Our staff

First aid and CPR

A staff member trained in First Aid and CPR is always present.


Our school is run by a director and overseen by a Parent Board that assists in decision making and fundraising.

Four teachers collaboratively teach the two classrooms. We are proud of our team’s collective experience and qualifications. We learn from one another and continue to improve our service to parents and their children. 

The director and teachers are supported by the dynamic multitasker Emily Fortier, our office assistant and teacher assistantDenise Barker will be her stand-in when she goes on maternity leave in May. 

We are grateful for our long term substitute teachers – previous members of staff like Kitt Landdell and Evann Orleck-Jetter who cannot stay away for long. When in Vermont, they substitute for us. 

Our teachers

Retha van Wyk

Teachers (18)

Retha has worked in early childhood education in three different countries: South Africa, New Zealand and the US. She says: It’s a privilege for me to work at Maple Leaf, among dedicated and talented staff committed to quality care and teaching.

20+ years

  • B.Ed. Early Childhood Education and Foundation Phase Studies;
  • B.Ed. Honours (post graduate study)
    Early Childhood Development.

I want to:

facilitate learning through the careful selection, planning and implementation of activities that are child-centered, developmentally appropriate, and designed with educational goals in mind.

encourage reflective teaching, and curriculum design based on the ongoing assessment of the learners in our classrooms.

build on the existing trust relationship between parents and the Center, and ensure transparency thorough two-way communication.

In short, I want us to live our vision: To strengthen children and create a nurturing community through interactive learning and family support.

Cass Harmonay

Lead Toddler Teacher
Teachers (19)

Cassi is a reflective practitioner with keen insights. Her friendly and exuberant personality creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the classroom. Retha, who co-teaches with her in the toddler room says: “Her gentle nature makes her an ideal toddler teacher.

6 years

  • M.S.Ed. Special  & Childhood Education
  • B.S. Special & Childhood Education

I want:

  1. to create a trusting and caring environment for all children, so they feel comfortable in expressing themselves.
  2. students to be able to be confident in their choices and explore the world around them.
  3. to encourage students to take risks and try new things.
  4. to develop a relationship with all families so that we can have an open line of communication.
  5. to create new learning experiences for every child.
  6. to create hands-on, play-based activities that get children excited to enter the classroom every day.
  7. their wonders and curiosities to inspire the way I plan instruction.

Audrey Perry

Licensed Teacher: Pre-K
Teachers (20)

As the previous Program Director, Audrey has a long standing relationship with Maple Leaf. Her knowledge, experience and institutional memory are invaluable to the Center and her colleagues alike. 

18 years

  • BS Elementary and Early Childhood Education

  • Licensed Pre-K and Elementary Teacher,

  • Reliable ECERS assessor

  • MS in Exercise Science, Health Promotion, and Wellness Coaching.

Personal teaching: To create a learning environment where all children feel safe and respected, and their love for learning is fostered individually.

Classroom: The Pre-K classroom will be a welcoming environment, providing a calm and individualized approach to learning. Children will be excited to come to school each day, eager to ask questions, and grow alongside their peers.

The Center: Maple Leaf Children’s Center will develop new, achievable policies and expectations for staff growth, making it an enjoyable and supportive work environment.

Kate Lalonde

Lead Pre-K Teacher
Teachers (17)

Kate is the heart and soul of Maple Leaf and has built the school and pre-K curriculum to what it is today. On days that she is absent, it’s like an essential piece of the puzzle is missing. We learn from her every day: her teaching skills are unmatched.

5 years

Level 3 teacher-senior in college; finishing up my degree in ECE/Special Education from birth to age 8.

  • I plan to continue to gain knowledge about early development and apply it to my teaching, ensuring that each child will be taught in a way that suits their learning style and skill level.
  • I want the classroom to be a fun, peaceful, safe environment that supports learning through child driven play and social opportunity.
  • I would love to see the Center becoming a second home to the children; where they are confident to explore each part of the school and form strong relationships with every teacher and child at Maple Leaf.