Tutoring Team

Our Twisted Team is passionate and invested in each of our Twisted Learner’s successes and failures. Our Twisted Process is transparent, as our fees are. We go above and beyond for every Learner. This is not just another tutoring business, but it’s also a way of life!

All of our Twsited Tutors have Criminal Record Checks and most are certified teachers. We have specialty tutors for those with specific needs: higher level maths, languages, and special education, to name a few. We are flexible with our locations and scheduling!

Our tutors do not work in isolation: therefore, they always have a team behind them to offer support, which means your children have that same team behind them. 

We are pleased to introduce the following tutors to our ASTC Tutoring…With A Twist team. Each of them bring a wealth of knowledge and an amazing amount of energy. You will see by the following biographies and tutors’ own words about The Twist that each individual brings their own uniqueness and set of talents! 

Get Started and let the The Tutoring…With A Twist team help you build some bridges today!

PS = If you are interested in joining our team, we would love to hear from you as we are always looking for Twisted Tutors! Please review this page to see if you are a right for us and if we are a right fit for you!



Catherine - Achieve Success on a Joyful Journey!

Catherine LaMarche: Bachelor of Education & a Bachelor of Human Kinetics specializing in Physical Activity and Health; Certifications in: French as a Second Language, General Math, Social Studies & Sciences, Reading & Writing, and Experiential Learning     


Catherine is best described as energetic, organized, creative, social and positive!

Catherine is a certified teacher with extensive experience in classroom and tutoring. She is also a French as a second language teacher and a certified life coach which contributes to her wide range of unique approaches to not only improve the subject of concern with high level of enthusiasm but also to discover the students' preferred learning style and hidden talents.

For her, the “twist” is very aligned with her values. It is about guiding children towards helping them understand at a deeper level who they are and what learning strategies work best for them. This will not only help them learn the material given by the education system, they will also develop important life skills that will be very useful for their future such as more confidence, independence and the power that is within them.

In Catherine's own words:

“My intention is to provide a safe and comfortable space for students to develop their full potential with confidence in a creative environment, where strong support and proper guidance are present so they can achieve success on a joyful journey with Tutoring...With A Twist."


Don - Building Relationships of Trust!

Don Gow: Bachelor of Education, Credits also in Statistics, Linear Algebra Pascal Programming and Calculus, Minor: French     


Don Gow is a professional tutor who has enjoyed a successful career as a classroom and online teacher for the past 30 years. He has provided his skills to numerous schools throughout British Columbia, China and The Philippines.

Don appreciates and endorses the progressive philosophy that is promoted and delivered by the Tutoring...With A Twist program. As a professional educator, Don sincerely believes in individualized instruction and the enhancement of life skills. He profoundly endorses the practice of enhancing student self-esteem and helping students learn how to learn.

The subject area with which he has demonstrated the greatest teaching proficiency is Mathematics, however, he has also enjoyed considerable success in teaching English, French, Spanish and Physical Education.

Don has worked with approximately 6,000 students over the past 30 years! He is happy to state that most of his students remember him as a positive, pleasant, responsible, considerate and dedicated instructor with a genuine desire to ensure the success of each student every day.

As the proud father of four talented and resourceful children, it has become evident that Don has passed along to the next generation his passion for intellectual development and education. After having plied his craft in northern British Columbia for the past 26 years, he has recently returned to Vancouver Island to be close to his children and grandchildren. We are very fortunate to have him!

In Don's own words:

“The 'Twist' in Tutoring...With A Twist involves building the confidence, self-esteem and relevant life-skills of each student so that each student can recognize that the skills they are learning will help them throughout life. They will not simply be 'hopping through hoops' to gain credit in a course. We do this through helping students to feel comfortable with the learning process by recognizing the student as a unique and capable person."


Darlene - Expand your World for a Happier & More Confident YOU!

Darlene Patrick: Advanced Certificate for Teaching English As A Second Language; Master of Library Sciences; Master of Arts in Slavic Languages and Literature; Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language   


Darlene has been involved with education as a teacher/tutor/librarian for more than thirty years. As a result of her extensive multifaceted background in the United States (San Diego, Seattle, Chicago) and Canada (Edmonton and Nanaimo), she has had great success teaching and helping students across a broad spectrum of ages, ethnicities and skill levels. She is keenly aware that people have different styles for how they learn, which is why she adapts each encounter to the specific needs of her students. Her methodology focuses not only on the subject area, but also on enhancing the skills that are necessary for a fulfilling life, such as critical thinking and the ability to set priorities and organize tasks effectively. Ms Patrick has the most experience teaching English (reading, writing, vocabulary enrichment), but she is equally comfortable with all liberal arts subjects and business.

She is an extremely personable and compassionate person who believes that every individual is special and has something positive to contribute to society. Letters from many of her learners affirm that she was one of the best teachers they ever had. Happily settled in Duncan on Vancouver Island, Darlene is looking forward to continuing her career as a teacher/tutor and otherwise spends her leisure time hiking, biking and kayaking in our beautiful natural surroundings.

