Our Team of Teachers
Jana - Director
Jana grew up in the Czech Republic surrounded by nature. Hiking in a forest or planting potatoes in the garden was an ordinary day for her and with time she developed a passion for organic and holistic living.
Jana has a Bachelor's degree, she studied Russian and English languages. She went to Omsk, Russia for an internship, where she taught English at high school. She used to spend her summers babysitting children in Europe and the USA. Jana immigrated to Canada in 2011, thanks to her husband George, with whom she has two boys ages 7 and 5. Her family has been living in Steveston ever since and is a big part of the community. She is very well known in Steveston as a local mom.
18 years ago she attended her first yoga class and since then yoga became part of her life. Jana is a certified yoga teacher and trained in prenatal, postnatal, and kids yoga.
Growing up in Europe and being a mother of two, she sees education as a very important part of her life, so she would like to provide children with the best opportunities to learn. She believes that a strong connection to nature, supporting children's natural curiosity and love for learning, studying different languages, cultures, practicing yoga, kindness, and mindfulness towards other beings are the pillars in early childhood education. It gives children the base for their continuous life of learning.
Nicole - Founder
Nicole has been working with children her whole life and opened With Our Own Two Hands as a place where children could grow, play, and learn in a holistic and peaceful environment. Nicole's passion is to instill in children a love for the world and all the creatures that share it.
Nicole believes that when children get to play outdoors and explore their environment, they develop a natural wonder and passion for learning that exceeds what is learned from simply completing a worksheet. Nicole completed a bachelor in Psychology majoring in Child Development and went on to work for the Vancouver School Board. Her experience at numerous schools led her to see that many children lack a connection with the material they are learning, but show great interest and learning when they are taught through hands-on activities and lessons. A project growing tomatoes in the classroom soon led to learning about plant cycles, insects, photosynthesis, and much more that couldn't have been expressed through a textbook. Through her experience working with children, Nicole realized that adding elements of music, movement, stretching, art, gardening, dance, and yoga to the day, helped to increase concentration, self-esteem, cooperation, friendship, and learning.
She opened With Our Own Two Hands to be a place where children could take part in these fun activities and grow and learn through them. Nicole is also a certified Yoga Teacher who has been teaching children, families, expecting and new moms, and adults in the Richmond community for over 10 years.
Lisa - Early Childhood Educator and Manager CHATHAM
Lisa began her career in Early Childhood Education 30 years ago and has worked with infants, toddlers, in an integrated preschool and parent participation. Lisa has completed her ECE, Infant and Toddler, and Special Needs certificate. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and is always eager to learn new things. She loves to create an environment where children can grow and thrive while exploring the world around them. She has a tween daughter and a teenage son, who both are active in various sports activities. She enjoys Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, knitting and neighborhood walks with the family dog Deogi.
Kelly - Early Childhood Educator MONCTON
Kelly has worked with children and families for the past three years. He completed a Community Support Services program in 2016 with a focus on child counseling and special needs education. He realized working with children was one of the greatest things in life so decided to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education; in 2018 he received full certification to work with children.
Kelly moved to BC (in 2011) from Alberta and is no stranger to cold weather - he is hopeful for a chance to play in the snow this year! His favourite part of living in Steveston is the walk along the west dyke trail overlooking the ocean coastline.
Kelly has played musical instruments since the age of three, starting with piano; he also plays guitar, cello, trumpet, and bass clarinet! Music is on the agenda for the future with the potential for opportunities to learn about and experience playing different instruments. Kelly hopes to encourage creative thinking in the classroom and facilitate collaborative efforts to build and support healthy relationships.
Sophie - Preschool Teacher and French Instructor CHATHAM
Anne-Sophie was born and raised in Quebec. She speaks fluently in both English and French. She worked as a nanny for numerous families in the past. Her passion for the travel industry along with her curiosity in culture has steered her to be successful in her flight attendant career. She truly believes that exploring what the world has to offer is the best way to learn and grow. Anne-Sophie loves being around children and being surrounded by so much positivity and creativity. She likes to provide an environment where the children can feel loved and supported in whatever they want to achieve. Nothing makes Anne-Sophie happier than seeing the pride in the children's eyes when they learn new things. In her spare time, she loves working out, chasing sunsets, drawing, and spending quality time with her friends.
Marie - Preschool Teacher and Japanese Instructor MONCTON and CHATHAM
Marie is actively involved in the Japanese community in Richmond. She enjoys leading the children's programs and circle time at the Japanese play circle 'Takarajima' in Steveston, as well as participating in several Japanese cultural events in the community. It is through songs and fun activities that Marie teaches the Japanese language and leads students. It is also her passion that students get to know Japanese culture, especially since Steveston has a strong connection with Japanese history and community.
Elise - Early Childhood Educator Assistant and French Instructor MONCTON
Elise is a lifelong Steveston resident and loves this fabulous waterfront community. She is thrilled to be an Early Childhood Education Assistant at With Our Own Two Hands Preschool. After graduating from secondary school she worked in retail while pursuing her dream to earn her ECEA certificate. In addition, some of the certificates she has received include Autism Awareness, Indigenous Awareness, Early Learning Framework, and LGBTQIA+ support. Elise finds joy working with young children and witnessing the magic of the world through their eyes. Her passions include drawing, a diverse range of music, yoga, spending time with her friends, sushi, and picnics at Garry Point.
Sara - Preschool Teacher MONCTON
Sara was born and raised in Steveston. She is currently working on getting her ECE Certificate at The University of British Columbia as well as in the process of getting her undergraduate degree in communications at Thompson Rivers University. She deeply enjoys working with children and is thrilled to volunteer at With Our Own Two Hands. Her objective is to make sure children are happy and healthy, as well as given the tools to learn and grow.
Amina - Early Childhood Educator Assistant MONCTON
Amina is currently studying to become an Early Childhood Educator and holds an ECEA certification. She has been working with children since 2016, mostly with school age. She has always had a love and passion for working with pre school age children and toddlers, which is why she has chosen this career path. Amina believes that children learn best through play and exploration, and strongly believes that incorporating children's interests and thoughts into activities and curriculums is a wonderful way to encourage and foster enriching learning opportunities. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going for walks, spending time with friends and family, cooking and exploring our beautiful province.
Anastasia - Admin and Spanish Instructor CHATHAM and MONCTON
Anastasia (Nastia) is new to Steveston. She grew up in Russia, Omsk, which is in Siberia, but for the past 7 years she has been living in Colombia. She has recently moved to Canada, and she is very excited to see beautiful British Columbia. Since she was a child, she spent summers taking care of the garden with her grandparents, discovering the forest, picking up berries and mushrooms with her parents. She studied tourism, and she is in love with traveling, seeing new places, and learning about history and different cultures. She has been working in education since 2011, when she went for an exchange program to Hungary. There she was teaching English and helping out in a kindergarten. At that moment, she understood that working with children is something she would love to do in the future. Anastasia has also worked with children from toddler to high school age during her time in Colombia, where she learned Spanish. She believes that children have tremendous abilities to learn, and their childhood is the window to imagination, exploration, and socialization. She wants to help children learn and grow; that's why she wants to study to become an ECE to continue her career. Anastasia enjoys traveling, camping, going for walks, cooking, drawing, reading, and cross-stitching.