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The Buddings Staff

The teachers at Buddings are what give our centre the warm ability to care for this wide range of kids. These talented educators come from diverse backgrounds, upbringings, and homelands, but they share an unconditional positive regard for children and families, as well as nature, and each other. Read the bios below, or click the photos to find their contributions to our blog.

Your child will have a favourite. We don’t take it personally. ūüėČ

Sarah MacDonald, BA., B.Ed. – Daycare Manager

Big Kids Club: Wednesday’s Music Makers

Sarah MacDonald joined our centre in 2014, and has been managing since the end of 2015. She completed her Bachelor of Education at UBC in 2012, and has been leading our floor team through a period of constant recruitment and growth. She manages family accounts and billing, new member orientation, and her connection with the kids… well, that’s the best thing about her.

Her Big Kids Club classes have covered an array of early learning fundamentals, from literacy, to cooking and construction, and for DIY Spring, she’d going deep into what makes the world’s most magical music so… moving. And most outlandish! Join her on the yellow submarine!¬†Sarah’s class is on Wednesdays from 1 – 4pm.

Sarah is an intuitive teacher and a toddler-friend, and of course, the Daycare Manager. She’s here every day, and you can reach her directly at Sarah@buddings.ca, or her and Talia at info@buddings.ca.

Talia Erickson, BA., BJH – Daycare Administrator and Marketing Director

Big Kids Club: Friday –¬†invent!

Talia Erickson created the concept and has been on the management team at Buddings flexible occasional Daycare since 2011. She holds a Combined Honours degree in Psychology and Journalism from the Universities of King’s College and Dalhousie in Halifax, and took her Daycare Basics at the Westcoast Childcare Resource.

Her appreciation for clear communication, (“use your words”), polite manners, and environmental awareness can be found throughout this website, as well as in the centre. Families can count on her for transparency and a continuing desire to improve, and kids get consistent guidance towards global responsibility.

Centre administration includes privacy, bookkeeping, HR, and website maintenance¬†(admin@buddings, info@buddings, and¬†Talia@buddings.ca all come to her), and she’s also our Marketing/Program Director.

She’s an expert at keeping balls in the air, and the Big Kids Club Spring DIY season is right up her alley, with making, sourcing, and reimagining the ways we use… everything! The balls drop Friday from 1 – 4pm.

Sara King, BA. – Daycare Educator and Marketing Assistant

Sara King brings the energy to our busy toddler mornings! She joined our centre in May of 2015 after completing the Daycare Basics program through our training and experience internship. Sara has a thing for training. She’s an acrobat-in-training, and a fitness trainer as well.

Sara has a Bachelor’s degree (a double-major in Philosophy and Psychology) from UBC, an International Baccalaureate from the Sha Tin College in Hong Kong, and guess what! She speaks fluent Mandarin! And she’s a talented artist and evocative writer.

She has a soft spot for the quieter kids, and a warm smile for all toddler triumphs. See her Kids We Love posts for a glimpse into the special relationships she creates. We love her action-oriented attitude, and the beautiful posters she creates for our events. She’s the photo-sharing dropbox operator, and our centre’s marketing assistant. Find her at Buddings every morning from 9 to noon, or through her email – photos@buddings.ca.

Johanna Peters, BA., BEd. – Daycare Educator

Big Kids Club: Monday’s Story Builders (Arabian Nights, con’t)

Johanna Peters joined us in 2012 for our Training and Experience Internship, and quickly showed us how her connection-based teaching style could bring kids together. Her degree in Education from UBC was just the beginning of her training, and she’s since taken dozens of courses in early childhood development, is a children’s yoga practitioner and teacher, and last¬†summer received her Music Together teachers’ certification.

This season, Johanna dives deep into the story-telling traditions of Arabia, and the building blocks of a timeless tale. A¬†singing tree, and a bit of magic and¬†a magic carpet ride through the 1001 nights. This is the vast and fascinating world where children’s imaginations run wild, and Johanna is the just guide we need. Reach her at ¬†johanna@buddings.ca, and be sure to sign up for her preschooler paradise, Mondays from 1 – 4pm.

Ehlssie Tecson, BA. – Daycare Educator

Big Kids Club РTuesday: Ready, Seed, GROW!

