Staff

Working with children on a daily basis requires patience, compassion, flexibility and above all, a LOVE for teaching and the desire to see each child reach their full potential. Here at Children’s Garden Nursery School, we have teachers who fill those criteria with ease.

Each staff member at Children’s Garden Nursery School is on a ten-month contract, although as you will read below, several have been employed at Children’s Garden for over twenty years! As in any working environment, it is important to have employees who continue to be enthusiastic and ready to return in September with high energy and excitement for a new school year ahead. It is important that a level of professionalism is maintained while at the same time also providing an environment that is a positive and friendly one. Visitors regularly comment on the welcoming atmosphere here at Children’s Garden Nursery School, thanks to the wonderful women below.

Administrator

Kyra Gurney

This is my first year working at Children’s Garden Nursery School, but I feel like I have been part of this family for the past few years as my two children have had the opportunity to learn and to grow in the Toddler and Preschool programs. The second you walk into the school, you can feel the love that resonates in the hallways with every friendly hello from teachers, the colourful displays of student work hanging on the walls and the excitement students feel when they walk into their classrooms. Joining the CGNS family as Administrator was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

I have almost a decade of teaching experience in all subjects, with a heavy emphasis on French, at both the elementary and secondary levels. I look forward to answering all of your questions to the best of my ability and keeping you informed of all the great events going on at Children’s Garden.

I’m so excited to meet all of our CGNS families, new and old. Cheers to a great school year!

 

Two Morning Toddler and Three Morning Preschool Teachers

Angie Foulkes

I have my Bachelor of Primary Education and am a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers. I have been working with children of all ages in various capacities for 10 years. I have been a part of the Children’s Garden community for over 24 years, as I myself, started my education as a little tot in the toddler room! I am very excited to be on the other side of things as one of the toddler/preschool teachers .

Through my years of experience, I understand that getting to know the individual learners in your classroom is essential. I believe in inspiring students to reach their maximum potential, and providing each student with the tools needed to be successful. Through inquiry-based learning and open-ended questions, students are able to be inspired and challenged while finding deeper meaning through their ability to personally connect with the material. Through ongoing assessment and observation, I constantly look for learning opportunities that will help each child to develop emotionally, cognitively and physically. I believe that learning only happens once children feel they are in a safe and nurturing environment, and that is what I love most about the atmosphere at Children’s Garden Nursery School; children have the confidence to take risks and grow without boundaries.

I am very excited to begin teaching at Children’s Garden Nursery School and look forward to meeting all of the wonderful children and families!

 

Valery Hirschl

I am very excited to be joining the CGNS team this year! I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator with over 10 years of experience in South America, The U.S. and Canada. I hold a B.A in Early Childhood Education and an M.Ed. in Educational Media and Technology.

I love to innovate and try new activities in order to engage my students and make the learning process meaningful and fun. I constantly evaluate my strategies and adapt to my students’ interests and learning needs in order to successfully guide and help them discover the world around them. I encourage my students to believe in themselves and not be afraid to take risks and try new things, enabling them to develop skills such as problem-solving and creative thinking, which are essential for success in school and beyond.

In my class, I strive to make each child feel safe, happy, respected, but most importantly, feel loved. Seeing a child happy and smiling and knowing that I had something to do with it, is definitely the most rewarding experience. After all, who doesn’t love unexpected hugs and smiles from a happy child!  

 

 

Five Morning Preschool Teacher

Carol Stebila

I am a certified Early Childhood Educator with a Bachelor of Applied Arts ECE Degree from Ryerson University. I have been teaching Nursery School for over 20 years in Toronto.

I feel very privileged to have such an important profession as teaching young children, and I am so pleased to be teaching here at Children’s Garden Nursery School. Within my classroom, I am committed to building independence and self-confidence in the children. I encourage the children to express (and share) their feelings and ideas whether it be through play, art, circle or snack time. And I seek to focus on the many teachable moments that occur throughout the day that help the children learn how to work together in a cooperative and positive way.

It is always so rewarding for me as a teacher to see that every year the children come in with “big eyes” and some apprehension, but walk out of the classroom in June a bit taller, wiser, feeling confident and “ready” because of all of the knowledge and skills they acquired at school.

Five Morning Pre-JK Teacher

Sharon Carr

Hello, I am the 5am Pre-K teacher here at CGNS. I am a registered Early Childhood Educator and British Nursery Nurse. For over 25 years I have worked with children and their families, during which time I have also had the amazing experience of raising my own children – two teenage boys – who surprise and delight me daily!

I will be entering my sixth year as part of the CGNS team and what an amazing place it is to be. As soon as you enter the school you feel its energy from the staff who love their jobs, the children who love being here to the brightly displayed classrooms and hallways showing the fabulous work produced. Children’s Garden is a home away from home experience, each teacher bringing their own unique flare to each class.

With an abundance of energy, I try and implement a FUN loving, creative pre-school programme, allowing each of my ‘kiddie-winks’ to grow and blossom. Encouraging each bloom to be an independent individual and engaged in the best first school experience possible. I love my job!

