The School House Early Care & Learning Centre - Wisdom begins with Wonder ~Socrates
Veronica Maclean, ECLC Manager, ECCE, HSSR, CYC UVIC undergrad 
"We are getting there!"    
With my eldest daughter, Jess
Hello, my name is Veronica Maclean, many people know me as Roni. I have worked in the early childhood field for over 30 years, in many capacities & roles.
I obtained my Early Childhood Education & Associate of Arts Diploma &Human Service Diploma certificate at Selkirk College in 1987-88, 2004-06 & 2009.  I am currently in my 4th year of my Child & Youth Care Degree- next my Masters! 
I am the very proud mother of 4 beautiful healthy, productive adult children; and a most wonderful granddaughter who brings delight into my world daily.  I enjoy most outdoor activities, and choose to live a very active and healthy lifestyle. 

Tracy Barkman, ECE & Infant/Toddler Diploma
Assistant ECLC Manager, employed June 2014

Hello, my name is Tracy. I have been working with children and families for about 15 years is a variety of roles, as a volunteer and Educational Assistant within the public school system. I obtained my Early Childhood Education Certificate at Selkirk College in 2012 and then my Infant Toddler post basic the following year. I hope to carry this education on to complete a Masters in Early Childhood Education.
I have three beautiful children from ages 15 to 21.
I am very passionate about the work and research being done in the Early Years field. Our children have amazing potential and they deserve to be able to express that potentiality to its fullest.
One of my personal interests is nature connection and the benefits to the health and well being of all us that comes from connecting deeply with the natural world. I strive to bring this to my work with children and families. There is no better place than the Kootenays to engage in this kind of lifestyle. On my days off you will find me wandering by the river, hiking up a nearby mountain or working in my garden. In winter I will get out for a ski or snowshoe whenever I can but  I am just as likely to be reading a good book by the fire. 

Bobcat Room 
3-5 year old Program

Carole-Ann Clavet, SW Diploma, BC ECE Certificate, Carole-Ann is bilingual.
~Employed January 2, 2015

      Hi there, I’m Carole-Ann the little “Frenchie” of the crew! (Now bilingual I shall say) I’m born and raised on the east coast of Quebec. I have been babysitting since the age of 11 but never thought I’d have made a career out of it. I just had a natural connection with the children and they quickly get comfortable in my presence, like my mom used to say: I am a natural magnet for children!
     In college, I studied in social work and got my diploma in 2012, but while studying I’ve got a job in a daycare and just LOVED it. The years past and I end up staying in the field. I worked in many day cares across Quebec and in Alberta to finally find Nelson and fall in love with the town, shortly after I was here at the school house with my full ECE certificate and loving the field even more. Even if most of my experience have been with Infant under 18 months, I have been working in 2 different groups of 3 years old and loved it. I still have lots to learn with the older children and this is why I like positive feedback, going to different workshops and to read about different subject regarding them and watching video conferences. I am now the new program leader on the Bobcat side and really happy with all my new challenges, I still spend time with your children which I really enjoy! I am always into learning more and to gain more abilities to be there for you and your family.
       Out of the daycare, you will see me outside often. I’ve develop a passion for rock climbing! I love hiking and camping, I am an energetic girl and just started to learn skiing. In the winter, I am a little bit like a bear, so you can find me at coffee shop or at home wrapped in a blanket sipping on hot chocolate, watching movie and snuggling with my cat. I also like collage and scrap booking on cold days… And now, you might see me at the hill, "shredding some pow," (like the Nelsonite like to say) who knows. 

Jamie Sokoloski, ECE Diploma, Primary Educator of The Ducklings
~Employed March 2016

Hello! I’m Jamie and I was born here in Nelson and grew up in the beautiful town of Nakusp.  I ventured out of the Kootenays for a few years, obtaining my ECE diploma in Kamloops and later living in Kelowna, but after some time in the “big” city I decided to go back to my Kootenay roots and move back to the area. I’ve been working with children from a young age, but discovered my passion after working in a childcare centre one summer, causing me to enroll in the Early Childhood Diploma program at Thompson Rivers University.  I love exploring nature with children and seeing it through their eyes.  I am always excited to see what we can learn together and what they will teach me. In my free time, I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible with my 2 dogs, Niyah and Roxie.  We are always exploring the area on hiking and camping trips or hanging out on our farm chasing the chickens.  In the winter I’ll be skiing at Whitewater or any of the other awesome mountains in our area!

