We are your experienced team of professionally accredited education specialists with experience supporting clients to overcome learning challenges from diverse settings.

Kristi Rigg, BEd, MEd


Kristi Rigg is the CEO and Founder of West Coast Centre for Learning in Surrey, BC. Her primary focus is providing support to individuals and their families, struggling with challenges to learning, memory and personal capacity development.

Kristi has a Master’s Degree in Education Management (Hons) from the University of Bristol in England and holds a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Saskatchewan. With over 20 years of experience in the Education field, her academic contributions are known among Independent & Public Schools and Distance Education providers on behalf of learners with learning challenges locally as well as Internationally.

Kristi regularly speaks on education best practices and serves as a local resource by writing articles related to cognitive fitness training and educational supports, in the local media. A community activist, she has served two terms on the board of a local non-profit bringing literacy development and cognitive coaching support to survivors of domestic violence, PTSD, and human trafficking.

Kristi’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for start up ventures, led her to pioneer International Schools in Rio de Janeiro and Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, Kristi worked for the English Schools Foundation as Head of the English Language Centre and taught at Chinese University where she provided support for families of children with special needs.

Kristi founded West Coast Centre for Learning in 2014. West Coast Centre for Learning is dedicated to customizing successful learning approaches for children, youth, adults and older adults with learning difficulties and memory challenges affecting personal choice and equal access to quality educational opportunities. Kristi oversees the overall corporate direction and strategy for the Centre including programs, support, consulting, marketing, and alliances and channels. She focuses on strategy, leadership, innovation, and providing a quality service for her clients.

Shannon Brathwaite

Centre Administrator

Shannon is dedicated to creating a positive and supportive environment at West Coast Centre for Learning by fostering a space where both students and educators thrive.

With a background as the owner/operator of an in-home family daycare from January 2008 to April 2020, Shannon has a deep understanding of the importance of nurturing and facilitating learning environments. Shannon's journey in childcare has been marked by a commitment to providing a supportive and enriching atmosphere for young minds. Her previous role as a daycare owner/operator has instilled in her a keen insight into the developmental needs of children and the significance of a well-rounded educational foundation. 

Shannon is a passionate advocate for the well-being of our planet and its creatures. Outside of work, Shannon finds solace in the great outdoors — camping, hiking, tending to her garden, and exploring the wonders of herbalism. Most importantly, Shannon cherishes quality time with her family, creating memories.

Cathy Harrison

Business Administrator

Cathy Harrison is the Business Administrator for West Coast Centre for Learning. Cathy has been with West Coast Centre for Learning since it started in 2014. Cathy has over 25 years experience in banking and finance. She is responsible for all financial matters such as client billing, payroll, accounts payable and banking. If you have any administrative issues, she would be happy to hear from you.

Dr. Rob Bedard, DTh, BTh, MA

Certified Birkman Coach & Leadership Trainer

Dr. Rob Bedard earned his Master's in Leadership & Training degree from Royal Roads University (Victoria, BC) and his Doctorate degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA).

For decades Rob has been training individuals and teams in various organizations, secondary schools (Professional Development Day training), and higher education institutions. Rob has coached hundreds of individuals and teams through their StrengthsFinder® (CliftonStrengths®) and Birkman® assessments as a leadership, competency and career coach. He also mentors young and established adults in individualized career and leadership planning and advancement strategies.

In short, Rob is passionate about training, mentoring and coaching individuals and teams.

Anthea Rippin, MAT, MACP, BSC Elem Ed, BA Music

Executive Functioning Coach, Registered Clinical Counsellor, Certified PEERS Instructor

Anthea has rich background in education and Clinical Counselling and has been working with children in these capacities for 27 years. She began her teaching career working in an elementary school and then branched out to teaching in a K-12 setting, serving as Director for Special Education, Vice Principal and Principal. Anthea has supported teachers and students in multiple roles over the years and most recently she has been working with K-12 students as a Counsellor and Academic Advisor. She has training and experience working with Zones of Regulation as well as implementing Michelle Garcia Winner's social thinking curriculum and is a registered Clinical Counsellor. She enjoys working with students of all ages and stages!

Charmly Smith, BA

Certified Mandt Instructor; Cognitive Fitness Coach

Charmly received her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Oregon. Her love of teaching is a life long endeavour as she is a PEERS, MANDT, Cogmed and ESL Certified Instructor who has taught locally and internationally. Charmly has worked with children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities for over 25 years; from creating meaningful recreational activities to coordinating a 25 person Advocacy group known provincially and federally for their work on making Canada more accessible and inclusive. Charmly, a certified Mandt instructor since 2015 has trained staff and families on the importance of positive communication, conflict resolution and the crisis cycle. She is passionate about advocacy, learning and sharing. Her outgoing flair for presenting has allowed her to train adults with disabilities in the Surrey School District, local colleges and Inclusion BC Conferences. Charmly currently conducts our PEERS for Young Adult classes, MANDT for Families training and is a certified Cogmed Coach.

