Laurel has been with Riverbend Playschool since 2002. She enjoys children of all ages, but especially enjoys working with preschoolers. Laurel is a strong believer in using play as a teaching strategy, feeling this helps them explore their world in a safe, non-threatening manner. She believes that through collaborative play, children are able to develop important social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills in ways that are fun and exciting. She also enjoys creating theme-based centres, which enable the children to explore art, music, science, books and drama.
Laurel graduated from the University of Alberta Elementary Generalist program with a minor in English as a Second Language. Committed to ongoing professional development, Laurel is an active member of the Alberta Playschool Association and regularly attends many playschool in-services.
Prior to joining the playschool, Laurel worked for the Edmonton Public School Board. She also had experience from Southside Mother’s Day Out, and an after school care program that she ran from her home.
A native of south Edmonton, Laurel currently lives in Riverbend with her husband, Jim, and three boys, Graydon, Nolan and Liam (Nolan is a Riverbend Playschool alumni). When she is not working, she enjoys traveling, reading, in-line skating, skiing and spending time with her family. Her goals for the future include taking some computer courses and becoming as proficient on the computer as her children!
Becky was born in Edmonton and has lived throughout Canada. She and her husband lived in Ottawa for 15 years where she pursued a degree in Psychology. She worked in high-tech during the boom in Ottawa but realized very quickly after having their daughter that her passion was to work with children.
Once their daughter was in school full-time she used her connections in the field and worked with Community Options, a non-profit charitable organization who provides services to families and children. It was through this job that she ended up at Riverbend Playschool for a couple of years working with children on her caseload. When the opportunity arose to teach at the playschool, she was thrilled. Riverbend Playschool lines up with her belief system of learning through play.
Becky loves cross-country skiing in the winter, and camping, hiking and biking in the summer. She enjoys reading, travelling, good food (loves to share new recipes) and good wine. She currently lives in the Riverbend area with her husband Gerry, their daughter Emelie, and their dog Nico.
Lita began working at Riverbend Playschool in February 2012. She had been a substitute teacher with Edmonton Public (and before that Greater Victoria Public) Schools for a combined total of 14 years. It is a well-known fact that substitutes develop devious cackles, a penchant for 100-word essays and large hairy moles at the 15-year mark so it was time for a change! Her position at Riverbend Playschool is a wonderful way to have happy regular work while still having time to be at her children’s school often.
Lita has a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education, with a Minor in Intercultural Education. Lita believes early childhood is a critical time in the development of a person’s cognitive skills, self-esteem, and sense of wonder and curiosity. She believes that play is vital to early learning, and that it creates a platform to teach everything from manners to math. Her wish for all children is to have all they need (not all they want), safe boundaries, room to grow, and time to bloom into kind, well rounded people. She’s still working on it herself.
Lita grew up in the Riverbend area and has returned to raise her own children. She is grateful to live in such a vibrant and safe community. Lita lives with her husband, Mark, and their two sons, Jasper and Pearson. Together they enjoy camping among bugs and animals, travel to places with bugs and animals, and books and shows about bugs and animals (or at least that’s what she is told). Lita wouldn’t miss a minute of it for anything. Personally, Lita is passionate about building community engagement and social justice issues. Lita is highly skilled at singing off tune, physical awkwardness and making mistakes on the computer. Lita also loves stories, science, learning new stuff and hugs.
What Our Families Have to Say:
“I wanted to send a quick heartfelt thank you to the 3 of you. Thank you so much, beyond words, and with every fibre of my body, for being such amazing teachers to my child last year. You made her first year of inclusive education amazing. We miss you dearly. The 3 of you responded consistently with love, patience, kindness and equal opportunity to my little princess. I honestly can’t put in to words how thankful I am for that.” -Gaylene