Ali Pearson

Summary of Qualifications

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to solve problems and seek guidance of supervising staff when appropriate
  • Energetic and physically fit
  • Knowledgable inregional demographics and socioeconomics
  • Strong desire to further learning and understanding
  • Tenacious, competent and resourceful researcher
  • Proven ability to build relationships and gain trust
  • Art and drafting background

Relevant Work Experience

Communication Skill Set

  • Able to precisely implement and follow instructions
  • Understanding and appreciation of cultural, and social diversity
  • Able to handle and diffuse difficult situations
  • Considerate of each persons intrinsic dignity and worth
  • Strong skills in communication timely and astute information
  • Experienced and educated in social media and digital communicaitons

Administrative Skill Set

  • Provide service with a large degree of independence
  • Diligent in preparation and maintenance of accurate records
  • Proven sound reasoning skills in planning, implimentation and monitoring of projects
  • Understanding of team dynamics
  • Dynamic problem solving skills
  • A clear understanding of professional guidelines and their application
  • Strong computer skills and experienced in a variety of operating systems and software

Photographic Skill Set        

  • Competent photographer in both technical aspects and composition
  • Experienced in story telling principles of news photography
  • Able to quickly adapt in different photographic environments
  • Competent in Photoshop, Lightroom and post production methods, while keeping within the ethical restraints of photojournalism
  • In depth understanding of camera equipment, lighting and it's applications

Social Media Skills Set

  • Understanding of the imperative nature of social media in news
  • Confident in the use and navigation of Twitter, Facebook, instagram and blogging
  • Experienced with the use and implementation of digital media commumicaitons, through computer, notebook, iPad/ tablets and smartphones.

     

Portfolio of Photography

Writing Samples

 

Jeremy Nadon, Morgan Nadon Turner, 11, and Stephen Frech volunteer as a family for the upcoming Pridefest. The first Pridefest will be held in Sault Ste. Marie from Friday, Sept. 5, to Monday, Sept. 7. Ali Pearson/Sault This Week


If you were to ask Morgan Nadon Turner, what her favourite colour is, she might tell you the rainbow, the colours of the Pride flag.

At only 11 years old Morgan knows it isn’t the gender of her parents that makes a family, it’s love.

Volunteer for Sault Ste. Marie’s first Pridefest and strong advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer questioning (LGBTQ+) rights, Morgan said she’s never had a problem with other kids and the public school she attends has always been supportive.

Morgan’s dads, Jeremy Nadon and Stephen Frech, said an LGBT family doesn’t require special treatment. “We are no different from any other family.”

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Intergender, Asexual: all are terms descriptive of one’s sexuality and gender identity, they said. It is no different than terms describing a person’s race of spiritual beliefs, or physical traits.

But that idea has taken the people of Sault Ste. Marie a little longer to come to terms with.

Theodore Syrette, advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and one of many Pridefest organizers said as an openly gay teenager, he faced a difficult high school experience — so much so, that he left school at 18. He has since obtained a college diploma after returning to school as a mature student.

“Five to ten years ago we definitely would not have had the same support that we are seeing now,” said Syrette.

“Sochi Olympic and the struggles for the LGBT athletes in Russia really brought the issues to the forefront.

“The NFL player that came out in the past year also really made a big difference, the increase in social media has actually really been a positive for the LGBT community, it really gets the message out there, it’s been a great opportunity for everyone.” said Syrette.

Normally youth cite economic reasons for leaving the Sault, but young people also have left to find more open and welcoming communities.

Both local school boards have made changes on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.

Maria Esposito, superintendent of education at Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, said the board is “…very supportive of all of our students and the includes the LGBTQ+ youth. We have brought awareness through teacher training on how to support, as well as the need to build safe and supportive schools for LGBTQ+ students, staff and families.”

The board has trained staff, “even in using inclusive language.

“We know we need to be aware of the way we say things. Even something as simple as saying girls line up or boys line up can be segregating for some students,” she said.

“Focusing on the whole aspect of respect and openness, ensuring that everyone feels safe in our school and our workplace, acceptance, and respect and openness to learn, and being self aware is critical so we have been spending a lot of time on reflection of our own values,” said Esposito.

“Part of being catholic is accepting everyone and working with everyone.

“We are going to be getting a lot of good resources from the Ministry of Education as well as from the Ontario Bishop, to do even more work for our LGBTQ youth,” Esposito said. “The whole province and the minister of education are aware that we need to create safer communities.”

Asima Vezina Superintendent of Education at Algoma District School Board, said ADSB is committed to providing all students with “safe, caring, inclusive learning environments.

“We recognize that we have work to do with our school community to ensure that our LGBTQ students feel their school environment is all of these things.”

The board has called in “community partners” to help work with teachers, guidance counselors, administrators and support staff to build understanding. The board wants a “positive experience” for the LGBTO student population.

