A little background on me. I graduated from the University of Toronto in 2005, with a B.A. in English. I’ve been working with children for 20 years now, in various facets. Some of the highlights of my career include serving as head foreign teacher at Corem Language Institute in Busan, South Korea for 2 years. I taught English as a second language and assimilated the foreign teachers to their work and living environment. Prior to working in Asia, my experience in the role of floor supervisor at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada helped shape my path and brought out my interest in leading by example, quintessential for a teacher of a Montessori classroom.
After returning from my travels in Asia, I attended Montessori Teachers College in Toronto, where I graduated as class representative and valedictorian. I worked as a Casa teacher for three years at Petite Maison Montessori, an accredited Montessori school, heading my own classroom and conducting the music program. I left PMM to pursue owning a Montessori establishment in downtown Toronto. I am co-founder and former co-owner of both Liberty Prep School and Liberty Prep Parliament, where I acted as supervisor, co-principal, and teacher for 3 years.
I am on double duty at Lodestar, filling the role of both school principal, as well as Casa teacher. The love of learning that can happen in the Montessori environment is the blossom of an accomplished Montessori teacher.
The Montessori method is very near and dear to my heart, and I have found the perfect setting to offer an amazing course of learning. Lodestar follows the child’s interests in detail, honouring the very core of the philosophy.
My name is Ashley Boyce and I am absolutely thrilled to be running the Elementary program at Lodestar next academic year!
To give you a bit of background, I studied Developmental Psychology and Sociology at Glendon- the bilingual campus of York University. I did my elementary schooling in french immersion and grew up in Mississauga.
I learned about Montessori while being a nanny for a 4 year old who was reading better than some grade 3's I'd also been working with. It blew me away and I had to know more. I then studied at Toronto Montessori Institute, and immediately was hired on at Northstar Montessori in Mississauga. It is a huge school with 4 Casa's and 4 Lower Elementary classes. It also has Upper Elementary as well as Junior High. My training covers Lower and Upper Elementary and I am excited to potentially expand Lodestar’s program in the future.
I moved to Muskoka in 2017 and began working for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board as an Educational Assistant, working with kids with special needs. It has been an eye opening experience in many ways. I have been missing the Montessori method, and though I sometimes use it in little ways to help in the public classrooms, I'm very much looking forward to teaching at Lodestar. Working with young minds is inspirational to me.
My name is Jenny Cowle and I am a self-taught artist. I have been molding, painting and creating since I can remember, and I am passionate about self-expression through art and media.
I graduated from Fleming College’s Outdoor Adventure Skills program in 2012 and have worked with both children and adults in a creative, outdoor setting in a variety of jobs since then. For example, I worked as a Wilderness Counselor for the Tim Hortons Children Foundation (Parry Sound Camp), Event Coordinator for the Town of Bracebridge/Woodchester building, and was a Youth Art Program Teacher for Let the Cat Go Art Studio in Bracebridge.
My outdoor background lends inspiration to my art and sustainable lifestyle. In my daily life, I enjoy practicing mindfulness & patience with yoga and meditation, dancing, singing, and trying out new art techniques in my home studio. When I am not making art, I can also be found hiking, kayaking, or playing with my pet cat, Loki. I am honoured to be a part of your child’s learning, growth and development here at Lodestar and look forward to the year ahead.
My name is Lisa Howey-Louter. I grew up in a small town in Ontario where my access to nature was unlimited. We lived on a small property with rock outcroppings, and a lot of trees to climb, and adjacent to where we lived there were more public forested areas. I have so many memories of my brother and I spending endless hours building and playing in our tree fort. I was able to forge a connection with nature, because my parents gave us the time and space to explore our surroundings. I am so grateful for that, and it has created a passion in me to help others find that connection also.
After receiving a diploma from Sir Sandford Fleming in Peterborough I went on to work in a variety of child care centres. Though I loved my work, I also felt like there was something lacking from the conventional spaces where children spent their entire days; More time outside. I found we were happiest when we were outside. So I went on to get a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Ryerson University and after that did some research on forest schools in the UK. Maybe I could go there and get some education on forest schools and come back and start my own forest school? In the meantime my partner and I were planning on moving back to the west coast, and when I was job searching I stumbled upon a job posting for a forest school teacher. The school had not started, and they were looking for someone to volunteer to help with the start-up of the school and then lead the groups of children. It was meant to be. I jumped at the opportunity in 2010 and co-founded the Fresh Air Learning Society. I spent most of my time facilitating programs for 3-6 year olds, but I also did a parent and tot program for 18 months and up and helped with the elementary program when needed (ages 6-12). I was there for 9 years until our family decided to move back to Muskoka. My passion is still alive and I am excited to be teaching and learning along-side the children in Muskoka.
My name is Amy Collier, and I was born and raised in Muskoka. I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator, as well as a Registered Practical Nurse. I am excited to bring both of these learnings and my passion for teaching to my new position with Lodestar.
I began my career with Community Living South Muskoka, working in their Summer Youth Program. I stayed on part-time while going to college for Nursing and eventually became a Special Needs Resource Teacher Assistant. It was during this time that I found my passion in life; working with children. I made the decision to go back to school and become a registered ECE, and I've been working in the field ever since.
Most recently I was with Muskoka Family Focus, working in their after school, summer camp and childcare programs. I will be teaching the Casa Class this school year while taking my formal Montessori training with the Canadian Montessori Teachers Education Institute. I am very excited to bring my valuable experience to the classroom, while embracing and learning the unique styles and techniques of Lodestar Montessori School and the Montessori pedagogy.