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Kate Baldwin

Head of School

Kate has been involved with Montessori education for the past 20 plus years.  Upon graduation from University in Ontario, she received her Casa training from St. Nicholas Institute and worked as an assistant in the Casa and Lower Elementary classrooms alongside her mother, the owner of a Montessori  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 6-9 and 9-12 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. In April of 2023, Kate completed her Masters of Education.  She is the mother of one daughter and in her spare time enjoys hiking, riding her bike and exploring new places with her family and energetic dog.

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Olga Margaritis

Casa Directress & Childcare Manager

Olga joined BBMS in 2020.  She obtained her Primary AMI Diploma as well as her Early Childhood Education in 2007 from the Montessori Institute of BC. She also holds a TESOL Certificate which gave her the opportunity to teach English as a Second Language in her home country Greece for four years. Since returning from Greece she realized that she had a passion to continue working with children of the preschool age. The Montessori approach to "follow the child" has helped her to appreciate and trust the child's instincts through observation. As a Casa Directress for the past fifteen years she has collaborated with staff in several schools and fulfilled the role of Directress, as well as Manager. She is delighted to continue to guide and foster children's growth. As a mother of one daughter, she enjoys spending time with family, travelling, and cooking.

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Karen Gaitens

Casa  and Kindergarten Directress

Karen joined BBMS as a Casa/Kindergarten Directress in 2019. She has 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 BBMS in the lower elementary class as well 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  in Education and an AMS Montessori Early Childhood/3-6 teaching credential as well her BC Independent teaching certificate. A particular focus of Karen’s degree involved studying research on how children with various learning styles are supported in the Montessori learning environment.  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  and spend time in nature with her husband and son.

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Eileen Wilson

Lower Elementary Directress

Eileen returned to BBMS in 2022. She has a long history with the school, and was first exposed to Montessori education, as a parent, when her eldest child was enrolled at BBMS the year the school opened. She came to the school with a background in teaching, having received her Bachelor of Education from UBC. She worked for seven years in the public system in a variety of teaching roles before discovering Montessori, and finding BBMS. She has always had a deep love for education and teaching but was hooked by the Montessori approach that used concrete materials to teach very abstract concepts across the curriculum. It was the concrete materials that were appealing, but she  quickly came to appreciate the depth and wisdom of the Montessori approach, a method that is as relevant today, as it was one hundred years ago. When Eileen decided to return to teaching full time it had to be in Montessori. She  took her Montessori training (6-12 yrs) through AMS. She started her Montessori teaching career at BBMS in the Lower Elementary program, then a few years later, moved into the Upper Elementary program and taught there until 2016. She is thrilled to find herself full circle, back working with the children in the Lower Elementary program. They energize and inspire her each day.

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Cathy von Ende

Upper Elementary Directress

Cathy has a passion for learning. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Waterloo (1990) and then a Master of Science at the University of Guelph. She has also taken many courses over the years at UBC and University of Calgary. Cathy’s journey to teaching was sparked by what she saw in her children’s Montessori classrooms, first in Ontario and then in BC when her three young children joined the BBMS community. Intrigued with the Montessori teaching process and how well it fit with learning theory, she completed her Montessori Elementary Credential (AMS) and a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Montessori Education through Simon Fraser University. Cathy joined the BBMS staff in 2005, spending time first in the Casa and Lower Elementary classrooms. In addition, Cathy has worked one-on-one with children with learning disabilities as a Certified associate Orton-Gillingham tutor (Canadian Association of Therapeutic Tutors - CATT). She holds a BC Independent Teacher Certificate from the Ministry of Education and joined BBMS as a Directress in the Upper Elementary class in 2021. Outside the classroom, Cathy loves cycling, paddle boarding, photographing local landscapes, knitting, exploring new places, and learning new things.

Kayla Boucher

Classroom Support & Afterschool Supervisor

Kayla Boucher joined the BBMS staff in 2023 and is enjoying running the OSC program, and providing classroom support to the school. She experienced a Montessori education in her childhood in Port Moody and fondly remembers her experience. She has a CSW (community service worker) Diploma which she completed in September 2022. This program included child mental health, child development, biopsychosocial considerations and holistic /alternative approaches to health. She has a background in childcare having worked with both individual families, as well as larger organizations throughout her life. She enjoyed volunteering at summer camps as a youth, and is currently volunteering with the Ukrainian refugee association in helping to run a child and youth afterschool program. Kayla feels very fortunate to have been able to grow up in the lower mainland and travel abroad to learn about many different cultures. She grew up with her family hosting international students and claimant refugees and has been immersed with different languages and cultures from a young age. Currently she is looking for more training opportunities within the Montessori setting and curriculum. She believes education is foundational in life and can create a positive ripple effect throughout the world. 

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Julie Orr

Administrative & Financial Officer 

Julie returned to BBMS as the Office Administrator in January 2020 after a 2 year absence. Originally from France, Julie has also lived in South Africa and the UAE and has many years  experience as a school administrator. Her role within the school has widened to include additional responsibilities related to financial accounts, in addition to records clerk and staff support.  In her spare time, she enjoys playing pickleball and walking her dog, reading and gardening.

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Marla Mayson

Music & French Directress

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.  An ardent proponent of the importance of the inclusion of music in core education, particularly in the early years, 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. Fluent in French, she adds to her Music role at BBMS to include French instruction to our K-year 7 children using AMI methodology.

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Gary Li

Lower Elementary Assistant

Gary has always been driven by his passion to live and breathe as a Montessorian. His professional background started off with a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC in 2002, and indulging himself in the fast-paced world of Finance for almost half of his lifetime. This journey suddenly took a full stop one day, realizing the best yielding return one can make is the investment into the future of our world – our children. He fell in love with the Montessori philosophy at first sight eleven years ago, observing his two children immersed in Montessori education in Hong Kong and later in BC with the BBMS community. He truly believes children learn best and develop confidence, willpower and enthusiasm when opportunities are given based on their interests of the world. This has driven him to complete his Montessori Early Childhood Credential with AMS (2020). Since then, his persistence for personal growth has motivated him to expand his Montessori studies into the Elementary level. Currently, he is completing his Montessori Elementary Credential in Vancouver (AMS) and working as an Elementary Classroom Assistant with the BBMS community. He plans to continue his practices into the Adolescence years as his children explore that stage of life. Outside the classroom, Gary loves running, cycling, horticulture, exploring new ideas, and going camping with his family and friends.

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