The PASSOC Project Secondary Curriculum Writers
Kristine Sol Idmilao Aquino was born in Manila, Philippines to Consolacion Idmilao and Francisco Aquino. She immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1989 settling in the neighbourhood of Parkdale with her family. She moved to Scarborough when she was ten years old and now resides in Markham, Ontario. Kristine describes herself as a grateful wife, mother, anak, tita, ninang, friend and colleague. She is currently a teacher for the Toronto Catholic District School Board and plans to pursue postgraduate studies in the future. Kristine is extremely proud to be part of the PASSOC project that brings her Filipino culture and Filipinx identity into the forefront of education. She describes this project as a journey of self-discovery and reaffirmation and hopes that students as well as teachers find this project to be an instrument for lifelong learning, a catalyst for positive change and an inspiration for love towards all people.
Audrey Ferrer is the Department Head of Religious Studies, Chaplaincy and French at Madonna Catholic Secondary School in Downsview, Toronto. She was born in San Juan, Manila, and moved to Canada in 1975. She is an educator, social justice activist, mental health advocate, and dancer, passionate about sharing her faith and empowering students. Audrey received several entrance scholarships, graduating from the University of Toronto with a B.Sc. and from OISE-UT with a B.Ed. Through the grace of God, Audrey has studied and/or worked in Scotland, Sri Lanka, Chile, the Canary Islands, Nicaragua, Cuba, Israel and South Korea. She has presented at six provincial conferences and won several exemplary awards or grants as an educator. Audrey’s extra-curricular activities have included competitive fencing, piano, and performing ballet, ballroom and latin dance. Her experiences across different cultures and fields have helped shape her faith and purpose in living her vocation as a classroom educator, spouse, and mother of three young girls.
Kristina Tjon-A-San was born in Toronto, Ontario. She is half-Filipino and half-Surinamese. She spent her early years living in the Philippines with her maternal relatives. During her years in the Philippines she grew an appreciation for Filipino food and culture. She returned to Toronto at the age of 3, where she would become a student of the TCDSB. She was a member of the first graduating class of Marshall McLuhan C.S.S in 2003 and it was during her time at Marshall McLuhan where her interest in education and social justice took hold. She pursued her B.A and B.Ed at York University through the concurrent education program. After graduating in 2008, she pursued her Masters of Education at OISE in 2010. She would return to the TCDSB as a teacher where she continues to work today.
Aileen Santiago was born in the Philippines to her Filipino father and Chinese (Fukien) mother. She immigrated to Canada at the age of seven with her parents and two sisters. Initially landing in Richmond Hill to live with her mother’s aunt and uncle, her family eventually moved to Scarborough and then settled in Markham. Aileen now lives in Scarborough with her husband and two children. She teaches English and French and is a Teacher-Librarian with the TCDSB. Working on PASSOC has given her the opportunity to deepen her connection to her Filipinx-Chinese heritage and recognize her membership in a diasporic community in Canada. She is committed to sharing her culture proudly in her community to help empower others to draw strength from the beauty, richness, and ingenuity of Filipinx people. In her spare time, Aileen enjoys writing, cooking, analyzing films and books, tennis, and playing board games.
The PASSOC Project Coordinator
Marissa Largo is a researcher, artist, curator, and educator. In 2018, she earned her PhD in Social Justice Education from OISE, University of Toronto. Marissa is the recipient of a number of grants and awards such as the 2019 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. Her book manuscript, Unsettling Imaginaries examines Filipinx artists who adopt decolonial diaspora aesthetics as counternarratives to the dominant stereotypes that persist in Canada. Her projects have been presented in venues and events across Canada, such as the A Space Gallery, Royal Ontario Museum, WorldPride Toronto, MAI (Montreal, arts interculturels), and Nuit Blanche Toronto. Marissa is the Department Head of Visual Arts and Technology at Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School, Centre for Self-Directed Learning and a sessional instructor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.