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.
Natalie - Early Childhood Educator MONCTON
Natalie was raised in Richmond and moved away to attend the University of Manitoba. Years ago she and her husband moved back here to Richmond where they are raising their 4 children—17, 15, 12, & 9. She recently completed her ECE, infant and toddler, and Special Needs certification. She also studied Canadian History through Indigenous perspective and believes adding indigenous content to the classroom is imperative to the reconciliation with the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis. She believes all children have unique talents and strengths that should be fostered to promote the child’s learning, independence, and self-esteem. Children need to be in an environment that is rich with hands-on play, exploration, and opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to maximize a child’s potential to absorb knowledge. She is inspired by children’s inherent ability to explore new concepts and enjoys bridging these experiences with knowledge. When she isn’t at the hockey rink with her four kids, she loves gardening, geocaching, road trips, and relaxing at the cabin.
Sophie - Preschool Teacher and French Instructor CHATHAM and MONCTON
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.
Yumi - Early Childhood Educator and Japanese Instructor MONCTON and CHATHAM
Yumi was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. She moved to Canada three years ago with her husband and two kids. She has a seven year old son and a four year old daughter whom she loves very much. She has more than 20 years of experience working in early childhood education. She feels very passionate about teaching gardening, as well as planting and harvesting vegetables. It's exciting to see children understanding the whole food cycle and what delicious meals we can make from vegetables that we harvest together.
Her main hobby is spending time with her children, going outside with them and enjoying the little things in life.
She is happy to join WOOTH and share her culture, language, experience and skills. She will do her best to help your child learn, grow and develop.
Elise - Early Childhood Educator Assistant CHATHAM and 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 CHATHAM and 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.
Anastasia - Admin 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.