We are a dedicated and experienced teaching team who are passionate about what we do. We recognize and bring forth the potential in every child through clear communication, role modeling, creative and stimulating teaching, and our own commitment to self-reflection and lifelong learning.
We envision an environment where students are nurtured by the guidance and support they receive from their families, teachers, and community.
Mr Roy Sakata
Mr Roy Sakata is Principal of Beachcombers Academy and a primary teacher. He has 40 years’ experience in education as a teacher, principal, and working with the BC Ministry of Education. He has been honoured with Ministerial recognition for School Administrative Excellence. He has a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration from Simon Fraser University. He has worked as a teacher and principal in both small rural schools and large urban schools, including independent, public and First Nation. He has served 5 years on BC Ministry of Education Assessment Teams for the Independent School Inspector’s Office and for the BC First Nations Education Steering Committee. Roy went to primary school on Quadra Island and in Campbell River, and attended high school in Courtenay. Roy has a passionate commitment to community service and was formerly on the Board of Directors of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre. Roy brings with him a wealth of knowledge, a warm supportive approach and an exceptionally positive attitude.
Ms Mary Jo
Ms Mary Jo is Beachcombers' Administrative Assistant. Mary Jo's joyful welcome in the morning is always a pleasure. She is a wonderfully positive person who loves being around young children and takes pleasure in her work at Beachcombers. She has 25+ years experience in administration/management and has a Bachelors of Arts in English and Philosophy. She is a volunteer with Kitty Cat Pals and enjoys hiking and kayaking. We are very pleased to have her on staff.
Ms Donna Walker
Ms Donna Walker is a Beachcombers Academy primary teacher with a focus on the early primary program; and art and Coastal Studies. She is a BC Certified Teacher with 8+ years teaching experience. Ms Walker has a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Curriculum (with Distinction) from the University of Victoria. Ms Walker exudes a warmth and friendliness that encourages children. She is a gifted teacher who is adored by our younger students. She loves gardening, being in nature and enjoys yoga. Her goal as a teacher is to provide a positive and supportive learning environment that encourages students to do their best. We are very pleased to have her as part of the Beachcombers team.
Dr Matt Maxwell
Dr Max Maxwell is a Beachcombers Academy’s primary teacher with focus on upper elementary; and French and music. He is a BC Certified Teacher with 30+ years’ experience in education. He has a PhD in Holistic Curriculum and a Masters of Education in Curriculum from the University of Toronto; a Bachelors of Education from St. Mary’s University (Dean’s List); and a Bachelor of Arts (French Honours) from Dalhousie University. He was co-founder of AIM Language Learning a language program adopted by thousands of schools across North America and Europe. A talented music teacher, musician and recording artist, he has been nominated for a Juno award. He is also a published author. He has a life-long interest in sustainability and social justice. Dr Maxwell wishes to spend the balance of his career doing what he loves most: helping students to become the best human beings that they can be in an increasingly challenging world.
Ms Megan Davison Moon
Ms Megan Davison Moon is the Little Oysters' lead preschool teacher. She holds an Early Childhood Educator Certificate, Infant Toddler and Special Needs Diploma, Emergency Child First Aid and is a Seeds of Empathy trained coach. She has 10+ years’ experience in teaching preschool and childcare, including experience providing outdoor education for preschool-aged children. Megan is an inspired preschool teacher who beautifully integrates nature into her preschool curriculum. Her indoor classroom is a hive of exploration, learning and creativity; additionally she excels at providing outdoor learning environments for children to grow and discover through experiential learning. We are very pleased to have Megan as a member of the Little Oysters Preschool and Beachcombers Academy team.
Ms Margit Balazs
Ms Margit Balazs is a preschool teacher in the Little Oysters Preschool. She holds an Early Childhood Educator Assistant Certificate. She was formerly a General Nurse in Hungary and a Licenced Practical Nurse in BC. She graduated with the equivalent of an Advanced Diploma in Medical Nursing and General Medicine in Romania. Ms Balazs has a warm, gentle and peaceful nature and she is a natural teacher. She is especially known for her exceptional creative skills and inspiring children in creative and nature-based projects. Ms Balazs is a passionate gardener and organic farmer and has contributed to our lovely garden. We are very pleased to have Ms Balazs on staff.
Ms Heidi Jeffery
Ms Heidi Jeffery is a part-time Beachcombers Student Support in the Little Oysters Preschool and Beachcombers primary school. She has an Early Childhood Education Assistant Certificate and a Certificate in First Nations Studies. She has many years experience working with small children and youth in outdoor and wilderness settings, and integrating nature in a preschool setting. She has worked as a kayaking guide, water safety instructor and lifeguard. Ms Jeffery is gentle and thoughtful and has a wonderful enthusiasm for her work. We are very pleased to have her on staff.
