Personalized attention for each student

Our highly qualified staff, along with our small class sizes, ensure personalized attention for each student. Please enjoy the bios of our faculty below:


 

Ginny Lovick

Staff_Ginny2Ginny Lovick is the founder of The Victoria School for Ideal Education. Prior to working at VSIE, she worked in the BC public school system as a librarian and teacher. In 1988, she was one of a group of parents and teachers who founded The Victoria School for Ideal Education to provide Consciousness-Based Education for their own children and has been working at the school as a teacher and administrator since then.

She has seen the long term benefits of having meditation as part of the school program in her own children who are now in their early thirties and continue to find TM a very helpful and important tool for being happy and successful. She is passionate about giving children the opportunity to play and learn in natural environments and regular Outdoor Education field trips to local mountains, beaches have become a popular and important part of the VSIE curriculum.

She says, “The VSIE teaching team is very cohesive, competent and professional.  I am proud to be a part of it and love coming to this wonderful school every day.”

Natalie Miller

Natalie (she/her) is the Principal and Learning Assistant teacher for V.S.I.E. Previously she has worked in private schools, school districts and a daycare, working with students of all ages. She has found that real life samples and examples are the best teaching tools, and she appreciates the amount of nature we embed in the curriculum at our school. She truly believes that every student can learn and be successful, but their roads to academic success often look very different. She has high academic standards, compassion, flexibility and a pure enjoyment of teaching. With all of these strengths she is able to understand each student’s unique needs and assist them to flourish and grow.

Cody Askew

Cody Askew is a recent graduate from the UVic’s Bachelor of Education program and spent the last year teaching early primary in a small community located in Northern BC. Cody has also had previous experience as an SEA in the public school system, and has coached a wide variety of sports; such as soccer, XC skiing, rock climbing and track and field. He has also spent the last four summers working for BC Wildfire as an Initial Attack firefighter. He is a strong supporter of nature based learning, and incorporating movement and activity into his lessons. His main goal in a classroom is to create a safe space that all learners want to be and grow in by building meaningful relationships with each student. Outside of the classroom, Cody enjoys games, reading and being outside; he loves sharing these passions with his students. Cody is excited to be a part of the VSIE learning community.

Jackie Bainbridge

Jackie is a graduate from the Community, Family & Child Studies program at Camosun College. She works at VSIE as an Education Assistant and as the Out of School Care Program Manager. Previously she worked as an Early Child Care Educator Assistant for a play school and has experience working as a program lead for a variety of different organizations. Jackie works with a strength based approach, implementing different learning strategies and goal setting that is individualized for the student. She believes every child should feel included and have a sense of belonging, while learning and growing in both social and educational settings.

Jackie enjoys being by, on or in the ocean, camping, hiking, journaling and reading. She is creative and loves to joke and have fun with the people around her. She is excited to be able to work at a school that sets every child up for success, promotes the importance of inclusion and ensures a nurturing and friendly environment.

Annelies Browne

Annelies holds a Masters in Education with a specialty in ESL. She brings over 25 years of teaching experience to VSIE and has taught all over the world.  Prior to VSIE Annelies was working as an educator and supervisor in the education department, at the University of Victoria. Annelies has a passion for teaching ballet and holds her teaching certificate in dance from the Royal Academy of Dance. She is also a figure skating teacher and hockey coach/referee. Annelies is excited to bring these extra-curricular skills into the classroom. When Annelies is not teaching she can be found working on her Dahlia farm or playing with her son.

Tania Chavez

Tania has been at VSIE since 2015 as a classroom teacher and Learning Resource teacher. She received her Bachelor of Education degree and Diploma in Special Education from the UVic She has taught English to youth and adults in El Salvador, worked in public and private schools, and at READ Society as a Level B Assessor. 

Tania enjoys the learning environment at VSIE which allows daily connections to nature and meditation. Tania enjoys connecting lessons to art and play. Tania is an avid reader and enjoys sharing her love of reading with her students.

Bonnie Davison

Bonnie Davison (she/her) is excited to be teaching grade one for the second year at VSIE. Bonnie is a certified Forest School Practitioner,  Permaculture Teacher Trainer and founder of the Victoria Nature School Society. She has a deep passion for helping children connect with nature and loves weaving gardening and music into her classroom routines.

Bonnie is a white settler with Scottish and English heritage. She has been living in Lekwungen territories for 15 years with her husband and 2 children who also enjoy adventuring in the outdoors. Bonnie hails from PEI, the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people where she feels fortunate to spend her summers kite surfing and visiting family.

Heather Elf Pilon

Heather Elif Pilon (she/her) is a globally minded educator and has been working with students in the U.S., South Korea and Canada for the past 18 years. She works at VSIE as an Educational Assistant and has a heart for supporting her students with the underlying philosophy that “there are many paths to learning and growing.” She holds a B.A. in Fine Arts, an M.A. in Global Leadership for Sustainable Development and is a certified Yoga teacher and Ayurveda Health Coach. Before moving to Victoria with her family in 2019, she had taught students of all ages in overseas universities, middle schools and after-school academies. At VSIE, Heather has a blended supporting style when aiding in her students. She enjoys demonstrating and coaching, as well as, promoting self-learning and critical thinking skills in and out of the classroom.

