MH Vicars Instructors

The instructors in this school are an incredible group. Although very different in background and style, they all have this in common: an uncompromising commitment to the quality of their students’ growth and skill development, and a great enthusiasm for their own life-long learning.

All have years of experience in successful practices. They are also funny, smart, and tireless. This is our current roster:

Sarah Ward
Executive Director

Sarah’s interest in massage therapy has its roots in her background as an athlete. As a competitive swimmer and rugby player, among other things, she noticed how massage therapy and other preventative wellness techniques helped keep her body moving. She was inspired to pursue a career as an RMT, and attended Foothills College of Massage Therapy in Calgary.

After gaining experience in the field – and training to be a Certified Personal Trainer and a group fitness instructor – Sarah returned to Foothills as an instructor before joining us at MH Vicars School.

In addition to her teaching duties, Sarah is Director of the Calgary campus.

Linda McGeachy
Director of Curriculum

“What I enjoy about practicing massage is the amount of satisfaction I get out of seeing the positive changes touch can have on a person. Being an instructor of massage therapy is just an extension of this. To be able to pass on the means necessary for others to pursue this rewarding profession is a privilege.”

Linda monitors the quality of the classroom experience for our students. Massage therapy is a second career for Linda. For over 20 years, she worked in health care as a medical technologist in both public and private facilities. In 1998, she graduated from the Alberta Institute of Massage, where she also taught. Her massage practice has included both clinical and spa work. She has trained spa therapists in the private spa industry, and taught at Metro Community College’s massage therapy program before joining us in September 2003. Linda has helped to develop the curriculum material for both first- and second-year students, instructs both first- and second- year classes and continues to prepare the curriculum for upcoming accreditation. She teaches at the Calgary campus.

Anna Faris

Every step of Anna’s journey towards massage therapy has been guided by her fascination with anatomy; the way the human body can create such a wide array of movements while balancing function with structural integrity. Anna earned her kinesiology degree at the University of Alberta, and this led her to a career as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, in which she focused on athletic performance and injury prevention and rehabilitation. She had discovered the therapeutic benefits of massage while in university, when she was recovering from a car accident.

Deciding that massage therapy would be a good complement to her fitness work, Anna enrolled at MH Vicars in Edmonton. But once she started practicing massage, Anna loved it so much that she now practices full-time at a multidisciplinary clinic in Jasper, Alberta.

Laura Finley
Instructor, Edmonton

“Teaching allows me to merge my massage therapy and adult education skills together in a unique way. Taking new students into the profession and developing them as massage therapists is very fulfilling, and I enjoy keeping up with former students and their successes.”

Like many of our students and instructors, Laura came to massage therapy as a second career. Prior to becoming an RMT she spent many years working in adult education and corporate training for the software industry. Laura practices in a multi-disciplinary wellness clinic, where she specializes in therapeutic and relaxation massage, manual lymphatic drainage, myofascial cupping, and hot stone massage. She also volunteers once a month at an Edmonton women’s shelter, giving massages to the women there. Laura has a management studies diploma from MacEwan University, is a certified MBTI® facilitator, and spent four years as Membership and Credentials Manager for the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada.

Michelle Frazer
Instructor, Edmonton

“As a teacher, I enjoy seeing students recognize their abilities and self-efficacy. We’re creating a container for growth for those who choose it.”

In her own practice, Michelle specializes in treating persistent pain; she incorporates several styles and disciplines to meet each clients’ individual needs and help them achieve their goals. She applies the same principles in the classroom at MH Vicars. Michelle completed her RMT training at Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy in Vernon, BC. She is also a yoga teacher, and has a degree in business from the University of Washington (she has a CPA and business consultant. She has owned her own massage clinic and yoga studio, worked in chiropractic and physiotherapy clinics, and practiced mobile massage.

Robert Haviar

Robert brings European expertise and experience to our school. Robert trained as a massage therapist in Slovakia before moving here in 1998 and has had almost 20 years’ experience in European and Canadian spas, clinics, and fitness centres. In his private practice, he leads personal development, meditation, and self-empowerment sessions, as well as providing relaxation and therapeutic massage and Reiki. Robert’s particular interest is in the body-mind connection: exploring the connection between states of mind and healing. He teaches both first- and second-year classes in Edmonton.

