Marley Butler (she/her) (co-owner) is a Montessori Preschool Educator from Vancouver Island who has been working with children for 10 years. She completed her Montessori Preschool training in 2014 and received her Early Childhood Educator Diploma with a specialization in Inclusive Care (Special Needs Educator)in 2019 and her Infant and Toddler specialization in 2021. She has worked in a variety of school settings, from large private institutions to small in-home daycares. Through this experience, Marley has discovered what really works for children and what needs to evolve in order to continue offering best practice in education.
Marley is committed to the families and shares her knowledge and insight into the child’s world with home caregivers. Marley has had experience working with children from all walks of life, and she has always been able to connect, support them on their personal journey to reach their goals, and provide unconditional acceptance and love.
Marley is also a multi-talented educator, who brings life and excitement into the classroom through sharing her passion for verbal story-telling and performance. She has taught classes of the arts for children and enjoys incorporating this element with weekly opportunities for the children including dance, music, theatre, and multi-media art. Marley shares her knowledge of the French and Hul’qumi’num languages with children in the form of games, songs, and stories.
Marley is currently at Nestlings full time, however in September 2022 she will transition to working at both centres each week.
*Kayla is away on Maternity leave until September 2023*
Kayla McBride (she/her) (co-owner) was born and raised on the island. It brings her great joy to watch children explore the world through natural discovery of their environment, while following their inner guide. With her love for gardening, sewing, and baking, she is always eager to find a way to incorporate her hobbies into the children’s daily learning.
Kayla has been providing care for children ages 3-5 for the past 12 years. She graduated from Camosun College in 2010 with a certificate in Early Childcare Care and Education. In 2017 she received her credentials in Montessori Early Learning through Age of Montessori. In 2021, Kayla completed her Montessori Infant and Toddler training. Kayla has been an educator at a large Montessori private school for the past 8 years. During this time she took on many different roles such as classroom assistant, CASA directress, and pre-school directress. Through this she has experience in time management, classroom management, scheduling, and curriculum planning. During her time as a classroom assistant she has worked alongside children with higher needs such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism, and learning differences.
Her love for each child and their family is always shown by creating strong personal relationships that include open communication. She sees each and every child as their own special being and is always observing them to help foster their interests and support their needs.
Réka Rossignol (she/they) has worked in a variety of education settings including Forest School, Waldorf, Nature Tourism and Outdoor Guiding. Graduating from Lakehead University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies, her diverse background in education brings important perspectives to any classroom. She has been working in early childhood since 2019, and this past year has become an Early Childhood Educator Assistant while working at the Hornby Island Daycare.
Réka values alternative education practices with a focus on connection to nature and community, and is looking forward to working in a Montessori setting. As an imaginative and creative person, she loves to use her imagination while interacting with children. She is a kind and compassionate caregiver who is deeply empathetic and attentive to others’ needs, seeking to make everyone around her feel seen and understood.
In her spare time Réka practises yoga, meditation and tarot. She has many creative talents including painting, printmaking, and performance arts such as dance and hula hooping. She enjoys staying active, and you may often find her roller skating along Dallas Road or at the skatepark.
Réka is looking forward to getting to know the Blue Heron community and integrating her education into a Montessori setting.
Rachel Wright (she/her) is a compassionate and dedicated certified teacher in Ontario and British Columbia, in kindergarten through to grade 12, in French and English, as well as Special Education. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario and moved to Victoria in August 2022 to be closer to family. She graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in French Studies with a minor in English Language and Literature. Afterwards, she went to teacher’s college at the University of Toronto. By her teacher’s college cohort, Rachel was voted most likely to actually become French, make French learning fun and memorable, own a fluffy pink keychain, and do a triple backflip before she turns 40.
Throughout her teaching career, she has had the opportunity to work, teach, and learn alongside students of all ages. Most recently in Ontario, she worked at a Montessori school for over five years and developed her own French curricula for students ages 11 months to 6 years old.
Rachel loves to bring elements of mindfulness, diversity, and music and movement to all of her lessons, especially when she is teaching French. Doing so has allowed Rachel to foster a learning environment in which each and every student feel welcomed, accepted, and valued. She enjoys collecting French picture books to incorporate into her lessons, of which she has over 100! Her favourite French picture book at the moment is “Je suis fou de Vava” by Dany Laferrière and Frédéric Normandin.
Along with her love of French children’s literature, Rachel has a bevy of creative hobbies and interests. In her spare time, she dabbles in embroidery, yoga, and making friendship bracelets. Her favourite animal is any dog, her favourite colour is yellow, and her Starbucks order is an iced chai tea latté with a shot of espresso, regardless of how cold it is outside!
Rachel is thrilled to join the Blue Heron and James Bay communities and cannot wait to build lasting relationships with families and help their children blossom into the wonderful and intelligent people that she knows that they are!
*Carolyn will begin maternity leave in November 2022* Carolyn Babuin (she/her) is an enthusiastic and caring educator. She strives to get to know each child in a meaningful way, and to appreciate them as a whole, important individual deserving of respect and love. She feels honoured everyday to get to be a part of each child’s life and walk with them as they are growing and learning in these most formative years.
