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Our Team

Meet our Administrators, Teachers, and supporting faculty. We hire faculty who uphold the Sacred Heart Academy mission and treat teaching as a vocation. 

Nicholas Ferreira Profile Picture

Nicholas Ferreira - Principal

Nicholas spent nine years of training and formation in major seminary, earning degrees in classical humanities/liberal arts in Spain and in philosophy from Regina Apostolorum University in Rome, Italy. During this time, he was engaged in youth work, leading boys camps and clubs across Canada and the US. As well, he spent several years as the assistant operations director for North America, overseeing at least 80 entities and their finances, budgeting, policies and procedures, reporting, compliance, human resources, legal, providing him an in-depth mastery of all aspects of school management.


From there, he discerned a different vocational path, and is now married to his wife, Barbara, with whom he has six beautiful children. In addition to earning two masters degrees from York University, he also studied educational pedagogy at Seneca College and went on to teach at the College.


Nicholas co-founded Sacred Heart Academy Co-op and was its director for five years, giving classes in poetry, public speaking, conversational French, organizing and coordinating the many details of the educative life of the co-op community. He is passionate about quality Catholic education at the primary, secondary and post-secondary level, and is happy to roll up his sleeves and build educational projects in line with the needs of the community.


When not at the school, you can find Nicholas working in the language industry (he knows French, Spanish, Latin and Ancient Greek), traveling with the family, spending quality time with friends. He also enjoys singing, playing organ, board games, hunting, fishing and triathlons. 


Sharon VanBeers - Vice Principal

Sharon left a convent aspirant's school, St. Joseph's Convent, in London, ON at age 17, and attended Toronto Teacher's College in 1968-69. From 1969 to 2003, she taught for 30 years at the Metropolitan Toronto Catholic Separate School Board and Durham Separate Catholic School Board.  She married and was blessed with one beautiful child who is now a teacher for the Durham Separate Catholic School Board. Sharon achieved a BA from Trent university in 1999 after five years of night school. She graduated on the deans honour list with a double major in History and English.  During the last seventeen years of her full time teaching career she was the Faith Ambassador at her school which involved preparation for student participation in every Sunday mass, preparation for school masses, including special celebrations such as the crowning of Mary, the living rosary, the stations of the cross, the Jesse tree and special Christmas celebrations.  Sharon has experience teaching Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 7, Grade 8 history, Grade 9 & 10 remedial English, and English as a Second Language to both children and adults.

Sharon has been retired since December 2003.  Since then she has been a supply teacher for Evergreen Catholic Separate Regional Division NO.2, in Alberta 2004, as well as Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board until 2008. Since then Sharon has spent most of her volunteer time, teaching the Children's Sunday Liturgy at the 9:00 AM mass every Sunday during the school year at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Oshawa, ON.  She also spent two years volunteering to help with the Good Shepherd program at St. Joseph the Worker.  As well, Sharon has spent several years at the same parish with the sacramental preparation for Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. In 2018 she completed the online Catechist Formation Programme with the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Sharon feels God has called her to pursue the development of a private Catholic School in the hopes that it will bring God's children back to Him and release them from a secular world that does not even acknowledge the existence of God.  With God 's help she believes Sacred Heart Academy will give the children values, morals and love for God that will not only help them survive in the secular world but will help them bring Our Lord to all.


Cyndel Brooks - Administrator

Cyndel is a wife, and mother to 4 children under 5 years old. She grew up in Malaysia and came to Canada with her family when she was 14 years old. She was raised an Evangelical Protestant and converted to Catholicism in 2016 after encountering the fulfillment of the Jewish traditions in the Catholic faith, especially in the Eucharist. Cyndel is a Registered Nurse and has worked in various settings including acute care, First Nations reserve and long term care. 


Cyndel is passionate about embracing the beauty of simple and traditional family life, and is committed to raising and educating her children in such an environment. She believes that the greatest gift we can transmit to our children is the Catholic Faith. Sacred Heart Academy is an important endeavor as it is an avenue to educate our children that responds to the spirit of the age. By fostering an educational community which inspires faith, hope and charity we can have the best hope for the flourishing of our children.


Pilar Ponce de Leon - Human Resources

Pilar is a Catholic mom of 5 beautiful children, married to the love of her life and in love with her Creator. 


Professionally, Pilar is an active CHRP designated member of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario and has an educational background in HR Management and Accounting. Her work experience ranges from Human Resources and Finance to Event Management and Customer Service. Pilar speaks Spanish fluently, understands French, and has a desire to learn Latin.


Outside of work, together with her husband, Jason, she manages Cherubs Cupboard, a little ministry religious goods store in Courtice, Ontario. Sacred Heart Academy is an answered prayer for her family and she is excited to be part of it.

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