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
Head of School
Tiffany Goulding, became interested in Montessori education in 1996 while completing her degree from Trent University. She relocated to Vancouver in 1999 to study Montessori at the AMI Montessori Training Centre of BC. 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 to include two preschool classes, after-school care programs, and an infant- toddler parent program, she dedicated herself full-time to the Head of School position in 2009. While the majority of her time is spent on school administration, she continues to stay connected to the students through extra-curricular activities, supervising going-outs, and working one-on-one, or in small groups with students requiring extra support. She is passionate about working with teachers, parents, and students to continue to build and support the quality Montessori program at North Star Montessori.
Ms. Goulding is a life-long learner. She continues to learn and grow through on-going professional development. She has sat on several Ministry of Education External Evaluation Committees, is an advisor to the North Star Board of Directors, and has contributed to the Montessori community on a national level through her roles as Board Secretary (2 years) and Board President (6 years) for the Montessori Society of Canada (Canada’s AMI-Affiliate).
She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia (AMI-Accredited Teacher Training Centre).
Manager of School Operations
Jeanne Mayne brings more than 20 years of administrative experience in the legal, professional sports & education professions.
She received an administrative certificate from Capilano University and has been a life-long learner ever since with continuing studies in business, health sciences and law. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Council of Parent Participation Preschools of BC.
Jeanne joined the North Star Montessori community in 2009.
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.
Faculty & Staff
Christie Stanford received her AMI Primary Certification in 1999, AMI Elementary Certification in 2003, and AMI Assistants to Infancy Certification in 2010. She also holds both Early Childhood Educator and Infant Toddler Educator licenses. Christie taught at the Primary level for 7 years and the Elementary level for 3 years. She is also one of the founders and an active participant in the Vancouver AMI Alumni group.
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.
Christine Thery received a Bachelor of Arts in Geography with an English minor from the University of British Columbia in 2007. She went on to teach English in the South of France for 7 years. In 2016 Christine obtained her AMI Primary diploma from Montessori North West in Portland, Oregon and holds a full ECE certificate. Christine completed the AMI Assistance to Infancy Assistant course in 2022.
Christine joined the North Star Montessori community in 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Assistant – Cypress Room
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.
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.
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.
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.
Assistant – Arbutus Room
Tom Shipley is from the UK where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies in 2018. In 2019 he was successfully awarded a Postgraduate degree in Primary Teaching. Tom has worked in a variety of educational environments as an assistant.
Tom joined the North Star Montessori community in 2022.
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.
Come For A Visit
See first-hand how the Montessori Method encourages independent and collaborative activity at each level of our program.
Our Parent Guide has all the information you need to know about your child’s Montessori education.