Faculty

Colleen Kosti

Co-Founder, Executive Director, Aesthetician – Artist

Colleen Kosti graduated from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, in 1979 as an aesthetician, and became a college educator of the program she graduated from. This was the beginning a multifaceted career that has taken her through realms of artistry, ministry, and thirty years of life-changing impact. Her initial training in beauty, image, and modeling has expanded into a passion for the arts and for people that has won awards, touched hearts, and transformed lives.

Colleen’s professional career has included founding the award-winning Kosti Beauty Institute (KBI); working within the fashion industry; developing a line of custom cosmetics; and serving as an image consultant who uses cutting-edge software and personal know-how to help both men and women craft a professional, attractive image that will take them far in life.

An ordained minister, Colleen is driven by a love of worship and the desire to see people’s lives changed for the better. Her dual passion for worship and the arts has led her to train others in worship dance, flag twirling, and tambourine arts, disciplines for which she is a certified instructor. Under her direction, the Spirit of Excellence Flag Company has performed at over 150 community events and abroad, with audiences as large of 40,000 at the Roger’s Center in Toronto, Ontario!

Since then, she has merged her skills as an aesthetician, image consultant, flag and dance instructor, and model with a desire to train others and enrich their lives on a deep level. After graduating from Bible School in 1993, and entering full time ministry with her husband on a First Nations Mohawk reserve, she discovered more avenues for continuing to train in the worship arts. One of her greatest passions was in twirling flags (batons-fast short ‘pep’ flags and the long pole colour guard flags) She completed her certification assessments in 1999 in these amazing art forms of flag twirling, tambourine & streamer dance, and children’s worship through Shachah Ministries world-wide universal training syllabus. Over the years she has continued sharing her love for worshipping the Lord through lifting up the banners which became a creative tool to evangelize children and instruct young women in personal development and Christian living.

In 2003, Colleen and her husband, John, founded the Ministry of Role Modeling the Spirit of Excellence, Inc, a charity and Training Centre which links women, children, and teens from all walks of life with mentors in the arts, life skills, and various professions so that they can discover, develop, and activate their potential!

John Kosti

President

Urban Missionary, Versatile drummer, humorous communicator, minister, loving husband and grand-father…John started drumming at 18. He studied under several famous drum instructors locally in Windsor, then began teaching drums 27 years ago and is a much sought after drum teacher. But he seeks to follow his love as a performer on the stage by being a member of several local bands and working with other musicians. John began the musical children’s programs at SOE with drum circles for boys, encouraging disciplines in rhythms, concentration and social skill development. His gift for networking and facilitating musical projects with other creative heads will be taking off through his drum clinics “Rhythm of Grace”.

In 2003, John and his wife Colleen founded the Ministry of Role Modeling the Spirit of Excellence, Inc, a charity and Training Centre which links women, children, and teens from all walks of life with mentors in the arts, life skills, and various professions so that they can discover, develop, and activate their potential!

Candice Wood

Certified Nail Technician

Candice has been with Spirit of Excellence since graduating in February 2014 , volunteering in the SOE & KBI Store, performing nail services and assisting with the Women’s Special events. Candice provides manicures and pedicures with massage, also paraffin dips, and enhanced nail services. She is an assistant to director Colleen Kosti, traveling with her for nail art classes off and on site. Candice says, “I enjoy the atmosphere here at SOE. It is peaceful, welcoming, and very enjoyable. The programs SOE offers for the young women, creative artists and children are great!!! I’m glad I have found this place!!!”

Judy DePassio

Certified Teacher, Fine Artist

Judy has been on the Board of Directors of SOE since 2003 and has personally known Colleen for over 20 years. She has BA in Fine Arts and is an ordained minister with LeSea Ministries. Judy has been an art teacher for over 14 years and has also been a freelance artist since 1985. Judy has been teaching art for therapeutic use in education to young offenders in lock down detention centre, and also in 2 of the worst secondary schools and elementary schools in urban low income areas with at-risk youth who are violent and separated from fulfilling their destinies. Her experience with controlling a classroom of young people with creative artistic means and instilling vision is amazing.

Hilary East

Consultant, Teacher/Tutor

Hilary has been involved with SOE since 2002 as a teacher, office assistant, and Board of Directors member. She has a BA, a B.Ed. and a distinguished honours diploma from Sarnia Word of Faith Bible School.

Hilary provides editing, volunteers for special events, and does tutoring for the SOE Literacy Program.

Hilary has worked as a teacher, network marketer, a chiropractic technician and is now the founder of the Azusa Club – a Christian organization dedicated to helping Christian entrepreneurs come together in unity and build their businesses on Biblically based business principles. Her vision is “Doing business God’s way!”

Belinda Robertson

EA,Teacher, Intensive Behavioral Therapist Teacher

Belinda has been a volunteer at SOE since 2008 and has known Colleen for 4 years. She holds a diploma as an educational assistant and a certificate from the Autism and Behavioral Science program. In 2011 she was awarded Volunteer of the year at SOE and she and her husband were awarded Volunteer of the Year for the National Diabetes Association of Canada in 2007. Her love and dedication for helping children develop their potential comes from her background as she grew up in a single parent home in a low income neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. Her educational accomplishments have shown her success of succeeding in spite of the odds against you. She went back to school at age 46, after being a high school dropout due to the need of helping her mom at home when she was a teen. She successfully completed her high school diploma, and now has received her two year diploma for Educational Assistant and her one year graduate certificate for Autism and Behavioral Science. She works as a Family Respite provider with Family Respite Services and as an Instructor Therapist in Intensive Behavioral Intervention programs for children with Autism.

