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!


Lenka Popplestone, B.Ed, ECE


Jitka Smuszko, B.Ed, ECE



Nicole (Nicki) Starkman, E.C.E. Diploma

Co-Lead Reggio Teacher

Jennifer Brailsford, Child Development Assistant

Jan Peterson, Teacher Assistant Certification - U of C

Teacher Assistant


Agalya Rathnyaka, Montessori Early Childhood Diploma

Lead Montessori Teacher

Lori Brailsford, BEd, E.C.E.

Administrator and Teacher 

Vera Georgieva, BEd, Child Development Supervisor

Co-Lead Reggio Teacher

Ajita Koirala, Nursing Diploma, Child Development Assistant

Pre-school Teacher