Our Teachers

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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.

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Jen Mayer

ECEA ISW

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!

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Celina Whitney

ECEA ISW

Hello my name is Celina, I am so thrilled to be part of the Strawberry Vale Preschool team after many years as an active volunteer at the school. I have experience as a private childcare provider, community volunteer as well as teaching art classes for children. I have a great passion for fine arts, visual arts, instruments, singing, dancing, musical theatre, and creative writing. I completed 2 years of fine arts and education courses at UVic and have my Early Childhood Education Assistant training. My goal at SVP is to encourage the children to be confident, kind, caring, and accepting of our differences. I look forward to building meaningful relationships with your children and the SVP community.

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Deb Housden

ECEA

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!

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Jennifer Horsfall

ECEA

Hello! I am an ECEA with over six years of experience in nannying for families in Victoria, primarily working with children under the age of 6. I am really passionate about learning new things, which is reflected in my widely varied arts, humanities, and sciences education from VIU and Camosun College. I love supporting and engaging children in learning through exploration and play, and seeing the world anew through their eyes.