Ashley Burns, ECE, primary educator of the Otters ~ Employed July 2, 2015

I have been with The School House Early Care and Learning Centre since 2015, as a Primary Educator and also a Program Leader before the birth of my third child in 2017 (I took a long leave of absence in December 2016 and returned in June 2018). 
I have been an Early Childhood Educator for over 10 years, obtaining my license to practice at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. This education has provided me with various opportunities from working directly with children and families in a child care setting, to volunteering my time as a member of the Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia (West Kootenay Boundary Branch). When I am not eating, breathing and sleeping all things early childhood education, one might find me chasing after my own 3 children as a single parent, singing (I am a classically trained vocalist) or drinking copious amounts of coffee.
I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta before embarking on a new adventure to Nelson, BC in 2015. Growing up, I experienced many adverse childhood experiences which eventually led me to become inspired to work with young children and families. Sharing my own story of overcoming adversity and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health through public speaking  has opened many exciting doors as I campaign for more quality and positive change in the field of early childhood education.
I believe that children are capable beings. When we nurture their will to develop their emotional and social selves we are advocating for their best futures. I believe that children should be provided with the opportunity to label their emotions, problem solve and build and maintain relationships well before the exposure to academics in their primary education years. I closely practice and facilitate through Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development after observing this theory prove true over my years of practice. I admire Loris Malaguzzi’s Reggio philosophy, as well as Maria Montessori’s view of the child, and Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. When we facilitate opportunities for growth and connection we are providing children with a healthy foundation for the rest of their lives.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your child’s early years and their childhood memories. I am humbled to be given this opportunity.

Rebecca Plotnikoff, ECE Assistant for the Otters ~ Employed September 2017

     Hi there! I am so happy to be a part of The School House ECLC and continue my education and career path into Early Childcare. With years of experience in the field, I fully enjoy working with young children and feel that through my job as an educator, I am always learning from the kids as well. With passion and perseverance, I am excited to embark on my future as an Early Childhood educator. Having obtained my ECE Assistant Certificate as well as my Childcare first aid, Food Safe, Super Host, Reiki level 1, Energy Balancing level 1 and 2 and introductions into Anatomy/Physiology and Pathology, I look forward to learning continually with kids and having lifelong knowledge that will propel me into motherhood one day.

Carolyn Smalley, ECE, Primary Educator for the Eagles ~Employed November 16, 2017

Welcome to my bio! Hi, my name is Carolyn. I grew up on a dairy farm Northeast of Toronto, Ontario in a small town called Uxbridge. My brother’s and I grew up with 5 cousin’s next door and were surrounded by animals! I spent the majority of my childhood with my siblings and cousins in the great outdoors! In my opinion, the best place to be is outside in the fresh air! Outside of work you can find me at the beach, on a hike, in the hot springs or curled up by a fire depending on the season.
I began my road trip to B.C in August 2017 with no final destination. I came upon Nelson at the end of August and instantly fell in love with the scenery. I decided to stay and found employment at Ainsworth Hot Springs for 4 months before starting full time here at The School House. Sometimes you might find me working behind the counter at the Hot Springs!
June 2017 I graduated with an ECE Diploma from Sir Sandford Fleming College. I began my career with children at the age of 12 when I started babysitting my cousins’ children. Watching the babies in my family grow, made me realize how fun it would be to do it for a living! I have worked in childcare since 2014 and I’m excited to continue developing my own skills while watching the children learn and develop their skills as well, and besides, being with children is always fun! Building strong and meaningful relationships with the children and their families is very important to me and I am looking forward to connecting with each child and having an impact on their development.

