Masha Kazakevich BSc, BHSc, MLA Candidate
Masha’s interest in nature was first cultivated in her Grandmothers’ dacha in Belorussia, where she learned to love food and appreciate the work of growing it. Her Grandmother showed her the joy of hunting for wild mushrooms and berries, and using medicinal plants. Masha hopes to share an appreciation for nature and compassion for all living things with younger generations, just like her Grandmother did with her.
Masha’s academic background includes degrees in biological and health sciences from the University of Toronto and McMaster University. In 2008, she began a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph, where she could pursue her interests in helping integrate nature into our built environment. Her thesis work focused on connecting city children to their food by looking at successful agricultural business models in an urbanizing environment.
Masha’s professional experience includes practising as a registered midwife in Toronto and Nunavut, where she sought to help families and children have the healthiest start in life. She later started an ecological landscape company and tree service with her husband. Masha enjoyed designing children’s gardens along with her young clients and their parents, and was proud to bring beauty, nature, and mystery into their daily play. When her son came along in 2010, launching a preschool that integrated nature, culture and community seemed like a natural extension of her experience.
Miranda Gulewitsch, RECE, BA
Supervisor and Early Learning Facilitator
Miranda is passionate about working with children and has over fifteen years of experience teaching and caring for children in various settings including toddler, preschool, and kindergarten programs. She has found it especially rewarding to share the joys of the outside world with little ones. After spending much of her childhood tromping around in the countryside with her sisters, collecting insects, catching frogs in the creek, camping with the family, reading under shady trees, and helping out in the vegetable garden, being outdoors gives her a sense of peace and comfort. Miranda is committed to getting children outdoors and raising nature-loving, well adjusted, caring, successful children.
Miranda’s academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Guelph, as well as an Early Childhood Education diploma from Conestoga College. She has since taken many professional development courses in Early Childhood Education and strives to be a lifelong learner.
Miranda’s love for children, her passion for outdoor play, and her commitment to developmentally responsive practice and emergent curriculum development make her an excellent addition to the Guelph Outdoor Preschool team.
Jessica Roosen, R.E.C.E.
Hello Guelph Outdoor Preschool & Community! Firstly, let me start by extending my deepest gratitude for inviting me into your community and making me feel so welcome. I am an Early Childhood Educator as well as an enthusiastic outdoors person with years of experience connecting children with nature in a child-directed and play-based environment. I have very recently moved back to Ontario from Powell River, British Columbia, where I was working in a licensed, high quality early learning centre, bringing my love and wonder of nature into the classroom. Previous to this, I had the honor of working with a not-for-profit First Nations organization, delivering nature based, culturally significant programs. I also have experience working with youth of all ages as an outdoor educator with The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in Midland Ontario, where I developed and delivered programs such as healthy ecosystems, animal habitats and adaptations, rocks and minerals, all in accordance with the board of education science curriculum. I look forward to building relationships and facilitating exploration and a sense of wonder about the world around us. See you outside!
Jaimie Krouskie, BASc, RECE
Through her work as an intern at the Sheldon Centre for Outdoor Education Jaimie cultivated strong respect for and awareness of the environment and the importance of allowing children a chance to flourish outdoors. After observing the children described by their teachers as having behavioural or learning disabilities excelling in a natural learning environment, Jaimie knew that outdoor education would always be the cornerstone of her work with children.
This knowledge has helped to complement Jaimie’s natural tendency towards nurturing others, even as a young girl. Her caring disposition has blossomed from cradling and diapering dolls to fostering the development of young individuals in a myriad of diverse settings; most recently, as a devoted nanny.
Jaimie discovered her desire to help individuals with special needs through her work as a respite provider helping a young boy work through the emotional and behavioural challenges of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This led her to her university practicum placements working in the Gateway Public School resource room with children struggling with learning and intellectual disabilities as well as preschool aged children with communication difficulties at KidsAbility School.
Jaimie’s educational background includes an Honours Bachelor of Applied Human and Social Sciences as well as an Early Childhood Education diploma from the University of Guelph.
Jesse Turton, BMus
Jesse Turton is a professional, accredited and award winning bass player, performing and recording in various popular genres ranging from jazz to country. Born on the Bay of Fundy in Middleton, Nova Scotia, Jesse has a deep appreciation for nature and is passionate about helping kids appreciate the outdoors. He is committed to improving community health through education, learning, and action. Jesse has a productive family garden plot at Ignatius (five seasons and counting), will be attending the Moksha Yoga teachers training in 2012, and has a dream of attending a school for sustainable housing construction in the future.