Meet Our Educators

Serving the Clarkson community for over 18 years!

Our team comprises of Montessori trained teachers, Registered Early Childhood Educators, Ontario Certified Teachers (OCT’s) and Teaching Assistants. Our diverse learning background helps us facilitate unique learning opportunities for our students.

Together, we...

Design our learning environment to foster independence, build confidence, and develop competence. Our practitioners encourage students to explore. This makes the young learner intrinsically motivated and socially responsible, and they feel respected in our space. Our program model is designed to make children understand and respect cultural diversity to become globally aware. We nurture their individual interests and abilities, support their curious and creative minds, and academically prepare them with skills that is appropriate for their age and stage.

We are educators that are responsive to research, constantly upgrading our skills and practices. Our focus is simply to create an environment where Young Minds thrive and grow.

Shahanaz-Ali

Shahnaz Ali

Education:
Bachelor of Arts, AMI Certified

Experience:
Teaching in various school in Mississauga and Oakville for 15 years

Languages Spoken:
English, Urdu

Outside Interests:
Painting, skiing, reading, yoga, dance, arts and crafts

Why do you love working with children:
The joy of working with children is that no single day at work is the same. Each day presents a new challenge which motivates me to learn more. Children make me a well informed person as they expect me to know about the latest cartoons and superheroes.

What do you love about Young Minds?
I admire the professional environment of the school. We function as a family to bring out the best in each child.

Olivia-Marino

Olivia Marino

Education:
Early Childhood Education Diploma

Experience:
Four years experience of Play-based learning daycare centres. Two Years experience of Montessori School educating. I have experience with the ages of infant- 7 years. I have also spent time at the George Hull Centre working along side Special Needs Resource Consultants.

Languages Spoken:
English

Outside Interests:
Physical activities: Swimming, Sports as well as lots of quality family time.

Why do you love working with children:
I enjoy the process of teaching and learning. It’s very rewarding to watch a child grow physically and mentally. I like the idea of helping develop the minds of our future.

What do you love about Young Minds?
I really enjoy the fact that Young Minds is a small school. It really feels as if we are part of a family. As an educator in a smaller school; I find I am able to develop a real bond with the children, the families and the staff.

amal-wehbe

Amal Wehbe

Education:
Montessori Directrice

Experience:
15 years of Montessori teaching

Languages Spoken:
English, French, and Arabic

Outside Interests:
Gymnastics, visiting the library, and spending time with family

Why do you love working with children:
I love working with children because they are our future and to be able to be a part of their growth and development brings me so much joy. It’s what motivates me and excites me day to day.

What do you love about Young Minds?
What I love about working at Young Minds is the family environment that has been created along with a very supportive team. Young Minds has been a huge part of my personal growth and I’m so grateful to be a part of this team.

Other:
Every day brings something new. I can not wait to see what’s in store.

samantha-croteau

Samantha Croteau

Education:
Early Childhood degree, Behavioural Science certificate

Experience:
Nanny and daycare instructor, martial arts instructor

Languages Spoken:
English

Outside Interests:
Martial arts training and teaching, reading and writing, computers

Why do you love working with children:
Children are our future. They are full of innocence and wonder at all that is around them. I love watching their faces light up with interest at new things. I love to see children strive for and accomplish milestones. I receive great joy from my interactions, play, and one-on-one work with students.

What do you love about Young Minds?
Young Minds is a small and family-like school. I feel that these are the most important years to expose children to learning and new experiences.

Other:
When you spend your days surrounded by children, you discover a new light in life. You can experience all the many wonders with children over and over.

maritza-machado

Maritza Machado

Education:
Registered Early Childhood Educator, Graduated from Mothercraft Institute of Early Development in 2004

Experience:
20 years working as a Registered Early Childhood Educator

Languages Spoken:
English and Spanish

Outside Interests:
Nature, music, and literature

Why do you love working with children:
I am interested in human development. I find it fascinating how young children learn and develop skills as they grow. It’s a rewarding profession where I can witness the change in the children, as they grow from babies to toddlers to preschoolers, and how they show their new knowledge and skills. I like being a part of their lives, being a partner to their families, and participating in the community.

What do you love about Young Minds?
Young Minds has given me the opportunity to develop a toddler program with the characteristics of learning through play and developing the pedagogy of place. I believe that work is important.

Other:
I am pleased to meet the parents and children every day in my workplace, and I really look forward to working and sharing my experience with you.

Amina-Rifaie

Amina Rifaie

Education:
Literature, Child And Youth Worker Certificate, Montessori Teacher Assistant Certificate

Experience:
Worked at juniors schoolers, 2 years working with preschoolers at Lavilla Montessori school, worked with children with special needs

Languages Spoken:
Arabic and English

Outside Interests:
I love music, reading, and art

Why do you love working with children:
Since I was a little girl, I always enjoyed being around children, making time for them, sitting and listening, and playing and singing with them. As I got older, I knew I wanted to learn more about early childhood education. Working with children is very rewarding and every day gives me an opportunity to learn more and grow. Their smiles make my day!

What do you love about Young Minds?
I consider Young Minds my second family. I enjoy working and learning from other team members and teachers to provide the best for the children and families.

Other:
I am looking forward to continuing to learn and growing with Young Minds Montessori School.

teresa-ziarno

Teresa Ziarno

Education:
Early Childhood Diploma from Sheridan College

Experience:
13 years

Languages Spoken:
English, Polish

Outside Interests:
Shopping, movies, and spending time with my family

Why do you love working with children:
I love working with children because seeing them achieve developmental milestones, such as having conversations with peers, makes me happy.

What do you love about Young Minds?
I love seeing the children’s work around the school, and I love the atmosphere. It feels like home.

carolyn-mcguire

Carolyn McGuire

Education:
Early Childhood Education Program

Experience:
18 years at Young Minds Montessori Preschool, Member of the Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators

Languages Spoken:
English

What do you love about Young Minds?
Getting to know all of the children and their families who are, and have been part of Young Minds Montessori Preschool

toni-ayodele

Toni Ayodele

Education:
RECE, BA Child Development, Ontario Certified Teacher, Masters of Teaching

Experience:
Teacher, MOM, Wife, Entrepreneur

Languages Spoken:
English

Outside Interests:
I enjoy visiting new places, reading, cooking & baking and spending time with my family.

Why do you love working with children:
Seeing things through the mind of a child is why I love what I do. The simplicity of a child’s way of thinking and seeing life from their perspective makes me feel thankful daily.

What do you love about Young Minds?
I feel part of a family here at Young Minds. I work with a team of amazing and passionate educators and I am proud to call them family. One parent once describes us as a small school with a big heart and every word of it is true!

Other:
I believe that open communication is key to a successful school year, please feel free to reach out with any question or concerns regarding your child’s learning.

Ruksana-Matadar

Ruksana Matadar

Experience:
18+ years supply teaching

Languages Spoken:
English, Gujarati, Urdu

Outside Interests:
Reading, sewing, going for walks

Why do you love working with children:
I love working with children because it makes me happy! I truly enjoy being a part of their formative years, helping to equip them with the basic tools for success in the years to come.

What do you love about Young Minds?
The moment I step inside the school I feel that I am a part of something special. I am a part of a devoted and caring staff who are like family to me and genuinely love to teach and nurture children. This school feels like a second home to me and I hope it does for you, too.

Apply for January 2021

Limited toddler spots are available for January 2021.