Ms Sarah Gibson
Ms Sarah Gibson is Beachcombers’ Teacher Assistant. She has 9 years experience working with children as a teacher assistant and social worker. She holds a Human Services Certificate, an Early Childhood Educator Assistant Certificate, and has additional diplomas in dance and homeopathy. Ms Gibson is a gentle, warm and conscientious person who is well loved by both students and staff. She has a supportive and quiet presence that draws out the best in children; she has a warm acceptance of children and genuine interest in their world. Ms Gibson is a pleasure to have on staff and is a valued member of the Beachcombers team.
Ms Christine Ryan
Ms Christine Ryan is a Beachcombers’ Teacher Assistant. She holds a Teacher Assistant Certificate (Distinction), a Strategies for Success Certificate, a Meditation Certificate and a Crisis Intervention and Prevention Certificate. She is also a Usui Reiki Master! Ms Ryan is kind and caring in her interactions with students. She is thoughtful and reflective about how best to support children; and she has exceptional communication and problem solving skills. She is an energetic and self-motivated staff person who is a joy to have on staff. We are very pleased to have her as part of the Beachcombers team.
Ms Julie Samson
Ms Julie Samson is a Beachcombers’ teacher-on-call. She has a lovely and kind approach with children. She is a BC Certified Teacher with 16+ years teaching experience. She has additional experience working with preschool-aged children and has helped to facilitate children’s art programs for the Comox Valley Art Gallery. She has a Bachelor of Education, a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Diploma in Special Education. Ms Samson has a passion for yoga, hiking, kayaking and gardening. In previous years, Ms Samson worked as a classroom teacher and teacher-on-call for Beachcombers.
Ms Kathleen Radford
Ms Kathleen Radford is a teacher-on-call for the Little Oysters Preschool. She is a trained student support teaching assistant and preschool assistant teacher. She holds an Educational Assistant/Community Support Worker Certificate, an Early Childhood Educator Assistant Certificate, and a Level 1 Early Childhood Education Certificate (Alberta). This talented woman has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts Major. Ms Radford has 8+ years’ experience working with children in preschools and childhood development centres; and 2 years teaching visual arts to children. Kathleen brings a gentle, thoughtful and professional tone to her work.
Mr Ben Anderson
Mr Ben Anderson is a Beachcombers teacher-on-call and has been with Beachcombers for eight years. He holds a BC Teacher Certificate and has 15+ years working in leadership roles with youth. He is deeply committed to service to his community. He enjoys outdoor pursuits and is a busy father and a beloved teacher.
Ms Zoe Lambert
Ms Zoe Lambert is President of Beachcombers Education Society, a non-profit society that operates Beachcombers Academy & Little Oysters Preschool for the benefit of students and families. She has 20+ years’ experience in the non-profit, cooperative, and community development sectors. She has worked with multi-agency groups that included schools; for municipal and cultural organizations; on contract with provincial and federal agencies; and for indigenous organizations. Her strengths lie in team-building, operations management, evaluation, policy development, project starts, media relations, and consensus building. She has volunteered with Ground and Air Search And Rescue, and is trained as a 'Municipal Coordinator' under the BC Provincial Emergency Program. She has been Site Manager in two disaster situations. Following a career change, she became a commercial pilot working in the Polar Regions: this gave her exposure to polar environmental-science research, remote eco-tourism, the mining industry, and remote indigenous communities. She is an outdoor recreation enthusiast with a passion for wilderness. Her son is a graduate of Beachcombers.
Ms Wendy Preston
Ms Wendy Preston is an advisor to Beachcombers Academy. She was Beachcombers' founding Principal and a primary teacher. Ms Preston holds a BC Teachers Certificate, has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, and an International Montessori Teaching Diploma. She completed the first part of her Masters in Educational Leadership, but took a break in order to dedicate herself to Beachcombers Academy. She has 16+ years’ experience teaching kindergarten and primary grades in independent schools in Canada and the U.K. Ms Preston has a deeply held belief in quality education. Her son is a graduate of Beachcombers
Ms Janet Leblanc
Ms Janet Leblanc is an advisor and mentor to the Little Oysters Preschool. Janet has 25+ years experience working with children. She is the former Director and founding teacher of Beachcombers Little Oyster's Preschool, and prior to that, Director of Stepping Stones Montessori in Comox. She also has many years experience working as a Special Education Assistant. She is a member of Early Childhood Educators of BC, BC Montessori Association, and the International Montessori Council. She has an Early Childhood Educator Certificate and an International Montessori Teaching Diploma. Ms Leblanc is known for her gentle, stimulating, and inspiring approach with children, and her consistently positive, supportive and peaceful outlook.