OWNER & FOREST EDUCATOR
A mother of two, I am passionate about working with children and have a love for the outdoors. I have taught in a number of early childhood settings including toddler, preschool, and school-aged programs. I have a passion for nature and I am excited to share that passion with others around me. I spend my time gardening with my two children and exploring the beautiful trails and beaches around our home. I feel that it is so important to get outside whatever the weather and connect with the world around us.
HEATHER FRASER | She/her
My academic background includes a BA in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, as well as an Early Childhood Certificate. I continue to take many professional development course in Early Childhood Education to keep up with current information in the field.
My passion for outdoor play and my understanding of the importance of connecting our children with nature inspired me to build Saplings Outdoor Program. I hope through this program to share our appreciation for nature and a compassion for all living things.
MANAGER & FOREST EDUCATOR
TK or "Teacher TK” is a outdoor educator with years of experience in forest school programs and fulltime private forest schools.They grew up on acres of land in a rural area of Northern Ontario where their love for nature began.TK graduated with a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Niagara College where they developed a deep passion for the early years. Since graduating, they worked in resource and curriculum development and have presented at numerous workshops about gender creativity, forest school, risk and adventure play.
TK HANNAH | THEY/THEM
TK is passionate about education reform and firmly believes in child-led, inquiry based learning and that learning and play should come hand-in-hand, no matter what age! As a co-learner TK is eager to continue learning about West Coast ecology with the children.
At Saplings Outdoor Program, TK strives to create a safe and equitable environment for children where they are free to discuss big ideas, explore, take risks and have wild adventures.
I was born in Zambia and lived there for 10 years. I spent most of my childhood playing outside and particularly enjoyed climbing tress and making mud cakes.
I then moved to England and grew an interest in working with children in my teenage years. I was often asked to babysit and I also helped out in the crèche at my church. I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Psychology with Child Studies and worked in pre-schools and as a nanny for several years.
CHIMMEY NGUNI | She/her
I moved to Vancouver in January 2020 and continued to work as a nanny. I always enjoyed playing outside with the children. We often went to the beach and on nature walks.
I also love to hike and explore in my spare time. I’ve seen and experienced the many benefits of outdoor play and being in nature. Saplings is giving me the opportunity to combine my passion for child development with my passion for nature!
I grew up in Whiterock BC and I have always felt at home on the beach and in the forest. I was raised in a close community, all my friends were my neighbours. We used to explore and play hide and seek- tag after school in the forest near our houses until it was dark, and our mothers called us home. I remember searching for crabs and fish on the beach with my brother and climbing the tallest trees with my friends.I have wanted to be a teacher my entire life. I got my education at Langara College in Vancouver. I studied early childhood education and infant/toddler care.
EZRA LINDLEY | THEY/THEM
I have been working with children professionally for 4 years and I absolutely adore it. Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding jobs. I believe in risky play and learning through play. I want to encourage children to ask questions and come up with their own solutions. I loved to watch the joy and wonder children experience as they explore the natural world. I have always appreciated the outdoors and I am super excited to be working with Saplings.
I was born in Japan. When I was a child I used to go to the countryside with my family and family friends every weekends. We plowed a field, grew many different types of vegetables there and explored the forest together. So I have loved to get in touch with nature since then. I graduated with a bachelor of Child Studies in Japan and worked in a kindergarten. I have a strong passion for working with children. Also part of what I love about my job is that I get to help each one to discover their own strengths and talents and nurture those traits through my educational approach.
LULU KATOH | SHE/HER
I believe spending time in nature is promoting children's creativity and developing a sense of wonder. I am so excited to be a part of the Saplings team!
Gloria is a fun-loving nature enthusiast from Waterloo, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Waterloo and received her Early Childhood Education Diploma from Seneca College. She has over 15 years of experience working with children. She grew up camping and going to camp and has always loved playing outside. She is passionate about making the world a better place through her work with children, weaving age-appropriate elements of social and environmental justice into the creative lessons that she emparts.
