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Image by Taylor R

Educators

Who We Are

Saplings educators have shifted their practice toward an ongoing, constantly evolving model of knowledge creation through intentionally attending to the conversations, interests, and needs of students. By paying attention to these emergent moments and the multiple ways in which students can explore their learning, educators welcome multiple perspectives, complexity, and diversity by creating a program that is flexible, responsive, and relevant to our local community. By engaging with the complexities of their practice in a spirit of experimentation, children and adults think and learn together, ultimately guiding one another toward thinking deeply, responding respectfully, and building communities.

 

Saplings believes that clear communication between educators, parents, and students is an integral part of an educational experience.  Educators celebrate, document, and display student work to make learning visible so families may share in the learning journey, and students may gain the skills of self and peer evaluation.Through collaborating to create an evolving student gallery as the year progresses, students can begin to understand the connections between projects, revisit their ideas, and learn to remain open to renovating their thoughts and responses as they go.

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HEATHER FRASER

BA, BCYC, RECE, MEd

Program Director & Forest School Educator

A mother of two, I am passionate about working with children and have a love for the outdoors. I have taught in a number of early childhood settings including toddler, preschool, and school-aged programs. I have a passion for nature and I am excited to share that passion with others around me. I spend my time gardening with my two children and exploring the beautiful trails and beaches around our home. I feel that it is so important to get outside whatever the weather and connect with the world around us.
 

My academic background includes a BA in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, as well as an Early Childhood Certificate. I continue to take many professional development courses in Early Childhood Education to keep up with current information in the field.

My passion for outdoor play and the importance of connecting our children with nature inspired me to build Saplings Outdoor Program. Through our nature based school, I hope to further share my appreciation for nature and a compassion for all living things.

Pronouns: she/her.

CECILY HERAS

BA, BEd, MEd

Head of School, BC Certified Teacher & Forest Educator

In my work as an educator and a mother of three, I draw upon strong personal relationships with both the people and the places around me. Having completed undergraduate studies at UBC and a graduate degree at SFU, I have developed a particular interest in critical and visual literacy, ecological sustainability and education, imaginative educational practices, formative assessment techniques, and in-depth learning and thinking skills. I strive to support students in becoming aware of their own knowledge, thoughts, and motivations in order to share their ideas and creativity with confidence.

I passionately believe that education should help students gain a sense about the goings on in our world, how it is, and how it came to be this way. I also believe that establishing a connection to nature is one way to help humanity to realize a sustainable future for all. I hope to cultivate a love of learning, based in freedom and intellectual security to give students a feeling of accomplishment and a sense of the interconnectedness of everything.

Now rooted in the beautiful North Shore, in my spare time, I can be found in the garden.

Pronouns: she/her.
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Cailey Armstrong

BBA in Business Administration and MPH

Educational Assistant & Forest Educator

It took me many years of searching, several career switches, and a move to Spain before I finally landed in the field of education. In Spain, I worked as an Auxiliar de Conversación (Education Assistant) at a bilingual pre-school/elementary school and from the very first day in the classroom I was hooked! I held this position for 3 school years, working with students of diverse educational needs and English as additional language learners.

 

Since that fated first day in the classroom, I have also worked as a private tutor to pre-school/elementary students for 4 school years, as a teacher at a learning centre in Reading, Math and Writing for nearly a year and as a drop-in instructor of a bike education course at local elementary schools (as part of my last position).

 

Prior to my life as an educator, I earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration (Accounting), with a minor in Music Performance, and a Master of Public Health degree, with a concentration on climate change policy. I also spent many years working in business administration, accounting and at several environmental and public health organizations in Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

 

I'm thrilled for the opportunity to work at Saplings, as it combines several of my passions: teaching and nature / our environment. I look forward to continuing to grow as an educator, and I am grateful for the privilege of being part of our students' young lives.

Pronouns: she/her.

TREVOR FUNK

Educational Assistant & Forest Educator

Wild Pond
Forest

SAM KIRK

Educational Assistant & Forest Educator

Lulu Katoh

Educational Assistant & Forest Educator

I was born in Japan. When I was a child I used to go to the countryside with my family and friends every weekend. We plowed a field, grew many different types of vegetables and explored the forest together. So I have loved to get in touch with nature since then. I graduated with a bachelor of Child Studies in Japan and worked in a kindergarten. I have a strong passion for working with children. Also part of what I love about my job is that I get to help each child to discover their own strengths and talents and nurture those traits through my educational approach. 

I believe spending time in nature promotes children's creativity and develops a sense of wonder. I am so excited to be a part of the Saplings team! 

Pronouns: she/her.
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Written works by our Educators:

All of the below links are clickable.

By Heather Fraser and Nancy van Groll

Our Board Members.

Image by Filip Zrnzević
owner of saplings nature school

Heather Fraser

President

Image by Steven Kamenar

Belva Stone

Vice-President

Image by Olena Sergienko

TK Hannah

Secretary

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