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 Sayward Wilkinson Blanc

This is Ms. Sayward's fifth year as Lead Educator and third as Program Director for the CCES Nature Kindergarten. She is the Lead Educator for one of the Monday/Wednesday classes and the Tuesday/Thursday class. She is the founding Educator for CCES Nature Kindergarten and started this journey with the Common Digs Forest School. She has been teaching for 15 years, all in early childhood (Kindergarten to Grade 2). She has a background in Art Education and the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood. She has been fortunate enough to visit the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy on four study tours and one summer institute.  She believes strongly in the power of Reggio's tenant of the environment as the third teacher, the importance of the 100 languages of children and of the power of children's learning through nature.  When not teaching she enjoys gardening, creating her own art work, yoga and traveling. 

You can reach her directly at: sayward@calgarynaturekindergarten.com

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Sarah Fletcher

We are thrilled to have Ms. Sarah return to Nature Kindergarten this year as an Educator after her student teaching with us last year. She is teaching one of the Monday/Wednesday classes and Friday’s for the Tuesday/Thursday class. When Sarah was a child, a great sugar maple was the anchor of her small backyard in Toronto, Ontario. She took comfort in its shade and made magic among its tangle of roots. Jump-Reed-Super-Box, an imaginary friend, took up residence there, and together they made plans for the future, a life that included living in a spaghetti factory and eating lots of green apples. The former sadly failed to come to fruition, though she continues to enjoy apples to this day.

With Bachelor degrees in English Literature and Education, and a Master of Fine Arts, language and art are central to Sarah’s practice. Students in her class can expect a culture of respect, compassion, and creativity. She is inspired by the Forest School ethos and philosophies of Reggio Emilia.

As an adult, Sarah still takes solace in the company of trees and believes in the magic of stories children whisper to themselves.

You can reach her directly at: sarah@calgarynaturekindergarten.com

 
 

 Kelsey Jessop

Ms. Kelsey is our new Educational Assistant for Nature Kindergarten who recently graduated from Mount Royal University with her Bachelor of Child Studies, majoring in Early Learning.

“My passion for the outdoors began when I was a little girl growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, which taught me responsibilities, such as how to care for the land as well as just simply enjoying the fresh air! I then grew up in the Northwest Territories, where she spent the majority of our time outdoors, which I believe taught me a love for the land and what the land can provide children in a learning perspective. Due to my love for being outdoors and based on how I was raised I recently built a house on an acreage with my boyfriend which we can now call our own. On my spare time I like doing things around the house such as care for the garden, and play with my parents labradoodle Molly, who has sleepovers all the time! My favourite candies are cherry blasters, my favourite Disney movie is Pocahontas and Secret Life of Pets, and I love getting cozy in front of a fire. I'm excited for this opportunity, and look forward to playing along side your children in the great outdoors!”

 

 
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Teague Urquhart

Teague has lived, worked, and played in Calgary for his entire life. After receiving a Bachelor of Environmental Science from The University of Calgary Teague began volunteering as an Environmental Educators with multiple organizations throughout Calgary. This volunteering brought about a passion for education and Teague began seeking out a career as an Environmental Educator.

After his first year of working at Common Digs Teague began to seek out more education around Forest and Nature Schools. We are excited to have Teague as our new registrar for Nature Kindergarden.

Teague is currently finishing his Forest School Practitioners Course and a MacEwan University Course on the study of the Alberta Early Learning and Care Framework. 

Teague's passions are education, permaculture, the outdoors, and Dungeons & Dragons.  You can reach him directly at:  registrar@calgarynaturekindergarten.com