Heather’s favorite part of working at VSIE is how the daily meditation and creative, nature based education is woven into the heart of the school community. She enjoys growing the next generation of humans along-side all the incredibly talented VSIE teachers, educational assistants, and caring support staff and is thrilled to be working in such a positive, holistic learning environment. Outside of VSIE, she enjoys reading, gardening, swimming and biking with her partner and two boys.

Erica Lebrun 

Erica LeBrun has found herself working with youth for most of her jobs over the years.  Previously at EBS Erica joined us as an Education Assistant and has expanded herself and our garden to holding a Garden Operations position as well.  When Erica is not working in the garden or with students she can be found bike riding, skateboarding, kayaking, hiking and really outdoors in any capacity. 

Heidi Erhardt

Heidi has been working with children and youth for over twenty-five years in the U.S., Europe, India and Bali. She has a BA in Literature/Writing, Montessori Teaching Credential, Certificate in French Language as well as further studies in Waldorf Foundation Education and university courses in Psychology and Child Development. She founded and ran her own one-room, mixed-age school in Maui, Hawaii, blending Montessori, Waldorf and project-based learning models. Heidi has developed and facilitated programs in the public sector, worked privately with students, consulted home-school groups and has taught all subjects to students from ages four to sixteen. Devoted to alternative education models, Heidi has participated in several start-up schools and helped found a private preschool on Maui in addition to her own elementary/middle school. Heidi is most passionate about creative education, creating both a safe and playful learning environment for students as well as connecting with each child to support their individual needs.

Inspired by VSIE’s commitment to a holistic teaching model and the personal development of their students, Heidi is delighted to be assisting the school as a part-time specialty teacher this year. When she is not at the school, she is facilitating SoulCollage®, meditation and writing workshops, sharing tools so we may know and expressive ourselves more fully.

Carolyn Hancock 

Carolyn could not be more excited to become part of the VSIE family this year! For the past 10 years she has been traveling and teaching at international schools in Taiwan, Vietnam, and Costa Rica. Through travel she learned the values of adaptability, appreciation of culture, and connectedness to all aspects of life. These principles, along with her intrinsic love of learning and passion for yoga, are found in each experience shared within the classroom. Carolyn believes in a classroom becoming a community where each child is celebrated and supported in their individualism.  She is extremely grateful to be working for a school based in nature and nurturing the whole child.

In her free time Carolyn loves to read and sip lattes at local coffee shops, stroll the beach, and be placed in awe of the island’s biodiversity and beauty.  

Roz Harper

Roz is an experienced classroom teacher with a passion for children and learning. She has taught grades 3 through 11, and is thrilled to be working as a teacher at VSIE. Roz has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, (University of Iowa) a Master’s degree in Theatre History (University of Victoria), and a Bachelor of Education (University of British Columbia). Roz has been an active part of the school community wherever she has been — helping out with sports, drama, dance, and clubs. She loves to laugh and to learn. She believes in nurturing the individual and helping children to discover their strengths. Roz is excited to see what working with such positive energy at VSIE can accomplish.

Fran Matkin

Fran is thrilled to be the Transcendental Meditation teacher at VSIE.  Her parents introduced her to T.M. in 1961. They had learned T.M. from Maharishi himself. They were among some of the first Canadians to learn. As early as 1968 she wanted to be a T. M. teacher. (She has a BSc HEc from UBC ’60 and a permanent teaching certificate, teaching High School Home Ec for 4 years.)  In 1986 her whole family followed their two college aged children to Fairfield Iowa to Maharishi University of Management. MUM and Maharishi School for Ideal Education offer classes from Kindergarten to PHD. She taught Kindergarten and Pre Kindergarten there for 17 years. In 2006 she completed a Master’s Degree from MUM in the Science of Creative Intelligence. In 2013 she learned to teach Transcendental Meditation. Since 2014 she has been teaching T.M. and the Science of Creative Intelligence ( SCI ) at VSIE, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Darlene Thorlakson

Darlene has been employed at VSIE for over 15  years. Her responsibilities have included; Education Assistant, Out of School Care program, and outdoor after school care. She is able to draw upon her experience with different teachers and helping children with a variety of needs. She provides thoughtful, kind and caring support for her students social, educational, and emotional needs. Darlene’s daughter attended VSIE from Kindergarten thru to Grade 8. Darlene completed two years of post secondary education. She is an experienced practitioner of aromatherapy, massage, and pranic healing.

Shelly Tully

Shelly is an EA and Behavioural Interventionist. She has two sons, one of which has been diagnosed with autism. Her experiences as a parent, diverse abilities worker, and educator have given her a unique perspective on inclusiveness, educational support, and opportunities for children. She has a BA and an ECE. She worked at the Autism Early Intervention Program for three years, and she has also worked privately with children on the spectrum. She believes that all children are unique, that what works for one child might not work for another, and that it’s important to involve families in their children’s education. She’s excited to be part of a school with such an inclusive environment.

Kelly Wakeham

Ms. Kelly has been a parent at VSIE for the last 8 years and been an active part of our community.  She completed her EA training and joined us to support our students in 2014.  Ms. Kelly after a few years of supporting students went back to the University of Victoria to teacher training and is excited to be in the community in a different role!