GLORIA PROCTOR-BENNETT | SHE/HER
She believes strongly in the inherent beauty and worth of every child, and loves helping children grow to become the wonderful, unique persons that they were meant to be.
SOROUSH SHARAFZADEH | HE/HIM
Hello, my name is teacher Soroush and I have been working with saplings since November 2020. I grew up in a complex on Lytton street off of Mount Seymour Parkway; so, I had an area to explore with other kids around my age, this was the start of my love for the outdoors. Some of my fondest middle school memories were from Outdoor School and the Big House. Having been in North Vancouver my whole life it’s not surprising I have a strong connection with nature
Currently, I am on the verge of graduating from Capilano University with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with most of the focus being drawn towards Psychology, Philosophy and English. I live a highly active and healthy lifestyle outside of work and school. Some of my hobbies include writing, singing, and comedy.
Jasnoor Rolay | SHE/HER
My name is Jasnoor Kaur Rolay. I have graduated from Capilano University, North Vancouver in April 2021 with a Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education Program. I have been working with children as a practicum student as well as part-time educator since 2019 at different centres such as UBC Kittiwake and Saplings outdoor Program. Starting summer 2021, I am very happy to take upon the opportunity as a full-time educator with Saplings Outdoor Program.
While in school, I had learnt about different developmental as well as post-developmental perspectives on childhood which helps me understand the dynamics in a classroom as well as an outdoor environment. Apart of being with children, my other passions include cooking, going to the beach and travelling with friends. I am originally from India and I came to Canada in 2018 to pursue my post-secondary education. I have been living in South Vancouver since I came to Canada.
CAROLINE CHRISTINA SILVA | SHE/HER
I grew up in the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Living in Brazil I had a place full of natural areas and beautiful natural landscapes, home to a large percentage of plant and animal diversity.Academically, I graduated with a Biological Sciences Licentiates degree, and a Master's degree in Plant Biology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where I was able to fulfill and have a deep connection with my love for teaching, science, research, and nature. During my years in university I have had the chance to experience a deeper contact with children in the education process of science, but also overall subjects.
Since then, I have worked with an Environmental Consulting Company in the search for endangered species and of interest for conservation. I believe that exploring the outdoors is the best way to get closer to nature. Additionally, it's an opportunity to explore children's curiosity in this kind of environment, nurturing their responsibility, resilience and interest. And as a recent resident of Vancouver, BC, I'm enrolled in the Associate of Arts degree at University Canada West with the aim of expanding and adding my knowledge with areas related to science and psychology.In my free time I like to go hiking outdoors, play with my dog, watch series and movies and read books on different topics. I am very happy to be part of the Saplings Program.
Shannon Emery | SHE/HER
Having spent most of my life here in B.C., my love for the outdoors started young; camping with family, exploring local mountains, going for swims in the sea. I have been in the world of education for the past 7 years, having worked with children as young as 3 right up into the teenage years. Part of my teaching career involved 2 years spent abroad in South Korea; I fell in love with the kindness of the people, the flavours of the food, and the fast pace of life in the big city of Seoul! I love to visit new places, especially with my father who is one of my favourite adventure buddies.
One of my greatest passions is working with and learning alongside children and youth.
I am grateful for the way they encourage me to slow down and notice little details I might otherwise pass by; the ant in the garden, the puddles to splash in after a rainy day, or the feeling of mud squishing between your fingers! They are natural observers, curious and full of wonder, and I love being along for the ride. I cherish storytelling, and building a sense of community through a sharing of experiences. We all have so much to learn from one another, and I’m thankful for all of the little moments we get to share together, whether that be with fellow educators, the students, their families, or our greater community.
On the weekends I can usually be found scooting around the city on my bicycle, hiking with my partner, sharing a tasty meal with friends and family, or reading a good book! I’m grateful to be joining such a welcoming community here at Saplings!