Meet Our People

All Preschool teachers at Shawnigan Lake Montessori Preschool and Childcare are registered through the province and hold current first aid tickets, have passed criminal record checks and have experience working with young children.

We believe strongly in employing teachers who listen and engage your child to encourage the best possible learning experience in their early learning years.

I was born and raised in Prince Rupert. My family lineage is comprised of teachers: my mother had a degree in bio-chemistry; my father was a vice principal in Prince Rupert; my grandmother taught in Port Alberni in the 1920’s.

My formal education originated in music and culminated with a music diploma and grade 10 Royal Conservatory. I continue to pursue my passion for music at the piano.

It was my background in small business that led me to join Four Seasons in the capacity of ‘retooling’ the administration. I soon fell in love with the Montessori method and purchased Four Seasons Montessori school in September 2010 and Shawnigan Lake Montessori in September 2015.

My dedication to Montessori as an educational model is reflected by my work with the Vancouver Island Montessori Association and professional development in Early Childhood Education.

I first became interested in Montessori education when I was 21. I was working as a substitute teacher in a Montessori Preschool in Victoria during 6 months of traveling around Canada, prior to my decision to immigrate to Canada.  Several years later, while helping my husband to build a house on Pender Island our daughter attended a small Montessori preschool and I was inspired by her wonderful Montessori teacher to go on and take the Montessori teacher training at St Nicholas Montessori Centre in London when we returned to live in Britain.I then taught in Montessori schools in England and Scotland for 9 years, 4 years of which was as Head Teacher of a small rural School in the Scottish Glens.

On our return to Canada in 2003 I was fortunate to find a Montessori school that was a good fit for both my daughter and myself.  I taught for 4 years at West-Mont Montessori School in Metchosin in their pre-school/kindergarten class.  I then became the instructor of the West-Mont Montessori Teacher Training program in 2009 and started working part-time as Head Teacher at Shawnigan Lake Montessori.  I left to begin my own Montessori program, Cedar Montessori, but was excited to return to join Keith Bennett when he took over the school in 2015.

I really do have the very best of job combinations; spending my days in a beautiful Montessori environment, supporting children in their love of learning and also spending time sharing my passion for Montessori education with future Montessori teachers!

I received my ECE diploma in 1996 in Japan.
Since then (for twelve years) I used my license to teach children between the ages of two and five. In 2008, I got married and moved to the beautiful Cowichan Valley. In that same year, I had my ECE diploma recognized in British Columbia and began working with children here.
I very much enjoy teaching children, but I also recognize the importance of helping children get the best start possible. This is why I am always seeking to learn more through professional development.
This year, I am excited to be learning the skills and philosophies of Montessori instruction from Nicky McDonald at West Mont Montessori School.
I was born and raised on Vancouver Island- a true island girl. I thrive to be near or on the water- it is inspiring, rejuvenating and soothing. After graduation, my studies began in the travel industry and later interior design.I have an interest in different cultures: food, architecture, art, and traditions.

At an early age I had an interest in sign language and an underlying hope to work with Deaf children. In 1993 I commuted to Vancouver for weekly sign language classes at Vancouver Community College (VCC), one three month class, and eventually moved there for VCC’s 10 month fulltime sign language study program. In 1995-2009, I began working in group homes, day programs and contract work as a support worker for Deaf and developmentally delayed adults.

In 2000 I married my wonderful husband Ron. In 2001 our daughter Hannah was born- and my work with children began. I started as a volunteer and facilitated a parent/child group. I operated a (NLR) daycare out of my home for 6 years.

In 2008 I obtained work as a support worker in a preschool. The introduction to preschool education and pleasure in working with children initiated a career change. I began taking Early Childhood Education (ECE) courses with Pacific Rim Institute while working in the field.

Over the last 8 years I have had opportunity to work in different preschool classrooms as an ECE Assistant. In 2012 I was hired as a support staff in a Montessori school and introduced to the Montessori approach. I was (and remain) overjoyed at the opportunity children are given during their critical learning period (ages 1-6) in a Montessori classroom. I seek out creative ways to present learning objectives that will meet each child’s need at their developmental level. Maria Montessori studied and created materials and methods of instruction that provide a strong foundation during children’s critical learning period and for a life time of learning. I am thrilled to work in a Montessori environment and started formal Montessori training at West-Mont Montessori in Sept.2015.

My goal is to obtain Montessori certification within the next two years.

My name is SHIRIN KAZEMPOUR, I have lived with my husband in Shawnigan Lake since 2011. In 1990 we moved to Mill Bay with our daughter and son who are now married and busy with their children.

From 1995 to 2006 I owned and operated my daycare in our home in Mill Bay – Radiant Star Family Child Care. In 2006 I got my certificate as a Montessori teacher through North American Montessori Centre in Vancouver and did my Practicum at West-Mont Montessori School in Metchosin in the pre-school/kindergarten class. I was so inspired by the Montessori method of education for young children that in 2006 I started part-time Montessori Pre-School in my home.

I then worked at Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan with the Junior Kindergarten until 2013 when I broke my wrist and had to rest for six months, handing over my prized job to a Practicum student who had finished her practicum and studies and was looking for a good job.  During the last five or six years, I worked part-time as a substitute teacher at Shawnigan Lake Montessori and enjoyed my work here too.

I believe I have been blessed all these years spending time with so many children and sharing my knowledge and expertise with them.