Meet Our Staff

Taylor Harris

Executive Director

My name is Taylor and I am the Executive Director here at NICCS! I started working in Child Care
when I was 18 years old. I learned I had a passion for early learning right away. While working in
childcare full time, I completed my Diploma in Early Learning and Child Care and I graduated
with honors. During my time studying, I was fortunate enough to see and experience many
different childcare centres in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Brooks.

Through my experiences, I have been able to form a vision of what the best approach looks like to help children develop to their full potential. I am thrilled that I get to apply my vision right here at NICCS. I believe that children are mighty learners and our role as educators is to observe children's natural
curiosities and expand those using open-ended materials and emergent curriculum. Although I
have been a part of many amazing child care centers, I have never felt more at home than I do
here at NICCS. I love the sisterhood within our teachers and I adore each and every child in our
program and I love them as if they are my own! I feel so lucky to spend each and every day
doing the very thing that makes my heart happy. Welcome to our centre!

Mary Anne Sarmiento

Program Director

My name’s Mary-Anne and I’m the Program Director here at NICCS. I’ve been in the ECE profession since 2011. I worked as an Early Childhood Educator in Singapore for 6 years before moving to Canada in December 2017. During my time in Singapore, I spearheaded a research-based project called "Reading Intervention Program for Readers-at-Risk", which received an ECE Grant Award. Prior to becoming an Early Childhood Educator, I worked as a Supervising Instructor to Practice Teachers (B.E.E and B.E.C.E), an Elementary Laboratory School Teacher (taught Grades 1 to 6), and as a University Instructor III at my alma mater, Pangasinan State University, Philippines from 2005-2011.

I hold a Post-Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education-Teaching, a Master of Arts in Education (Major in Science Education and Special Education), and a Bachelor in Elementary Education (Specialization in General Science). In November 2005, I was awarded a Certificate of Distinction by the Professional Regulation Commission and Board for Professional Teachers, Philippines for being a topnotcher in the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) 2005- National Level. In July 2007, I also received a Certificate of Recognition from Pangasinan State University for being a top LET performer among colleges and universities in the region, bringing prestige to my alma mater.

I believe that children are mighty learners. As an Early Childhood Educator, it is my responsibility to provide them with the right learning experiences and prepare a responsive learning environment that caters to their learning needs. I love working with young learners because it always sparks creativity in me and there’s so much to learn, especially in a multicultural setting like NICCS.

Angelica Vera

Team Member

My name is Angelica Vera, I am from Mexico and I had the amazing opportunity to come to
Canada with my family in 2016. I have been working with children for more than 5 years. I
worked 2 years in Mexico as a volunteer in a Kindergarten and more than 3 years as a childcare
assistant in Canada. Currently, I work in Inclusive Care. I love coaching and playing with kids
because they are the happiness of life, and they make me see things with other eyes. I speak
Spanish and English but I would like to learn French someday. My favourite hobbies are
spending time with my husband and my daughter, shopping and playing some online games.

Razia Kosar

Team Member

My name is Razia. I was born and raised in Pakistan, but I moved to Canada in 2016. I have
completed my Bachelor of Education from Allam Iqbal Open University, Islamabad. I graduated

with my Bachelor of Arts in 2009. I received my Master’s in English. I know two languages, Urdu
and English. I lived with my husband and two children. I have been working with young children
for three years. I am loving, caring, flexible and patient person who deeply enjoys working with
the children. My hobbies are reading books and watching TV.

Malaisy Sirisavath

Team Member

My name is Malaisy and I was born in Laos. My family and I immigrated to Canada and settled in Alberta in 1980. I have two children, a daughter and a son who both attend Brooks Junior High School. I have been working in an early childhood setting for five years as a Level 1 Early Childhood Educator. I enjoy working with children because I get to be a part of their developmental growth. I think it’s impressive to see not only physical growth but also personal growth in children. I have to smile at their defiance and emerging independence to become their full potential. Currently, I’m pursuing my part-time studies in Early Childhood Education. Personal growth is essential to me because we are always learning about ourselves and we should always thrive to be better versions of ourselves.

