Oak.

Mireille Salem

Grade 7/8 Teacher

Mireille has a Master’s Degree in Theatre Research from St. Joseph’s University in Beirut. She also holds two BA’s, one in Music Education and the other in Computer Science. She worked as a Music, Drama and French teacher for more than 17 years in various school environments internationally, and locally in gifted schools. She also worked as an educational trainer with a focus on teaching all subjects through Music, Drama and Games. Furthermore, Mireille used her talent as a script writer to create radio broadcasts and TV series for children. She plays piano and guitar and always aims to make learning an exciting adventure by using her arts and technology background in each and every lesson.

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    Contact Us


    © Copyright 2019 by Royal Oak Community School. Proudly created with

    176 Wellington Street, P.O. Box 419

    Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, L0S1J0


    Tel: 905.328.9592