MEET THE TEAM
Sharee joined the staff at BBMS as Academic Director in 2017, having had a past connection with the school as a founding parent. During the early years of establishing the school, she sat on the MIND Board and later filled the role of Intermediate Directress for 3 years. She completed preschool and elementary course work in the Montessori method through the International Association of Progressive Montessori (IAPM) and on the adolescent years through Antioch University. Sharee has a teaching degree from Simon Fraser University, Professional Teaching Certification and a Masters in Administration & Leadership and Curriculum Development from the University of British Columbia. She taught in a variety of programs and schools within the Vancouver School District for 34 years, one of which was the Montessori Secondary program. For 12 years, she carried out the role of Teacher Leader and Humanities Directress of this District mini program. Always interested in Professional Development, Sharee facilitated Collaborative Inquiry with teachers and presented opportunities for the exploration of the new BC curriculum. She is delighted to have returned to BBMS where she continues her commitment to supporting Montessori education in Delta; a program that truly respects the child and prepares them for life.
Preschool Directress and
Jana joined the staff at BBMS in 2003. Jana completed her Early Childhood Education Certification and acquired her Montessori training through the Saint Nicholas Montessori Training Institute. She also has a special interest in Social Thinking and how it applies to a classroom community. Jana’s passion for Montessori education arose out of her love for independence; independence of self, independence of thinking, independence of learning. A Montessori education fosters this independence through the use of selfcorrecting materials within a prepared environment. While visiting schools during her college years, Jana noticed that the students who were immersed in a Montessori environment were in harmony with themselves and their surroundings. Supporting children to find this deep level of independent focus has been her work for over 30 years. Jana is a lover of the outdoors and animal health & nutrition. She shares this expertise with the preschool children who learn about how to care for the animals in their classroom and grow vegetables which they harvest, prepare and eat. You can find Jana riding her horse or walking with her husband and dog around the community.
Carla’s extensive education authenticates her interest in deepening and broadening her knowledge and remaining a life-long learner. She became interested in Montessori education while finishing her Bachelor of Human Ecology in Family Studies from the University of Manitoba, later relocating to Vancouver and further studying Montessori education at the AMI training centre. Carla received her AMI Diploma in 1999. She also holds an Early Childhood Education Certificate and a BC Independent Teacher Certificate from the Ministry of Education. Carla furthered her training in language and math acquisition in young learners at the Orton-Gillingham College in Surrey. She is a certified associate tutor with the Canadian Academy of Therapeutic tutors. Carla joined the staff at BBMS in 2008 and carries out the role of Primary Directress.
Out of School Program
Daphne completed a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario, followed by AMI Montessori certification at the Toronto Montessori Institute. She worked as a Preschool directress in Toronto before moving to South Delta. Her first association with BBMS was to register her daughter to attend the preschool. She later offered her skills substituting in the program and was hired as a part-time Preschool Directress. Daphne has recently obtained a Delta Teaching Assistant Certification (DTAC) and offers extra educational support to students in the Preschool program. You can also find Daphne assisting with our Out of School Program (OSC). Outside of work, Daphne’s helpful nature has lead her to be involved in a lot of volunteering when she is not gardening, cooking, reading and travelling.
Intermediate Classroom Support
Donna has 35 years of experience as a special education consultant and therapeutic tutor. She is a Certified Associate of the Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Tutors. Donna has brought her expertise to BBMS for 20 years to provide academic support to children in our primary and intermediate program and help to transition new students without a Montessori background. Donna has a Bachelor of Arts from Thompson Rivers University, Orton Gillingham Training and Choice Theory (Basic & Advanced). She works with children who have been diagnosed with language developmental delays, attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD), and Asperger’s/Autism spectrum. She came to appreciate how the Montessori classroom helped to support children with various learning styles, showing them how to work independently at their own pace and understand their own unique way of learning. Her approach is to help children “learn how to learn” through using their strengths to improve their weaknesses. When Donna is not supporting children with their learning she is creating art: pen & ink, mixed media, collage, watercolor & acrylic. She has been accepted into several juried shows touring western Canada, and she has offered her artwork pieces for auction to support the Grandmother’s to Grandmother’s campaign for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Annie Cuillerier joined our staff at BBMS in September of 2018 as our directress of French. She is fluent in French as it is her mother tongue having grown up in a French-speaking family. Her studies were also completed at French language schools. Annie has worked independently as a translator in English, French & Spanish for a variety of organizations. She has had a long-term relationship with our school as a parent and serving on the MIND Board of Directors. She has always appreciated that the Montessori approach allows for children to have individual choice and work at their own ability. Her other interests include the martial arts and swimming in which she holds certification. She continues to teach women’s self defence and swimming.