“Part of the equity training we provide our administrators and safe schools teams is focused on evidence based strategies they can use to ensure their schools are inclusive, safe and welcoming to all students regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, etc.,” said Vezina.

“We do a Safe Schools survey with our students grades 6 to 12 bi-annually and use this information to understand what areas schools may need to focus on. Schools analyze this survey data and put actions in place with their safe schools teams as they continue their work around safe and caring school communities,” she said.

Algoma Public Health has long overlooked stereotypes and ensures that all of its clients have access to education and support. APH also makes itself available for community education.

“The sexual health program at Algoma Public Health supports all sexually active individuals including LGBTQ youth,” said Lisa Bondar, public health nurse.

“We are available to attend LGBTQ events upon request, and will be attending the Sault Pridefest 2014 and Rainbow Information Expo Sept. 5 at Sault College.”

Rainbow Camp, held each summer outside of Thessalon, has proven an invaluable experience for many youth. Rainbow Camp is a one-week camp for LGBTQ+ youth, their siblings and children in queer families. The Welcome Friends website says, “Most of the kids that we’re going to be going to camp have struggled with this idea of being constrained within a very small box of gender.” In addition to questioning gender definitions, campers have the opportunity to discuss sexual health, gay rights and how to create safe spaces.

Syrette said, “We really hope that a lot of people come out to Pridefest. We are creating an event where our community can learn not only about breaking down the stereotypes but how we as a community can create safe spaces.”

“Pridefest is nothing different then Aboriginal Day, or Italian Day,” said Syrette. “This is a cultural celebration.

“When some people think of Pride they think of Toronto Pride, leathers and nudity and that is just a very tiny piece of what Pride is. Pride is about solidarity, and being together and celebrating one another,” he said.

“No matter who you are or who you love or where you come from, it’s about being part of a community. We are the person who bags your groceries, …who serves you at the bank; we are the nurse that cares for you at the hospital,” said Syrette.

Pride is an all-important part or the community making it better, brighter and safer for everyone, he said.

 


Drew Kiteley of Random Killing, known by the stage-name 'Drool', has played beside DOA and The Dead Kennedys over the course of his career. The band even had a lengthy stint on Sesame Street. Ali Pearson/Sault This Week


Sault Ste. Marie-grown Drew Kiteley visited this past week with his punk band, Random Killing, for the Hardcore Homecoming at the Rockstar Bar .

Random Killing hasn’t played the Sault in almost two decades, but Kiteley, who has been with the group for 25 of its 30 years, often travels home for visits with his Mom and Dad, who still live here.

An older friend introduced Kitely to punk rock and he developed his taste, starting with The Dayglo’s and Forgotten Rebels.

“I was in the Station Mall one day at the record store and I found a Wendy. O. William album, the sound was how I felt, ‘pissed off’,” said Kiteley. That’s how he started.

He moved to Toronto for school, then later continued on to the Ontario College of Art.

“When I was in Toronto, I was hanging out on Yonge Street where I met some friends who were hanging out in the Market with BFG and I met them and started living in The Fort and hanging out in the Market, making silk screen shirts for other artists,” said Kitely.

“I ended up dropping out of Art school, I found the instructor’s bias really frustrating; if you weren’t doing what they wanted and painting what they painted the teachers wouldn’t really pay you any attention.”

In 1989, Jim Moore, better known as Mudd, one of the original members of Random Killing, contacted Steve Goof of another punk band, BFG, and said Random Killing was looking for a singer.

“He asked Goof to come and sing; he turned Random Killing down but told him that he knew another guy who might be a good fit.”

Kiteley, known to the band as Drool, has been a member ever since.

Random Killing still plays five or six gigs a year, but now is more selective and over the past year, has played with punk bands such as DOA and The Dead Kennedy’s.

The group has never signed a contract with anyone and has never signed away the right to any of their music, which is almost unheard of in the in the industry.

Random Killing has released two, seven-inch records, a 12-inch and five CDs and has been part of numerous compilations.

Kitely’s music was heard on Sesame Street for over a decade.

The group had been playing around with some Sesame Street songs at practice and created a counting song.

“We were at the Raw Energy Office in the 90s and a guy who worked for CBC loved the song and took it to the Sesame Street CBC producer.

“They called us in and we recorded songs for one to12. They picked up three, four, and five as well as a little ditty for the letter J, which is actually five or six bars from Johnny Was a Punk.”

More recently he has worked as a rigger for Cirque du Soleil travelling with them, tearing in and tearing out, setting for the acrobats, doing ropes and harnesses for the flying people. Kitely has also worked at the head office in Montreal in creation production.

He has been involved with International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union, as well as at îleSoniq, a large Montreal-based Techno Festival, where he got to work with bands such as Ice Tea, Body Count, Twisted Sister and Slayer.

