Meet Our Team

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

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Yasmine

Yasmine Ghandour, Ph.D. - 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 completed her Ph.D. at Concordia University, exploring the implementation of the Montessori method within a Quebec framework. 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
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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.

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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.

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Christine

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

Annette Boulet - Assistant director, 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.

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Victoria

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

Miss Marnie
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Marnie Dideles - Administrator, Pointe-Claire

Miss Marnie holds a BA in Human Relations, an AEC in Early Childhood Education and is a certified Child Behaviour Specialist. She has been working in various early childhood settings for the past 20 years in both Montreal and Toronto. Miss Marnievalues building community through connection, compassion and kindness. She is deeply passionate about the early childhood field and considers herself a lifelong learner. In her spare time, Miss Marnie enjoys spending time with family and friends, nurturing her indoor plant babies, and loves her coffee and bubble tea.

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

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Miss Autumn

Miss Autumn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies from Concordia University. Her classroom is full of exploration, learning and fun! Outside of the classroom, you can find Miss Autumn enjoying nature, weekends at the cottage and paddle boarding on the lake.

Mme Diane

Mme Diane has more than fifteen years experience in school settings and is renowned for her patience and gentleness.  Mme Diane’s approach with children ensures their immediate trust in her.  She enjoys reading, yoga and resourcing in nature as well as spending time with her three daughters which are her pride and joy.

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 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.

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.

Miss Rachel

Miss Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Child Studies from Concordia University.  She has over 4 years experience working with young children, including working as an integration aide for children with special needs.  Her classroom is filled with love and warmth.  Children are encouraged to be independent and explore their interests.  When not working, Miss Rachel enjoys going to laser tag, volunteering as a Sunday school teacher in her local church and loves mini road trips outside Montreal.

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Mme Taz

Mme Taz

Mme Taz has an Early Childhood Diploma from Lasalle College and is currently completing her Montessori studies.  She has also worked with special needs children. On weekends, she tutors elementary and high school students.  Mme Taz’s classroom is a pleasant opportunity to explore, create and strive.  Arts, interior design and photography occupy a large part of her life.

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Miss Karen

Miss Karen

Miss Karen was born and raised in England, before moving to Canada in the late 1980s. She graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Education and has been following her passion and working with preschoolers for over 10 years. Miss Karen’s classroom is a calm and supportive environment which lends itself to productivity and creativity. She has two adult children whom she enjoys having family suppers with. She stays active by playing ball hockey, as well as volleyball and badminton recreationally. Miss Karen loves going on road trips with friends and enjoying life!

Mme Camille Pointe-Claire
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Mme Camille

Mme Camille holds a Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Child Studies from Concordia University. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Child Studies, researching the role of play in kindergarten classrooms. With experience in both daycare and elementary school settings, Mme Camille emphasizes the importance of fun and positive experiences to create a stimulating classroom environment. In her free time, Mme Camille enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family.

Miss Emma Pointe-Claire

Miss Emma

Miss Emma holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies with a concentration in Special Needs from Concordia University. She has many years of experience working with children with special needs. Miss Emma is passionate about helping children reach their full potential. She believes that every child is capable of accomplishing great things when they are given the opportunity to shine. In her spare time, you can find Miss Emma having fun in the pool or curled up with a book!

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Miss Quina

Miss Quina holds a B.A. in Child Studies from Concordia University. She creates a warm and nurturing classroom environment where children feel safe to explore and learn. Miss Quina is also a certified yoga teacher. Outside the classroom, you can find her in nature, baking, reading and spending time with her family.

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Iman child photo

Mme Iman

Mme Iman holds a Bachelor in Linguistics and Psychology from University of Montreal, as well as a Certificate in Early Childhood Education. She is also a Certified Child Behaviour Consultant and Family Coach. As long as she can remember, Mme Iman always felt inspired in the company of children; their spontaneity and their endless curiosity to learn fills her with happiness.  In her spare time, you can find Mme Iman walking in nature, playing soccer or reading books!