Tina Reimer

Team Member

My name is Tina Reimer and I am currently an educator in the Toddler Room. I started my journey in childcare in 2017 and since have worked in multiple areas. I have taught in another daycare, provided care for families as a nanny and started a home-based childcare business. During this time, I have also completed my childcare certification. My two children and I enjoy spending time together outdoors, telling imaginative stories and impromptu dance parties. Aside from spending quality time with my children, I like to build homemade sensory boards out of wood and educational objects. With children, I value using a combination of love, proper discipline and education. I enjoy working with the staff at NICCS because everyone here is treated as part of a family.

Insha Shahzad

Team Member

Hello, my name is Insha Shahzad. I was born in Punjab, Pakistan. Before coming to Canada, I used to teach Maths in primary school in Pakistan. I moved to Brooks in 2016. I live with my husband and two sons. I have completed Bachelor in Arts from University of Punjab, Pakistan. I completed my diploma in Montessori recently. Now I am doing my Diploma in Early Learning and Childcare. I started my first ever job in Canada as an early childhood educator here at NICCS in 2018 and feel lucky to have such nice co-workers. I love to work with children because they bring joy to me and I enjoy making positive changes in their lives.

Hannah Potyra

Team Member

Hi, my name is Hannah Potyra and I’m currently working in the Preschool Room. I’ve always been the kind of person that loves to help and be around children, starting as a child when my mom ran her own day home. I’ve been working with children for the last 14 years, starting with babysitting, working in elementary classrooms, and now in a daycare setting. I’ve nannied in Brisbane Australia and in Limerick Ireland and I’m always looking for my next adventure. When I’m not working with kids I love to travel, spend time with my family, read, hike, and do puzzles. I love that I get to be a part of helping the kids explore and learn new things every day and that I get to enjoy a positive environment with the kids. The ladies at NICCS have been so warm and welcoming since I’ve joined the team which has made this transition so amazingly easy! I couldn’t ask for better bosses and coworkers. Thank you to the parents for letting me be a part of your children’s lives. I can’t wait to get to know everyone!

Angelita Lagartos

Team Member

I am Angelita Lagartos. My friends and love ones call me Angel. I came here in Canada last March 10, 2012. I am a proud Filipina, wife, and mother of 2 sons ages 6 and 10. In the Philippines, I graduated Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Mathematics teaching math to middle school students. And here in Canada, I have a certification for Child Development Assistant.I had the opportunity to work as an Educational Assistant at Brooks Junior High School. It was challenging but it motivated me to improve myself and to have more patience. I also had the privilege to work with little kids at NICCS. I learned that kids will love and like you by showing your care and your love for them too. I am glad and fortunate that by doing this job I am helping the kids reach their full potential. As an educator the enjoyment and learning that I share are the rewards that I will treasure forever.

Verlynn Keeping

Team Member

Hi my name is Verlynn. I am originally from Newfoundland and moved to Brooks 14 years ago. I
have my Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Small business management, bookkeeping
certificate, plus many more child care related courses. I have 15 plus years experience working
in a daycare environment. My family is my world. I have been married for 18 years and we have
a wonderful son who is the light of our lives. We enjoy camping, game nights and family
gatherings. A few years ago I decided to leave my job as a child care worker to try something
new. Even though I enjoyed my new position I always felt like something was missing. I have
realized that helping children is where my heart is. I am so thankful to NICCS for giving me a
second opportunity to do what I love doing, caring for children!

Carolyn Gostola

Team Member

My name is Carolyn Gostola. I was born in Picture Butte, AB. I moved to Outlook, SK with my
family in 1969. I attended Outlook High School and graduated in 1980. I went to the University
of Saskatchewan and graduated with a nursing degree. I nursed at the U of S hospital for 3
years. Moved to Medicine Hat, AB where I worked for 20 plus years at the Medicine Hat
Regional Hospital, I retired in 2008. I have two grown boys and 4 grandchildren which I love to
the moon and back. I am now working as the cook and enjoying my new family.

Navpreet Kaur

Team Member

My name is Navpreet Kaur. I was born in Punjab, which is located in northern India. I have
completed my Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, and Masters in Political Science. I taught
high school in India for 6 years. I moved to Brooks, Alberta in 2014. I worked at the Plains Motel
for 2 years and in 2016 I began working at NICCS. I also worked at the Parent Link Centre here
in Brooks from November 2019 to March 2020. I love the opportunity to work with children and
shape adults tomorrow.