Our Teachers


Gail Atkins

Early Childhood Educator / Manager

As an alumni student of Strawberry Vale Preschool, I am proud to say I have worked as the head teacher here for 15 years and have been an ECE since 1986. I have never wavered from knowing that working with children is my passion and playful learning is my philosophy.

Throughout my career I have had experience in daycare, homecare, private respite, integrated learning programs, home schooling and hospital based childcare. SVP was my first opportunity to be involved in a parent participation cooperative program, where I have had privileged to be a part of not just the children’s lives but the families and community we share.

I grew up in Victoria, have 3 adult children and one adorable kitten in my spare time I Outrigger paddle in our beautiful (but cold) ocean.


Jen Mayer


I have over 21 years of experience in child centered programs including facilitating children’s programming for the Military Family Resource Centre, running a home daycare, and working for school districts in both BC and Alberta. I hold a Special Needs Educational Assistant Certificate from Grant MacEwan University with seven years working in the field, primarily with Kindergarten and preschool age children, as well as a Early Childhood Educator Assistant Certificate.

In my spare time, I’m an outdoor enthusiast and avid volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada as a Spark and Brownie leader.  And I have two grown children of my own!


Deb Housden


My name is Deb and I’m very excited to be part of the SVP community. I have been working with children for the past 10 years. I have worked in preschools, daycare centres, elementary schools and my own daycare. I obtained my ECE Assistant license in 2016 and have attended more than 200 hours of workshops and conferences in the field of childcare. My husband and I have two children, ages 11 and 13. We have two cats, a new puppy and backyard chickens. When I’m not at work, I’m playing in my garden or doing yoga.

I enjoy getting to know your child and helping them learn, grow and explore everything that preschool has to offer!