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.

POINTE CLAIRE

Mme Diane

Mme Diane a plus de 15 ans d’expérience en milieu scolaire, et elle est reconnue pour sa grande patience et sa douceur. Dans ses loisirs, elle aime la lecture, le yoga et prend un grand plaisir à se ressourcer dans la nature. Elle privilégie passer du temps avec sa famille dont ses trois filles qui sont sa fierté. Son approche avec les enfants fait en sorte qu’ils se sentent tout de suite en confiance auprès d’elle.

Miss Debbie

Miss Debbie arrived at Orchard House in 2010 with over 15 years of preschool teaching experience and 30 years of mommy experience to her 3 wonderful children. She loves to read, spend time with her family and 3 golden retrievers, snowshoe, and go up to the country. Miss Debbie’s classroom is a warm, supportive, and nurturing environment where children can learn, develop, and grow with fun and enriching Montessori-based activities, and plenty of hugs!

Miss Shannon

Miss Shannon graduated from CDI college with an attestation in Early Childhood Education. She has always had a passion for helping young children express their creative abilities. Her classroom is a warm, nurturing environment that helps the children have fun while learning basic essential life skills. When not working, you can find Miss Shannon enjoying her cottage, running with her dog, or sketching!

Miss Samantha

Miss Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies from Concordia University. She has spent over 8 years working with children in different types of environments, including working as an integration aide in both elementary and high school settings. Miss Samantha’s classroom is a calm, warm, and nurturing environment where children are encouraged to explore their interests, all while having fun! Outside of the classroom, Miss Samantha enjoys reading, baking, synchronized swimming but most of all spending time with her little son!

Miss Lisa

Miss Lisa holds a Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies from Mount Saint Vincent University (‘91) with a focus on special needs. After working for many years, she has remained active in the educational system by volunteering at her boys’ school. Reading and laughing with children are her favourite activities!

Miss Darlene

Miss Darlene has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University with a Specialization in Psychology and a Minor in Education. She has many years of experience teaching preschoolers and has a son and daughter who keep her proud. To complement her classroom Montessori work time, she incorporates her love of arts and crafts and the magic of books into the children’s daily activities. Her class environment allows each child to feel independent, secure and loved at Orchard House.

Miss Jenn

Miss Jenn has her degree in Early Childhood Education and has been working with young children since 1994. Her warm and secure classroom environment is full of creative and fun learning activities. She enjoys art, music, theatre and dance; and spending time with her two daughters.

Miss Melanie

Miss Melanie has her degree in Early Childhood Education from Vanier College. She is a confident educator who has tended to the diverse needs of young children since 2000 – working at a number of pre-schools and summer camps in the Montreal area, including Montessori and YMCA programs. Her warm and friendly manner with the children and her creative teaching abilities are a delight. Always equipped with new ways to motivate children to learn and grow, she’s able to captivate their attention and guide them through different learning experiences. She is bilingual, loves arts and crafts, body and movement activities and has great enthusiasm for science. Miss Melanie has an overall love for teaching!

Miss Kimberly

Miss Kimberly has a degree in Early Childhood Education and a Diploma in Montessori Early Childhood Education. She has many years of teaching experience with children in daycares, community centers, elementary schools and at home with her own two daughters. Miss Kimberly’s classroom is a warm and nurturing space where children learn and grow. When not in the classroom, Miss Kimberly is often outside, running, swimming and taking her dog for walks in the woods. She also enjoys traveling and most of all spending time with her family.

Mme Kathy

Mme Kathy détient un baccalauréat ès arts en sociologie de l’Université Concordia et elle a étudié la gestion des ressources humaines à l’Université McGill. Elle travaille auprès de jeunes enfants depuis plus de 20 ans en tant qu’instructrice de gymnastique, spécialiste de français, coordinatrice de programmes d’enfants et mère de trois charmants garçons. Ses activités préférées sont la course, la lecture, la planification d’évènements, la santé et le bien-être.

Mme Lara

Mme Lara détient un certificat en éducation à la petite enfance du Collège CDI et travaille avec les jeunes enfants depuis plus de huit ans. Selon elle, les enfants méritent tous d’être aimés, respectés et se sentir en sécurité dans leur environnement. Elle s’assure de répondre aux besoins individuels des enfants et de les guider dans leur développement global. Il est important pour Mme Lara de maintenir une atmosphère calme, amusante et créative dans sa classe, tout en suivant la méthode Montessori. Dans ses temps libres, elle aime passer du temps de qualité avec son mari et ses deux enfants. Elle aime également les arts, la cuisine et les voyages.

Miss Wendy

Miss Wendy holds a Bachelor degree in Elementary Education from McGill University along with an attestation in E.C.E from Vanier College. She has worked for many years in the daycare milieu along with volunteering in her own children’s school. When away from work, Miss Wendy enjoys baking, reading, listening to music and spending quality time with her family.