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 has served 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 H (Equipe direction)

Tina Hillenbrand – Director of Orchard House, NDG

Miss Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Science and a certificate in Family Life Education from Concordia University. She also has completed Montessori and Daycare Management Certification. Miss Tina has taught and directed in preschool settings in the Montreal area for over 20 years. She is passionate about nutrition and cooking, cycling and being a mom of two daughters.

Christine M (Equipe direction)

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.

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Annette Boulet - Administrative Assistant, NDG

Miss Annette holds a B.A. with Major in Child Studies from Concordia University and has been working with children in both the elementary and daycare settings for over ten years.  She strives to create a climate of connection and community within the school, as well as foster a lifelong love of learning in children.  Miss Annette enjoys reading, dancing, spending time in nature and visiting her family in Manitoba.

Victoria-Lucas

Victoria Lucas – 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 two young daughters, teaches fitness classes in her spare time.

Allison

Allison Willett - Assistant Director, 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 has completed 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 many 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 6 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 two wonderful sons.

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 Martine

Mme Martine is a certified educator who has been working with preschool aged children for many years in diverse settings (swimming instructor, camp animator, daycare and preschool educator).  She also has two boys of her own and in her spare time enjoys reading, photography and travelling.

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.

Miss Meaza_Baby

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 has more than 18 years experience working with young children in Canada, as well as teaching French as a second language in Qatar and as an educator in France.  She believes children learn best in environments which encourage autonomy and self confidence.  Learning in her class is always fun and interesting!  In her spare time, Mme Claire enjoys spending time with her son, learning about other cultures, hiking, listening to music and dancing.

Mme Christine

Originally from Corsica, France, Mme Christine completed a bachelor’s in business before coming to Canada.  She has since then obtained her attestation as an educator and studied in pedagogical support at the University of Quebec in Montreal.  In her spare time, she enjoys tennis, swimming, biking, cooking and painting.

Mme Danielle

Mme Danielle was trained in psychology and then obtained a diploma from the International Montessori Association.  She has expansive experience working in Montessori environments. Mme Danielle favors learning by movement, exploration and experimentation.  There is always a buzz of activities in her classroom.  In her spare time, she enjoys meditation, tai-chi, swimming and biking.

Mme Véronique

Mme Véronique has a bachelor’s degree in management from the Grenoble School of Management in France and a certificate from the North American Montessori Center.  She is passionate about the Montessori philosophy and seeks to create a calm and respectful environment where each child feels secure and wants to learn.  In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, skiing and travelling to France to visit her family.

Miss Christina

Miss Christina has a bachelor’s in preschool and primary education from McGill University.  She has worked with children of various ages in elementary, preschool and daycare settings.  She is passionate about teaching and creating a positive learning environment.  Miss Christina is pursuing a masters degree in inclusive education.  In her spare time, she enjoys music and playing guitar and piano.

Miss Bhreagh

Miss Bhreagh has a diploma in Child and Youth care work with a major in addictions.  She worked in this field with adolescent children for 2 years in St-John’s, Newfoundland.  Upon moving to Montreal, she entered the Early Child Education field and fell in love.  She has been working with young children for many years and is on her way to obtaining her ECE certification at Vanier College.  She has a true passion for children and enjoys experiencing the day through their eyes.  When not at work, Miss Bhreagh enjoys going to the gym, snowboarding, hiking, cooking and traveling to visit her family.

Miss Kathy

Miss Kathy has a Physical Education degree from McGill University and has worked with children for over six years in the elementary/high school level but found her passion in Early Childhood Education. She believes being active is an important part of children’s growth and development and encourages a healthy, active lifestyle. When Miss Kathy isn’t with her group she loves to play soccer, cook and enjoy quality time with her big Italian family.

Miss Valarie

Miss Valarie first had the opportunity to work with young children back in the early 90’s while filling a position for an educator on study leave. Over the years she has worked in other fields but felt like she was missing out on something.  In 2015 she took a big leap and decided to do something she really loved; she went back to school to study early childhood education and successfully completed the program (Attestation of Collegial Studies) and awarded a diploma with honors. In her spare time she enjoys frugal crafting, interior decorating and home DYI projects.

Miss Perlene

Miss Perlene has an AEC in Early Childhood Education and has over five years of preschool teaching experience.  She truly believes that each child is different and through her class activities, respects and encourages individual interests.  Miss Perlene always has a smile and her enthusiasm is contagious.  She also loves researching original classroom activities and crafts.  In her spare time Miss Perlene enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and travelling.

