Veterinary Hospital Assistant | Faculty | Kelowna


Deborah ‘s career encompasses fashion, film, music,  television, print journalism and education at the post graduate level and has spent most of the past 30 years in London, UK (with a couple of years here and there in Los Angeles and Vancouver).

Deborah is a committed animal lover who has spent twelve years running BA programmes in Fashion Journalism and Music Journalism plus an MA course in Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism for the University for the Creative Arts in the UK.

She and her husband relocated to Kelowna in 2012, along with their British Blue Shorthair ‘Bug’, and have since acquired a whoodle named ‘Muddy’ - both of whom are very excited about ‘mom’s’ position as Program Manager for the VHA program at Centre for Arts and Technology.


As a Registered Animal Health Technologist for the last twenty five years, Shannon has had the opportunity to work at traditional and holistic veterinary practices. She brings with her a dental background as a Certified Dental Assistant.  Shannon's veterinary experiences are with small animals and birds of prey. Her interests in animals has led her to volunteer at a spay and neuter clinic in Cancun. She has two rescue dogs from Mexico and a rescue cat from the Humane Society. Currently, she travels for a pet supply company throughout the interior of BC in addition to teaching at CATO. Shannon enjoys teaching the Veterinary Hospital Assistant course.


Providing professional and friendly customer service and support, Henrietta has been a staple at Kelowna’s Lakeshore Animal Clinic for over a decade.  With experience in clinics throughout BC and Alberta, Henrietta is excited to bring her knowledge and practical experience to the Centre for Arts and Technology.  

Tara edwards | instructor

Tara has been practicing as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine since graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002.  She started in mixed animal practice and slowly transitioned over to small animal medicine.  She became interested in physical rehabilitation for companion animals and how this service could improve patient care.  She has obtained certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, A Veterinary Pain Practitioner, and Veterinary Medical Acupuncturist.  She became board certified in 2012 by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.  She is currently working at Lake Country Veterinary Specialist Hospital.  Her areas of interest include improving the quality of care for geriatrics and raising the bar for pain management.  She has a love for lecturing at veterinary conferences and is excited to be teaching at the Center for Arts and Technology.  

Codee koch | INSTRUCTOR

Codee has always pursued a career within the animal health care sector.  After graduating from UBCO with a BSc degree majoring in Zoology she began working as a veterinary hospital assistant. She started her career off working at the Calgary Animal Referral and Emergency Centre. It was here she found her passion for emergency medicine and surgery. About a year ago, she moved back to the Okanagan where she started working as a surgical assistant at VCA Canada Tri Lake Animal Hospital and Referral Centre. Being able to work exclusively with the specialty surgeon has allowed her to gain experience with surgical procedures, protocols and emergency medicine. Codee is very excited to be able to share her experience and knowledge with the students at the Centre for Arts and Technology. 

velina taskov | INSTRUCTOR

Velina is Veterinary Nurse from Australia and has been living in Kelowna and working at a variety of vet clinics throughout the Okanagan for the last 2 years. 

Velina graduated from Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia with a Veterinary Nursing diploma, certificate in Frontline Management and a certificate in Companion Animal Services. She pursued further training in small animal surgery and was a key surgical nurse at Advanced Vetcare. 

Advanced Vetcare is a specialist veterinary clinic and animal emergency hospital servicing greater Melbourne and surrounding suburbs and regional centers of the state of Victoria. Advanced Vetcare was a significant contributor to Velina's career in the Animal industry and she goes back yearly to do cameo shifts and visit her Aussie colleagues, recently celebrating 10 years of working there.

Despite her main interest being in orthopedic surgery, Velina has worked in multiple referring departments, including, internal medicine, ICU and emergency, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy and dermatology. 

Previous to working at Advanced Vetcare, Velina has worn many hats including being a phlebotomist and also working with Wildlife Victoria, an Australian wildlife rescue organization. 

When Velina is not at a Vet clinic or teaching at CATO you can find her traveling and actively pursuing stand up comedy. Her experience working in other parts of the world include New York City, Los Angeles and Vancouver; this gives her a global perspective in the animal industry which she loves to share with students, coupled with her humor. 


Kelsey has been a Certified Veterinary Assistant for over 7 years. She has worked in clinics throughout BC and has worked with many different species of animals. She did her practicum with a small animal vet in the Lower Mainland, and also at O.W.L (Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Rehab, and Release) working with Birds of Prey.  While not teaching at CAT, Kelsey works full time in clinic, and spends her free time traveling back and forth from the coast.