Leslie Lorraine McCurdy

Actor/Playwright, Dancer/Choreographer, Singer, Finalist Canadian Chalmers Play Award

Leslie has been teaching the Modern Dance Class on Saturdays at SOE since 2007 around her travel performance schedule, as well as instructing Drama in Education for the Camp Excellences summer kids programs and assisting with rehearsals and special community performances. Also a teacher, with an honours B.F.A. in dance from the University of Michigan, Leslie was slated to go to New York to apprentice with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre when she literally tripped, fractured her hip, and fell into acting. While she has many theatre credits, Leslie is best known for the one-woman plays that she wrote and has toured with internationally for 15 years. Called “brilliant” and “something everyone should see”, her solo performances are at once educational and inspirational leaving a lasting impression on all who experience them!

Jim Candido

Licensed Heating and Cooling Technician, Teacher

Jim has come on board since SOE’s recent Open House and hosting a Ford City Fashion Show. His partner modeled in the show at SOE, Patricia Julian owner of the Sunflower Organic Café in Ford City. Jim will help SOE launch a boys repair maintenance mentorship hands on program. We will partner within the community with business owners and stores to provide materials for a hands-on fix-it program on site at SOE.

Bianca Mahoney

Teacher – ECE, Accredited as an Early Childhood Educator

Accredited as an Early Childhood Educator, Bianca graduated in 2010 also earning her degree in English, and holds her teaching certificate. Bianca grew up with the Kosti’s daughters, and attended church with them all since a young teen. She is a certified SOE Flag Twirler, is an accomplished dancer, and singer. Bianca has been working on staff at Spirit of Excellence since 2008 Summer Camp Excellence youth opportunities grant that was awarded Colleen Kosti. Bianca was hired amongst a team of 16 University and Secondary students to work as counselors and instructors at Spirit of Excellence Camp Excellence 6 week summer camps. She has continued to volunteer and work as staff through the OTF grant funding as an assistant to Colleen Kosti in the children’s programs and administration of student records and instructing the arts and Queen Esther School. Bianca has loved the children and this opportunity of being a part of SOE as she has grown up in a single parent home, where her mother grew sick with Multiple Sclerosis MS, and she and her sister as teens have been their mother’s primary care-giver.

Rachel Starr Thomson

Writer, Indie Publisher, Editor, Author

She’s the author of the Seventh World Trilogy, The Oneness Cycle, and other books published by Little Dozen Press. Rachel has been teaching Young Writer’s workshops at SOE since 2009. She’s also a poet/storyteller/narrator/singer for Soli Deo Gloria Ballet, a Christian performing arts company. They say there’s a book in all of us–but only a few will ever write one! Writing helps us release our creativity and discover more about who we are. Stories inspire and entertain us. Come learn to write a story of your own at one of SOE Writing Workshops.

Carolyn Joy Currey

Soli Deo Gloria Ballet’s Principal Dancer, Choreographer, and Co-director

Soli Deo Gloria Ballet’s principal dancer, choreographer, and co-director. She is a teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and has taught ballet for over ten years. Carolyn has ministered to audiences across Canada, the U.S., and the Philippines through her powerful and expressive gift of dance, but her greatest passion is to pour out her life in love for her Lord.

Carolyn has travelled bi-weekly from Niagara region with her Company manager Rachel between their touring schedule since 2009, for several years at SOE to instruct the dance and writing programs. Carolyn teaches accredited ballet technique, choreography, worship dance, and conditioning at SOE Summer Camps and weekend classes and has coordinated community performances.

Katherine Burton

Fine Artist

Katherine Burton (Fine Artist) has had a lifetime of influence and instruction in art from her father, Harold Burton, who has had a lifetime career as an artist. Art has been a generational inheritance throughout many generations of the Burton family. Using her love of art and her practical experience in art has turned into a love of teaching children. Art Works has been bringing children quality Art Programs since 2006. Katherine was a volunteer participating artist at SOE for the National Youth Art Week where SOE organized and hosted 13 events for this event representing Ford City.

Dennis Smith

Fine Artist

Dennis Smith (Fine Artist) Dennis joined SOE for the National Youth Arts week at Spirit of Excellence for a time of Art & Music. We are happy to have Dennis as a guest instructor for special workshops and community collaboration.

Dayna Spanos

Private Music Instructor and Performer, Vocal Coach

Daynais serving SOE as Choir Director and with the music programs at SOE. She comes with many musical talents and loves to impart and see youth soar and grow through the gift of music.

Durwin Boler

PR Consultant, Musician

Durwin recently came on board at SOE through connecting with John as a musician for SOE Special events live music band and Rhythm of Grace to help networking with other musicians and business professionals. His efficient, direct communication and management skills have been a great benefit in the short time he has assisted in promoting on the SOE team.

Barbara-Ann D’Aguilar

Office Administration

Barbara-Ann has been a great blessing in networking and getting help from other organized volunteers. She believes in the SOE Mission and is a great promoter. Barbara-Ann comes in to volunteer in the office as many days a week she can in addition to working her full time job.in the evenings.

Tammy Mark

EA, Sign Language

Tammy has been volunteering since her placement in 2008 here at SOE from graduating the 2 yr EA program at the College. She has continued to volunteer to help with the children’s programs, the Star Dollar Store for the kids, and heads up a team of adults she recruited, who clean weekly and set up for events on a weekly schedule. She has a wonderful, kind and generous spirit and serves with joy.

Alissa Bryan

SOELIT teacher Flag levels 1 and 2

Alissa has been attending SOE several times weekly since she was 7 years old. Alissa is now Teaching Assistant in the Flag Twirling and fitness classes to beginners and intermediate levels. She is a SOELIT—SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE LEADER IN TRAINING helping young and new students as a peer mentor and role model when they come to SOE. Alissa she said I quote ” SOE is My Home away from home end of story” lol!