Andrea Diaz, Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) Queensland University, Support for Primaries ~ Employed September 3, 2018

Ali Walker, BCed, ECE Assistant
~Employed March 12, 2015,  currently on Maternity Leave

Lynx Room 
Birth- 3 year old Program

Hayley Ratcliffe, Lynx Program Leader, ECE & Infant/Toddler Diploma
~Employed December 7th, 2015

    Hello! My name is Hayley Ratcliffe. I grew up just north of Nelson in Kaslo. I am a 'Kootenay kid' through and through. Having been raised in a very rural area, I was ingrained with a respect and love of the outdoors which I have taken with me into adulthood. I believe it is because of my rural upbringing that I encourage learning outdoors with the children as much as possible. Don't be surprised if you see me covered in mud, paint, sopping wet or acting like a wild one with your child outside. I genuinely believe that 'pure play' without many toys, or interference is when your child will do their most legitimate learning. I received my Early Childhood Education, along with my Infant Toddler education in Three Hills, Alberta via Prairie College & Bow Valley College. After I completed my studies my career took me overseas to Manila & Cebu, Philippines where I worked with student teachers and student nurses to open and establish a preschool in a rural community called Kalubihan. I am still in close contact with the educators and families who enjoy the preschool today. I moved back to Nelson after the preschool was established. My husband and I enjoy a quiet life together in our home and like to travel as much as we can afford to.  I've worked as an educator in the Kootenays since 2011. My time at The School House began in 2015 and I have loved every minute of it since. I currently am the Team Leader of the Infant/Toddler classroom (Lynx). We have a rock solid team of educators who pour their heart and souls into their work. I am continually being inspired and challenged by my team and the children alike. Every day at work is different and wonderful and I couldn't imagine doing anything else for a living!

Reiko Asaba, ECE Diploma
~Employed September 2016

   My name is Rieko Asaba and I am an early childhood educator. I left my home, Japan and moved to Canada five years ago. I studied at Selkirk college for ECE and Human Services Diploma. Last September, I moved to beautiful Nelson and this place has become my second home. I am in awe everyday by learning about the Reggio Emilia philosophy and children. Their way of experiencing life, and their creativity and imagination give me lots of inspiration (their giggles and silliness are my favourite!) I am so happy to call this place home and be a part of the School House family.

Stephanie Wiggins, ECE & Infant/Toddler Diploma
~ Employed January 2013, June 2015, July 2016

     I am a born and raised Kootenay folk with a passion for children and families. In 2009 I attended Selkirk College in Castlegar for the Early Childhood Education program, and completed my Infant and Toddler training later in 2011. I have lived in Ontario as an adult and attended Sir Fleming College in 2014 taking the Sustainable Building and Design course. Natural building is another passion I have, and I hope to infuse my passions to create a truly beautiful and inspiring childcare center one day in the future. Last year, 2016, I started my most exciting and fulfilling adventure yet, becoming a Mama to by beautiful daughter. She joins me in the Lynx classroom every day. It is a joy and a blessing to watch her grow and learn in the classroom environment. I look forward to creating deep, lasting relationships with the children in my care and with my fellow caregivers.

Frances Smyth, ECE Assistant
-Employed January 2018

Wildcat Room
 Out of School Program
(am, pm and pro-d) 

Amy Milne, Program Leader & Support Worker
~Employed June 2017

Greetings I’m Amy, I am responsible for the Wildcats after school program.  Before I came here to the Schoolhouse, I was working mainly in two different fields.  Over ten years ago I completed my Registered Massage Therapy Certificate at Mount Royal University.  Since completing that I have worked in clinic’s and spa’s, helping people with their healing and relaxation processes.  As well I have my Registered Care Aide Diploma and have helped for many years with our elder community here in the Kootenays.
About two years ago I had a little boy and have been embarking on the journey of motherhood.  This has really inspired me to work with children of all ages.   I started working towards my Early Childhood Certification.  I have completed two courses so far and, also have my level three adult and child first aid.

Children deserve so much and to be able to be a part of their day to day life here at the Schoolhouse is extremely rewarding.  There is so much we learn from kids, as they learn from us.  I am thankful to be a part of that.

In loving memory of Tasha Bates, a lovely passionate educator and mother.

RIP  1987-2017

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