Meet Us

HISTORY

Ever since she was nine years old, Yasmine Ghandour knew she would become a teacher of young children. She would tell anyone who would listen what her school would look like and what it would entail. Years later, in 2003, when she was looking for the perfect preschool for her newly born daughter, she opened the doors to the first Orchard House. There, she hoped for a school that would mirror the values she holds dear: one with a calm learning environment, a steady separation process, and a progressive, well-developed curriculum that would engage each child to reach his or her full potential.  At Orchard House, she created just that! Over the years, Orchard House has grown into Quebec’s leading establishment for early childhood education.

Faculty

Leadership Team

Yasmine Ghandour - Founder & General Director

Miss Yasmine holds her Montessori Qualifications from the Montessori Center International, a M.A. in Early & Elementary Education from Columbia University and a M.Ed in Educational Psychology from McGill University (focusing on Inclusive Education). She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Concordia University, exploring early intervention measures for executive dysfunctions. She has taught in preschool settings in Asia, the Middle East and North America and has most recently spent a few years as an Elementary School Director in Montreal. Miss Yasmine has also led seminars at McGill University, hosted workshops in early childhood education at the annual Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference and currently serves on the board of a speech and language centre. Her varied experiences have led her to understand the true value of an individualized approach to education.

Imad Khalil - Director of Operations and Development

Imad holds a B.Comm in International Business (Concordia University), and a Kellogg-Schulich MBA from both the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University) and the Schulich School of Business (York University). With over twenty years of corporate experience culminating in leadership roles in marketing and merchandising, Imad has channeled his skills in his new-found passion for education. As a father of three, he is actively aware of the important role of building and continuously maintaining the ideal learning environment for young children.

Tina Hillenbrand – Director of Orchard House, NDG

Miss Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Science, a certificate in Family Life Education as well as Montessori and Daycare Management Certification. She is pursuing a certificate in Business Administration at the John Molson School of Business. Miss Tina has taught and directed in preschool settings in the Montreal area for over 20 years.

Christine Mayers – Operations Manager

Miss Christine has a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and has worked in various administrative positions but enjoys preschool environments the most. In her spare time, she likes cooking, skiing, hiking, reading and spending time with her family and two daughters.

Vicky Leprohon - Administrative Assistant, NDG

Miss Vicky has been with Orchard House since 2010.   With an extensive background in administration both in university and school settings, Miss Vicky has joined the administrative team at Orchard House after teaching in the classroom for five years. She is very involved in education and has held board positions in a CPE and at the English Montreal School Board.  Miss Vicky enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family and two children.

Victoria Lucas – Assistant Director, Pointe Claire

Miss Victoria has her Bachelor of Education from McGill University with a minor in her favourite subject… Natural Sciences! She has been working in the daycare and school setting for 12 years now gaining a variety of experiences along the way. She loves promoting a healthy and active lifestyle and, when not busy looking after her young daughter, teaches fitness classes in her spare time. Her classroom is a fun, engaging and creative place where children can grow and flourish!

Allison Willett - Administrator, Pointe Claire

Miss Allison has a diploma in Montessori Early Childhood Education from the North American Montessori Centre and has her ECE qualifications from Champlain College. She has worked for over twenty years with children in both the elementary and daycare setting. Her passion remains at the preschool level where her classroom fosters an environment in which the children participate in hands-on learning activities while creating an atmosphere of warmth and open communication. When she is not at work, you can find Miss Allison keeping active with her own two children!

Members of Our Faculty

The teachers at Orchard House are specifically chosen for their warm and nurturing nature, and for their understanding of individual needs. All teachers hold a certificate in Emergency First Aid procedures. With class sizes ranging from 6 to 10 children, teachers create child-centered environments, concentrate on the needs of the whole child and are well-positioned to address social or cognitive issues as they arise.

NDG

Nurse Maricel

Nurse Maricel holds a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Saint Ferdinand University in the Philippines and has worked as a Registered Nurse for over a decade. Her professional experience includes three years in Saudi Arabia as an Operating Room Nurse. Nurse Maricel has completed the integration program for internationally-educated nurses at John Abbott College. She is also the proud mother of young twins. In her limited spare time, Nurse Maricel enjoys cooking, gardening, singing and going to church.

Miss Arleen

Miss Arleen is currently completing her studies in Early Childhood Education. Though she has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, her true passion has always been in early childhood settings. She has worked with young children for over 8 years, and is happiest when she can provide them with all the attention, love and care that they need.

Miss Nita

Having graduated with a B.Sc. in Commerce and Accounting, Miss Nita worked for several years as a book-keeper before turning to her true calling. With a deep love for young children, Miss Nita moved on to pursue her studies in Early Childhood Education at BCM College to put an official stamp on the work that comes most naturally to her. When not busy with her children at school and at home, Miss Nita loves to cook and to watch movies with her family.

Miss Kim

Miss Kim obtained her qualifications in Early Childhood Education from Vanier College. She has over 5 years experience working with children in various preschool settings. Miss Kim has a toolbox full of ideas that help her meet the diverse needs of the children in her group. Her classroom is always filled with fun activities that allow them to use their imagination and creativity. When she is not working, Miss Kim enjoys reading, going to the gym, and spending time with her loved ones. She is also a proud mother to her 10 year old son.