Carolyn has been caring for and teaching children over the past 12 years in several different capacities. She has taught violin, piano, voice and early childhood music for the past 10 years, and it was through teaching and performing music at different daycares that she found her love for working in the preschool setting. She has experience as a full-time nanny to several different families, and has worked in infant toddler programs and preschool throughout the past 5 years. Carolyn has been directress for a 3-5 program for the last year. She is currently in her final course of completing her ECE certificate at Pacific Rim Early Childhood Institute, and is excited to keep learning more about Early Childhood Education everyday.
In addition to her musical background, she also loves dancing, photography, animals, cooking and nature. Carolyn loves sharing these passions with children and incorporating these things into programming whenever possible.
Carolyn is so excited to be joining the Blue Heron community, and to get to know all the children and their families!
Laura Matthews (she/her) is an Early Childhood Educator that has been working in the field for 11 years. She graduated from Camosun College in 2012 with her diploma in Early Learning and Care then continued onto UVic where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care in 2016 .
During that time, she was able to volunteer at Little Steps Therapy Center working as a Behavior Interventionist. There she gained skills and a passion for working with children of all different abilities. Laura brings these skills to the team, and is a great asset for inclusivity.
Laura finds joy exploring with children, co-learning and building on their curiosity. She loves watching and encouraging children test theories, create artwork and build knowledge through play. Her personal philosophy is based on providing children with a safe, secure and welcoming environment. When children are properly supported emotionally and have their needs met, they are more likely to intake information and enjoy learning.
Laura is excited to be part of the team at Blue Heron Montessori. She connects with the Montessori philosophy of self-motivated growth and she strives to guide each child in their own desire for knowledge and respect.
In her free time, Laura is very active and can be seen hiking, running, biking and paddle boarding. She has recently taken up meditation and is thrilled to share her practices of mindfulness and meditation with children.
Anika von Allmen (she/her) is a kind and passionate childcare worker from Yellowknife, NT, who has worked with children for 10 years. She recently moved to Victoria, and is currently in the process of receiving her ECEA, and then will continue her education to obtain her ECE.
As a previous Environmental Management student at Okanagan College, Anika is passionate about the environment, plants, and animals. She greatly enjoys using her previous education in helping to inspire and teach children about nature and the world around us through play and adventure.
Anika enjoys singing, playing the guitar, painting and crafts, sewing, baking, and spending time outdoors. She is passionate about making sure that every child feels included and supported, and enjoys finding creative and engaging ways to encourage children’s curiosity and excitement to learn.
Anika looks forward to getting to know the Blue Heron community.
Emily Nanibush (she/her) is an Early Childhood Educator that specializes in infant-toddler and inclusive care (special needs education). She moved to Vancouver Island in 2020 and enjoys exploring and being outside. Emily loves incorporating nature in the classroom and spending time outside with the children.
Emily has experience with all different age groups, her experience includes teaching in a kindergarten classroom, preschool classrooms, and infant-toddler classrooms. She enjoys the different aspects of early learning with all age groups. Emily treats each child with love and respect and believes that children learn best through play.
She believes that the infant-toddler age is a profound stage of development in which the foundation of character is built. Emily enjoys teaching the love of learning and encouragement of exploration.
In her free time, Emily loves photography, being creative, going for walks and bike rides. She is committed to incorporating activities based on each child’s interests. She will be teaching at the Nestlings centre in Saxe point.
Polly Chin (she/her) is an Early Childhood Educator Assistant dedicated to helping children reach their full potential. She was born and raised in Southern Asia and has lived in Canada since 2012. She had explored and lived in different cities across Canada and finally settled in Victoria. She loves to cook, go hiking and camping and explore the island in her spare time.
Polly completed the Early Childhood Education Assistant Program at Sprott Shaw College in 2020 and started working in multi-age childcare afterwards. Before entering the early childhood education field, she obtained a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University in Psychology. Her background induced her exceptional interest in promoting young children’s social and emotional health. During her undergrad years, her volunteer work has allowed her to interact and connect with children of all ages with diverse needs; that was when she found her joy in working with children.
Polly believes each child is a unique individual and is capable of learning from the environment at their own pace. She is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and caring environment for children, where children can safely express their natural passion for wonder and curiosity.
Following Polly’s passion for helping people, she is pursuing her master’s degree in counselling psychology as the first step towards becoming a play therapist. She would like to contribute her knowledge to early years learning from different perspectives, in addition to her experience.
Mika Hotsumi (she/her) is an Early Childhood Educator with Infant and Toddler certificate. She was born and raised in Japan. Since she was a child, she always enjoyed interacting with young children. Also, she was interested in living in the different countries, meeting new people and learning their cultures. She moved to the United States for school majoring in Child Development and Learning for her Bachelor’s degree. Besides studying, she was engaged in volunteer work at daycare centres and also worked at a Japanese School on Saturdays to help Japanese children keep up with their first language. She also did her internship at a local international preschool in Singapore as an assistant and a Japanese language teacher.
To pursue her dream to be an Early Childhood Educator, she moved to Vancouver in 2015 and completed the Early Childhood Education Infant and Toddler diploma at Sprott Shaw College in 2017. She worked at an infant and toddler childcare centre, and finally she moved to Vancouver Island in 2022.
After living in different countries, Mika got interested in different educational methods and philosophies in each country. Mika believes early learning gives a great impact on children’s brain formation and it continues influencing for the rest of their lives. She is eager to gain continuous knowledge about children and support their development.
In her free time, Mika enjoys baking and yoga. She is excited to meet new people and explore this beautiful island!