Jordan Turcotte: Director of Training
Jordan’s teaching and training career began in high school as a minor hockey trainer. Eager for adventure, he immersed himself in whitewater and first responder training after graduating. He paddled the rivers of Canada, USA, and Mexico with WILD (Whitewater Intensive Leadership Development) for 3 months. After an intensive wilderness EMT (emergency medical training) in New Hampshire, he headed south again to firefighter school at Texas A&M.
That same year, 2010, Jordan began instructing first aid. After meeting his future wife while river guiding, he became a volunteer ski patroller. She’s an avid skier and a former ski instructor. Jordan is still trying to keep up with her on the slopes, and is hoping to have their young children join them soon.
A professional firefighter, Jordan has real-life emergency experience and insights to share. Watching students discover their skills and develop confidence fuels his passion for teaching. He also enjoys the opportunity to visit new places and meet new people. He recently taught in Nunavut, sharing his knowledge in communities in the far north.
When not putting out fires, or teaching, Jordan enjoys traveling, camping, and spending time with his two kids Grace and Jack.
Lara Bednarz: Director of Youth Programs
Originally from the Toronto area, Lara’s first experience of the Ottawa Valley was at her childhood cottage. A graduate of Brock University’s teaching program, she also has an undergrad degree in Integrated Studies (French).
After teaching in South Korea and St. Lucia, Lara now teaches elementary school in Gatineau. Her Wilderness First Aid training is the perfect complement to her love of travel and outdoor adventure. She also enjoys returning to her family cottage with her son Loewen and husband Adam.
Amanda Watson: First Aid Instructor and Youth Leader
Amanda’s small-town charm and compassion are evident in her bedside manner as a nurse. Born and raised in the Ottawa Valley, she completed a double major in psychology and sociology at the University of New Brunswick. She then headed west to the University of Calgary for nursing school. At the same time, she participated in the Heart and Stroke Foundation Community Outreach programs. And still found time to perfect her skiing!
Amanda returned to Ottawa to pursue her nursing career and mentors new graduates. Off-duty, she enjoys adventures with her daughter Nieve, partner Frank and their dog Kooteney.
Marianne Kelly: Sign Language First Aid Insturctor
Marianne brings a wide variety of teaching and leadership experiences to our team. Her career began with the Parks Canada where she performed a wide variety of environmental outreach and interpretation programs. As a certified first aid instructor and American Sign Language Interpreter, she is able to provide first aid training to meet the needs of the Deaf community in Ottawa and the surrounding area.
When Marianne is not busy helping others she can be found hiking, camping, travelling or tending to her garden.
Jenn Mahar: Youth Leader
Jenn has enjoyed working with young people since high school. While studying sociology at the University of Carleton, she lead programs for a variety of ages, special needs and at risk youth. After teacher’s college at Nipissing University, Jenn took an elementary teaching position in Ottawa.
Still involved in summer programs, Jenn is a valuable member of our youth leadership team. She’s an avid soccer player, fitness enthusiast, and scrapbooker. When not busy with other people’s children, she enjoys time with her son Finnley, husband Tim and two dogs.