Patricia Kuhling – Co-owner / Manager / Educator
Family, the outdoors and teaching “these are a few of my favourite things”.
I am married to Robin, who is my superhero. I have 2 sons, 3 stepdaughters and 8 beautiful grand children. Between work and family times, Robin and I enjoy hiking the high mountain peaks of British Columbia and Alberta, camping and fishing, kayaking, and traveling most anywhere. While working on cruise ships, Robin and I have had many grand world adventures. We feel very fortunate.
The field of early childhood education and support has been my career for almost 30 years with a focus on the development and support of new programs and quality child care spaces. Along with the rewards and joys the children bring to my life, my strong passion is in supporting families while creating inclusive and welcoming spaces.
My goal is to continue to help Hazelwood Early Learning Centre become a strong presence within both the school and greater community, fostering a strong sense of belonging for everyone.
Kate Mitchel – Educator -School Age Coordinator
I have been working in the childcare field in Vancouver since 2001. I have had the opportunity to work in the hustle bustle of large city schools as well as small multi-age programs nestled on the edge of Pacific Spirit Park. I now call myself a member of this community and live with my family in the Mary Hill area. I am the mother of four wonderful children between the ages of twelve and one. We are a family always on the go, whether it be a simple evening picnic at Rocky Point Park or a driving adventure to Nevada and California!
I am very much an advocate for child-led co-learning that has come from the Reggio Emilia philosophy and approach to early- and middle-years care and learning. I also wonder at the beauty of the natural world around us and strive to bring that to our everyday play and explorations in the centre. My goal for our programs is to offer children warm and nurturing, stimulating and challenging environments rich in open-ended materials to spark imagination, curiosity and a lifelong love of learning- and to support children to work together on long-term projects and investigations about things that matter to them in the world.
Bryanne Newbery – Educator
I have lived in Pitt Meadows for my entire life. I love the environment that I had the privilege to experience from a young age. I carry the same loves with me for the environment, still to this day, and I take in the beauty by documenting pictures of every destination I have been. It is my personal way of remembering a moment from the past, which made me feel at peace. I enjoy taking pictures of the scenery that I call “home” every day.
I spend most of my days cuddling Koda, my incredibly fluffy dog. She is as much a part of my family as my immediate family members. I love to take her on hikes and to the beach as she loves the outdoors as much as I do.W
hen not working, I travel as much as I can to take advantage of the world available to me, and to love the life I was given to the fullest.
My goal is to work alongside children to support them in healthy development. I love being able to learn from a child’s stories and experiences, things that they encounter on a daily basis. I apply all of my energy to ensuring a safe environment where children learn and thrive.
Alyssa Higgins – Educator
I have known my entire life that I wanted to work with children. It was something that I was passionate about when I was very young that carried on through my life. In 2009, I started on the path towards my career in Early Childhood Education; I obtained my Early Childhood Educator Certificate and Special Needs Certificate at the University of the Fraser Valley.
During my life, I ventured from Manitoba to British Columbia and settled in Port Coquitlam in 2013. I am very thankful I ended up in such a loving and warm community with such a high regard for the outdoors.
Bryan, my partner, has been a huge support in my life. We have a beautiful daughter named Katheryn who brings a new outlook and joy to our lives. My family and I love to spend our weekends exploring nature, going on hikes, venturing to the parks, swimming and cooking. I am truly grateful that I can raise my daughter in an environment that has so many opportunities.
My passion has always been to guide and support all young children while providing them with quality care and enriching experiences based on their interests. Working with children, building strong relationships and learning alongside them has helped me grow as an educator.
I have worked with many children and families in my career and am honoured to be able to provide care for the families at Hazelwood Early Learning Centre.
Sali Chippett – Educator
I moved to Port Coquitlam in 2016 after living in North Vancouver for 25 years. I continued to commute to North Vancouver for a year until I found Hazelwood. I am passionate about outdoor programming and also Responsive Curriculum so Hazelwood and I are the perfect fit!
I was born in England where I received my Diploma in Early Childhood Education. After Emigrating to Vancouver at the age of 18, I fell in love with everything the City has to offer including skiing, hiking and water sports.
I have three children. When I am not working, I enjoy hiking, skiing and travelling with my family.
As an Early Childhood Educator I am proud to be a part of guiding children as they venture in to the world. I delight in joining them in their wonder and joy of learning.
I very much enjoy being with the children and the team at Hazelwood. I feel very fortunate to look forward to coming to work each day!
I have had the privilege of working with some inspiring Educators who have helped shape me into who I am today. Working with children always brings a smile to my face, they teach me things about their world everyday. I strive to create inviting natural spaces for children to explore. Creating purposeful, stimulating activities is something that keeps me inspired.
When I am not at work I enjoy cooking and baking, I love trying new recepies and serving friends and family. I also like bike riding and attempting to garden.
I am so thrilled to be apart of the Hazelwood Team and look forward to all the wonderful experiences ahead.
Carrie Dillman – Educator
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous!
Being in nature brings joy to my heart and refreshes my body. There is always something to marvel, learn about, and explore! It has been my dream to inspire children to marvel and learn from the natural world around us.
Burnaby is home where I live with my partner Frank and my two bunnies! I grew up in 100 Mile House and completed my Bachelor of Science Degree at TRU in Kamloops. I had amazing adventures in my position as an environmental monitor and loved time spent in nature leading summer camps at Richmond Nature Park. The idea of merging my two passions has led me here to Hazelwood Early Learning Center!
After working as an ECE assistant for two years I decided it was time to learn more! I am currently a student enrolled at Burnaby Community and Continuing Education in the Early Childhood Education certificate program!
My goal is to spark wonder, curiosity, and marvel in the unknown as I learn alongside the children. I want to create an environment where children feel safe, confident, and capable to explore, and share ideas. I am constantly amazed by how children view and think about the world. It reminds me to slow down and truly appreciate my surroundings.
I enjoy hiking, camping, traveling, or spending quality time with people close to my heart. Backpacking has become a passion of mine and I often find myself near a glacier lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Last year I had the opportunity to complete the West Coast Trail which has been a goal of mine for some time now.
I feel very fortunate to be joining the team at Hazelwood! I look forward to spending time with and getting to better know the families at our centre!
Jessie Somers – School Age Educator
I’m Jessie Somers, nice to meet you! I have always lived in the lower main landand am proud to call it my home. I now live in Port Coquitlam with my husband Rob and our two kitties Keiser and Willow. My background is in fine art and education, combining them both makes my heart so happy!
Having grown up in Mission, I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2010 and went on to teach summer art camps at the Mission Art Centre.The creativity and imagination in children brings great joy to my daily life. My connection to nature informs my personal artwork. I display and sell my paintings regularly at local galleries and enjoy teaching water colour classes on the weekends.
Some of my favorite things are family, travel and coffee. In my free time I love being outdoors and going geocaching with Rob.
Joining the team at Hazelwood has been exciting and a new adventure with many opportunities that lay ahead. Learning more about the families, the community and the Reggio philosophy are what motivate me most.
I look forward to growing with all of you!