Ehlssie Tecson hits her 6-month anniversary at Buddings this season and on the one hand, we think it’s amazing that it’s been that long, and doubly-amazing since Ehlssie seems to have been with us forever.

Ehlssie has tonnes of experience working with kids of all ages: she was a teen mentor with Big Brothers, a camp counselor, and even worked with the Surrey School District to teach drawing and art to students through the Young Rembrandts Program.¬†She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from UBC in Anthropology and she brings her background in culture to the forefront with her DIY Spring¬†class this season, exploring planting, agriculture, flowers and food.

The spring is the season of renewal and this planting class We’re thrilled to welcome a new Big Kids Club year with a lovely new teacher, on Tuesdays from 1 – 4pm, and online at¬†Ehlssie@buddings.ca

Sharmila Mardhani, B.Ed., BA. – Daycare Educator

Big Kids Club: Thursdays – Bugs & Babies

Sharmila Mardhani has a degree in Management Studies, and a Bachelor’s of Education, both from the University of Mumbai, as well as her Daycare Basics training from Westcoast. Plus, she’s doing the¬†Early Childhood Education program at Vancouver Community College. She was an elementary school teacher in India before¬†she came to Canada in 2015, and since October 2016, she’s been the endlessly inventive educator making the most of the toddler talents.

Sharmila brings a steady hand to our week, opening the centre most¬†mornings, heading up the Saturday schedules, and this season, she’s also presenting a Big Kids Club Spring classic: Thursdays’ Bugs & Babies.

Hungry caterpillars, fluffy yellow chicks, tadpoles, bunnies, and so many animal infants who come of age in the season of discovery. Join Sharmila Thursday afternoons, or reach her at Sharmila@buddings.ca.

Florence Tsai, BSc. – Saturday-care Teacher

Florence Tsai joins our centre this season with a degree in nutrition from McGill University, where she was also an educator’s assistant in the campus daycare. Her first months at Buddings are in-training, but she’s led Tim Horton’s camps for kids, worked with children of all ages, and best of all: she loves to cook!

Our Saturday-care kids are a crew unto themselves, and since Florence is currently working another job, plus taking online courses while she prepares for nursing school, her weekly shift at Buddings on the weekends is a special treat. Especially when she gets into the kitchen.

For DIY Spring, she’s baking bread, mixing muffins, and of course, hop, hop, hopping to make hot cross buns. She and Sharmila are keeping house on Saturdays, weekly from 10am – 4pm.

Kezia Antholyka, BA. – Daycare Teacher-in-Training

Kezia Antholyka is starting her teacher-in-training training with us this Spring, and we’re¬†so glad to have her aboard. With a degree in Psychology from UBC, and three different preschool programs under her belt through the University Neighbourhood Association, Kezia brings an array of ideas and experience, and¬†most importantly, she loves games, and enjoys teaching children through play.

She can sing, she can dance, play ukulele, guitar, and piano, and she speaks Indonesian, as well. That’s because she’s from Jakarta, and after arriving in Vancouver in 2013, to study at UBC, she joined the Gado-Gado Indonesian Society there, and not only helped members of her community to acclimatize to Canada, she also handled the groups’ marketing.

There are so many reasons we’re thrilled to have her join us, and¬†we’re looking forward to seeing her classes develop.

Isabel Socorro Bravo, B.PR., – Daycare Educator (on leave)

Isabel Socorro Bravo has a fascination with photography that has carried through her degree in Public Relations in Venezuela Рwhere she worked with the Institution of Scientific Research, and in the office of the Mayor of Los Salias Рto the founding of Vi-endo Audio-visual Workshops, to her first Big Kids Class: Eye, Light, Camera!

Her winter lens was pointed up at astronaut Dr. Scott Kelly up there, looking down, but for the spring, she’s focused on her own endeavours, facilitating photography workshops for seniors and youth in her neighbourhood. Her Instagram (Viendo-Workshops) is full of beautiful images, and she is full of amazing ideas.

With her level-headed problem-solving experience and artistic eye, she has a lot to share with the kids. We’re thrilled to have her in the house, and are so proud of her talents. Reach her at Isabel@buddings.ca.

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