Miss Susan

Miss Susan has 12 years of hands-on experience working with young children in both daycare and home environments. She is a loving, caring educator who loves watching her little charges grow and flourish as she guides them through stimulating, interactive activities. When Susan isn’t working with the Tiny Tots, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking healthy meals and exercising.

Miss Maureen

Miss Maureen has a B.A. in Economics at Concordia University but her real passion is dance as she studied ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop at the renowned Les Amis de la danse dance company. She has transferred this passion over the years by teaching all these types of dances to children of various age groups. Miss Maureen also has several years’ experience working with young preschoolers and kindergarten children in daycare and elementary school settings as well as with her own three children.

Mme Martine

Mme Martine est une éducatrice certifiée qui travaille auprès des jeunes enfants depuis plusieurs années dans des milieux diversifiés (instructrice de natation, animatrice en camp d’été et éducatrice en garderie et service de garde). En plus d’élever ses deux enfants, elle aime la lecture, la photographie et les voyages.

Miss Veronique

Miss Veronique has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Child Studies from Concordia University. She has a compassion and respect for early childhood education. Miss Vero values diversity and encourages her students to celebrate what makes them unique! Together, the individual traits of each child contribute to the classroom community – one that is warm and welcoming. When she is not teaching, Miss Vero enjoys oil painting, playing softball and scuba diving.

Mme Valerie

Mme Valérie détient une technique en éducation à la petite enfance et des certificats en intervention auprès des jeunes enfants et en psychoéducation. Elle croit que les enfants sont les premiers agents de leur développement et que nous pouvons agir de guide alors qu’ils explorent leur monde. Mme Valérie a œuvré dans divers camps de jour, une école primaire, un centre préscolaire bilingue à Yellowknife avant de se joindre à notre famille à Orchard House! Elle est heureuse de faire ce métier et son sourire et sa spontanéité sont toujours au rendez-vous. Dans ses temps libres, elle aime pratiquer le CrossFit pour rester en santé et part souvent à l’aventure, surtout celles qui impliquent la cueillette des petits fruits!

Miss Meaza

Miss Meaza has a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in History from Concordia University as well as an Attestation in Early Childhood Education from Vanier College. She has worked in different types of childcare settings with age groups ranging from infant to preschool. Miss Meaza believes that every child is unique and special and that children develop at their own pace and in their own manner. Her goal is to provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment where the children can thrive.  She is a mother of two and loves music, dancing, biking, reading, arts and crafts and hiking.

Mme Claire

Mme Claire cumule plus de dix-huit ans d’expérience à travailler auprès de jeunes enfants au Canada, huit ans à enseigner le français langue seconde au Qatar et six ans en tant qu’éducatrice en centres de loisirs en France. Elle croit que les enfants apprennent mieux dans un environnement qui encourage l’indépendance et la confiance. Les apprentissages dans sa classe sont toujours amusants et intéressants! Dans ses temps libres, elle aime découvrir le monde, visiter son fils à Abu Dhabi, aller à la rencontre de différentes cultures et s’adonner à la randonnée, la musique et la danse.

Mme Christine

Originaire de Corse, Mme Christine a complété un baccalauréat ès arts en affaires avant d’immigrer au Canada. Depuis, elle a reçu son attestation à titre d’enseignante et a fait ses études en soutien pédagogique à l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Lorsque l’enseignement et les études lui en laissent le temps, elle se passionne pour le tennis, la nage, le vélo, la cuisine et la peinture.

Mme Danielle

Formée en psychologie et possédant un diplôme de l’A.M.I. (Association Montessori Internationale), Mme Danielle possède une longue expérience de travail auprès des enfants dans un environnement Montessori. Elle favorise l’apprentissage par le mouvement, l’exploration et l’expérimentation. Il existe toujours un bourdonnement d’activités dans sa classe! La méditation et le tai-chi occupent une place importante dans sa vie ainsi que la natation et le vélo.

Mme Véronique

Mme Véronique détient un baccalauréat en gestion de l’École de gestion de Grenoble, en France, et un certificat du North American Montessori Center. Passionnée de la philosophie Montessori, elle cherche à créer une atmosphère calme et respectueuse dans sa classe pour que chaque enfant se sente en sécurité et ait le goût d’apprendre. Dans ses temps libres, elle aime cuisiner, skier et voyager dans sa France natale!

Mme Farida

Mme Farida détient un baccalauréat en gestion, un certificat en petite enfance et famille à l’Université de Montréal ainsi qu’un diplôme d’enseignement Montessori de l’Institut Canadian de formation des Maitres Montessori. Elle travaille en préscolaire depuis 2003. Mme Farida croit que l’enfant a besoin d’aide pour cultiver son propre désir d’apprendre. Elle aime les voyages,  les sorties en famille et les balades en vélo avec ses deux garçons.

Miss Christina

Mme Christina détient un baccalauréat en éducation primaire et préscolaire de l’Université McGill. Elle a travaillé avec des enfants de différents âges et niveaux incluant le primaire, le préscolaire et les services de garde. Elle est passionnée par l’éducation et la création d’espaces d’apprentissage positifs. Ceci l’a mené à entreprendre une maîtrise en éducation inclusive. Mme Christina adore la musique et joue de la guitare, du piano et de la basse!