Dan Hvingelby

From very early in his career, Dan knew that he wanted to teach massage therapy as well as practice, because it gives him the opportunity to positively impact more peoples’ lives than one-on-one client care alone. He took his massage training at Mount Royal College and then the Foothills College of Massage Therapy, and was a teacher at Foothills for seven years before joining the MH Vicars School in Calgary in 2008. In his Calgary practice, Dan treats all types of clients, with a special focus on those with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

Janine Borger

Janine has been with MH Vicars School from the very beginning, and brings years of experience as a teacher and therapist to the classes she teaches. Janine took her massage therapy training at the Alberta Institute of Massage in Red Deer in 1995, and took the second year at MH Vicars School in 2003.

Janine owned a successful clinic in Lacombe for many years. As an employer, she became interested in teaching massage because of her experience in the on-the-job development of recent massage therapy grads. She found it frustrating that the schools at the time were not producing graduates that were ready to work effectively. She helped founder Maryhelen Vicars to fine-tune the new school’s program to a higher level of job readiness for its grads.

She has been active in the education work of the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta, and is enthusiastic about working with adult students. Janine teaches in Edmonton and Calgary.

Nicole Ouellette

Since even before she became a massage therapist, Nicole’s career had focused on helping others. Prior to becoming an RMT, she was a community service worker and staff instructor at the Robin Hood Association for the Handicapped, and worked with special needs children as an educational assistant. Nicole graduated from MH Vicars School in 2005, and practices therapeutic and deep tissue massage in Sherwood Park. She has also continued her connection to the Robin Hood Association; she works on clients with developmental disabilities and related conditions several times per week.

Nicole teaches first-year and second-year classes in Edmonton.

Mark Smith

Like many of our instructors and staff, Mark was drawn to massage therapy because of his own active lifestyle. A lifelong athlete who loves to hike, run, and play cricket, Mark also played soccer semi-professionally. Prior to becoming a massage therapist, Mark had a successful career as an environmental scientist in his native Australia, including seven years teaching in Australian universities. He took his massage training at the Whistler School of Massage and at MH Vicars. Mark’s practice in Canmore/Kananaskis specializes in therapeutic and sports massage.

Courtney Mitchell

You would be hard-pressed to find an area of the massage therapy industry that Courtney hasn't worked in. A practicing RMT since 2000, she has worked in large and small spas; has done mobile massage treating all types of client, from athletes to movie crews; owned a multi-disciplinary clinic in Vancouver; and currently runs a small practice out of her home in Canmore. Courtney has been teaching first and second year at the Calgary since 2013.

Pam Cheema
Instructor, Edmonton

“I’m very grateful that I get to share my knowledge to the new generations of RMTs.”

When Pam was growing up, she planned to be a teacher. So after nearly two decades as a successful RMT, joining MH Vicars School was a dream come true. Pam graduated from Vancouver’s West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 2000, and has spent the majority of her career in a clinical setting. She particularly enjoys treating clients with motor vehicle injuries, pregnant women, and children and teens. She has a Provincial Instructor diploma from Vancouver Community College.

Crystal Dunn
Instructor, Edmonton

“I love Massage therapy because I am fascinated by the human body and enjoy bringing improvement to people's overall quality of life and sense of wellbeing.”

Crystal brings over a decade of experience as an RMT to her role as an instructor at MH Vicars, but her knowledge doesn’t stop there. She is a yoga instructor and reflexologist, and is a graduate of the International School of Thai Massage. She currently practices within a chiropractic clinic.

Kerri Wagensveld

“I love what I do and it's truly an honor to be a part of a student’s journey and to help them achieve their goals.”

Like many of the students she teaches, Kerri came to massage therapy later in life after dreaming of it for many years. While a student at MH Vicars, she balanced her schoolwork with the responsibilities that come with being a working mother. Since graduating, she has applied that same work ethic to building a successful practice with a specialization in sport massage. Kerri treats athletes and the general public at the Active Life Centre in St Albert, and is pursuing her certification with the Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association. Kerri teaches first year in Edmonton.

Marci Terpsma

Marci teaches first year in Edmonton

Jamie DeGroot

Jamie teaches second year in Edmonton.

Danielle Holt

“I choose to teach massage because I get to go to work with the opportunity to impact individuals every single day.”

Danielle has cultivated an incredibly well-rounded massage therapy career since she graduated from Vicars in 2011. Though she started a successful personal practice right out of school, she has deliberately sought out new experiences and work settings so that she can continue to grow as a therapist. She’s worked in a spa, a multidisciplinary health clinic, a yoga studio, and even a backcountry ski lodge. Danielle teaches second year in Edmonton.

Kristin Davenport

Kristin teaches first year in Calgary.

Tonia Vipler

Tonia teaches second year in Calgary.

Tabitha Trood

Tabitha teaches second year in Calgary.