The Buddings Staff
The brilliant teachers at Buddings bring 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. 😉
Sarah MacDonald, BA., B.Ed. – Daycare Manager
Big Kids Club: Wednesday’s Enchanted Forest
Sarah MacDonald joined our centre in 2014, and has been managing since the end of 2015. She comes from a family of educators, and taught preschool in her hometown in Kelowna after completing her Bachelor of Education at UBC in 2012.
At Buddings, she’s the teacher the teachers look up to, guiding our morning provocations, and 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.
This season, her Big Kids Club class heads out to the woods, for a continuation of her wildly popular summer program Forest School. It’s a walk in the park, exploring the forests, and making the most of the season of change. Enchanted Forest runs every Wednesday from September to November, with fieldtrips every other week.
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 email@example.com.
Talia Erickson, BA., BJH – Daycare Administrator
Big Kids Club: Friday – G-Force: Physics for Preschoolers
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 Director of Business Development, guiding Buddings growth.
This season, her Friday classes are a flying leap out of her comfort zone, tackling physics, science, engineering and math, examining the natural forces that make our world rock… and roll. And fall. What goes up, must come down. Mind your head, Fridays from 1 – 4pm.
Ehlssie Tecson, BA. – Daycare Educator and Assistant Manager
Big Kids Club – Thursday: World Fairy Tales
Ehlssie Tecson is the daycare dream teacher who catches on quickly and intuits the problems that loom large for kids and toddlers, and families, and her co-workers too! Her gentle patience, and background in anthropology seem to have given her superpowers when it comes to understanding different perspectives. She holds a Bachelor Degree from UBC, and did her Daycare Basics training right here at Buddings.
This season, Ehlssie continues her explorations of world culture with a class about the folk lore and fairy tales that lurk behind every autumn corner. The nip in the air, and the dark nights have us huddled in close, as Ehlssie shares stories of seasons past, and what’s to come… Every Thursday, from 1 – 4pm.
It’s been over a year since she brought her calm connectedness to our centre, and we’re so excited to have her as our new assistant manager, holding down the fort on Wednesdays, when Sarah’s Big Kids are out foraging. She’s in the house Monday to Friday, and you can also reach her at Ehlssie@buddings.ca.
Florence Tsai, BSc. – Daycare Educator
Big Kids Club – Tuesday: Autumn Harvest
Fall is the time for thanks-giving, and at Buddings, we’re thankful for Florence Tsai! She joined our centre last spring, with a degree in nutrition from McGill University – where she was an educator’s assistant in the campus daycare – and spent the last two seasons baking up a storm.
Now that the harvest season has arrived, she’s going back to basics, with a Big Kids Club program exploring food, farming, and our relationships with the world.
Old MacDonald had a turnip, carrots, potatoes, and of course, PUMPKIN, and if anyone knows what to do next, it’s Florence. This girl does it all!
She breezed through the Daycare Basics training earlier this year and was immediately nominated for centre snack master. She’s guiding our social media, brightening our weekends, and keeping things cool with her quick smile and efficient problem solving.
When tempers flare, it’s usually because we’re hungry, and her Autumn Harvest class has all the answers. Tuesday from 1 – 4pm, and you can find her online at Florence@buddings.ca.
Kezia Antholyka, BA. – Daycare Educator
Saturday-care Class: Astronomy
Kezia Antholyka finished her training at the end of the Spring, and after a summer of traveling, she rejoins us as the Saturday-care program lead. With a degree in Psychology from UBC, and experience in three different preschool programs under her belt through the University Neighbourhood Association, Kezia has big enthusiasm, and bright ideas to share with the kids.
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, helping members of her community to acclimatize to Canada, and handling the groups’ marketing.
Saturdays this season, she and the kids will be pointing their lenses upward, to learn about our world, the stars, and all the spaces in between! It’s our first Autumn astronomy class, Saturdays, weekly from 10am – 4pm, with Kezia, online at Kezia@buddings.ca.
Ayumi Kato – Daycare Educator (in-training)
Ayumi Kato is a lucky star, joining our team this fall, just two weeks after arriving (back) in Vancouver, from the Tokyo area of Japan, and she’s a perfect fit! She completed an associate degree in Early Childcare in 2007, and has been teaching in preschools and daycares ever since – except for the two years that she lived in Canada, and fell in love with the beautiful city of Vancouver.
Returning to Canada, as her new permanent residence, she has tons of experience in childcare, but working with Canadian kids, especially in our flexible centre, is new and different. Yet somehow, when she’s on the floor, her warm and joyful attitude fill the space, and makes everyone feel right at home.
Ayumi is in training this season, working her way through the Daycare Basics course, and getting up to speed on our website and systems, and working her magic with the kids. Give her a smile next time you’re in, and find her online at Ayumi@buddings.ca.
Tomomi Ito – Daycare Educator (in-training)
The introductions continue this fall and we’re so pleased to welcome Tomomi Ito to the team! She’s also new this season, also from Japan, and also an educator par excellence.
Tomomi has qualifications in Early Childhood Education from Canada, where she holds a 1-year license, and Japan, where she did her first degree. She also has an Assistant’s license, an English teaching certificate, and a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages, but it’s all just paper until you see how great she is with the kids.
That’s where she really shines! Tomomi loves to sing, and knows all the songs. She loves photography, and sees the beautiful moments between the kids, and with the teachers. She’s helpful and friendly, efficient and organized.
This season, we’re excited to have her in training, and we know you’re going to love her. Find her in the centre daily or online at Tomomi@buddings.ca.
Heather Soon – Daycare Educator (returning)
Big Kids Club – Mondays: Yoga with Heather
Return of Heather Soon! Back from her international adventures, our roving educator, and South American ambassador is back in Vancouver for another season, and back at Buddings for the fall!
Where in the world does Heather find the inspirations that flow through her programming and projects? Through her training in ECE! From nature! From yoga! Through mindfulness and positivity, Heather turns our attentions inward, to connect with our bodies, and bring them to stillness. Plus, she loves to get loud, to sing, dance, and make art! She’s a daycare teacher afterall!
This fall, Heather joins the Big Kids Club, for Monday meditations, playful positions, story-telling and dramatic play. Her Yoga with Heather class is a mix of all forms of expression, and the best part will be seeing it come together. Want to see how it plays out?
Join her class, Mondays from 1 – 4pm all through the fall. You can also find her online at (you guessed it) Heather@buddings.ca.
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