North Star Faculty & Staff

Meet our Head of School and teachers.

A Message From the Head of School

“By giving students the opportunities to explore and investigate all aspects of study and then to further apply their learning, helps to build confidence, relevance and inspire an intrinsic motivation that they will carry with them throughout their lives” – Tiffany Goulding, Head of School

Head of School

Tiffany Goulding

Tiffany Goulding

Head of School

For over two decades, Tiffany Goulding has been committed to providing quality Montessori
education at North Star Montessori. She is passionate about working with teachers, parents,
and students to continue building a supportive and inclusive community, and an enriched
educational experience at all levels of school programming.

Ms. Goulding relocated to Vancouver in 1999 to complete her AMI Montessori training. She
was hired at North Star in 2002 and in 2004 accepted the position as Head of School while still
maintaining the Head Teacher position. As enrolment grew and North Star expanded under her
direction, she dedicated herself full-time to the Head of School position in 2009.

Ms. Goulding is a life-long learner. She enthusiastically pursues opportunities to learn and grow
through on-going professional development and community collaboration. She has been part
of several of Ministry of Education External Evaluation Committees and is an advisor to the
North Star Board of Directors. Through her leadership roles in the greater Montessori
community, Ms. Goulding has made significant contributions at both the local and national
levels.

 

Administration

Jeanne Mayne

Jeanne Mayne

Manager of School Operations

Jeanne Mayne brings more than 30 years of administrative experience to North Star. She has worked in an administrative capacity for law firms, professional sports (Vancouver Canucks & Grizzlies), the education profession as well as running her own business.

She attended Capilano University and continues to learn with studies in business and health sciences.

She joined the North Star Montessori community in 2009 and enjoys the opportunity to interact with families and students on a daily basis. 

Administration

Lettie Benecke

Lettie Benecke

Finance

Lettie Benecke received a Diploma in Accounting and Business Management from Anchor College in Johannesburg in 1976. She has provided professional bookkeeping and accounting services in the legal profession, construction, manufacturing, and service industries. 

Lettie joined the North Star community in 2022.

Administration

Faculty & Staff

Christie Stanford

Christie Stanford

Lead Facilitator

Christie Stanford received her AMI Primary Certification in 1999, AMI Elementary Certification in 2003, and AMI Assistants to Infancy Certification in 2010.  She holds her Early Childhood Educator and Infant Toddler Educator licenses, as well as her Independent Teacher Certification in BC. Christie taught at the Primary level for 7 years, the Elementary level for 3 years and the Infant & Toddler level for 10+ years.

Christie joined the North Star Montessori community in 2010 when she implemented a Montessori Parent Participation program for children under 3 years old, being the first program of its kind in Canada.

Infant-Toddler Program

Karla Oliva

Karla Oliva

Program Facilitator

Karla Oliva received a Bachelor Early Education from the University Pedagogica in El Salvador in 2008. She completed the AMI Montessori Assistants Course (0-3) in 2018 and received her Early Childhood Education Certification (3-6) and Infant-Toddler certification for British Columbia in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Karla joined the North Star Community in 2020.

Infant-Toddler Program

Lalena Desuatels

Lalena Desuatels

Head Teacher & Extended-Day Teacher – Sitka Room

Lalena Desuatels studied art at the Alberta College of Art and Design as well as Capilano University. She received her AMI Montessori diploma from the Montessori Training Centre of BC in 2012, holds an Early Childhood Education Certificate and a BC Independent Teacher certificate from the Ministry of Education. Lalena is also a certified PMBI mountain bike instructor.

Lalena joined the North Star Montessori community in 2013.

Casa Program

Sabeena Adam

Sabeena Adam

Assistant – Sitka Room

Sabeena Adam received a Bachelor of Computer Science in 2004; Master of Business Administration in 2011; Bachelor of Education in 2013, Diploma in Early Child Care Education in 2019 and Master of Arts in Child care and Education in 2021 in India. She completed the AMI Montessori Assistants Course (3-6) in 2022 in BC and is a certified Early Childhood Educator.

