Who We Are

The Arete Academic Solutions management team consists of an experienced educator, Mrs. Murray Hirst and a family physician, Dr.MacDougall. We are affiliated with Parent’s Advocacy in the School – specifically Dr. Norm Forman.

Mrs. Murray Hirst has over 30 years of experience working in public and private education helping students and their families to plan and attain their established goals.  Mrs. Murray Hirst has an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario, Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University and MBA from Fordham University.  She has taught in publically funded schools in both Simcoe and Halton Counties including a year as Vice Principal in one of the local Collingwood schools.  She then moved to the private sector, founding Pretty River Academy, the first independent academic school in the Georgian Triangle.  Mrs. Murray Hirst has extensive experience in supporting students in academic planning and is well versed in the university application process.  Under her tutelage, her graduating students at Pretty River Academy consistently achieved acceptance at their University of choice.  She also has experience in administration and application of educational testing.  Unlike many providers of educational assessments, she is experienced at implementing the IEP based on this assessment, giving her a unique advantage as an advocate for her clients. As demand for service increases, Mrs. Murray Hirst will be responsible for overseeing other educators involved in assessment and counselling.  These educators will be chosen and groomed with care.

Dr. MacDougall has been in private family practice for 25 years.  She has an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto and a medical degree from McGill University.  She completed postgraduate training in Toronto and New Zealand including a Diploma in Obstetrics from Otago University (Dunedin, NZ) and a specialist year in Anesthesia for Family Physicians.  She has practiced in the Collingwood area since 1991 and is currently on staff at both the Collingwood General & Marine hospital and the Grey Bruce Regional Health Centre/Meaford site. She is well respected by her peers. In addition to a busy office and hospital practice, Dr. MacDougall has regularly volunteered her service in developing countries, most recently in association with a surgical team based out of the Hospital for Sick Children.  Dr. MacDougall has a network of professionals to whom she regularly refers who will be engaged in supporting Arete Academic Solutions.  She has experienced the frustration of limited resources available to support her own patients and looks forward to providing this new and innovative service to support children to achieving academic success.

Dr. Forman is a Registered Psychologist and has taught in schools at the primary, secondary and university levels. He has also shapelyworked as a school psychologist, a director of student services, a consultant to Bloorview Children’s Hospital and as an advisor to Children’s Services in the Ministry of Health. For almost twenty years he has been deeply involved in supporting, promoting and furthering the cause of parents advocating for their children with special needs. He has created an Advocacy  Training  Program curriculum to be offered on the website of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario and  has developed a special curriculum for the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada as their E-Advocacy Project Consultant. Similar Programs are being explored with other groups. He has conducted numerous presentations and workshops for organizations, agencies and groups on various aspects of effective advocacy practices. Dr. Forman consults regularly with parents and other stakeholders and attends a wide variety of meetings with parents in public and private schools including IPRCs and IEPs. He is available throughout the GTA and in surrounding communities and works primarily with students in K-12. Dr. Forman is considered one of the leading parent advocates and trainers in Canada.

As a former member and Chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee of the Toronto District School Board, Dr. Forman is able to share important information with parents and others involved in assisting students with exceptionalities. He has served as the Chairperson for a committee designed to increase awareness of the work and relevance of SEAC so that parents and families can benefit. It was in SEAC that Dr. Forman met Bruce Davis, former chair of the TDSB trustees, and later was invited to write an endorsement for his book on choosing a secondary school in Toronto.

Arete Academic Solutions offers a comprehensive range of services relating to educational success for children. We are currently supporting students in two specific areas:

1) Educational Planning/Academic Counselling

2) Educational Assessments

If you have any additional questions regarding our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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