Executive Director: Jasmine Howes
Jasmine Howes is an alumni of the Montessori Daycare Society as she attended the school the first year it opened. Jasmine has a love of Montessori education and this is evident in all she does with the children and for the Montessori Daycare Society. A mother of three children, aged 19, 15 and 10 years of age who all attended Montessori Preschools and Elementary schools. She received her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Primary Diploma (for 3-6 year olds) in1990 along with her Early Childhood Education License to Practice, from the Montessori Training Centre of BC. Jasmine has been a Montessori teacher, parent, and advocate for the past 25 years and brings a depth of knowledge and guidance to the staff, families and children always wishing to inspire and share her love of Montessori education and the amazing ability of the child to construct themselves. Children are born into this world ready to become amazing peaceful human beings and all the potential of the world is within their grasps. Our role as the adult is to help facilitate this transformation and to aid the child in becoming all that they can be. Along with her passion for Montessori education, Jasmine is equally passionate about sharing her love of yoga with the children and feels that the two are a wonderful compliment and blends beautifully with Dr. Montessori’s thoughts on peace education. Jasmine is a natural leader, with a warm generous spirit and takes great pride in all she does to make our community a special one for children and families.
Administrative Assistant, Early Childhood Educator, and AMI Assistant : Anita Olson
For Anita, children are the most interesting people our world holds and she feels honoured to work with them. Montessori believed that true learning was rooted in concentration, and Anita couldn’t agree with her more. Anita believes listening to the children is fundamentally the most important aid to true learning and as an educator she listens. The exploration of art in the classroom is something Anita has a deep passion for and shares her enthusiasm with the children as the art teacher. Anita grew up on the prairies but not being too keen on cold, she moved out west to relish in the lush green temperate rain forest. Vancouver has been home to Anita for over ten years now. After having her own child in 2003, Anita became inspired to study children’s growth and development. She has been working with younger children on a professional level since 2005. Since completing her AMI Montessori Assistance course, ECE certificate, and a bachelor of arts in sociology and psychology from Simon Fraser University, she has had the opportunity to work in play-based, literature focused and Montessori curriculums. Anita has been learning and working with MDCS since 2010 in the classroom and in the office assisting the Executive Director since 2014.
Montessori Teacher and Early Childhood Educator: Jessy Lin
Jessy came to Canada from Taiwan in 1996, with a degree in Accounting. In 2009, Jessy graduated with her American Montessori Society Primary Diploma for 3 to 6 year olds and Early Childhood Educators License to Practice from Capital College in Vancouver, BC. Jessy was a practicum student at the Montessori Daycare Society and we were thrilled to hire her shortly after she received her accreditation. Jessy strongly believes in Dr. Montessori’s pedagogy as a means to help the child to develop their natural curiosity, increase their confidence and be able to reach their full potential. Jessy believes that as she teaches she is helping the child to reach their future. Jessy works hand in hand, guiding children with respect, showing love thus enabling the child to have a life-long love of learning with joy and happiness in all they do. Jessy has two adult sons aged 26 and 23, one is an Architect and the other is in Business. When Jessy is not teaching she enjoys reading Economy and Architecture Magazines, listening to classical music and enjoying all that life has to offer with her friends and family.
Montessori Teacher and Early Childhood Educator: Nighat Gondal
Nighat moved to Canada in 1993 with her parents from Pakistan. During high school Nighat had a chance to do an observation in a daycare. She was fascinated to see the children's work and marveled at their imagination. This inspired Nighat to become an Early Childhood Educator and attended Vancouver Community College. With her Early Childhood Educator License to Practice Nighat began substituting at many different daycares in Vancouver. In, 1999 Nighat joined the team at The Montessori Daycare Society. Nighat really liked the Montessori philosophy and decided to take Montessori courses to further her knowledge. Nighat holds an Early Childhood Educators license to Practice, Infant and toddlers Certification, Special Needs Certification and a Montessori Certificate. Nighat have two daughters ages 7 and 4. Nighat believes every child is unique and he/she deserves love, respect and a sense of belonging. We should nurture and encourage the child’s potential. We should give positive attention to the children and help where we are needed. In Nighat’s free time she likes cooking, gardening and hiking.
"Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities."
Dr. Maria Montessori
Montessori Teacher and Early Childhood Educator: Ayumi Shionuma
Ayumi was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. While working as an Early Childhood Educator for 4 years, she developed an interest in learning about Montessori education. In 2007, Ayumi decided to come to Vancouver to become a professional Montessori teacher. In, June 2008 Ayumi graduated from the Montessori Training Centre of BC receiving her AMI Primary Diploma as well as an Early Childhood Educator Certificate. Since graduating, Ayumi has been worked as a Montessori teacher for almost 7 years in Canada. Over this time, she has experienced several different Montessori schools in British Columbia and Alberta. Ayumi considers herself fortunate to have experienced many special moments with children and has many wonderful memories. She is very passionate about Montessori education and is happy to see each child’s growth and development progress over the year. Ayumi is excited to contribute her passion about Montessori education and to continue her journey as a Montessori teacher at the Montessori Daycare Society! In Ayumi’s free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, dancing (especially ballet), and practicing gentle yoga. Ayumi also loves to walk and explore nature with her friends.
Montessori Teacher and Early Childhood Educator: Fiona Chen
Fiona moved to Vancouver from Taiwan in 2005. She has always been fond of interacting with children, and when she met a friend who was completing a Montessori certification, she was inspired to become an Early Childhood Educator herself. From that point, she embarked on a journey to pursue her dream of teaching children. After receiving her American Montessori Society Certificate and Early Childhood Educators License to Practice in 2008, she started working with children. She has had the opportunity to work at diverse settings at different facilities in Vancouver. Fiona believes in Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy and that it is her job to provide a setting that allows for this while meeting each child’s individual needs. She is extremely passionate about working the 2.5 – 5 year-old age group because she believes this is when a child strives for independence and self-mastery; it is extremely rewarding for her to see children making progress. In her spare time, Fiona enjoys watching movies, listening to music, biking, and reading.