Recreation and Leisure Services Faculty Bios

Lorne Hilts

picture of Centennial College Recreation and Leisure Services program faculty member Lorne HiltsLorne Hilts has worked as a Professor in the Recreation and Leisure Services program with Centennial College for over three years. Lorne graduated from Seneca College with two Diplomas in Recreation and Leisure Services and Recreation Facility Management. From there, Lorne would become a highly accomplished trainer with High Five –Parks and Recreation Ontario, and is still a sought-after trainer throughout the GTA. During his time at Centennial College, Lorne created an innovative program called Rec the Halls, where students in the Recreation and Leisure Services Program work with families from the college daycare to provide Christmas presents and a dinner that they may not otherwise have been able to afford. This initiative has become an integral part of the program. Lorne has also overseen a full curriculum review of Recreation and Leisure to ensure that the program provides students with the education and opportunities they need to become successful employees out in the field, as well as creating a program logo, social media platform and student mentorship program. Lorne has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to providing students with opportunities for self-led learning and to experience the field of recreation through experiential learning, as well offering various opportunities for students to gain special certifications. Lorne has also worked with HYPE (Helping Youth Pursue Education), acting as the faculty lead for the HYPE Works program. Professor Hilts has earned numerous awards acknowledging his excellence in teaching, including the 2014 Dean's Apple Award for Teaching Excellence, 2014 George Wicken Memorial Award, 2014 Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence and the 2014 Bronze Award for Teaching Excellence.

Paul Compton

picture of Centennial College Recreation and Leisure Services program faculty member Paul ComptonPaul Compton has worked for over 35 years in fitness and recreation, starting his career with the YMCA while attending York University and completing an Honours B.A., specializing in Physical and Health Education, Fitness Assessment and Exercise Counselling. Paul has also completed the Schulich Municipal Leadership program and taught a fitness certification program at Humber College for five years.

Upon graduating in 1985, Paul started a 30 year career with the Recreation Department at the City of Vaughan. He held the positions of Fitness Programmer, Fitness Coordinator, Fitness Supervisor, Recreation Manager and Acting Director.

Paul's experience includes managing 10 community centres with 50 full-time and 800 seasonal staff, implementing a revised organizational structure, directing a Physical Activity Strategy, facilitating the work of community groups and organizations, and managing the opening of two new recreation facilities and the renovation of five aging buildings. He also developed many policies and procedures, such as RecAssist (fee assistance for low income families), Safe Community Centres (code of conduct), Older Adult Club Policy (policy & operating procedures for older adult clubs) Concussion Procedure, and Child Abuse Procedure. Paul also collaborated with community partners in the development of the Vaughan Community Wellbeing Report: "Measuring What Matters."

In his capacity as Acting Director, Paul led a team of Recreation staff in a number of diverse portfolios: Marketing, Community Development, Events, Business Services, Client Services and Recreation Programs. Following retirement in June 2016, he is on contract with Vaughan supervising capital projects in the community centres.

Deidre Richards

picture of Centennial College Recreation and Leisure Services program faculty member Deidre RichardsDeidre (Dee) Richards brings extensive experience working in the areas of communication and community development. Graduating from Centennial College in 2005, with a diploma in Recreation and Culture, she continued her educational journey at York University, where she achieved a B.A in Communications. It is through her educational experiences where Dee quickly developed a passion for community engagement and the empowerment of youth voices. Working with the City of Vaughan for 10 years, Dee has developed innovative programming strategies to further the growth of the Thornhill community and presently oversees strategic plans in the areas of youth engagement and active sustainable living. As an advocate for the wellbeing of others, Dee has collaborated with a wide range of not-for-profit agencies and organizations; raising both awareness and financial support for youth leadership opportunities, the promotion of active living and motorcycle safety. Always in search of new challenges, in her role of as Community Development Coordinator with the City of Vaughan, Dee is currently developing a series of progressive youth leadership courses that will offer young adults experiential learning opportunities, job ready skills as well as advancing older adult recreation strategic planning.

Leanna Ciccoritti – Field Placement Coordinator

picture of Centennial College Recreation and Leisure Services program faculty member Leanna CiccorittiLeanna graduated from York University with a Double Degree in Communications – specializing in marketing and public relations - and Sociology. From there Leanna went on to graduate from Seneca College earning a Diploma in Recreation and Leisure Services. Leanna has worked with the City of Vaughan's Recreation Services Department for over nine years in various roles including program facilitator, director of leadership, client services representative, and community development liaison. Coming from an extensive Arts background, Leanna began her teaching career in Dance and Theatre. Leanna has gone on to become a certified trainer with High Five – Parks and Recreation Ontario and completed several NCCP coaching certifications. Passionate about exercise and health, Leanna's ambition is to increase awareness of physical literacy and lifelong fitness into youth and adult recreation. After residing in Paris France, Leanna came back to Canada to continue pursuing her career in the Recreation field bringing her experiences and newfound captivation of European culture.