In Darlene’s own words:

“The Twist in Tutoring...With A Twist is an enhanced type of teaching. Instead of targeting all the efforts to completing one particular test or project, 'twisted teaching' empowers students to succeed beyond that. In other words, students are taught the tools they need for a lifetime: better communication skills, self-motivation, critical thinking, stress management, organization and effective planning."

Erin - An Energy & Passion Like No Other!

Erin Holmes: Bachelor of Education specializing in Program & Course development, as well as English as a Second Lanugage (ESL)    

Erin with dogs

Erin has used her education in Economics, Math, and English to tutor and teach students in elementary and high school in Ontario and Alberta.  Now that she has moved to the island, she is devoting her time to tutoring, as she finds working directly with students one-to-one or in small groups offers the best learning environment.  Her qualifications include a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and a B. Ed. from the University of Toronto.  She also has extensive experience developing courses and teaching English as a Second Language (ESL).

Instilling learner confidence is a major part of Erin's tutoring, as the ability to express oneself is core to life.  Erin's students flourish when supported by her with individual tutoring.

In Erin’s own words:

“To me, Tutoring…With A Twist fosters an atmosphere in which students have opportunities for ‘learning moments’ not just about the subject they are studying, but just as importantly about themselves.  The Twist is helping them think about how to approach their own learning, about what they need to do in order to concentrate on any task, and about how to organize themselves in order to make the most of their time.  These skills lead to success in school and beyond school.


Courtney - Engage. Enrich. Empower. 
(Back as of August 2017!)

Courtney Paugh: Bachelor of Arts -- English & History, Bachelor of Education - Elementary & Secondary Certification    

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From an early age, Courtney wanted to be one thing—Indiana Jones! With a love of history and culture, she began her studies at Vancouver Island University in 2005. But she couldn't let go of her passion for literature and creative writing, so incorporated studies in English into the mix. Courtney also explored her interests in education, completing her Bachelor of Education in elementary and secondary education in 2010. 

Over the past six years, she has taught in both British Columbia and Alberta, and spent this last couple of years teaching in the UK.

In Courtney's own words:

“Learning is an active process, and Tutoring…With A Twist allows students to be hands on and engage with their learning. Creative and engaging learning processes that relate to an individual’s strengths or interests, not only build skills and understanding, it can also foster confidence and create empowerment!"



Sheryl - Living is Learning. So, Let's Make It Fun! 

Sheryl Ellis: Bachelor of Arts in Education, Specialized Honours Bachelor in English Literature -- including university level course in humanities, history, geography and extensive classical music studies.   

Sheryl to use

Sheryl grew up in Ontario and graduated from the Concurrent Education program at York University. After her travels in Europe, she taught at the Canadian Forces Base in Germany! This lead to a position teaching English at the high school level. In all her combined years of teaching, She has taught a full course at every grade level except Kindergarten! While she is happy in the humanities, she loves the English curriculum and often seeks "Twisted" ways to learn the subject in a manner that meets the learner's style. 

When one of her children experienced difficulty at school, Sheryl became a home-schooling teacher. She has benefited from a variety of experiences working with unique children with different learning styles and needs both in the classrooms inside schools and in home learning situations.

The new project based BC curriculum is supremely suited to Sheryl's style of teaching. She too tailors lessons to enhance the learner's own strengths and skills in order to build confidence and life skills, such as critical thinking and planning. She is, also, particularly fond of deconstructing the evils of essays!

Besides being a tutor for English and ESL students, she is a youth fiction writer and her family has hosted international home-stay students for years. Her favourite way to get fit is to don a helmet, 4 wheels and a zebra shirt to referee men's and women's roller derby. Did you know there is a youth roller derby team on the Island?! 

In Sheryl's own words:

“Class actually begins when you leave the classroom! I have been a teacher both inside and outside the traditional classroom, and I recognize the "Twist" component of Tutoring...With a TWIST is the learning process enabling students to build those necessary life skills that will improve their ability to thrive in any environment. It teaches them how to set goals and plan strategies leading to their independence. An example of some of my twsisted ways of teaching: For English, we researched how to safely preserve fruit. For Science, we preserved peaches. For Physical Education and Math, we sourced out a recipe for making jam. We then, calculated how many flats of strawberries were required. Next, we picked the strawberries. Lastly, we got the rest of the ingredients needed, measured the ingredients and made the jam! Who wants to work with me?!"


Doreen - A Wealth of Experience! 
(On a leave from August 2017 - August 2018.)

Doreen Sayer: Bachelor of Education, Masters of Arts in Curriculum Development  

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•    Master Teacher in Mathematics with experience in teaching high school mathematics at all levels, provincial marking and provincial course contributions.

•    Experienced Teacher in English, helping peoople with essay's at both the high school, university and Master's level.

•    Certification as Financial Planner and Pension Consultant.

