Caring Teachers & Staff

To nurture is to nourish.  Nurturing a child encompasses all aspects of development: social, emotional, cognitive, and physical.  In every interaction, our staff strives to nurture appropriate growth and development.

Our teachers are required to wear many hats.  As experienced teachers, they are always prepared to be flexible. In most cases, their role as early childhood teachers will be very similar to that of a guide. They will guide your child down new paths, they will allow your child to choose their learning and playing style, they will encourage them to find their own answers instead of providing the answers for them, and they will keep them safe from harm.

As guides, teachers learn with the children and share in their experiences. Documenting, lesson planning, preparing materials and the environment, require our teachers to have strong management skills and a loving commitment to the children.

Teachers also take care to listen to each child, including interpreting words and actions.  Listening carefully helps teachers determine a child's needs and aids in furthering the child's development. Documentation is an important part of our day. Staff take pictures and write down the children's ideas and thoughts. A portfolio of each child's work, along with photographs and written documentation, is collected throughout the year and given to the children in June.

Our teachers enjoy communicating with many people throughout the day: parents, children, support staff, the general public, and administrators.  We want you, and your child, to feel comfortable asking questions, seeking advice, and sharing your experiences.

We invite you to get to know us. Please use this contact information to let us know of any questions or concerns!


Founders

Lenka Popplestone, B.Ed, ECE

Co-Founder

Lenka.Popplestone@greatjourneyslc.ca

Jitka Smuszko, B.Ed, ECE

Co-Founder

Jitka.Smuszko@thevillagecalgary.ca

Teachers

Agalya Wettinghe, Montessori (MCI) & Early Childhood Diploma

Lead Montessori Teacher - PreJK

Amber Miller, Montessori (MCI) & Child Development Supervisor

Lead Montessori Teacher - JK and Kindergarten

Jennifer Brailsford, Child Development Assistant

Montessori - JK and Kindergarten

Gurbinder Kang, MEd, Child Development Supervisor

Lead Reggio Teacher - JK and Kindergarten

Muna Goswami, Child Development Worker

Co-Lead Reggio Teacher - JK and Kindergarten

Jan Peterson, Teacher Assistant Certification - U of C

Teacher Assistant

Heba Al-Haidari, Child Development Worker

Teacher - PreJK

Ellen Kirkhoven - Child Development Supervisor

Teacher - PreJK

Ajita Koirala, Nursing Diploma, Child Development Assistant

Pre-school Teacher

Prativa Mishra, Child Development Assistant

Pre-school Teacher

Jitka Smuszko, BEd, E.C.E., Child Development Supervisor

Administrator and Teacher

Lori Brailsford, BEd, E.C.E.

Administrator and Teacher

lori.brailsford@greatjourneys.com 

Aaron Popplestone, BS Degree

Administration/Accounting