Our staff are all Registered Early Childhood Educators and are responsible for managing programs that meet the standards of Ontario’s Day Nurseries Act.
Bettye Hyde Co-operative Early Learning Centre has maintained an excellent reputation for the outstanding calibre and dedication of its director and educators. All educators share equal responsibility for activities in the school. Our school is also recognised as a teaching centre where Early Childhood Educators and students come from time to time to learn from and contribute to the program.
In addition to regular teaching duties, the school’s director is responsible for program planning and for the daily management and operation of the school. She is ex officio on the school’s Board of Directors and also attends all parents’ meetings. Since the group of parents changes greatly from one year to the next, the director provides vital continuity to the operation of the school.
Meet our Director
Janet LeBLanc, RECE
I began my career in childcare back in 1990, working as a nanny. I quickly realized that Early Childhood Education was the perfect career for me. I eventually enrolled at Algonquin College and completed my Early Childhood Education in 1999. My final field placement for the program was at Bettye Hyde Co-operative. As a student I was impressed with the inclusive and welcoming environment. I was thrilled to be offered a teaching position at Bettye Hyde in the fall of the same year. The rest, as they say, is history.
Over the years our school has grown and flourished. We were once a team of three educators working alongside parents in the basement of All Saints church. As the needs of the community and the landscape of childcare itself began to change, our little school has grown and changed as well. The dedication and support of our many volunteers over the years has helped to create the school Bettye Hyde is today. Our commitment to providing quality care to all children in a warm and loving environment has remained constant. I see learning as a lifelong process and am proud to work with a team of Educators who reflect this ideology in their practice.
After working with Cindy Mitchell, our former director, for over 20 years, I now have the privilege of stepping into the role as director of this wonderful school. I’m looking forward to continuing to be an integral part of the vibrant Bettye Hyde community and working closely with our dedicated volunteer Board of Directors.
Meet our Educators
Ernest Blais, RECE
I received my Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta (a long time ago). I began teaching elementary grades, but fortunately discovered soon enough how much happier I was to work with preschool children (outside of the school system). Over the years that followed, I have lived many experiences related to both education and art (painting, drawing, and sculpture). In 2007 I travelled to Reggio Emilia, Italy, for a study week where my interests in art and early childhood education came together in an exciting and satisfying way that continues to inspire me.
There will always be things to learn and discover, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to do so alongside the caring and dedicated team at Bettye Hyde Cooperative Early Learning Centre. The children, the families, and the staff at BHCELC form a strong community where we can all belong.
I grew up in northern Ontario, spent decades in Edmonton, and currently live in Aylmer with my wife Louise. Our three children are now adults.
Je suis bilingue, et serai content de vous parler en français.
Sue Bailie, RECE
My very first introduction to the childcare field was back in 1992 when I did a co-op placement in a childcare centre on the army base in Lahr, Germany. My father was in the military, so I was extremely fortunate to do all of my high school years overseas. As soon as I had spent a few days working in this program, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. When I graduated high school in 1993, I immediately enrolled in the ECE program at Algonquin College.
I began my career in 1996, and it was at the first childcare program that I worked in where I met both Lisa and Janet! Over the years, I had the pleasure of working with every age group in a few different centres in Ottawa. After 10 years, I decided to take a break from the field to explore my love of art and start my own business. I worked for 8 years in construction, focusing mostly on painting and doing large scale custom abstract art walls for both residential and commercial clients. I also focused on my artwork, doing art shows, and supplying my work to the local Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG). I had kept in close contact with both Lisa and Janet over the years, and I also worked part time and did supply work at the original Bettye Hyde, so when a full time position was offered to me, I jumped at the chance to join this beautiful “work family”.
I have been working at Bettye Hyde in the Preschool room since 2015. I could not think of a better place to spend my daily working hours! Bettye Hyde is a magical place of love and belonging. It’s a place where we can all come together, learn together and create together.
Lisa Lajoie, RECE
I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator with over 20 years’ experience working with children ranging in age from infant through to school age. I have been at Bettye Hyde Co-operative Early Learning Centre since the fall of 2000. The parental involvement and co-operative philosophy are what initially attracted me to Bettye Hyde. I am proud to be part of a team of strong Educators who are dedicated to providing a creative and stimulating program, where children can grow and learn through play in a non-stressful environment. I also believe it is important for Educators to continue to grow through professional development. I enjoy attending workshops, conferences and continuing education courses in order to stay connected with other RECEs in the community, and to stay current with what is happening in the field of early childhood education. Lisa works primarily with our toddlers.
Keisha Oliver Perryman, RECE
In 2011, I completed my final student placement with Bettye Hyde Co-operative Early Learning Centre. Shortly after, I graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at Algonquin College. I joined the Bettye Hyde team as a full-time staff member. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Educators that have many years of experience in the field. Knowing that every day I am a part of each child’s most critical developmental stages, makes me proud to be a Registered Early Childhood Educator.
Lana St. Jean, RECE
Je suis fier de pouvoir offrir à nos enfants de Bettye Hyde un cercle, des histoires, des chansons et des conversations en français. Le plus tôt possible que nous introduirons de nouvelles langues, le plus facile se sera pour l’absorber et devenir fluide. Les enfants sont prêts a recevoir de nombreuses information ce qui facilité leur apprentissage ultérieur.
Hello! My name is Lana St. Jean and I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator working with the Toddler Room team. I have been in the childcare field for over 25 years and joined the amazing team of educators at Bettye Hyde in April 2014. My experience includes home childcare, licensed group childcare with Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers. I also managed a licensed childcare center in Sooke, BC. When we moved back to Ontario, I was a self- employed RECE for a small Cooperative here in Ottawa for over 6 years. I am also proud to be a Military wife of a now Retired Naval Chief, a mother to two grown sons and a proud grandparent to 5 beautiful children. I enjoy being a part of the children’s growth and development as a whole and this is ever-changing, and ever-evolving. A child’s laughter and curiosity is infectious at this age and I look forward each day in the rewarding journey in learning together.
Bridget Klinger-Cancino, BA
Melina Cruz, RECE
In 2012 I graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Biology. During my undergrad program, I had the opportunity to work with children from 9 to 14 years old. In 2016, I completed my Masters degree in science. In the same year, I had the opportunity of doing volunteer work at an Early Learning Centre in the city of Toronto. After that experience, I found what I really wanted to do in life, so I enrolled in the ECE program at Algonquin College where I graduated in October of 2019. One of my placements was at Bettye Hyde. After my first day here I thought, this is the place I want to be, here is where I want to work. A place built with respect and love. I hope to pass on my passion for science to the next generation by finding fun and relevant ways to introducing science into the classrooms. I am happy to be part of this amazing team and work side by side with families to foster each child’s development.
Melissa Vanden Dungen, ECE
Meet our Cook
I joined the team in 2014 and am happy to provide healthy, fun, foods for the children at Bettye Hyde. I previously owned my own personal chef and catering business and, I love coming up with healthy creative meals. I also specialize in food sensitivities and allergies. I aim to expose children to a wide variety of cultures, colours and flavours through their food. I also enjoy organic farming and preserving food through pickling, jamming, and fermentation.