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annie

Miss Annie

Miss Annie holds a B. A. in Education from the University of Quebec in Montreal and has worked with children with special needs in Montreal, Nice and Sydney before first joining the Orchard House family in 2015. Miss Annie’s creativity comes to life in her classroom, where she incorporates art to lead her children to reach many of their goals. In her spare time, Miss Annie enjoys travelling, dancing, painting and spending time with her family and friends.

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tallulah

Miss Tallulah

Miss Tallulah is currently completing her studies at McGill and will be obtaining her B. A. in Psychology with minors in Behavioral Neuroscience and in Sociology. It was when she was working as a ski instructor in Stowe, VT that she discovered her love of teaching. Miss Tallulah will be pursuing her studies further in Early Childhood Education and looks forward to many years of fostering children’s creativity and curiosity. In her free time, Miss Tallulah enjoys powerlifting, skiing, reading, baking and hiking with her dog, Charlie.

Linda (Notre Dame de Grace)
Linda

Miss Linda

Miss Linda has an AEC in Early Child Education from Herzing College.  Her passion is to guide young minds into finding their own path. She aims to provide a safe environment for children in which they feel ready to bond, explore and develop. When Miss Linda is not teaching, she is happiest spending time with her loved ones, traveling and smiling at life.

Silvia (Notre Dame de Grace)
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Miss Silvia

Miss Silvia has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for more than 10 years. Her experience as a Montessori teacher, coordinator, and director, has grown her understanding of the development of young minds, acknowledging the importance of bonding and differentiating inside the classroom to support each child’s needs. During her educational journey, she has completed a B. Ed. In Early Childhood Education, a B. A. In Industrial Design, an M. Ed. in Management and Leadership of Innovative Educational Institutions, and is currently studying an M. Ed. in Second Language Learning at McGill University.

Mariah (Notre Dame de Grace)
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Miss Mariah

Miss Mariah holds a Bachelor of Education from McGill University and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Child Studies at Concordia University. She has experience working in different environments with children of various ages, as well as with children with autism, behavioural challenges and developmental delays. In her spare time, Miss Mariah enjoys reading, camping, kayaking, and spending time with family and friends.

Manuela
Manuela pic

Miss Manuela

Miss Manuela studied midwifery at the Dr. Carlos S Lansing College in the Philippines and then practiced midwifery in Saudi Arabia for 8 years.  Since moving to Canada, she has worked as a caregiver and obtained a diploma in Early Childhood Education.  Miss Manuela loves keeping children active, helping them be more independent and watching them grow.  Their smiles are her favorite reward! In her spare time, Miss Manuela enjoys biking, swimming, hiking, basketball and competitive volleyball.

Alicia (Notre Dame de Grace)
Alicia

Miss Alicia

Miss Alicia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child Studies from Concordia University. Working with young children has been a passion of Miss Alicia’s ever since she was very young herself. She believes that every child has a unique spark to them and, in these crucial early years of development, she believes in observing each child and letting their individual personalities come out and shine.  When Miss Alicia is not working with children, she likes to relax, watch movies or go on nature walks and sit by the water.

Tabatha (Notre Dame de Grace)
Tabatha

Miss Tabatha

Miss Tabatha holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English Literature from the University of British Columbia.  She began her teaching career in Asia, teaching English as a Second Language to students of all ages, but with a concentration with the under 5’s.  Fifteen teaching years later, including a Supervisor role in a preschool setting, Miss Tabatha comes to Orchard house with a very good understanding of child development, and a deep compassion for the education of the whole child.  Mind, spirit, curiosity, and empathy are the guiding hallmarks of her class.

Jeanine

Miss Jeanine

Miss Jeanine has a bachelor in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University.  She has taught in many schools and daycares over the last twenty years.  She has a passion for helping young children tap into the fun of learning and self discovery so they can carry that into their later years.  Miss Jeanine also strives to keep her own spirit happy by pursuing her interests in dance and the arts and spending time with her two boys.

Shelea

Miss Shelea

Miss Shelea is a graduate in Early Childhood Education at Vanier College.  She is always curious to meet new children and eager to create a classroom environment adapted to their individual needs.  In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies with her family, hiking and going out with her friends.

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sarah

Miss Sarah

Miss Sarah holds a diploma in Early Childhood Education, a B.S.W. in Social Work and a Certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis. In addition to working in a Head Start preschool, Miss Sarah has spent a number of years working with children with autism spectrum disorders in early intervention programs. Miss Sarah enjoys sharing books, music and movement, and other creative activities with young children to foster their development and inspire a life-long love of learning. In her spare time, Miss Sarah enjoys travelling, reading, and spending time with friends and family.