The Buddings Staff
The brilliant teachers at Buddings bring our centre the warm ability to care for this wide range of kids. These talented educators come from diverse backgrounds, upbringings, and homelands, but they share an unconditional positive regard for children and families, as well as nature, and each other. Read the bios below, or click the photos to find their contributions to our blog.
Your child will have a favourite. We don’t take it personally. 😉
Sarah MacDonald, BA., B.Ed. – Daycare Manager
Big Kids Club: Wednesday’s Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
Sarah MacDonald joined our centre in 2014, and has been managing since the end of 2015. She comes from a family of educators, and taught preschool in her hometown in Kelowna after completing her Bachelor of Education at UBC in 2012.
At Buddings, she’s the teacher the teachers look up to, guiding our morning provocations, and leading our floor team through a period of constant recruitment and growth. She manages family accounts and billing, new member orientation, and her connection with the kids… well, that’s the best thing about her.
This spring, her Wednesday afternoons take the many modes of transportation for a spin. From Seabuses to SkyTrain, Vancouver has some of the coolest ways to get around, and Sarah maps out a thorough exploration.
Talia Erickson, BA., BJH – Daycare Administrator and Childcare Disruptor
Talia Erickson created the concept and has been on the management team at Buddings flexible occasional Daycare since 2011. She holds a Combined Honours degree in Psychology and Journalism from the Universities of King’s College and Dalhousie in Halifax, and took her Daycare Basics at the Westcoast Childcare Resource.
Her appreciation for clear communication, (“use your words”), polite manners, and environmental awareness can be found throughout this website, as well as in the centre. Families count on her for transparency and a continuing desire to improve, and kids get consistent guidance towards global responsibility.
As the Director of Daycare Development, her schedule is often out and about, with a new baby daycare up at Knight and Kingsway (Storybook Buddings is slated to open in March! … or April.), a childcare consulting company coming to being, and this May, she’s taking the Buddings scheduling software to market.
Ehlssie Tecson, BA. – Daycare Educator and Assistant Manager
Big Kids Club – Monday: Forces of Nature
Ehlssie Tecson is the daycare dream teacher who catches on quickly and intuits the problems that loom large for kids and toddlers, and families, and her co-workers too! Her background in anthropology seems to have given her superpowers when it comes to understanding different perspectives. She holds a Bachelor Degree from UBC, and did her Daycare Basics training right here at Buddings.
This season, Ehlssie steps out into the wild, with a scientific exploration of the powers of nature. Volcanos, earth quakes, tornados, and lightning are fascinating for children and Ehlssie has the Big Book of Forces to answer all their questions. Mondays this spring, from 1 – 4pm.
She’s in the house Monday to Friday, supervises the floor when Sarah’s away, and you always reach her at Ehlssie@buddings.ca.
Kezia Antholyka, BA. – Daycare Educator and Assistant Manager
Big Kids Club – Fridays: Gardens Grow
Kezia Antholyka joined our team in May 2017, and after under a year, we don’t know what we’d do without her! Her degree in Psychology from UBC, and experience in three different preschool programs certainly give her a talent for talking to toddlers, and her ambition, and abilities with admin make her an awesome assistant manager.
She can sing, she can dance, play ukulele, guitar, and piano, and she speaks Indonesian, as well. That’s because she’s from Jakarta. At UBC, she coordinated the marketing for the Indonesian friendship society and now she assists our own mini-marketing team. She handles our photos for families, helps storyboard our videos, and keeps us organized at meetings.
Fridays this season, she and the kids will be digging into the waking soil, sowing seeds, and reaping appreciation for what it takes to make food grow. It’s a farm to table exploration, Fridays from 1 – 4pm. You can also find her online at Kezia@buddings.ca.
Ayumi Kato, ECE – Daycare Educator
Big Kids Club – Tuesday: Japanese Treats
Having Ayumi Kato on our team is like wishing on a lucky star. She joined us last fall, just two weeks after arriving (back) in Vancouver, from the Tokyo area of Japan, and like a dream come true, she’s a perfect fit! She completed an associate degree in Early Childcare in 2007, and has been teaching in preschools and daycares ever since.