Tracey Adams-Thibaudeau

picture of Centennial College Recreation and Leisure Services program faculty member Tracey Adams-ThibaudeauLike so many people in the Long Term Care Sector, Tracey grew up very close to her Grandparents, and found herself naturally drawn to the interests and activities that they enjoyed. Now she gets to do what she loves by helping other seniors participate in activities they enjoy every day as Director of Resident Programs at Sienna Senior Living. 

Since graduating Centennial College’s Recreational and Leisure Services program in 2011 Tracey has a fed her hunger for knowledge by continually attending education on such topics as: Montessori Techniques, The PIECES model, Horticultural Therapy, Sensory Therapy, Gentle Persuasive Approach, Restorative Care, Palliative Care and Pain Management, and Arts based therapies for Dementia care. Tracey stays connected to the field by maintaining a membership with Therapeutic Recreation Ontario and sits on the Professional Advisory Committee for Seneca College.

Tracey believes in harnessing the power and positive energy that develops when communities interact with each other and has brought that to life through programs she has developed like the Intergenerational Choir. 

Incorporating her life-long passions into her work, Tracey has championed Music Therapy, Touch Therapy and Horticultural therapy in her quest to look beyond the traditional and think differently about how we approach offering services for the aging population.

David McCarthy

picture of Centennial College Recreation and Leisure Services program faculty member David McCarthyENGL 207, Report Writing and Research for Recreation and Leisure Services

David loves his work. He has been developing and teaching English and General Education courses at Centennial for the last three decades. Specializing in communications, research, and critical thinking skills, he works closely with students and professionals in several community services fields, such as recreation and leisure services, community and justice services, social service work, early childhood education, and child and youth services.

When not working, David may be found practicing taiji and quigong, hiking, swimming, playing tennis and soccer, swing dancing, reading, and learning new things. Centennial students who are dedicated to learning and to self-improvement will find in him a committed and helpful ally in their efforts to prepare for career success.

Archie Allison

picture of Centennial College Recreation and Leisure Services program faculty member Archie AllisonArchie began his career working with persons with a disability when he was hired as a program instructor at Variety Village in 1984. Throughout his years at Variety he continued his studies and training and is currently the Director of Access and Awareness.

Archie has been a tireless advocate for people of all ages and abilities. His passion is infectious and his success in the areas of accessibility, integration, and independence has set him apart from everyone else in the field.

During his career at Variety Village Mr. Allison has assisted in creating many programs for children with disabilities. These programs focus on providing all children, regardless of their abilities, a barrier free environment and curriculum in which to play. He has been a staunch advocate of ‘reverse integration’ whereby programs are established to meet the needs of the child with a disability first, and then integrate the community at large second. Archie was an active coach in Track and Field, taking athletes to the Windsor Games and Junior Games in Miami. From 1985 to 1990 he established integrated Leadership Camps providing opportunities for teenagers of all abilities to learn from their peers and gain independence while practicing important life skills. In his current position Archie leads a team who deliver Integrated Outreach and Physical Education programs to over 10,000 students in Ontario each year.

Archie also instructs weekly classes at The University of Toronto, Humber College and Centennial College, where he teaches courses based on inclusive recreation. He has created and taught various certification courses on behalf of Variety Village for students, educators, coaches and industry leaders that focus on ability awareness, advocacy and accessibility issues. These certification courses have spanned the province of Ontario and he has welcomed groups from Fanshawe College, TTC Wheeltrans, Niagara College and Co-op Cabs to name a few. These courses are both theoretical and practical in nature as individuals are challenged, via innovative and hands-on activities and experiences, to enhance one’s overall perception of self, personal strengths and abilities. In a survey of individuals working in adaptive sport in the greater Toronto area, over 50% of respondents indicated that they had received their practical training at Variety Village, through Archie.

When he is not teaching, Archie sits on a number of volunteer committees devoted to the inclusion and advocacy of those with disabilities in the greater Toronto area. He is currently the

  • University of Toronto - consultant on disability awareness
  • Centennial College’s Program Advisory Council - recreation and leisure 
  • City of Toronto Disability Issues Committee
  • Parasport Ontario Board of Directors
  • Member of Parks and Recreation Ontario’s Disability Committee
  • Toronto 2015 ParaPan Legacy Committee
  • Toronto 2015 PanAm Games Accessibility Committee.
  • Toronto 2015 – Deputy Events manger – Sitting Volleyball

Mr. Allison has been the past recipient of many awards including:

  • The Reg Bovaird Leadership Award
  • The Centennial College Alumni Award
  • The Centennial College Recreation Practitioner’s Award
  • The Dr. Robert Jackson Award – Ontario Wheelchair Sports
  • Canadian Disability Hall of Fame – Builder
  • Rick Hansen difference maker – torch bearer
  • TO 2015 Torch bearer
  • Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • Salah Bachir Volunteer
  • Teresa Group Volunteer Award for 10 years of service
  • Parks and Recreation Ontario Recognition Award for five years of involvement
  • City of Toronto Access Award for Disability Issues
  • Toronto Sport Hall of Fame Inductee – Builder