We formed DENSA in 2018. We've consistently grown since then, all thanks to the helping hands of an amazing community! We hope to support educators with acquiring knowledge and resources that will enable them to create an inclusive, equitable, rich, and culturally responsive school community.
We aim to provide educators an awareness of the diverse community that is Durham. Our network will help students, in partnership with parents and community members, to become more confident with their learning.
Kavita Kanavalli is an educator who is passionate about student success and believes that every child has the right to equal opportunities in education. She has been a teacher for 20 years. Kavita has been with the Durham District School Board for 15 years teaching Computer Science. During this time, she has had the opportunity to be part of a number of initiatives that helps bring equitable outcomes for students. Kavita is currently Vice-Principal at Pickering High School. She hopes to educate and bring awareness about the South Asian community through the various initiatives planned by DENSA.
Tharmila Apputhurai is an elementary ESL Coach. She has been a Primary/Junior teacher with the DDSB since 2005. Prior to her role as a coach, she was a Special Education Resource teacher at da Vinci P.S. in Ajax. In addition, Tharmila has experience teaching in South Korea, Macau, China, and Sri Lanka. She is passionate about collaborating with others to create spaces that reflect students' identities and lived experiences. She is dedicated to fostering inclusive, equitable, and caring practices so that learning is meaningful and engaging for all students. Tharmila strongly believes that education provides the opportunity for us to reflect, question, and find ways to improve the world that we live in. As an educator, she is continually learning and unlearning along with her students. Tharmila is excited to be a part of the DENSA network and it's initiatives to facilitate parent engagement, student achievement, and well-being.
Saamah Jadoon’s passion for the last 12 years has been her drive, determination, and devotion as a high school teacher to create a safe, accepting and inclusive environment for staff and students. She started her career at Oshawa Central Collegiate as an English and Yearbook teacher, which later lead her to become an English Department Head. Over the last decade, Saamah has dedicated herself in starting initiatives like "Girls Night In" and supporting initiatives throughout the board. Currently, Saamah is the Safe School Chair and is teaching English and Student Success at Brooklin High School where she continues to work with both staff and students to create more awareness, acceptance and inclusivity throughout our school board. She believes networks like DENSA will not only create a voice for students and staff but bring an understanding of how we can all help achieve student success by building positive and healthy learning environments.
Tina is a Vice-Principal with the Durham District School Board. She believes that all students have the ability to succeed given the correct supports. She is passionate about working in partnership with families and the community to increase student achievement and engagement. She has a passion for technology and using technology to provide all students with equitable outcomes. Tina is excited to be a part of DENSA, working collaboratively with students, the community, and other educators.
Thibika Thavakumar is an elementary educator with Durham District School Board. Prior to working with DDSB, she taught with New York City's Department of Education for five years. Thibika's goal as an educator is to provide a wide array of opportunities for students to succeed through positive and enriching learning experiences. She is dedicated to creating inclusive learning spaces that allows all students to feel comfortable, appreciated and accepted. She is a firm believer in promoting the trifecta of communication amongst students, families and teachers through consistent parent engagement. Through her passion in modern era technology within the classroom, she hopes to provide enlightening and thought provoking learning experiences. Thibika is a firm believer in empowering student's through education. Through DENSA, Thibika hopes to bring about inclusivity within all learning environments for students and staff.
Rama has been with the Durham District School Board for 6 years. She is passionate about creating an equitable classroom culture that empowers students to celebrate their diversity, build their confidence and work towards achieving their highest potential. Rama is committed to creating meaningful learning opportunities that enable students to become lifelong learners. Her varied experiences in the classroom environment enables her to consistently foster a classroom culture that is safe and equitable for all learners. Rama is a Grade 4 Homeroom Teacher at Roméo Dallaire Public School in Ajax. Rama’s hope is that DENSA will act as a platform to generate authentic parent and student engagement while providing a strong network for educators to collaborate and celebrate their shared experiences.
Deepa Gohill (she/her) is an educator with the Durham District School Board. She holds the position of an elementary Literacy/Numeracy instructional facilitator and is passionate about bringing teaching and learning to life as it centers around human rights and equity. After many years of teaching, Deepa held the position of a literacy/numeracy coach in Ajax for 3 years and now supports many schools in Oshawa as well as virtual DDSB@home campuses. Deepa is looking forward to working with DENSA to support students, families, and educators in the DDSB.
Senthuran has been with the Durham District school board for 8 years. He is currently working at the board office as an Innovative Education Facilitator—Technology. He is continually refining his skills and practices as such encourage those who surround him to do the same.