At Bessborough School we do our Personal Best!

Bessborough is a JK to grade 8 school located in the Leaside area of Toronto, a well-established community of mostly single-unit homes. It was the first public school in Leaside and at one point the Town Hall. Bessborough celebrated its 75th birthday in 1998. We now planning the 100th anniversary celebration in the year 2023.

Bessborough is a dynamic neighbourhood school with a tradition of academic excellence. Active and involved parents participate in the daily lives of their children. As well, many former students are now parents and grandparents of children attending the school.

At Bessborough we strive to enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become responsible members of a democratic society. We value and are committed to providing a learning environment that is safe, nurturing, positive and respectful. Our Code of Conduct is rooted in commitment to our duties, respect for others and pride in ourselves. Safety is a priority and permeates all aspects of school life.

The Middle School

Students who join our school in Grades 7 and 8 from Rolph Road and Bennington Heights Public Schools take part in specialty programmes in vocal and instrumental music, visual arts, computers, drama, physical education, and science and technology. Our facilities include two gymnasiums, a music room, a computer lab, art rooms, and two science labs. The school houses the Bessborough Child Care Centre and also serves as a community centre for various local groups and agencies.

The picture of Bessborough Drive School was drawn by an art teacher that taught here for 20 years. His name was David Rice and it was completed in 1989.

Our 2017 - 2018 Teaching Staff

All teachers can be contacted by leaving a telephone message at the office or emailing them by using their Teachers cannot answer phone calls or meet with parents during class time.

Ms Cathy Phillips


Ms Nancy Willoughby - 


Ms Stephanie Manikas

Kindergarten ECEs:
Aki Miller
Ivana Markulin

Grade 1:

Ms Vanessa Quagliara 
Ms Amanda Casselman

Grade 2:
Ms Susan Thurow - , Twitter:


Ms. Kathy Dominique

Grade 3:
Mr Mark King -  , Twitter: @MrKingTDSB


Mr Jason Chong -

Grade 4:
Mr Dimitrois Tourlis
Ms Julie Millan
Shared blog:

Grade 5:
Ms Karen Ho -
Ms Melika Azodi


Grade 6:

Ms Sarah Buksner - Twitter: @MsBuksner


Grade 7:

Ms Tina Reid
Mr Ryan Day
Ms Tina Surdivall
Mr. William Chang


Grade 8:
Mr Neil Casey - , Twitter:  @MrCasey27 
Mr Justin McMillan
Ms Mirela Ciobanu - 

Mr Etienne Mercieca -  Twitter: @etiennemerci



Junior/Intermediate ISP Teacher:
Ms Kelly Pornaras

Intermediate ISP Teacher:
Ms Kelly Pornaras

French Teacher:
Ms Tina Reid
Ms Bernadine Rambarran

Teacher - Librarian:
Ms Tina Surdivall -




Music Teacher:
Mr Justin McMillan

Physical Education Teacher:
Mr Ritch Couper
Mr Trifon Pantopoulos

Guidance Teacher:
Ms Bianca Angheloni

Ms Heather Cook

EAs & SNAs:
Karen Backus
Susan Nia






Class Placement

Student placements are decided by our Placement Committee, which consists of the sending and receiving teachers, the specialist teachers and the administration. The members of the committee follow the school’s placement policy and have the best interests of the children in mind. The following are examples of our guidelines used by teaching staff when placing students into next year’s class groupings.

They include:
  • Academic Strengths and Needs
  • Gender Balance
  • Social / Emotional Strengths and Needs
  • Class size
Occasionally, there may be personal information that is unknown to the school staff that may affect the child’s placement. This might include family changes, recent learning assessments or medical situations. Please feel free to share this information with your child’s present teacher.

In our Family of Schools, students and parents are notified of their class placement for the school year on the first day of school. We are trying to eliminate any possibility of disappointing or causing undue stress to children if classes need to be restructured.