Our Amazing Team
Our diverse team consists of 20 amazing individuals, with various backgrounds, experience and education in the Early Learning and Care field. We have a number of staff who have been employed with West Oakville Preschool Centre for many years, and some that have even reached their 10, 20, and almost 30 year anniversary milestones! Each program has staff members who have been thoughtfully selected to work together to provide a well-rounded Infant, Toddler, Preschool or Kindergarten program, with character traits, skills and experience that compliment those of their team mates. We have 10 Registered Early Childhood Educators on our team, and at least one working in each room. We are committed to providing our staff team with a positive work experience and investing in their professional growth and development.
All of our staff members:
Have a current valid Vulnerable Sector Check (as per Ministry of Education requirements)
Receive annual re-certification in Standard First Aid and Infant/Child CPR – Level C
Have up to date immunizations
Review policies and procedures annually, and more frequently as needed
Are monitored, mentored and evaluated annually for their job performance
Actively participate in monthly staff meetings, professional development, and special events throughout the year
CATHY MCGOWAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (RECE)
I’m the new Executive Director. I joined WOPC August 2019. I’m very excited about joining the team. We have a knowledgeable and dedicated staff and a great group of parent and community leaders volunteering to lead this not for profit organization.
I have been working with children ever since I can remember. I have my diploma in Recreational Leadership (1981) and Early Childhood Education (1992) from Centennial College in Scarborough, ON and have my Safe Food Handlers Certification. I have supervised multiple not for profit childcare centres over the years and I was involved in all aspects of starting two new childcare centres from the ground up. I am fluently bilingual in English and French; I take every opportunity to incorporate French into the daily programs.
I left the field and returned 3 years ago fully refreshed. Since the childcare field has gone through many changes, I became a Registered E.C.E. and updated myself. I attended many workshops, staff training sessions and did lots of reading. I have taught toddlers, preschoolers and school age children while following the emergent curriculum approach.
I look forward to working with the staff, parents and children while building on our centre’s achievements. Please be reassured that your children’s safety and happiness are my primary focus.
OUR TEAM OF EDUCATORS
CHONA GONZALES – I am Chona Gozales, a child care worker at West Oakville Preschool Centre. I chose this field because it’s a rewarding and fulfilling career. The joy and smiles of the children, hearing their voices and seeing their faces light up with fervor each time they learn something new, brings joy and happiness to me. As I am a parent as well, it also brings fulfillment and gladness to support other new parents by relaying to them what their children have learned, and expressing my concern and support in their child’s developmental milestones.
JESSICA HUNTLEY, RECE – Hi, my name is Jessica Huntley and I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator working at West Oakville Preschool Centre. I completed my ECE diploma at Sheridan College and I have also completed an advanced diploma in Visual and Creative Arts. I love to combine art into the everyday, creating new and interesting art experiences for children of all ages.
TAHIRA SHAUKAT, RECE – My name is Tahira Shaukat and I have been working in the Early Learning and Care Field for over 8 years, with 2 of those years as a Registered Early Childhood Educator. I find that this is one of the most interesting and rewarding fields, and I enjoy every minute of it because there is never a dull moment. The children are constantly learning new things and find a way to impress you every day. What I find the most amazing about West Oakville Preschool Centre is that some staff have devoted their life to the centre for 10-30 years, which shows dedication, passion and integrity.
NANCY BAYLON – Hi! My name is Nancy and I have been working at West Oakville Preschool since 2015. I work to support the programs by implementing program activities and help children in their daily routines. I have my Safe Food Handling certification and am often involved in cooking and food preparation for the centre. I have experience as an aircraft groomer and graduated as a personal support worker, which has helped me to become a more flexible, dependable and passionate individual.
AMANDA FENG, RECE – Hi, my name is Ms. Amanda. I’m a registered early child educator (R.E.C.E) working at West Oakville Preschool since February 2018. I have been working with children as an R.E.C.E in Toronto since 2014. My passion in early childhood is to provide exceptional quality early childhood education to children, parents and families in an energetic team environment. I have recently upgraded my qualifications to include graduating with a certificate in Resource Consulting.
I graduated with my master’s degree in Education in China. After that I worked in an educational institute in Beijing, China for more than 10 years as a Professional Education Specialist before I moved to Toronto in 2012. Therefore, by combining my Master’s Degree and my Resource Consulting certificate, I am poised to work well with children with special needs. Also, I have been teaching Mandarin in Toronto Mandarin School for about seven years as my part-time basis.
ALEKSANDRA SERAFIN – My name is Alexandra S. I am an Early Childhood Assistant. I obtained my degree in Poland where I started working with children. I have been working at West Oakville Preschool Centre for 15 years and I have experience with all age groups. It is my passion to care for and assist children with their needs.
KIM ROSS – Hi! My name is Kim. I’m a proud mother of 2 grown boys. I love the outdoors, love to travel, love gardening and love bonfires! My family is very important to me. I’ve been here for 30 years, and WOPC is like a 2nd family to me. I’ve had a lot of great mentors and learned a lot over the years. WOPC is like a close-knit family…we all look out for one another. I think of the children I work with as my own children.
ANDREA REIDMAN, RECE – Hi, my name is Andrea Reidman. I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator working in the Preschool Program. I have been working in the centre since December 2014. I was born in Argentina and moved to Canada in 2001 with my husband and two daughters (13 and 11 years old). I have more than 20 years of experience working with children, especially with the little ones. I like working at West Oakville Preschool because we foster a positive, caring and respectful relationship with children and their families.
PROGRAM SUPPORT/CASUAL STAFF
JESSICA SERON, RECE
SKYLER VANDERWATER, CYW
JING BO YAN, RECE
ERIN WALDIE, RECE
ESRA HASKAN, RECE
JOSEPHINE ILAGAN, ECA