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 Moniz
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, 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.

Mirjana Brezo
Boundary Road Campus
Assistant - Toddlers


Mirjana began by substituting at all of our locations in 2010. She joined our team at Boundary Rd. on a permanent basis in 2011 as an assistant in both the toddler and preschool programs. Mirjana brings with her a very caring nature and big smile to class each day. She attends to the children’s needs and assists with guidance and careful observation. Mirjana obtained her AMI Montessori Assistant certificate from the Montessori training centre of BC and holds her Bachelor Degree from Sarajevo. She also holds a current ECE and First Aid Certificate. We are very happy to have Mirjana as part of the Reach for the Stars Montessori family.


Nidhi Kochar
Boundary Road Campus
Assistant - Toddlers

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.

Farideh Jashnasar
Boundary Road Campus Assistant

Charlene Yu
Boundary Road Campus
Directress

Charlene began her work with Reach for the Stars Montessori  as a substitute teacher at the Boundary Road and Nanaimo Street campuses in 2014. She holds her current ECE License, First Aid Certificate, as well as an AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Training Centre of BC. She enjoys working with children and adores the uniqueness that each child carries. Her interests include listening and playing music, making arts and crafts, taking pictures of the sceneries, and learning random facts about nature. Charlene is excited to be part of the Reach for the Stars Montessori team, and she looks forward to work with the group of amazing staff members and the children!

Youngin Goh (Young)
Boundary Road Campus
Assistant-Toddlers

Youngin joined Reach for the Stars Montessori Learning Academy in 2018. Youngin holds an Infant & Toddler Educator Certificate, Special Needs educator certificate, Early Childhood Educator certificate, and First Aid. She is happy to be part of the Reach for the Stars team and loves to work for the children here. She looks forward to sharing her positive energy everyday.


Mahrukh Irani
Boundary Road Campus
Directress-Boundary

Marhrukh comes to us with 18 years of experience as a Montessori preschool guide. Her teaching journey began with the completion of the Diploma in Montessori training in Primary years in 1992. She also has her Early Childhood Education Certificate and an AOGPE Associate level certificate. She is passionate about working with children from diverse backgrounds and see them grow in the Montessori environment. She is excited to be part of the Reach for the Stars Montessori Learning Academy.

Tina Luo
Boundary Road Campus
Directress-Boundary

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



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.

Jacqueline was raised and currently resides on the Westside of Vancouver with her two beautiful children and is thrilled to be part of the Reach for the Stars team and to serve the children and families in her own community.  

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.


Anna Stefanopoulos
Kitsilano Campus
Co-Directress


Anna is thrilled to be teaching here at Reach for the Stars. Anna was born in Vancouver and resides in Kitsilano. She has an extensive background in childcare, working with children of all ages. Anna possesses her Early Childhood Education and her AMS Montessori Certificate. Her aim is to provide a warm, creative atmosphere that allows the children to explore and learn, while preparing them for elementary school with early learning strategies via Montessori education. Anna is honoured to be part of the team at Reach for the Stars Montressori, and will achieve to bring the children just as much joy over the years as they will bring her!

Lupita Morales
Boundary Rd/Nanaimo St Campus
Assistant




Lily (Yanli) Li
Nanaimo St Campus
Directress


Lily was born and raised in China. She graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Early Childhood education. She also holds an AMI diploma for teaching children from 2.5 – 6 years of age, a current First Aid Certificate and an ECE license.

Lily has been working with children in various settings. Through her work, she realized that each child has different interests, potential and tendencies towards different things. Given the right guidance and environment, children will develop to their fullest potential. After observing the amazing impact the Montessori teaching method has on children, she decided to further her education through the Montessori approach.

Lily is passionate about working with young children. She is excited to join the Reach for the Stars team to help children learn, and thrive on their life journey.



Rani Kumar
Nanaimo Street 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.

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.

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.




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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.

 

Yolanda Korompai
Spanish Language Specialist


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 14 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.