Staff

 

The Academy employs teachers who are specially trained professionals in the Montessori method and certified as Early Childhood Educators. In addition, First-Aid is a requirement for all of our teachers. Our educators are knowledgeable in child development and are available as a resource to you. We have Spanish, French and Cantonese specialists and an Art assistant are also a member of our teaching staff.

All of our staff is hired on the basis of character, dedication, experience and professionalism.

Adhering to the Child Care Ministry regulations, all teachers, assistants and staff must clear a criminal check to ensure your child’s safety.
Our staff is committed to serve the best interest of each child by modeling respect and kindness.

Our staff has affiliations with the Early Childhood Educators of BC, BC Montessori Association and Association Montessori Internationale (AMI ).

STAFF PROFILES

Moniz

Catherine Ceolin
Boundary Road Campus
Directress - Toddler Program

Catherine has assisted administratively at Reach for the Stars Montessori since 2008. In 2011 Catherine moved into the toddler program. Catherine possesses her Montessori Assistant to Infancy, Infant/Toddler Education Certificate, ECE certificate, Special Needs and First Aid. Catherine is loved by her students for her caring and approachable nature. Along with her organization and creativity and leadership, she is a wonderful asset to the program. She is excited to be part of the team at Reach for the Stars Montessori.

Nidhi Kochar
Boundary Road Campus
Directress

Nidhi completed her Bachelor’s degree in economics followed by a Diploma in Systems Management. After her own children left for University in Canada, she pursued her interest in teaching the younger group. She did her AMI Primary Training in India from Mumbai in 2015. She worked as a lead directress in the Primary Montessori environment in a school where she felt that the child’s journey of life begins much earlier hence, she was drawn to do AMI Infant Toddler Program from Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia. She also did a course in Applied Behavior Analysis which helps her to relate to various child behavior patterns.

Nidhi holds her current ECE, Infant Toddler license and First Aid Certificate. Nidhi is honoured to be part of Reach for the Stars Montessori and looks forward to aid children in their formative years of development.

Jessie (Yuting) Zhu
Boundary Road Campus
Assistant - Toddler Program

Jessie joins us in 2021. She possesses her ECE license, Infant Toddler license, and First Aid Certificate. She chose to become an early childhood educator because she loves working with children and finds them endearing and adorable. She believes children’s interests are their strongest motivators, so she enjoys learning children’s interests to help them develop their skills. In her spare time, she likes to watch shows, cooking, make story props, go camping, and visit farms. Jessie is excited to be part of the Reach for the Stars Montessori team.

Abby(ManTing) Cheng
Boundary Rd Campus
Assistant

Abby is grateful to be part of the Reach for the Stars Montessori family. She holds her ECE Assistant license, First Aid Certificate, and AMI Montessori Assistant Primary Level Certificate. She has worked within the toddler and primary classrooms. By working with children she believes that every child is special and as long as you give them the right guidance they will become an even better person.


Rani Kumar
Boundary Rd Campus
Assistant Directress

After working in different work professions, Rani understood that she needed to go back to where she came from “working with children”. After successfully completing her education she became a Licenced Early childhood educator in 2014. Working with children, witnessing their development and the different cultures they bring is the most beautiful thing that she has been experiencing since then. Rani has also worked as a librarian for a secondary school for 7 years.

Rani is really excited to be part of the Reach the Stars Montessori team.

Youra Jang 
Boundary Road Campus
Assistant-Toddlers

Youra comes to us with a degree major in special education. After working as a special needs teacher at a Korean school for more than 10 years, she came to Canada to study early childhood education, and is certified with her ECE, Infant/Toddler, and special needs. She also holds her First Aid certification. She continuously longs to passionately learn anything that helps her students' education. She believes that the interconnection between parents, students, and teachers has a positive effect on the development of students, and that connection with the family is the most important thing. She is proud to be a member of the Reach for the Star Montessori team and does her best to provide the best educational environment for students at school in cooperation with other teachers.

