MaryAnn is very excited to be a part of the Orillia Central Preschool family. After a number of years in the financial industry, MaryAnn re-discovered her passion and calling in child care. MaryAnn came to us as an assistant teacher in 2003 working in our “Learning, Earning and Parenting” program. She began an apprenticeship program in Early Childhood Education at Georgian College and graduated with honors in 2012. Working as the Executive Director of the Orillia Central Preschool Centers has proven to be both challenging and rewarding for her. MaryAnn is dedicated to ensuring that the community of Orillia is provided with high quality care for their children in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. It is no surprise that MaryAnn often quotes the old African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” as she advocates that all of society is needed to meet the needs of our children.
Mary has been with the OCP family for over 25 years. Even though she had completed her first year of a CGA, and has her Accounting Clerk certificate, she loved working with children. Before she moved up to her husbands home town of Orillia, she had been providing home daycare in Brantford located in Brant County for 3 years. When her youngest son was 2 years old she started him in the toddler half-day program that was being run out of Central School which at that time was managed by Catulpa Tamarac Family Services. Mary loved the learn through play philosophy and the staff at this innovative and integrated program for children under 5 years of age. When Catulpa Tamarac decided to divest the Preschool program from their Early Intervention Services, she hopped on board literally and became one of the founding directors of the new preschool program called Orillia Central Preschool. After serving on the Board of Directors for 3 years, and with the Preschool expanding, her volunteer position on the Board warranted a paid position in the office. She has worked her way up the ladder and has been the Office Supervisor for over 10 years now. When asked why she is still working there, she says, “I would miss seeing all the children’s smiles every day and watching them grow. And where else can you get a hug daily?”
As a mother of 3 children, I value the importance of curiosity, exploration and learning for young children. As such, I successfully operated a home childcare for over a decade that reflected my beliefs that “[e]very child has infinite potential to discover, learn and communicate…in many, many different ways including drawing, playing, painting, writing, sculpting, construction, dance, music, movement, role-playing, drama – even reasoning, listening, laughing, crying…” (The Hundred Languages of Children. (2018, May 09)).
I obtained my diploma in Early Childhood Education through Georgian College working as an Apprentice with Orillia Central Preschool over the last 6 years. I have recently been promoted to Program Supervisor of Orillia Central Preschool’s North location and look forward to navigating the challenges this new role will present alongside my team.
It is my goal that our programs at Orillia Central Preschool offer children the opportunity to demonstrate their competent, curious nature and allow each child to form long-lasting relationships with each other and their educators. Working in direct partnership with our families, I believe that our children will flourish.
Orillia Central Preschool has been like a second home to me for many years, beginning when my oldest child started attending OCP’s half day Nursery school program in 1997. During this time, as I was self-employed, I had the freedom to volunteer my time on Orillia Central Preschool’s Board of Directors filling many different roles. This is truly where my commitment to this Organization and my desire for working with young children and their families was born.
Once my children were grown, I began my official employment with OCP, moving from supply staff to full time educator and ultimately to Program Supervisor in 2018. During this time, I returned to school to complete my GED and enrolled in the Child Development Practitioner Program through Georgian College. I graduated, with Distinction, from this program in 2019 and now hold a diploma in Early Childhood Education.
In January of 2020, Orillia Central Preschool was fortunate to grow once again and I was presented the opportunity to open our South location at St. Bernard’s Catholic Elementary School.
I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am today and have been fortunate to have the unwavering support of my family and our OCP team.
I am thankful to have been a part of this organization for the past 24 years and am equally as thrilled to continue serving the families in our community going forward.
Every day is a new adventure.
It has always been my dream to work with children in some capacity. Following a high school co-op placement in a Toddler classroom at a childcare centre near my hometown, I made the decision to pursue Early Childhood Education as my formal career path and enrolled in the full-time ECE program through Durham College. I graduated with honours, at the top of the Dean’s list, in June 2010.
My career began with Kawartha Childcare Services (now Compass Early Learning and Care) where, as a fresh graduate, I held a variety of contract positions – from supply staff and inclusion support to maternity leave coverage and educator for the continuing education ½ day program operating from September to June.
It seemed like fate when I met my now-husband and moved to Orillia to begin our lives together, as I learned Orillia Central Preschool was in the market for supply staff. I have been working for Orillia Central Preschool since early 2011, moving from supply staff to full-time educator and ultimately to Program Supervisor of our North location in June of 2014.
I am now a mother with a happy and adventurous little boy who cheerfully attends Orillia Central Preschool. Following my maternity leave, I transferred to our Orchard Park location and have been working alongside the wonderful team of educators, support staff and SCDSB personnel that Orchard Park has to offer.
Orillia Central Preschool has provided many opportunities for my continued learning and growth, both as an individual and an educator for young children, including a study tour in March 2018 to Reggio Emilia, Italy where my passion for emergent learning, reflective practices and pedagogical inquiry was ignited. I look forward to continuing to bring these ideas forward in my work with and for Orillia Central Preschool and am grateful for all that this organization has offered me over the last 10 years.
Here’s to 10 more….