MT, HBSc., Ontario Certified Teacher
(University of Toronto)
Julie has her Masters in Teaching and Honours Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Human Learning.
She began teaching in 2006 working with children with special needs in elementary schools in Canada. She then taught in several public schools in Canada at the Preschool, Kindergarden, Grade 3, and Grade 4 levels. Internationally, she spent time as an English teacher in Germany, and also obtained managerial experience in Trinidad at the preschool level.
Opening Tinkergarden has allowed Julie to use her experiences, education, and passion as a mother of two in a very tangible way, helping children from across Trinidad to develop the critical thinking skills that are necessary for success in the next generation.
“When we step aside and trust in children, we will find that they have a natural curiosity and capability to learn much more than we may believe. Our role is to walk beside them, artfully guiding them along their journey to becoming the best they can be.”
(Univ. of Waterloo; Western Univ.)
School Director, Lecturer at UWI
Kegan is currently a lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of the West Indies in addition to sitting on the Board of Directors at Tinkergarden STEM Discovery Centre.
His passion lies in the areas of hydrology, water resources and environmental sciences. As a hydrologist and environmental scientist, Kegan’s research and teaching brings together the areas of Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering. With substantial experience in education in Trinidad, Mexico and Canada, Kegan understands the importance of developing critical thinking skills and practices at an early age.
“I often tell my students that part of my job is to get them to unlearn what they have been taught during secondary school and get them to start thinking critically and independently on all issues of life, society and the environment. I believe that developing these skills at the earliest age possible gives them a head start in life.”
BA in HR and Christian Education (Caribbean Nazarene College)
MHRM (Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business)
Danielle has her Masters with Distinction in Human Resource Management and a Bachelors in General Studies with majors in Management of Human Resources and Christian Education. In her Masters Degree, she specialised in training and believes that the knowledge gained from her education can be applied to almost every aspect of her work.
Most of her experience is in administration. She enjoys the seemingly mundane tasks of organising information, documents and people. She thrives when working behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible and making sure that all the ‘T’s are crossed and all the ‘I’s are dotted.
Even though she’s worked in administration for over 7 years, she finds a sense of fulfilment when her ‘background work’ impacts others for the better.
“Children are capable of understanding more than we give them credit for. They have their own thoughts, ways, and behaviours. They are just like snowflakes; no two children are exactly alike. Some children may learn through visual means, aural means, through reading and writing and then there are others who might only learn through kinaesthetic sensory methods. It’s the teachers’ job to understand the children and provide an environment that they can all learn in. It’s MY job to make sure that that teacher has all the support that they need.”
BSc. Biology and Nutritional Science (University of the West Indies)
ECCE Certificate (University of the West Indies) - In Progress
Head Teacher, Toddler Program
Dara’s degree in Biology and Nutritional Science allows her to bring her scientific knowledge and lens to our early childcare program. Additionally, she overflows with a wealth of experience from working for over 10 years in a private daycare in St James, plus an additional 1.5 years as a teacher at the Home Room Early Childcare Centre.
"Children are amazing little human beings that are capable of learning and doing just about anything! We as adults tend to hinder their abilities because we think they can't or because we think they're too small, but I believe given the right environment and opportunities to try things freely without us adults putting our limits on them, these little guys will definitely surprise you!"
ECCE Certified (University of Trinidad and Tobago)
B.Ed. Degree (UTT) - In Progress
Teacher, Infant Program
Shaunelle Richards is our Early Childcare Educator in our Infant Program, leading the infants in their first structured experiences of exploration and discovery at Tinkergarden. She is qualified with her CertEd in Early Childhood Care and Education from UTT. Shaunelle has taught children at Primary school as a Library Assistant, excelling at lesson plans and engaging students of all ages. She also expanded her knowledge by teaching at the Daily Vacation Bible School, and at Camp Victorious with Simone McShine Academy of Dance. Through these experiences, Shaunelle learned the importance of allowing children to be independent, to express themselves, and to encourage them to be kind and show love.
“Children teach us way more than we teach them, in various ways. We must allow them to be themselves unapologetically and also without unnecessary restraints.”
ECCE Certified (University of Trinidad and Tobago)
BEd. (UTT) - In Progress
Dip. HRM (ABE SITAL College for Tertiary Education)
Teacher, Toddler Program
As a mother of three wonderful children (sons ages seventeen and fifteen and daughter aged eight), Kelly completely understands the great responsibility of caring for our students. Teaching has always been her passion for as long as she could remember. Her first teaching experience came after completing secondary school at St. Roses R.C school in Port-of-Spain, as part of the Junior Achievers Program. There she spent two years teaching the first-year class (1999-2001). She went on to work in the private sector and furthered her education in Administration and HR Management. She has additional teaching experience from teaching at the Arima New Government E.C.C.E Centre and Maloney Gardens Government E.C.C.E Centre.
“I truly believe that as an educator, I am a bridge over which my students cross. On their journey I respect them, nurture their greatness, challenge them, and give them the tools they need to succeed, all while joyfully facilitating their passage and encouraging them to create on their own.”
AS in Psychology (COSTAAT)
Teacher, Preschool Program
Jen has been teaching since 2014, beginning as a Teaching Assistant at a primary school. She quickly realized that teaching was her calling and dedicated herself to a career working with children.
Before working at Tinkergarden, Jen worked at 2 additional preschools in the Port of Spain area, learning the ins and outs of the Early Childcare industry. In 2017 Jen joined the Tinkergarden team and has brought her warm and caring demeanor to our school. In addition to this role, Jen also teaches the Kids Program every Saturday at her Jiu Jitsu and Karate club in Woodbrook.
“With every new student I learn something new about myself as an educator. They may learn from me, but I’ve definitely grown because of them. Children are the most honest, innocent gifts ever. To be loved by them, to have their full trust, is not to be taken for granted.”
ECCE (University of the West Indies)
Dip. Journalism and PR (Sital Tertiary)
Teacher, Preschool Program
Kari holds a Certificate in Early Childhood Education from UWI Open Campus and a Dilpoma in Journalism and Public Relations from Sital Tertiary. She is currently pursuing her Degree in Social Work at COSTAATT.
She worked as an OJT (On the Job Trainee) at St.Pius Boys RC in Arouca where she received two years experience working with the First Year Department as a Teaching Assistant and Library Assistant. She has worked within the Preschool setting for about five years at two schools prior to starting at Tinkergarden.
"I believe that teaching is a calling and those that are privileged to answer it have the opportunity to influence, enrich, educate an enlighten the lives of the little people they come into contact with. We as educators should not take this for granted, as we have the best and most important job in the world. The little people we teach today become the influencers and leaders of tomorrow."