Kitely has also been involved in extensive rigging installations such as the lighting art installation Slipstream engineered and fabricated by Montreal’s LUMID in the Eaton Centre, he said.

“I have been married to Zoey for the past six years.

“It has been the most amazing, as well as the hardest thing that I have ever done,” said Kiteley.

Settled into a family life with Zoey’s sons, Cillian and Felix, they added their son, Billy Blaze, to the mix four-and-a-half years ago.

“I hope that my son never has to turn to punk rock out of anger, but that if he wants to be involved in it, that it’s out of love for the music and the culture. I will support my son in anything that he wants to do as long as it’s safe and respectful,” said Kiteley.

His parents initially struggled to understand their son’s desire to be in a punk band but they have come around to the idea.

Saturday night Drew’s dad, Bill Kiteley, was in the audience at the Rockstar until 2 a.m. watching his son perform.

The next morning the entire band was at the Kiteley residence for breakfast by his mother, Rosalind.

“The entire band had a great time in the Sault,” sid Kiteley.

“I think the Sault will be seeing more of Random Killing in the future. We were treated well and were appreciated. No one treats us better than Sault Ste. Marie.”


  Chiara Scornaiencki, five, enjoys the comforts of home this week after an extended stay at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, where her family learned that she has only a limited time left. Chiara’s mother, Amber Schornaiencki, learned to care for her daughter’s complex medical needs at home, through support from Rogers House in Ottawa. Ali Pearson/Sault This Week

 

Chiara Scornaiencki, five, enjoys the comforts of home this week after an extended stay at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, where her family learned that she has only a limited time left. Chiara’s mother, Amber Schornaiencki, learned to care for her daughter’s complex medical needs at home, through support from Rogers House in Ottawa. Ali Pearson/Sault This Week


Amber and Chris Scornaiencki, noticed early last November that something wasn’t quite right with Chiara, their five-year-old daughter.

She had blurred vision, one of her eye’s would turn right, and her balance was off.

They visited a local pediatrician, Dr. Jonathan DellaVedova, who conducted many tests and ordered a CT scan, which on Nov. 28 confirmed the family’s worst fear. Chiara has a tumor growing on her brain stem.

The family flew immediately to Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, in Ottawa. The following day, after an MRI, the Scornaienckis received the diagnosis. The tumor is malignant, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. It’s rare, inoperable and invariably fatal. Its cause is not understood and no known factors or conditions make a child more or less likely to develop this type of cancer.

The Scornaienckis had a difficult choice to make. Amber Scornaiencki said they had the weekend to decide if Chiara should have palliative care, end-of-life care or radiation.

Chiara underwent six weeks of radiation therapy. It required sedation before each of 31 treatments. Doctors at CHEO also ordered feeding tubes and numerous procedures to alleviate the symptoms of the tumor and assist with her medical care.

But radiation could only improve quality of life, Amber said. Symptoms typically reoccur in six to nine months and progress rapidly. Survival past 12 to14 months from diagnosis is uncommon.

During the first two weeks of treatment Chiara was bedridden, and struggling even with swallowing. Not until the Ottawa Senators made a visit to the hospital, was she motivated to try her wheelchair and pay the players a visit.

From that point forward she has made progress, back to a point where she walked, talked and created art, a favorite pastime, said her mom.

The first positive news the family received in Ottawa was when a radiologist told them it was abnormal for a patient to respond so well to treatment.

Then again on Feb. 10 during an MRI, the family learned that Chiara’s tumor had shrunk by 50 per cent.

Being so far from home was extremely difficult. Amber wanted to bring Chiara back to Sault Ste. Marie where the little girl could enjoy her time with friends and family.

Rogers House, a home away from home for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families — built in memory of Roger Neilson, Hockey hall of fame coach — supported Amber in this quest. The home’s transition program enabled her to learn the skills required to administer Chiara’s medications, attend to special dietary needs, feeding and additional skills required to monitor vital signs and care for Chiara in her home.

Amber has worked at Home Depot since it opened, Chris at Pollard Banknote. Both are on leave from work. They spend as much time with Chiara and their seven-year-old son, Jaden, as they can, despite mounting medical, travel and household expenses.

Only a short time remains for Chiara. The family remains positive, hoping for a miracle cure, but they want her to enjoy as much as possible whatever is left.

Hospital staff at CHEO on her final day of treatment on Jan. 20 encouraged Chiara to come up with a mantra.

She chose: “Remember today, for it is the beginning of always, making every day ‘Awesome!’”

Amber say’s she has learned how important it is in her situation not to Google her daughter’s prognosis.

She listens to Chiara’s doctors and takes her questions of what’s best directly to her team of health care providers. Chiara’s care continues in the hands of the doctors at CHEO, overseen locally by DellaVedova.