• Kelly Shaw
    Kelly Shaw

    CEO and President

    Kelly brings 20+ years experience in senior strategy, marketing, and technology development roles to Ooka Island. She successfully built and scaled a $10M business to a $182M digital business while an executive at Pearson. Kelly speaks at conferences as a leader in educational technology and is frequently consulted on innovation in learning and early education.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because our technology has the power to transform education by making learning to read truly personalized and fun for every child.


  • Dr Kay MacPhee
    Dr. Kay MacPhee

    Co-Founder and Director of Learning and Research

    Inspired by her deaf son, Kay has devoted her life to teaching and developing evidence-based programs for all children. Kay has spent 25 years as an accomplished researcher with her reading concepts ranked #1 by The What Works Clearinghouse. Before Ooka Island, Kay founded the successful intervention company, SpellRead, which was acquired by Kaplan K-12 in 2006.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because there should not be one child left behind. All children can and should learn to read well.


  • Ryan Palmer
    Ryan Palmer

    Chief Technology Officer

    Ryan is a technology advocate with a mission to improve learning outcomes using technology. Prior to joining Ooka Island, Ryan worked as a software consultant helping clients ranging from local firms to Fortune 500 companies. He brings a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and decade of software development experience to the Ooka Island team.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because our technology plays a productive role in laying the foundation for learning that all children need to reach their full potential.


  • Danielle White
    Danielle White

    Director of Product

    With over 10 years experience in the technology industry and a master's degree in computer science from McGill, Danielle oversees all product development at Ooka Island. Danielle has a passion for creating innovative products with exceptional user experiences. In 2014, Danielle was awarded Employee of the Year by the Innovation and Technology Association of PEI. Prior to Ooka, Danielle was a Project Manager at Kaplan and Support Specialist at SpellRead.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because learning should be fun and engaging. Ooka ensures reading success that sets young learners up for a lifetime of learning.


  • Joelle MacPhee
    Joelle MacPhee

    Director of Marketing

    As an ambitious young entrepreneur, Joelle MacPhee joined her grandmother, Dr. Kay MacPhee, to launch Ooka Island. Joelle has a "try anything once" marketing philosophy and through scaling Ooka’s earned media and PR, content marketing and ambassador programs, she has grown its user-base worldwide in 36 countries. Joelle has appeared on CBC's Dragons’ Den, BNN's Disruptors Series, CTV, Global, and the W Network's Backyard Inventors.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because I get to channel my enthusiasm and passion at work towards helping as many children as possible become confident readers.


  • Kate Shaw
    Kate Shaw

    Director of Design & UX

    Kate is an advocate for using design to affect and promote social impact. She has dedicated her career to working with leading organizations in education. Happiest when wearing multiple hats, Kate owns all facets of design at Ooka Island, from research to user experience and visual design. Kate studied at Parsons School of Design and holds a bachelor of design with honours from York University.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because all children need early access to technology that builds foundational skills, preparing them for future academic success.


  • Lowell MacPhee
    Lowell MacPhee

    Director of Finance

    Lowell manages Ooka Island’s corporate finances and maintains a close working relationship with all suppliers, funding partners, and professional service firms. Prior to Ooka Island, Lowell was the Manager of Finance and Information Systems at SpellRead.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because there is such enjoyment in learning new things that everyone should experience in life. It all starts with learning to read.


  • Sarah Dunphy
    Sarah Dunphy

    Customer Success Lead

    Sarah makes sure every child has a positive experience as they learn to read playing Ooka Island. She ensures the customer’s voice is instrumental in driving product development. Sarah is on the Board of Directors at the PEI Business Women's Association and holds a Honours degree in Business and Information Technology from UPEI.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because nothing is more rewarding than supporting educators and parents as they teach their children to read.


  • Brent Mitton
    Brent Mitton

    Lead Programmer

    Brent loves to program and loves to learn. After graduating from a computer programming course at Holland College he promptly went back to school to complete his B.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Prince Edward Island. Currently he’s pursuing a master’s degree with a focus on machine learning online at The Georgia Institute of Technology.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because technology provides new ways to make sure that everyone has access to quality education. This is what Ooka is doing for reading.


  • Tricia Hall
    Tricia Hall

    VP Educational Sales

    Tricia is an award-winning sales executive with a proven track record of building, coaching, and leading successful sales teams. Tricia brings 20+ years of expertise selling K-12 digital, literacy and numeracy solutions to educators. She is a strategic thinker with an analytical mindset who generates substantial growth.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because learning to read is a complicated science that fascinates me. Ooka makes it simple with adaptive technology and proven pedagogy.


  • Sara Vartanian
    Sara Vartanian

    Community Manager

    Sara brings over 12 years teaching experience to her role at Ooka Island. She has taught every grade from K-6, been a teacher-librarian, and spent a year on secondment to OISE's Jackman Institute of Child Studies. She has a B.Ed from Queen’s University and a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Ryerson. Sara is also the founder of a successful blog where she uses her social media and influencer experience to support Ooka’s outreach campaigns.

    WHY OOKA?

    Because it is a researched, learn to read program that I can stand behind as a teacher and a mom of two young boys.