Sabeena is a mother of two and has more than 13 years of experience in working with children aged 3-10 years.

Sabeena joined the North Star Community in 2022.

Casa Program

Cari Parikh

Cari Parikh

Head Teacher – Cypress Room

Cari Worley received an Associate of Arts degree in Paraprofessional Education from the University of Phoenix in 2010.

Cari completed her AMI Montessori Primary Training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas in 2016.

Cari joined the North Star Montessori community in 2019.

Casa Program

Feri Behzadi

Feri Behzadi

Assistant – Cypress Room

Feri Behzadi received her Montessori Diploma in Toronto, ON and her AMI Assistants Diploma from the Montessori Training Centre of BC. She holds an Early Childhood Educator Assistants Certificate and is a certified Daycare Provider. Feri owned and operated a successful Montessori home daycare for 9 years.

Feri joined the North Star community in 2019.

Casa Program

Elsa Tsai

Elsa Tsai

Teacher – Cypress Room

Elsa received both her Tourism Management and Resort & Hotel Management diplomas from Thompson Rivers University in 1999.  She completed her AMI Primary Training Diploma at the Montessori Training Centre of BC in 2022 and holds an Early Childhood Educator certification. 

Elsa joined the North Star Montessori community in 2022. 

Casa Program

Azin Afaghi

Azin Afaghi

Assistant – Cypress Room

Azin Afaghi received a Bachelor of Economics from Iran in 2000.  She completed the AMI Montessori Assistants Course (3-6) in 2022 and received her Early Childhood Education Certification in 2021. 

Azin joined the North Star community in 2021.

Casa Program

Brooke Turner

Brooke Turner

Head Teacher – Lower Elementary

Brooke Turner received a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology from the University of Guelph and then went on to earn her Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario in 2003. She is certified by both the Ontario and British Columbia College of Teachers.

Brooke completed her Montessori Elementary Training at the Toronto Montessori Institute in 2010 and became a certified Children’s Yoga Instructor in 2015.

Brooke joined the North Star Montessori community in 2010.

Elementary Program

Fahra Hudda

Fahra Hudda

Classroom Assistant – Elementary

Fahra Hudda received her St. Nicholas Montessori Diploma from Western Montessori Teachers College in 1995 and holds an Early Childhood Certificate. She has been a lead teacher as well as an Educational Support person in the Casa program for over 20 years.

Fahra received her Orton Gillingham Tutor certificate in 2003 through CATT (Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Tutors).  She has been an assistant and Special Education Support in the Elementary Program since 2021. 

Fahra joined the North Star Montessori community in 2005.

Elementary Program

Maura Camino

Maura Camino

Teacher – Arbutus Room

Maura Camino received a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Master’s degree in Public Policy and a Certificate in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language.

She completed her AMI Montessori Primary Teacher Diploma in Vancouver at the Montessori Training Center of British Columbia and is currently working toward the completion of her AMI Montessori Elementary certification in Mexico.

Maura has worked as a Primary Montessori teacher and as Montessori Lower Elementary Co-Directress for the last five years. Before becoming a teacher Maura worked as a social researcher in several topics including Women’s Reproductive Rights, Social Movements, Civil Society, and Democracy in Mexico, Argentina, and Bolivia.

Maura joined the North Star community in 2022.

 

Elementary Program

Nathalie Platel

Nathalie Platel

French

Nathalie Platel received a B.A. from Simon Fraser University, French Studies Certificate from L’Université Stendal in Grenoble, France, TESL Certificate from Vancouver Community College, and has a B.C. Independent School Teacher Certificate.

She provides instruction to our elementary students using an interactive method, with mime/actions and movement, songs, pictures, vocabulary games, and puppet shows, in addition to creating stories, and offering various options to express, practice and increase French in the classroom.

Nathalie joined the North Star Montessori community in 2015.

Additional Faculty

Come For A Visit

See first-hand how the Montessori Method encourages independent and collaborative activity at each level of our program.

Parent Guide

Our Parent Guide has all the information you need to know about your child’s Montessori education.