While we are certainly proud of our classroom, which is fully equipped with Montessori teaching materials, we believe our staff is what truly sets us apart from any other preschool or childcare facility in the Yukon.
Emily Hood – Executive Director
Emily is a graduate of Simon Fraser University where she completed her Master of Education in Educational Leadership. Emily is dedicated to each child’s holistic development. She believes that education is the key to freedom; both as a mechanism for social justice, and personal wellbeing. Education leads to opportunities, and freedom is the luxury of choice.
Emily holds the team she leads as the most valuable asset to the health and success of our program. She practices what she preaches and believes that when we hold one another up, support, foster, and encourage one another’s growth and critical practice the children and families who are a part of our school and community benefit alongside us.
From Ontario, Emily has chosen to set down roots here in Whitehorse because of this community’s unique and complex cultural history, physical landscape, opportunities, and people. She says she has never felt so at home anywhere else she lived or travelled.
Her two boys, Jack (9yrs) and Henry (7yrs) attend the Yukon Montessori School (Borealis’ sister school).
Laurie Parker – Head Teacher
Laurie Parker was five years old when she told her mother that she wanted to be a teacher. Not once has that dream changed! A graduate of Brock University, Laurie also received her AMI Casa training from the Toronto Montessori Institute, and has a TMI Montessori Elementary diploma.
An Ontarian born and bred, Stratford was home to Laurie until just last year, when the desire for an adventure led her to answer a job posting in Whitehorse. Laurie and her husband, Vance, who are proud parents of four children (and grandparents to one!) love their new lifestyle and are proud to call themselves Yukoners! (The one thing Laurie misses? An occasional Swiss Chalet dinner!)
Josée Fortin – Assistant Teacher
Born in the small village of Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, Josée grew up there in the heart of the boreale forest. In 2009, Josée decided to try a different “borealis”, and arrived in the Yukon. Montessori Borealis was fortunate to have Josée join us as Summer Camp Director in the summer of 2010. Since then, she has been our French Teacher, Assistant Teacher, and After School Care Supervisor.
Josée’s creative nature shines in her lessons as she includes art, music, outdoor time and nature in her French lessons, along with the basics of reading and writing the language. A talented multi-disciplinary artist, Josée’s paintings, poetry and more have been featured in local art shows. She is also a dancer, and even does fire dancing for Whitehorse events!
Josée’s background includes a major in Theatre and Arts, as well as a Baccalaureate in literacy, cultural animation, and psychosocial intervention. She worked for five years in Hochelaga, Montreal, before being drawn back to the North and heading for the Yukon. Montreal’s loss is certainly our gain!
Mary-Ann Annable – Assistant Teacher
Mary Ann has been working in preschool and primary education for over 20 years. During this time, she has assisted for three years and two years in a Montessori preschool and Waldorf preschool, respectively, and worked as the director of the Chickadees Parent Participation Preschool in Whitehorse for three years as well.
Mary Ann is also locally renowned as a dance instructor. Drawing on her degree in Physical Education (with a major in Dance Education and a minor in Fine Arts Dance) from the University of Calgary, she has taught dance to scores of preschoolers, school aged children, teens and adults in recreational and studio settings. This experience includes eight years as an instructor in the Yukon Arts Ed-Venture Program, where she taught movement for the kindergarten through sixth grade curriculum.
In addition to her university degree, Mary Ann has a diploma in Waldorf Education from Ruldolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California.
Erin Schultz – Assistant Teacher
Born and raised in the Yukon, Erin spent most of her early years in the small community of Mayo. When she graduated from F.H. Collins Secondary School, she enrolled in the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program at Yukon College. After earning a Bachelor of Education (with distinction) through the University of Regina in 2005, Erin worked part time in Whitehorse public schools, devoting her “spare” time to caring for a wonderful family of seven!
Erin was first introduced to—and intrigued by—Montessori education when she enrolled her son at Montessori Borealis. She began to teach as a substitute at the preschool in 2007 and loved the experience. In 2009, Erin ran the first-ever summer camp for Montessori Borealis and developed strong bonds with many of the students. This encouraged her to join Montessori Borealis as the Assistant Teacher for the 2009/10 year. Working closely with head teacher at the time, Dominic Bradford, Erin has since learned a tremendous amount about both the theoretical and practical aspects of Montessori education. In 2010, she augmented this hands-on experience by completing the AMI Assistants Training Course in Vancouver, B.C.
Leet Mueller – Assistant Teacher
Cody Anne McArthur – Assistant Teacher
Aida Carduz – Assistant Teacher