•    Teacher Librarian qualifications with experience at both elementary and secondary levels.

•    Technology instruction for both adults and school students including accounting.

•    Web page design.

In Doreen’s own words:

“Having taught more than twenty years in classrooms in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, I know how difficult it is to make a difference in the lives of students.  No matter how you do the math, the time allotted to individualize the programme and curriculum in a meaningful way is minimal at best in a classroom where there are numerous agendas.  This is my opportunity to give back by Tutoring…With A Twist to meet the needs of students, to actively engage them, and build a feeling of success and mastery that goes beyond the classroom.  Learning is life long…for me as well.  I strongly believe that the little steps along the way in education are the foundation of the person(s) we become for the rest of our lives.  If students are part of the process in developing projects, completing goals, and assessing outcomes; then they take ownership of their education, build a bank of successes, and become positive in knowing that they can be the change.” 


Madeleine - Ignite your Passion for Learning & Find the Right Tools to Make Education Work for You!
(On a leave for July & August 2017.)

Madeleine Dwyer: Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies; Post-Baccalaureate Education Degree Program (in progress)   

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Madeleine Dwyer is currently a student-teacher in the Post-Baccalaureate Education degree program at Vancouver Island University. She graduated from VIU in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies, and also spent two years at the University of Ottawa focusing on political science in the French immersion stream.

Madeleine is originally from Toronto, where her passion for helping others to learn emerged when she became a peer-tutor at a young age. This passion evolved over many years through working as a tutor, working as a yoga instructor, and teaching about gardening and stewardship. She is now living in Nanaimo, however she was formally a long time resident of the Oceanside community!

Her interests and work over the past few years have included environmental education with a focus on food security, administration, teaching, music, yoga, farming, fitness, and healthy living. She strives to keep developing her knowledge and skills in these areas whenever possible. Madeleine is currently a community representative for the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region community round-table, and has been an involved community member for many years.

Madeleine is excited about bringing her enthusiasm in her diverse interests into her career as a teacher. She loves to help others in their learning journeys, especially when it comes to working through challenges and exploring their own passions and creative potential.

In Maddy’s own words:

“My take on the Twist relates fairly directly to the concept of personalized learning. This is about moving beyond the conventional classroom methods of the past and adapting our teaching to make it more engaging and relevant for each person. It also includes supporting the students to develop life skills and to gain insight into their own learning styles and needs. 

I believe we can encourage learners to take on more ownership of their learning and provide chances to do ongoing self assessment. In my mind, the Twist may also include interdisciplinary opportunities. A few examples of this could be going outside for some nature based learning, incorporating movement into learning activities, or allowing the learner to use their own passions and interests to help guide a lesson. 

I feel that critical and creative thinking, which are now included amongst the Core Competencies of the new BC curriculum, are vital instruments for life that we can develop in virtually any subject area. We as educators should offer choices, put the learner in the driver's seat, and act more as a guide than a teacher when possible. We need to build meaningful relationships, rather than work from a top down approach, focusing on open communication, trust, empathy and appreciation for what we all bring to the table." 

Tania - A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step! 

(On a leave from July 2017 indefinetely.)

Tania LaPalme: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, TESL, Business Administration Management Diploma

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With over 15 years of experience teaching French Immersion in the public school system in BC and Manitoba, as well as 3 years teaching in England and Japan, Tania is very familiar with different learning styles and enjoys incorporating the knowledge she has gained from all of her travels into her teaching.   

She has decided to leave the classroom in order to pursue her dream of doing mobile holistic healing. She is excited to continue using her teaching skills by working with Tutoring…With A Twist as this keeps this passion alive!

Tania’s past times include walking her dogs and going on long road trips.  She returned to the Island in August after a 4 month journey across the prairies in her motorhome.  Tania also enjoys learning about Energy Medicine, Aroma Therapy, Tai Chi, and various other ways to keep the body, mind and spirit in synch.

Tania will also have the exciting role of Community Liaison so you will see her there representing us in the community. Please welcome her to the Island and to our Team!

In Tania's own words:

“Being in a classroom full of children was very inspiring, but there is nothing like getting to spend time with a child one on one and really getting to know their passions and what makes them tick.  The best part of being a teacher has always been seeing the lightbulb click over a child’s head when you help them figure something out, whether it is something academic, or an “aha” moment when they acquire a useful life skill.  I look forward to being there when those moments happen and The Twist in Tutoring...With A Twist enables those moments to happen!" 


I have had the experience of working under Ms. Scotchburn and I would like to share my experience. Ms. Scotchburn delivers a program that is individualized and avoids any type of boredom due to her creative format of the way she engages group members in the activities run. READ MORE

MichelleChild and Youth Worker


This was one of the teachers whom I can truly say I will never forget because of her constant brightness, and positive attitude towards students. Her faith in us and charisma was what really enticed students to come to class everyday because we were in a pleasant environment... READ MORE

SabrinaStudent at the University Of Guelph-Humber