George Jeffrey Children’s Centre

Agency Description

Located in Thunder Bay, George Jeffrey Children’s Centre (GJCC) is one of twenty-two Children Treatment Centres in the Province of Ontario. Dedicated to meeting the communication, developmental, behavioural and physical needs of infants, children and youth, from birth to 21 years of age across the District of Thunder Bay, GJCC has been a leader in the provision of therapy services to children and families since 1948.



Therapist Descriptions


Matthew Wellington, BCBA (Board Certified Behaviour Analyst)

Matthew is the clinical supervisor with GJCC’s Behaviour Support Services Program. With more than nine years of clinical experience working with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Matthew is passionate about applying his knowledge to help young learners achieve their full potential at home and school.

Nicole Johnson, Instructor Therapist

Nicole has been practicing as an Instructor Therapist since 2017. After working as a certified classroom teacher for seven years, Nicole decided to become an Instructor Therapist to dedicate her career to teaching and supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.

Valerie Glaister, Instructor Therapist

A life long resident of Manitouwadge, Ontario, Valerie joined the GJCC team as an Instructor Therapist in July, 2022 after completing her degree in Psychology. Valerie uses the experience gained as a classroom student support person to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in meaningful ways.

Marissa Bruce, Instructor Therapist

Marissa’s educational background includes an advanced diploma in Child and Youth Studies, a Bachelor degree in Psychology and a certificate in American Sign Language. With more than 13 years experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum, Marissa has also held the role of a classroom student support person and has more than a decade of experience delivering workshops to families.

Julianna Hoekstra, Instructor Therapist

Julianna brings a decade of experience working with children of all ages and abilities to her role as an Instructor Therapist with GJCC. Starting her career after obtaining her diploma as a Child and Youth Worker, Julianna was drawn to supporting young leaners with different behaviour challenges and is enthusiastic about supporting children and their families at school and in the community.

Tatyana Gardiman, Instructor Therapist

Tatyana began her career working with young children after graduating with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2018. Discovering that her true love was supporting children on an individual level, Tatyana brought her love of supporting children to reach their full potential to her role of an Instructor Therapist with the GJCC team in 2021.

Lise Cousineau, Instructor Therapist

Lise joined the GJCC team in 2022 and brings a variety of experiences to her role as an Instructor Therapist. After obtaining an Honours in Psychology, Lise began her career in roles that allowed her to support children facing a multitude of challenges to allow them to successfully participate in school. During her time at GJCC, Lise has gained
extensive experience in delivering individualized and group programming for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Tara Wheatley, Board Certified Behaviour Analyst BCBA

Tara brings more than a decade of experience as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst to her role in supporting children of all ages with Autism Spectrum Disorder. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Masters of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis and Autism Tara is a passionate advocate for supporting children and families with diverse needs in a variety of settings.