Kindergarten Teachers

Lezlie Radomski

My name is Lezlie Radomski and I am one of the kindergarten teachers at Children’s Garden. I have been happily employed here for the past 5 years, but have been privileged to be in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past 34 years. In between this fulfilling and ever changing journey I became a mother of two and more recently a grandmother of two. I also have a degree in Nutrition from Ryerson University. Making a difference in children’s lives is my passion; I knew at a young age that this is what I wanted to do.

I believe that my role as an educator is to be an empathetic, open minded, encouraging, and compassionate role model. I recognize that each child is unique, so the goal of my program is to meet the needs of each individual child. In its purest form, my room is designed to develop a child’s self-esteem, teach co-operation and inspire curiosity. I expand a child’s ability to learn by creating multiple problem-solving opportunities. I want each child to know that they can do anything. I want them to know that it’s okay to make mistakes, but you must always try and work hard to do your best.

Jill Anton

I have been a teacher at C.G.N.S. for so many years that I have lost count! During this time I have had the pleasure of witnessing the school go from strength to strength.

I look around the school at all the children who are bubbling over with excitement and enthusiasm and sometimes wish that I could be 4 years old again! As that’s not really an option then I live vicariously through them, which I manage to do quite easily on a daily basis.

When I plan my weekly programme I try to include all dimensions of learning and am constantly seeking new and innovative ideas to engage the children. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a child’s face light up as they acquire new skills and challenge themselves to take that new found knowledge and go one step further.

There are so many schools on the market these days, all of them claiming to be the best, all of them claiming to offer the best experience for your child. To be honest, I don’t envy any of you who are going through “headache material” as you trawl through various schools, trying to make the “What would be best for my child?” decision.

All I can tell you is that Children’s Garden is one of the better ones that you’ll find ………. a school that strives to treat all children with dignity and respect, one that realizes the importance of allowing a child to progress at their own individual rate – never putting a group of children “in a box” and expecting them all to perform at the same level. A school where friendship and fun is interwoven with learning and compassion.

I’d have loved it if my mom had sent me there, truly I would. What more can I say?

 

Specialty Teachers

French and French Immersion

Karen D’Aoust

Having the opportunity to teach French to young children is both my privilege and my pleasure. My passion for French was first cultivated when I was just a pre-schooler myself. I am the daughter of a French father and an Irish mother. Interest in my own cultural heritages, arts and traditions inspired me to formalize and broaden my knowledge and understanding with academic study.

My formal post-secondary studies in French began only about one kilometre up the road from here at York University’s French studies campus, Glendon College. Teaching at CGNS now, is somewhat of a homecoming for me and I am proud to be working here amongst a team of such accomplished professionals. With twenty years of combined experience in private, public and community education and Social Services, I, too, bring the best of my experience and practices to the young students in my care every day.

My very own student, my son, is all grown up now, but celebrating the milestones, never gets old and continues to bring such joy and pride!

In addition to French studies at Glendon College and the University of Waterloo, I obtained an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University. Art is a big part of my life and I love incorporating it into the learning experience. The children love it too! Motivated to more deeply understand how we communicate with and mentor our young children, I am presently pursuing a Master’s Degree focused on Peace Education.

Endlessly fascinated by the ease with which young children can acquire skills not only in their first but in a second and third language, I am dedicated to instilling a love of French in the hearts of my students. Not only will they develop excellent communication and cognitive skills, but they will also have built a foundation upon which to experience the cultural beauty, richness, and artistry that such skills will innately bring to their lives.

Music

Emily Vick

I love being part of the Children’s Garden family! I have a background in music education and music performance and have been lucky to sing and teach all over the world. I studied voice and drama when I earned my Bachelor’s degree and also hold a Master’s of Education. I was recently invited to Yale University to participate in a music conference focused on music interpretation and creating solo theatrical pieces. I have taught music in schools and at summer camps and enjoy working with students of all ages.

As a teacher, I love to share my passion for music with children by tapping into their natural abilities and hope to encourage them to express themselves through song and movement. I believe their growing bodies and minds truly benefit from a musical education. I make every effort to teach musical concepts in a way that is fun and engaging, and enjoy introducing children to new instruments and songs. I also enjoy using music as a bridge to connect to special holidays or events and to learn about the world around us! For me, there is nothing more exhilarating than hearing young voices singing together!

Drama

Victoria Fuller 

I am delighted to be the new Drama Instructor here at Children’s Garden Nursery School!  Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, I moved to Toronto to pursue studies in musical theatre at the Randolph Academy of Performing Arts.  After completing the diploma program, I was accepted into Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where I received my MFA in Musical Theatre Performance.  I returned to Toronto in 2012 and have been a professional theatre artist and educator ever since.  I teach in various programs and workshops around the city in both the public and private school system and am the founder and Artistic Director of Echo Productions (www.echoproductions.ca).

The passion that I have for sharing my knowledge with ready minds is boundless!  Theatre Arts have an incredible ability to bring people together and instill the principles of teamwork, empathy, and self-confidence.  I strive to create a positive and safe environment in which my students can explore themselves, as well as each other, as trust openness are the keys to success in this field.  I am so excited to put my wealth of experience at the disposal of the CGNS family – let’s get learning!