Rachel Poon, BEd, BSc, MA

THRIVE - ADHD + Me Instructor and Executive Function Coach

Rachel initially joined our team as an instructor to pioneer the THRIVE - ADHD + Me program. Rachel is a natural fit for the program as she not only has a passion for kids, but also fitness! Currently, Rachel also works as an EF Coach. Rachel previously taught Grade 3 at a private independent campus school and now works with an Online School as a Learning Services Consultant. Rachel recently completed her Masters Degree in Special Education.

Rachel's love for fitness started with playing basketball where she played at both the high school and college level. After finishing college, she quickly found Crossfit and fell in love with a heavy barbell. More recently, Rachel has explored kickboxing, hiking and Lagree! Rachel truly desires to make fitness accessible for all kids which has been evident through running fitness related camps and coaching kids from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Kate Maryschak, BA

Certified PEERS Instructor; Executive Function/Social Skills Coach

Kate joined West Coast Centre for Learning in 2015 and has a bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University.

Kate is a trained coach through Co-Active Training Institute (CTI) and a certified trainer for Sanity School for Parents and Teachers (through Impact ADHD). She is a certified PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) curriculum provider through UCLA. Kate is experienced in Executive Function coaching, implementing Michelle Garcia-Winner’s Social Thinking curriculum and strategies, as well as teaching The Zones of Regulation curriculum to students, teachers, and parents. Kate is also an enthusiastic and experienced Fast ForWord coach.

With over 20 years of experience working with special needs students, parents, and teachers in school settings (both public and private) Kate brings a wealth of knowledge with her to West Coast Centre for Learning.

Lisa Rosenberg, BA, BEd

Certified PEERS Instructor, Certified SAS Instructor

Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Education from Queen's University. She has always had an interest in those who learn differently, and did her thesis on the effects of assistive technology for students who have reading disabilities. Lisa is certified as a Special Education Specialist, and is currently a Resource Teacher for a public school board in the Greater Toronto Area.

She has been teaching for over ten years (both abroad and in Canada) and has taught a variety of grades and abilities. In recent years Lisa has taught in Autism classrooms and became a PEERS Certified Instructor to better support her student's social-emotional needs. Lisa lives in the Greater Toronto Area with her husband and 2 children.

Christopher Brodie-Smith, BA, PDM, LSSGB

Certified PEERS Instructor

Christopher has a degree in International Relations, specializing in negotiations and conflict resolution, is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certified, and has a degree in business management. Currently he is working on obtaining his Organizational Coaching certificate through the University of British Columbia. Being neurodiverse himself, he has an understanding around different ways of learning and processing information. He is passionate about helping others overcome obstacles, whatever they might be. Christopher fell in love with coaching after working with clients to resolve both personal and professional roadblocks during his business advisory career. Christopher's approach is insightful, direct and respectful. He has experience working with neurodiverse teens in afterschool homework programs, which he really enjoys.

Christopher enjoys hiking, biking, flyfishing and exploring BC with his wife and daughter.

Kaitlin O'Neill

Social Coach

Kaitlin joined West Coast Centre for Learning to help pioneer our THRIVE Program and works as a program assistant. Kaitlin is a university student studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University where she is pursuing a career in Elementary Education.

Ashley Gowanlock

Social Coach

Ashley is a three-time Paralympian in Para-Dressage, representing Canada at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She also rode at the 2010 and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.

She began riding at the age of two, after being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

Ashley has engaged in public speaking for many years, and since 2014, has been an ambassador for Right To Play, an organization dedicated to educating children about healthy, active living. She published her first book, My Opportunities Just Dress Up As Obstacles, in late 2015.

Ashley currently works as as an Education Assistant and motivational speaker.

McKenna McManus, BA Psychology

Social Coach

McKenna is a recent graduate of Simon Fraser University where she completed her
undergraduate bachelor majoring in psychology and double minoring in Indigenous Studies and Human Development and Counseling.

McKenna has a desire to continue to pursue the counseling field for teens, youth, and young adults. She hopes to work with those with Type One Diabetes as she is a Type One Diabetic herself and wants to help kids like herself. She is hoping to complete her master degree in counseling in the near future