Here at Buddings, Ayumi handles centre safety, toddler tears, and any minor daycare disasters with a smiling face, and experienced know-how. She never frazzles, and she’s full of fun. Our rotating roster of flexible buddies have wide interests, and hugely different experiences, but across the board everyone LOVES Ayumi.
This Spring, she’s taking the Tuesday snackers for a special adventure that includes stories, snacks, and all the sense, as she introduces them (and us!) to the treats of Japan. It runs from 1 – 4pm, and you can find her online at Ayumi@buddings.ca.
Tomomi Ito, ECE – Daycare Educator
Big Kids Club Thursday: Kids Theatre
The only thing better than one Japanese all-star staff-member stepping up, is two! This spring, Tomomi Ito also moves into her own Big Kids Club day, and brings all her experience and education (including ECE in Canada and Japan, as well as a degree in Foreign Languages, and a certificate for teaching English) to bear.
Tomomi loves to sing, and knows all the songs. She loves photography, and sees the beautiful moments between the kids, and with the teachers. She’s our Art of the Week expert, our weekend wonder woman, and starting this season, the director, producer, and actors’ assistant in our brand new drama class: Kids Theatre.
Bringing the stories to life, without losing the plot, you can find Tomomi in the centre Tuesday – Saturday, or online at Tomomi@buddings.ca.
Florence Tsai, BSc. – Daycare Educator
Centre Snack Master… for a limited time only… 🙁
This season, fan fave, and daycare darling Florence Tsai will be taking her radiant energy, degree in nutrition, and desire to care out beyond our tiny walls. She’s been accepted into Nursing at Langara, which starts in May, so while she’s in the house for the season, she’s stepping back from the Big Kids Club to prepare for this lifelong goal.
Florence is an excellent educator, full of enthusiasm, open to ideas, and always ready with a song. She’ll stay on as our Snack Master for the season, guides our social media, and in the interim, she’s also helping to coordinate a childcare conference.
You can imagine how sad we are to be losing her! That May-day looms large, but we still have some time. The fabulous Florence is at Buddings part-time this season, but you find her online at Florence@buddings.ca.
Anna Hasonova, BA. – Daycare Teacher-in-Training
“Vitajte” to Buddings, Anna! That’s Slovakian for “welcome,” and while she’s only just arrived, we’re extremely glad she’s here. Anna has a degree from the Faculty of Pedagogy at the University Comenius in Bratislava, with a focus in art therapy. Plus she studied fashion and design, and also has some serious art schooling under her belt as well.
Did we mention her 13 years of childcare experience?
Anna is in training this season, and getting acquainted with the kids, parents, and protocols, but we’re so glad she’s come. The daycare is a busy place, and her helpful hands are just what we need to round out our mornings.
She’s finding her feet, and if you’d like to wish her welcome, she speaks German, Slovak, Czech, and English. Take your pick, and send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org. 😉
Aïda Riart Soldevila, MA., Daycare Teacher-in-Training
When you’re lucky, you’re lucky, so hot on the heels of our hiring of Anna, Aïda Soldevila’s arrival, also with a degree in Pedagogy (a Masters, no less!), is the cherry to top off our Spring team.
Aïda hails from Spain, Catalonia to be precise, where she studied Psychopedagogy at the University of Barcelona, taught competitive swimming to adults, children, and blind children, and discovered a passion for helping those facing challenges.
She led research into reading comprehension among children with learning disabilities, taught sexual education to immigrant high school students, and worked with a summer camp for kids with motor and visual challenges. All that to say, she is open, accepting of abilities, and able to work with literally anyone.
Aïda joins us mid-March, training at Broadway, while some of the senior staff head up to start our new Storybook. Until then, you can reach her at (you guessed it) email@example.com.
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