Anisha has filled our position as office administrator since October 2017. This is a part-time position which allows Anisha to work towards completing her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University.
Kate has been involved with Montessori education for the past 20 years. Upon graduation from University in Ontario, she received her preschool training from St. Nicholas Institute and worked as an assistant in the Casa and Primary classrooms alongside her mother, the owner of the school. Upon relocation to British Columbia in 1999, she received her elementary certification at both the 3-6 and 6-12 levels. Kate has worked in both the primary and intermediate levels since 2001. She believes in the importance of incorporating the Virtues program into her class to support children in becoming confident, cooperative and empathetic members of their community. She is the mother of one daughter and in her spare time enjoys hiking, reading and canoeing with her family.
Pre-K and Kindergarten Directress
Karen Gaitens joins BBMH as Pre-K and Kindergarten directress in 2019.
Karen comes with extensive teaching experience having taught in Montessori classrooms for 14 years in Scotland and the US. Since relocating to Canada in 2015 Karen has taught at BBMH (team teaching in the Primary room) more recently as kindergarten and elementary learning support at IB schools. Karen is well versed in inquiry based learning and is excited to explore and incorporate BCs new curriculum into our Montessori environment. Karen holds a BA (Honours) in Education and an AMS Montessori Early Childhood/Primary teaching credential as well her BC Independent teaching certificate. A particular focus of Karen’s degree involved studying research into how children with various learning styles can benefit from the Montessori teaching approach.
Karen has a passion for teaching/learning and building an inclusive classroom community that fosters learning as well as having FUN.
Karen likes to travel, walk (briskly) and spend time in nature with her husband and son.
School Ground Supervisor
Joan has an elementary teaching certificate from Teachers College in Thunder Bay, Ontario where she was a teacher before moving to South Delta. To allow her to stay at home with her own children, she ran a family daycare for 20 years. We are pleased to have had her on staff doing lunch hour supervision since 2012.
Natalie started her Fine Arts education at Capilano University where she received a diploma in Studio Arts. It was in this program where Natalie not only discovered her own passion for 3-D arts but where she met professors whom would support and influence much of her career in the future. She then completed a B.F.A from Emily Carr University and worked for several years as an art educator with the North Vancouver Community Arts Council, as an Artist in Residence in the public school system, as well as a private instructor for budding artists in the lower mainland. Beyond her artistic experience, Natalie has worked with the Vancouver Child Study Center as an instructor in a specialized early education program.
In 2019 Natalie graduated from UBC’s PDP program where she received an Education degree with a specialization in Art. In her teaching work, Natalie takes great pleasure learning about the interests and unique qualities each student brings to the classroom and establishing a space where mistakes can be made, problems can be solved, and new skills and aptitudes can be nurtured. Natalie’s philosophy towards education is inspired by multiple teaching models which include Montessori, Reggio Emilia, A/r/tography as well as Place Based Learning. She is excited to dive deeper into this next phase of her educational journey alongside a great teaching team.
Outside of work, Natalie is a busy mama of 2 who loves travelling, music, going on mini adventures, seeking and sipping delicious drinks, and reconnecting with nature.
Originally from Montreal, Marla’s musical training began with the piano at the age of six. While attending high school, she added the clarinet and flute to her studies, but it was in the choral program that she discovered a love of singing. Marla pursued post secondary studies in Music first at Vanier College, and later at McGill University, where she studied Voice Performance and Collaborative Piano. Upon leaving university, Marla was a member of several of Canada’s elite professional choral ensembles, and has appeared as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Island Symphony and the CBC Radio Orchestra. As a nineteen-year member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Marla has had the privilege of performing throughout Europe and North America, as well as in Japan,Taiwan and South Korea. Over the course of thirty-five years as a professional musician, teaching has always been an important, integral, and inspiring part of Marla’s career. In conjunction with both private and community music school voice studios, she also taught Music and Choir to students from Kindergarten through Grade 9 for five years in the Independent School system, and directed several children’s choirs. Marla is a full member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and holds both a Bachelor of Applied Music as well as an Independent School Teaching Certificate from the Ministry of Education. A committed life-long learner, she recently returned to school to take advanced coursework in conducting, ethnomusicology, advanced rhythms, and orchestration. An ardent proponent of the importance of the inclusion of music in core education, particularly in the primary grades, Marla believes passionately that music, particularly choral music, is a powerful teaching tool for a wide variety of components so important to the fabric of our society. From fostering spirit and social interaction, to the building of individual skills, self confidence, teamwork and the pursuit of a common goal, singing in choirs provides a cornucopia of things we need for life, not least of which is the gift of beautiful music that we make and share with others.