Sara Cepale
Boundary Rd Campus
Assistant-Toddlers

Sara was born in Rome, Italy, where she took her Masters Degree in Contemporary Art History at the University "La Sapienza". She has over eight years experience in teaching children at the elementary school level and she is a mom of three. She holds a Montessori Birth to Three Assistants Certificate from the Montessori Training Centre of BC. Being Italian meant for her to grow with the teachings of Maria Montessori as an integral part of her own culture and education. Sara believes that children are the most powerful tool to make the world a better place and she is honored to put her time and dedication at their service, supporting them in becoming the best version of the human being they are, meant to be and always remembering that for tomorrow she can do better.

Jaspreet Minhas
Boundary Rd Campus
Assistant

Jaspreet holds an ECE Assistant certificate, and First Aid and comes to us with more than 6 years of preschool academic experience. She has wanted to be a teacher since she was a teenager. This profession has helped her build on her passion to create a fulfilling environment with children. She believes that providing valuable learning is essential for the children as this fosters independence and creativity. She ensures that each child receives the best care and love. She is excited to be part of Reach for Stars Montessori, where the programs are structured around an encouraging atmosphere whereby a child’s physical ,intellectual and social development is built.

Wendy To
Directress
Boundary Rd

Wendy joined us in 2018.  She studied in Vancouver and completed her bachelor degree in Psychology from UBC. She is passionate about the learning and natural development of the child. She holds her diploma from the Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia, as well as her Early Childhood Education certificate and First Aid. Wendy says it is such an honour to be part of the team at Reach for the Stars Montessori and she looks forward to working with all the amazing children for years to come.

Lillian Lee
Boundary Road Campus
Co-Directress

Tina began her work with Reach for the Stars Montessori as a substitute teacher at the Boundary Road campus. She graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and Early Childhood Education. She also holds an AMI casa teacher diploma for teaching children from 2.5 to 6 years of age, a First Aid certificate, Food Safety certificate and an ECE license. Tina sees the inner needs of every individual child and she is passionate about the joyful journey with young children in our casa classroom. Tina believes that "Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission." -- from Maria Montessori

Eliana Gonzalez
Boundary Road Campus
Assistant

Eliana is Montessori trainged, holds a Leadership, Administration & Management certification in Child Care, and holds an ECEA - Early Childhood Educator Assistant certificate. She is enthusiastic about the Montessori methodology as it helps children to think constructively, creatively and independently, so the learning experience is maximized and enjoyed. She is committed to providing children with the loving care and attention they need to succeed in all aspects of their learning journey.

Lorretta Chow
Kitsilano Campus
Assistant

Lorretta started working in the childcare field in 2013. She comes to us with a unique and extensive background that includes being a recorded singer and actress. Lorretta’s highschool and college years were located in this community. Since then she has obtained her assistant training at the Montessori Training Centre of BC and she is excited to join us at Reach for the Stars Montessori.



Jackie Wilson
Kitsilano Campus
Directress

Jacqueline has over fourteen years of experience guiding and caring for young children. She graduated from the Montessori Training Centre of BC with a diploma to teach three to six year old children. Jacqueline also holds a current ECE and First Aid certificate. She completed the ECE Special Needs Program as well as the Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders.

Jacqueline continually strives to provide the highest quality care and education to each child in her program. She believes that every child is born with unlimited potential and is driven to discover each child's unique interests and gifts.

Sandra Dominguez
Kitsilano Campus
Directress

Sandra was born and raised in Mexico. In 2003, Sandra obtained a Bachelor Degree in Preschool Education at Escuela de Educadoras Laura Arce in Monterrey, Mexico. She has over ten years of experience both in Mexico and Canada working with children, teaching preschool and kindergarten. She also taught English to young children while in Mexico.

Looking for new opportunities, Sandra moved to Vancouver in 2005, where she encountered the Montessori Method. She both volunteered and then worked as an Assistant in a Montessori preschool in Vancouver. It was then that she decided to pursue her education and career further through the Montessori Approach. She graduated from the Montessori Training Centre of BC with an assistant diploma to teach three to six year old children. Sandra also holds a current ECE and First Aid Certificate. As an educator Sandra enjoys the satisfaction of being an integral role in the development of children and she truly feels the rewards of her career. Sandra lives with her husband and four year old son. She loves reading, cycling and cooking. She is happy to be part of the Reach for the Stars Montessori family.


Fiona Black
Kitsilano Campus
Co-Directress

Fiona attended Montessori preschool herself as a child and has always been passionate about the pedagogy. Her three children all attended Montessori preschools and she knows the importance of the philosophy for the early years.

Fiona received her bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University and received her AMI Montessori primary diploma from the Montessori Training Centre of B.C in 2000. She holds both her ECE certificate and her independent teaching certificate through the Ministry of Education.

In her spare time, Fiona loves to travel and spend time with her family. She has many years experience working with young children and loves her time in the classroom. She looks forward to joining the staff at the Kitsilano location in September.

Lupita Morales
Boundary Rd/Nanaimo St Campus
Assistant


Ashley Speed
Nanaimo St Campus
Directress

Ashley first joined Reach for the Stars in 2012. She holds an A.M.I Casa certificate, E.C.E. license and First Aid certificate, and has experience with special-needs children. She is an experienced Montessori guide and passionate about diverse, empathetic and inclusive education. She sits on the board of the British Columbia Montessori Association, is a popular Montessori mommy blogger and maker of Montessori materials, and lives in East Van with her husband, daughter, and an assortment of pets. Her passion for guiding the child into reaching their fullest potential is what drives her as a teacher. Ashley is thrilled to be part of the Reach for the Stars Montessori family.



Tarah Suleman
Nanaimo St Campus
Assistant

Tarah loves working with children, and is honoured to be part of the Reach for the Stars team! She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from UBC with a Major in Speech Sciences and Minor in Psychology, and has completed her AMI Montessori Primary, ECE, and First Aid training. In her free time, you can find her baking, dancing, or volunteering in her community. Tarah has been working with young children since she was 12 years old, and is excited to bring her passion, warmth, and creativity to the classroom!



Angela Katelouzos
Nanaimo St Campus
Directress

Angela joined Reach for the Stars Montessori in 2010. She has an extensive background working with preschool aged children as well as many years of teaching the Montessori method. She holds her A.M.I Casa Certificate, E.C.E License and First Aid Certificate. Children are drawn to Angela's enthusiastic, patient and compassionate personality. Her passion in guiding children to succeed and reach their fullest potential gives her great joy and gratification.

Julia Hogeling
Directress
Main Street Campus

Julia joined Reach for the Stars Montessori in 2007.  She has twenty years experience as a Montessori preschool teacher.   Julia did her AMI training in Toronto and Masters of Education in Baltimore.  She has a BA in Geography from UBC and her ECE license and first aid.  Julia is passionate about working with children from diverse cultures.   She is excited to be in the classroom to observe and discover all that children are capable of achieving.  Julia likes traveling, learning the ukulele, running and yoga, and enjoying Vancouver's art scene with her husband.

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Ilenia Cambise
Assistant Directress
Main Street Campus

Ilenia joined Reach for the Stars Montessori in 2018.  She moved to Vancouver in 2012 where she started her journey working with children. After many years of looking after them, she realized her strong interest in education and decided to follow the path of the Montessori Approach.  She has her Assistant AMI Montessori Assistant Diploma and ECE through the Montessori training centre of BC, as well as her First Aid certificate. Ilenia is very passionate about cooking, and loves art and crafting and being immersed in nature.

Helena

Helena Diogo
Founder and Principal
Director of Administration


Helena holds a degree in Business Administration and certificate in Management Science and Liberal Arts, with a background in Communications.

Helena became intrigued with education for children prior to the birth of her first daughter.  She quickly concluded that children have the potential to reach amazing heights if given the opportunity.  In the last 18 years, Helena has had 3 children and has opened 6 reputable and well recognized schools in Vancouver and Burnaby, with an AMI certified teaching staff. Helena is responsible for managing all facets of the organization.  

Helena aspires to make a real difference in each child’s educational experience.  She accredits the success of the school to the support she has received from her family, the students and their families, the cooperation from the Montessori Training Centre of BC and of course the dedicated and hardworking teachers at Reach for the Stars Montessori.

Helena continues to be passionate about improving educational opportunities for children and she looks forward to serving the children of the community in providing enriched programs.